Tomorrow, Tyler and I are celebrating 100 Days Alcohol-Free! It was her idea to give up drinking for 2022, and I hopped on board at the last minute. Well, the last hour. It was 11pm on NYE… I was in Denver after driving all day in a blizzard to make a flight home when I decided I’d give it a shot. Tyler was thrilled (and surprised) that I was joining her in a year of sobriety, but I believe that’s what a supportive husband would do.
Over the past 99 days, I’ve tried AF (alcohol free) beer, AF wine, and lots of mocktails. Some were terrible, many were okay, and a select few were great. Though many reached out with advice to say “don’t go to mocktails; it’ll make your journey harder,” I love the craft of creating, and I have incredible will-power when I decide to do something. To me, mocktails have been really fun to try. Specialized, hand-crafted drinks without the foggy morning? Absolutely!
On one of my recent travels, I found myself in Columbus Ohio. While I had a terrible experience in Columbus back in June (when someone stole my entire camera suitcase from my locked vehicle), I’ve learned to enjoy the city. Part of that came from finding a “home” there. Not a physical home, but I always stay at the same hotel, and I am a regular diner at the RH Rooftop Restaurant… my favorite in the city.
And y’all… I found it. While dining at RH, I found the perfect drink! I’m not joking, and I’m not being dramatic. It’s versatile, it’s fragrant, it’s refreshing. This drink has great flavor. It works well with over ice, or even directly from the bottle. It feels fancy if you want it to, but you can also get it at Target. It’s Fentimans Rose Lemonade.
You can see that it’s great in a champagne flute, like if you want to have brunch with your girlfriends while pregnant. It looks like a sparkling rose wine. And honestly, it tastes better than many of the sparkling rose wines on the shelf.
Okay, this post started as a celebration of being 100 days alcohol-free but has switched gears into my love for my favorite mocktail (and it’s not even technically a mocktail). Let’s get back on track.
Early on, it was pretty hard being alcohol-free. I always get upgraded to first class on flights because of my award status, which means I always get asked if I want free alcohol. Not to mention everyone in the first-class cabin is chugging whiskey and wine constantly. Pair that with cancelled and delayed flights, super tight layovers, angry passengers… it definitely makes me yearn for the escape that a drink provided.
Another reason it’s been a challenge is that Tyler and I drank wine every night. Yep… every single night. We didn’t get drunk off it, but you become addicted to the sound of pouring a glass, of clicking glasses, to the smells. Just holding the wine glass in your hand is something I found myself missing early on.
Finally, it’s been hard refraining from drinking while in social outings. I absolutely don’t want to keep another person from drinking… but I also don’t want them to pressure me into drinking. A couple people have tried, obviously unsuccessfully. The hard part is being around people on different levels of soberness. It’s definitely weird and interesting to see people tipsy or drunk when you’re sober. But in every case, I’m thankful of my state of mind.
These are in no particular order export the the order they came to my mind.
— To show my kids (Hi, Ellie!) that we have the power to say no in the face of peer pressure
— I feel great in the morning. Every single morning I wake up with a clear, happy head.
— While I do get annoyed more easily, I don’t overreact or get super-emotional like I do when I’ve had a couple drinks.
— I’ve lost ten pounds. This wasn’t a goal or a reason, but it’s nice to lose some extra weight.
— I feel healthier: physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Bonus reason: It’s something that has brought Tyler and me closer together. It shows that we support each other and make goals together that we work on together on.
Y’all, thanks for reading if you got this far. Are any of y’all sober? Or challenging yourself to change a habit? I’d love to hear about it! Leave me a comment, or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat!
Talk to you soon,
Dale Benfield is a Northwest Arkansas Luxury Wedding Photographer serving Fayetteville, Rogers, Bentonville, and Destination Weddings / A Fine Art Wedding Photography Studio. Benfield Photography is a staple in NW Arkansas and has photographed luxury weddings, Italy weddings, celebrity weddings, private estate weddings, Crystal Bridges weddings, Carnall Hall weddings, Weddings at Osage House, Bachelor Nation Weddings, and more.
He has photographed every style of wedding you can image: intimate weddings, Catholic cathedrals in Italy, church weddings, elopements, destination weddings on the beach in Mexico, and so on.
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