Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to another Grateful Heart Monday, where the week always begins with an expression of gratitude from my life. Today’s piece of gratefulness is for not being a barfly anymore, something that many of those long sober from a former drinking addiction will probably agree with, and something I was greatly reminded of when I briefly stopped into a local saloon just recently solely to use their bathroom.

A few Fridays ago I opted to pick up a pizza at one of my favorite joints here in the Toledo area, that being Mama Mary’s, for dinner for my partner and I. While I waited for it to be made, I asked if they had a bathroom as I had consumed a large coffee that seemed to have gone right through me. Unfortunately, the pizza shop did not have one for its customers, so I was directed a few doors down to a bar to use their facilities. I’m really not a big fan of walking into bars unless I have a specific reason for being there, which these days is generally never. The last time I stepped foot in a bar was for a fraternity alumni event back in April in Rochester, where I felt like a fish out of water.

Nevertheless, as soon as I walked in through the doors of this tavern, it didn’t take long to feel incredibly grateful for no longer hanging out in places like it. Grateful for not having to regularly smell that stale beer smell always implanted upon sticky floors. Grateful for not being that first guy I saw at the bar totally immersed in his phone trying to pass the time or his life by, as he most certainly didn’t look happy. Grateful for not being the second guy I saw who was desperately trying to be the center of attention in front of a bunch of people he was obviously attracted to by telling jokes that weren’t funny. Grateful for not being the third guy I saw who was noticeably buzzed or drunk, talking exceptionally loudly. Grateful for not buying a ton of scratch tickets or playing any keno hoping to win big. And grateful for not trying to play games of pool or darts under the influence where skills drastically disappear with each drink.

It’s funny how I saw my old self so easily in the brief moments I remained in this bar only to use the restroom there. The energy I felt in that place immediately upon entering was certainly not an uplifting one, but the energy I felt upon leaving and re-emerging outside was most certainly elevating.

So, I truly have an immense amount of appreciation on this Grateful Heart Monday for no longer being a barfly, for not being a guy who spends any of his weekends or free time in general anymore at bars or clubs or anything of the sort. While I never cultivated much gratitude hanging out in them during my drunken years or even in many of my sober years, I have been able to cultivate it hanging out at plenty of other healthier places, which yes, for those who know me, includes Starbucks! LOL!

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson