This is what growth looks like
I attended the US Open yesterday with Evan. We brought Chase along, as he was the only one of our three kids that really wanted to attend. He played hooky from school and had a great time - a day he will truly remember. He is a huge sports nut and loves watching golf with his dad. He knew all the players by name and enjoyed getting autographs off the 18th green. It was a long day filled with tons of walking, and the introvert in me was exhausted by the end of it all. The nonstop stimulation and being surrounded by so many people truly drained me of all my energy. I couldn't even see straight by the time I got home, I was so tired. I went to bed early and have been recuperating today with a quiet day at home with the dogs.
Aside from being surrounded by hundreds of people yesterday, I was fascinated by a few specific parts of the event. I was able to observe the scene with a clear head and thought a lot about how my former drinking self would have handled the situation. We left at about 9AM from Needham and headed to The Country Club in Brookline via shuttle from the Trip Advisor building. The Trip Advisor garage was a short drive from our home in Needham, and it seemed like most people we knew were doing this same thing. Parking is very limited at the course, so we really didn't have a choice. This shuttle situation was anxiety inducing for me though, since it required a lot of moving parts and unknown variables. Where do you go for pickup? Where do you go for drop off? Will it be a long wait? Will I get lost? These kinds of situations stress me out since I tend to be somewhat disorganized and scatterbrained, but thankfully Evan was with me. Also, it was all very well mapped out and the process was pretty seamless. In the past, I probably would have drank before even leaving the house, just to ease the tension of the day. Back in the day, I maybe would have even packed a water bottle full of booze, not knowing what the alcohol situation would be like when I got there.
Once we arrived at the course, we began walking around. It was a beautiful, sunny morning, and it wasn't too crowded. Since it was a practice round, it was pretty quiet and there weren't a ton of people gathered along the fairways. One thing I did notice right away was that there were crowds of people and long lines already formed at the concessions stands. It wasn't even 10AM, and everyone was boozing it up. Everywhere I looked people were carrying beers, and I wasn't surprised at all.
In the past, I would have been in heaven over this fact. I would have felt so at home with the overt display of day drinking. I would have been over the moon that people were partaking in my favorite activity! I used to revel in these kinds of events. It were times like these that Evan would kick back and relax alongside me. In the past, he would have been happy to have a beer at 10AM with me, in the hopes that it would be the one time I could control myself.
On the flipside, I likely would have disappointed him and myself. I would have done what I aways did - I probably would have consumed way too many beers, while he only had one or two. I would have gotten sloppy and stupid, while he focused on the golfers and enjoyed his time with Chase. I probably would have ditched Evan and joined my friends in the members lounge for bottomless mimosas, forgetting all about the fact that I came there to spend time with my family. Maybe I would have run into a neighbor and ended up drinking wine in the American Express tent, losing chunks of the afternoon to an alcohol induced blackout. Ultimately, in the old days, I probably would not have remembered the majority of my day or appreciated any aspect of the event.
None of these things happened. Thank goodness. I stayed with my husband and son and walked all 18 holes. I enjoyed a delicious fried chicken sandwich and a cookie. I helped Chase get to the front of the line for autographs and got some great pictures of some handsome looking professional golfers. I got to see my husband with a silly, giddy smile on his face all day long - truly a kid in a candy store.
I had a wonderful day, and I wasn't bothered whatsoever by the day drinking around me. I wasn't annoyed or tempted or any of the above - like I once thought I could be. I was comfortable and happy. I felt free. I was able to look at the drunk, sloppy men stumbling around and think to myself, I am so glad that isn't me. When an intoxicated woman walked by my husband and burped in his face, Evan and I both looked at one another and cringed. I was so grateful not to be that woman. I was happy not to have lost my day to alcohol, and I was happy that I didn't miss it at all. That is progress. That is growth.