I was inspired by Seriously Sober’s recent post that brought up people asking what you “do” when you don’t drink anymore–especially on Saturday night.
I’ve been thinking about it the past week, how my life differs today from what it looked like 2 or three years ago, so I thought I would make a list of a few things I’ve found joy in now that I don’t spend my Saturday nights at bars (or drinking at home until blackout…sigh).
- Reading: I’ve read more in the past two years than I did in the 10 years of heavy drinking combined!
- Making Art: I used to make things all the time when I was in my early 20’s. When I started drinking I thought it would make me a better artist, and maybe for a hot minute, alcohol did allow me to release some creative ideas that were buried. But what it really did was hinder me. I would try to open up my paints and magazines (since I do collage work) and it would end with a mess and me passed out on the couch with little to show for it. Now with a clear mind, I love using weekend nights to work on art without being worried about waking up early the next morning.
- Listening to records: So when I drank, I bought stuff. Alot of stuff. Stuff I didn’t need. And I bought a bunch of records that I never listened to because again…I would pass out before I really had a chance to enjoy them after purchase. Now I enjoy listening to vinyl with a clear head and open heart…and I can actually intake and remember the lyrics now!
- Hiking/Walking/Getting Outdoors: To be fair, I did alot of walking when I was drinking too, but I used it as a way to sober up. Now I go outside for the sake of meditation, of exercise, and spending time with friends/family/my husband. I did alot of solo walking when I was drinking and now that I don’t feel shame about being drunk, it’s a beautiful way to commune with others.
- Cooking & Baking: It’s been wonderful to take time on the weekends to enjoy food. I’ve never been very good at either cooking or baking, but now that I don’t get blurry eyes when I’m trying to read a recipe they come out wayyyyy better…crazy right?
- Going to the movies or a play: So this one can be a little tricky–some movie theatres serve alcohol as do some theatres. But I’ve found that you can call ahead and ask (if you are feeling like it would be too much of a temptation) and that since it’s not the main focus of the event (like going to a bar) it’s easier to avoid the want to drink. And much like listening to records–I enjoy, understand, and remember the show SO MUCH BETTER. In my drinking days I would usually get smashed before I went a saw a movie or show, and there are so many plays and movies I just don’t remember. Not to mention I would need to go to the bathroom the whole time because I’d had so much to drink. Facepalm. It’s also way less expensive to do these things now–I’m only paying for the ticket and not the $8-$25 of drinking that used to go along with it!
I could go on and on–but the final thing I’ve realized is how much I love the mornings now that I don’t get trashed every weekend.
They’re quiet, warm, and wonderful. I feel grateful each morning when the sun comes in the windows. Grateful for another day, not sad or ashamed of what I might have said or done the night before.
And not having a headache is a beautiful thing.
Okay–onto the next alcohol-free outing to enjoy here in Vegas! 🙂
I’ve been feeling a little stir crazy (even though I know Las Vegas winters aren’t really that bad…I’ve lived other places so I know that we have it really easy here…) but still, we’ve had an unseasonably rainy winter so I’ve missed our desert sun.
As much as I love Red Rock Canyon, sometimes it’s nice to change it up a little and to get to add another alcohol-free activity to the list!
It had been years since I’d been out to Calico Hills (same for my husband) so we decided to make the trek out.
Calico Hills is a right turn (you’ll see signs) on the way to Red Rock off of Charleston, so if you’re coming from The Strip, you’ll probably want a rental car to really get to enjoy the area.
On nice thing to mention is that Calico Hills is FREE!
Red Rock Canyon does have an entrance fee if you continue down Charleston, but if you are on a really tight budget (either on a trip or living here) you can enjoy much of the same landscape for free here.
There are a few hikes in the Calico Hills area, but we found Red Spring the easiest to start with.
The entrance is really well marked, the parking area is clear, and there are a few different parts of the hiking area to enjoy!
You’ll see a picnic area right near the parking area (in case you want to eat al fresco) and above that you’ll see the entrance to the boardwalk area of the hike.
After we explored the boardwalk area we ventured onto one of the hiking paths.
The trail we took leads you up some stairs, through a sandy area, and then over some rock area (where the trail starts to disappear).
Once you reach the rocky area, it looks out over some flatter land. There are some paths leading towards other mountains and through the flat area.
We were out here about 2 hours and I felt like we were able to get alot of good exploring in without it being too physically overwhelming of a hike.
Much of the walk is relatively flat, so it’s good for beginners or families with kids of various ages.
I can’t wait for our next trip out this way–hopefully we’ll get to explore the other two hiking areas on the Calico Hills area!