Took me a while, but here are my thoughts post-family-reunion…:
Family reunion over — boom! Trees were wonderful. We had “trophy” rainbow trout in the pond outside the cabin window. (Kids were apparently allowed to catch and release, but not big people.) I got good sleep. Talked to people I haven’t seen in many years.
It was very strange. I’d been steadily, mildly concerned about these three days of 25 relatives for months. I think because I’ve steadily been accepting my desire to be quiet and alone and work on my stuff — my work-work (freelance writing/editing) and my workshop construction. I’m either accepting my introvertedness more and more or I’m in a phase of particular quietness. Probably the latter.
That mild concern pre-dated this really lovely quitting-alcohol stint — so now, the fact that I wasn’t going to coat the social exhaustion with alcohol, added more unusualness to the task. The result was a bizarre, direct experience of getting exhausted by hours of people everywhere overlaid with major happiness at seeing a bunch of people I love. On the last evening it was 100% of both and I thought I was going to lose my mind. 🙂 200% is a bit much for this human being.
Moment to moment during the reunion, I didn’t feel tempted but I did eye the beer. I looked at it, me and my pretty currently contented walk away from alcohol stared at those bottles, just because. Everyone else was low-key enough around the beer that I knew that it would have been tricky to drink as much as I’d want to while remaining (what I considered) undetected. Most people were drinking Bud lite (gotta love Wyoming), so that was a nice no-brainer to avoid. One of my cousins works at a craft brewery and so there was also good beer, but, you know, that was okay.
The last night as I was paying my restaurant bill, a young man at the bar complemented my earrings. As he proceeded to chatter about travel and Wyoming and how awesome the mountains were, and how great this “backwater town” was (no irony), I noticed he was slurring. I rarely encounter drunk people. Thank you, universe.
Home safe, with big memories of love and people and shade and Piney Creek.