I have a friend who’s spent most of her adult life fighting one horrible thing after another. It started in high school with bulimia, in undergraduate alcoholism emerged.
She’s got herself together these days, more completely than many of my friends that never struggled with things like this. Yet she remains aware of her demons. You can hear it sometimes if you’re paying attentions. She doesn’t draw attention to it, so if you miss it, it’s gone. She doesn’t make abstaining from these things sound easy, but she makes it sound possible, manageable and necessary. I'm proud of her accomplishments in these areas more than any of the others, and that's saying something.
The other night we were talking about something else entirely. Something about an email sent in error making her feel crazy. While funny for me, she was genuinely upset by this turn of events. During this discussion, she revealed to me that she has decided and discussed with her loved ones that in the year 2035 she’s throwing in the towel and giving in to all her vices. She’ll be 65 that year. She figures she’ll have had her brilliant career, raised any children she may have had, her folks will have passed away, there will be noone left to disappoint. Additionally, any of the "normal" side effects of drinking and bingeing will be okay or at least explainable at 65. Forgetful? Alzheimer’s. Overweight? Two kids and 65 years brother, get off my back!
While stressing about her email, she mentioned that she should go into organic farming; something less stressful. My suggestion was organic potato and dairy farming. That way, in 2035 when it’s time to fall of the wagon, we’ve got potatoes for vodka and cows for ice cream. That’s right, I said “we” I’m so not missing the vodka and ice cream New Years Eve party of 2034.
This changes everything.