How I (Almost) Let Wine Cravings Ruin my Weekend
April 22nd, 2013 by Katie Morton
Photo by Jenny Downing / Creative Commons
This weekend was the perfect storm for cravings to brew. All of the elements were in place:
My parents were in town for a visit – and God bless my parents, I love them dearly – but the last time they came to visit, I received a phone call from my mother afterwards telling me all the things (she thinks) I’m doing wrong in my life. It made me feel as if I were a 7-year-old playing house, and not very well at that. Needless to say, I was a little stressed about this visit.
Besides the stress, I knew it would be a fun visit – and it was! We had a great time. I’m used to celebrating with wine with my parents. They have a love of California chardonnays, which they’ve passed on to me. So I bought a couple of nice bottles for them to enjoy over the weekend.
My Cravings Grew Slowly
We sat around my dining room table nibbling cheese and crackers and chips and salsa – another setup that reminds me of sipping wine, since I love the taste accompaniment, and I used to love the guilt reduction that wine gave me while I munched these foods.
We had lunch at a brew-pub one day, and there was another tick box: I would have loved a beer with my burger. I was also very sleepy this weekend. I hadn’t been sleeping well, and when I’m tired, there’s something about a glass of wine that perks me right up! Besides, especially when one is sleep-deprived, the brain is wired to stick to familiar habits and patterns to save energy. Sticking to any grand plan while exhausted – from dieting to engineering a bridge – becomes far more difficult than it needs to be.
Nothing Lasts Forever
At the height of the visit on Saturday night, I watched my mind slip into a sort of whiny gloom at the fact that I was experiencing cravings. Like, “It’s not fair that I feel this way.” I didn’t want to want. My future stretched before me, daunting and unfriendly and I wondered, “Must it always be this way?”
The beauty of all this is that on Sunday morning, after a good night’s sleep, it all went away: the cravings, the bad mood over the cravings, and any erroneous predictions of what my future holds. We went to brunch in the morning, and there was a mimosa bar. I felt wistful for a mere blip, but then when I saw a glass, I thought, “Yuck, a glass of sugar.” I remembered how I would feel bloated, lazy and unmotivated after drinking such a thing in the past. I had an article deadline approaching, and a mimosa was the last thing I needed to get work done. I felt comfortably repelled by the suggestion.
This morning as I was making a pot of tea, I looked across my dining room at the open bottle of pinot noir sitting on the bar and remembered there’s an open bottle of chardonnay left in the fridge. I’ll have to throw them both out, because they’ll go bad before I’d have another visitor over to drink them. I feel oddly guilty for pouring out expensive wine, but right now, it’s just not for me.
Do You Want Joy, or Instant Gratification?
The lesson of this weekend was a helpful one, and one I’ve learned many times before: cravings come and go. Whether it’s a craving for television or Facebook, or a new gadget or a dress, or double-chocolate chip cookies, you can be in the grip of a craving and think, “This is the way things are. I can’t have what I want. I’m broken. Life will always be agonizing. I will always suffer and feel deprived.” The truth is, cravings are only fleeting. They will go away. And the crux of the matter is, whatever you are craving, it’s not what you really want. It’s not what would actually make you happy. Instant gratification, sure. Happiness? No.
Now I’m two days removed from the experience of my cravings, and I feel like a different person, like it was a different world. And I’m quite happy for having felt that way so that I can fully appreciate how I feel now: free!
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