This will be a short post (as opposed to a shitpost), because while I want to mark this day I don’t intend to make a really big deal out of it.
On March 8, 2020, I stopped at The Brass Rail in downtown Port Huron, Michigan, after work. I used to do that once or twice a week, usually having a couple of beers and chatting with the regulars or meeting some friends. Afterwards, I drove home. Just another typical social evening.
I had decided to pass on alcohol for a week or so because the city’s big St. Patrick’s Day pub crawl was coming up the following Saturday. As it happened, that’s about the time concerns about the pandemic started to ramp up in Michigan, so the pub crawl was canceled (though a few people still ventured out since restaurants and bars hadn’t been closed yet).
On the actual St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, everyone was sent home from the college to figure out how to teach, learn, and run a college remotely. Since I was concerned about being out in public at this point, I stopped eating out at restaurants and obviously stopped going to The Brass Rail temporarily. Since I’ve never been one to drink at home – my alcohol consumption more or less requires social interaction – I also “temporarily” started a streak of days without alcohol, which has today reached 365 days.
There have definitely been times that a cold beer would have been nice, but once I realized I’d started a streak, I decided that I’d see if I could make it to three months, then six months, and then a full year. Success.
This is not a post about the joys of not drinking, or even a recommendation that anyone else do so. That’s your business, not mine. And I intend to have a beer again, especially now that a year has gone by. Not sure when, though; I sort of have a plan to wait until I can take a trip to Montréal (maybe this summer, maybe this fall?) and have my first one in over a year there. Being able to go to Canada and to travel in general would be a good indication that things are close to normal again, and that beer would be a great reward. But now that a year has passed, I don’t feel like the streak necessarily needs to continue, so we’ll see.
It’s an arbitrary milestone, but a year of doing (or not doing) something seems significant.