Saturday, December 12, 2015

Ginger beer, bourbon, and other necessities

www.traderjoes.com

The other day I was at Trader Joe's and I saw the most wonderful thing. Someone alert Oprah. It's a really pretty bottle of triple gingered beer. Non-alcoholic, so the kids can drink, and also anyone I might know in recovery or in some weird non-problem-drinker state of abstinence. Seriously, if you CAN drink, why don't you? Leave a comment.

Back to the ginger. It's super spicy, and it kind of burns your lips when you first drink it. Fourteen year old needs a mixer with it, eleven year old wants to guzzle it straight, and I fancy a bit of bourbon in mine. Bit more bourbon, please. Don't be stingy. There you go - that's a good pour. We're ramping up to Christmas in my family and things are getting weird again, as they do every year.

We're spending way too much money on presents, and while that makes us both good Americans who support the economy, it also makes us typical Americans who are buying more crap we definitely don't need. But it's a local custom and I like to fit in.

I've been doing small things to remember my basics this season: I'm trying to read things that are calming, I'm attempting to stay away from media hype because I'm thoroughly over the ratings grab that is any of the news outlets, I'm trying to check-in every day with my boys in a meaningful way about their day. We ask these three questions,

"What was good about your day?"
"What was a bummer?"
"How can tomorrow be better?"

In my own subversive way I am trying to lead them to gratitude and calm understanding in every moment. Some days the bummers will far outnumber the good things. Sometimes we won't really be able to figure out how to make tomorrow better. We'll have to sleep on it; to let the moon-rise give us clarity and the sunrise give us courage to try again. Because it seems like everything right now is more difficult if we allow it.

The Western Hemisphere is in its dark period and the sunrise is a squirrely event to catch if you want your courage. But you have to catch it, and you have to face all the tomorrows with a grateful heart and resolve to fix the bummers. You can do that. Trader Joe's sells a magical elixir to right your spirits for $2.99 plus all local applicable tax.

Pour a ginger beer, toast your day, whether good or bummer, and remember that your only requirement is to show-up. Show-up in all your tattered reality, in all your glowing happiness, in all your blah mundane mediocrity. Every day, no matter what, show up and try to help your fellow human shit-shows understand that we're in this together. We can talk together about what's good, what's a bummer, and what we can do to make tomorrow better.

That's really the only necessity.


**P.S. I lied. Bourbon is also a necessity. But that's just me. 
www.smithsonianmag.com