Towards a Rule of Life: Alcohol

30 April 2009

One of the proposals that Beth and I have discussed for a general house rule is “No alcohol Monday through Friday.”

In other words, that no beer or wine be consumed during the week, but only on Saturday evening and Sunday.

This has roots in excessive drinking that both Beth and I indulged in, but that we do not do anymore: she at all, and I only rarely.  We’ve noted also that if we have a beer or two every night, this tends to keep us up later, prevent us from getting enough sleep, make us oversleep, and generally make us less with-it and less energetic than we might like.

The only exceptions being truly special occasions: feast days, visits from faraway friends, etc.

And yet I fear that this rule is somewhat puritanical.  Case in point: Beth is currently laid up with the flu, hopefully of a non-swine variety.  Wouldn’t it be reasonable, after taking care of an influenzic person and a four year old, if I were to have a beer?  It’s no feast, but I’m tired, stressed out, and in need of a break.

But my counter concern is that if I let myself off the hook now, what’s to stop me from letting myself off the hook later.  We’ve encountered this before, too; there’s always an excuse to have a beer or two, and honestly, I’m happier and more productive if I don’t always have a beer or two.

So I’m wrestling how to incorporate some kind of alcohol guideline within the rule.  Should there be a quota of during-the-week drinks (say, four?), and then a greater leniency on Saturday evening/Sunday?  Rarely do feasts double up (as they did last week, St. George and then St. Mark), so such an allowance seems reasonable.

But again, I’m no puritan, and yet as I’ve always said, rules help one be truly free.  This kind of balance is the stuff of a Rule of Life.

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