I dropped my children off at school this morning and as I was returning home a song came on the radio station about someone being worth the whiskey. The singer, who I can only assume is a heartbroken man, is at a bar drinking to his work week and the soldiers busting their ass for us, but refuses to acknowledge that she is worth the whiskey he is drinking. A little tough to probably listen to if you are the ‘she’ but the song got me thinking.
There is a thousand adages if you need them about everything under the sun. There are those that say ‘Choose Happiness’ or the ones that ask if what you are fretting about will really matter to you in five, ten, a hundred years. There are little sayings to get you through each and every possible crisis; some said by the greatest thinkers of all time and some said by random 15-second celebrities that probably have no concept of anything but what is on television.
But when it comes down to it what is worth those cliches; what is worth the whiskey?
Personally, I am a complainer. This makes for interesting reading on my posts but probably eye-roll inducing for those who know me best. For instance, I get upset at the ‘happiest place on earth’ because everyone is trying to figure out what to do next but no one is actually making a decision. I get upset Christmas morning because the presents don’t seem to be honored by the recipients; instead of looking and oohing over each thing my children tear into one package just to get to the next. And I bought all the presents so I set myself up for that one.
I complain about being too cold routinely but won’t touch the temperature in our house because I don’t want anyone else to be too hot. I complain about my face, my hair, pretty much anything that is on my body – but have I actually done anything about it? It annoys me. But I do it.
Do I do it in order to get attention and to get someone to try and fix my problems for me? Do I do it in a bid to feel like I am the most important person in the room; or do I do it for the compliments that invariably come from the complaints? Do I complain about each and every thing in my life in the hopes that by putting it down than when it is resolved I will get a better joy? Probably a combination of all.
But what is really worth the whiskey?
I don’t drink, but if I were sitting at some dimly lit bar, on a cracked and wobbly stool watching as the bartender cleaned ancient and cracked glasses what exactly would I drink about? What would be strong enough, loud enough in my brain to drink about?
Death certainly. That is a no brainer. But what else in my life deserves that shot of aged whiskey in the cloudy glass? What else in my life deserves the bending of my head in misery?
I know that I have a disease that perpetually makes me feel worse than the circumstances call for; I have learned this after years and years of having such depression that no amount of drugs or whiskey will actually drown the feelings. I know that my perspective on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is always framed in that depressive state. It changes everything that I am; and rules with the strongest iron ever fist. So the average daily things that I complain about are influenced by the depression that I feel. We can’t ignore that; I can’t get around that.
So I know I complain. I even know why I complain. I know what precipitates this complaining. And I know that there will probably never be a time in my life when I won’t complain. So we have to take everything that I have ever complained about and take it off the table. It isn’t worth the whiskey; mostly because it is brought by a chemical imbalance in my head and not what is truly important – my perceived reality.
So if you take the complaints off and you take death off – because that is always worth the whiskey – what do you have?
The fact that I am trying to find a job and don’t have one isn’t worthy of any shot of whiskey. The fact that my children are learning to push me and challenge me to be a better mother by seeing how far I go until I break isn’t worthy of that shot of whiskey. Even the fact that I don’t have enough money to pay all my bills isn’t worth the shot of whiskey. None of these things, and none of a thousand others, are truly worth a shot of whiskey for one simple reason -none of these things truly matter.
Is there anything in life worth the sorry picture one makes sitting alone in a bar drinking shots of that amber liquid? Is there anything truly worth the ritual and the pain of drinking for no other reason than you need a moment of oblivion? Most of those participating in this life know love, money troubles, family, home, work, and faith. But are any of those things worth even the moment of importance that a drink of whiskey gives?
Or should we only be drinking to happiness? Instead of drinking to loss love, should we drink to the possibilities that have now opened because the poison of another is gone? Instead of drinking to having no money should we simply drink to the knowledge that we tried? Instead of drinking to the complaints shouldn’t we drink to the little, tiny, and almost missed moments of pure joy?
Next time I sit alone in a bar, this is what I will raise my glass to. In the meantime, let me tell you what those children tried to pull last night…