Writing this five-part series about passing seven years of sobriety has been exhausting. Anxiety over current events hasn’t helped. Although I don’t see a reason why my sobriety would be broken between now and year eight, this degree of self-examination has left me feeling exhausted. When I write essays normally, it’s guiding along my perspective, rather than addressing my own inadequacies. I try to do this whenever possible to bleed out false pretenses and arrogance.
In previous entries into this series, I wrote about the events that inspired my sobriety – seeing Clutch. I’ve taken some meandries because how many thousands of words can one write about any topic? Well, there is still the matter of addressing the question of how often do I want to go back to those simpler times? Although my life is much better “clean and mostly serene,” there is one major disadvantage: you can’t fully relax.
I don’t have any media – video or audio – from my sobriety date where I saw Clutch live. The event happened. I’m not looking for evidence, rather, reinvigorating memories for pleasure. When people would trash-talk others for taking videos that they’d never watch, well, that might have been true for most, before, but now with minimum two-week self-isolation orders around the US and the world, I think we would look back at that media fondly now.
Without looking, I forget how many times I’ve seen Clutch live, just like many times I forget my sobriety date. Both, and many other examples, exist nebulously in my mind, imagination, and memories as events that happened that shaped me into who I am. Going outside, even trivially to throw out trash, can shape us, so not everything we do is overly serious. Still, the most noteworthy events tend to exist outside of arbitrary pedantries.
I was irresponsible, in mostly small ways, throughout most of March 2013, leading up to seeing Clutch at Showbox at the Market on the 29th. I drunk enough to not notice someone else do something more embarrassing than anything I was doing, to not notice the show, but to notice it was time for a lifestyle change. Over the years, I’ve returned to this event, as I will in years to come. Let’s instead consider totalities.
In life, we often want it all, whether it’s seeing our favorite bands live, enjoying every second of every minute of every day, or whether it’s living an idealized lifestyle. The problem with that is sometimes we can’t see our favorite bands live. What if Clutch and Sabaton perform on the same evening? We don’t like being decisive in life because that means we have to make the hard decisions. Sometimes, simple answers guide us.
Clutch is one of my two favorite live bands, yet this was the first time I debated whether waiting in line for maybe 30 minutes to buy merchandise was worthwhile. I’ve gone to hundreds of different shows by now, spent money superfluously at merch booths at first with the noble intentions of “supporting the bands,” then “supporting my favorites,” now, just buying what I absolutely want. What I don’t have I can just buy online, right?
Do you have too many ceremonies surrounding planning to do things? Does work seem easier because you do what you’re asked or told to do? One of the bigger elements of my own personal clutter is managing my relationship with deciding whether tasks “to do” are even worth doing. If they were worth doing, I’d schedule the time to do them. If I have a trick on solving this issue, it’s about removing the ado.
The problem with following a strict calorie counting regime, that being avoiding eating over 2000 calories daily, is that sometimes you just need to eat more. Either through mental or physical stress, despite all your best intentions of small frequent meals, you might find yourself craving something you know isn’t healthy. I’ve eaten thousands over my daily calorie budget and though it feels good and is sometimes necessary, it’s unfortunate, but still, it’s perfectly fine; moderately.
An important topic regarding ownership of property is commitment. If you buy a fancy car, are you committed to the maintenance time and costs associated with it? Houses require upkeep. So, too, do the objects within anyone’s abode. I once wanted a massive collection of CDs, perhaps out of some excess curiosity, and now as I organize dozens of boxed CDs, I ask the contents: would I budget the time to see your band live?