Friday, April 16, 2021

Prayer Instead Of Beer?

I've got 13 more days before I turn into a pumpkin at work. My contract is ending and there will be roughly 2 months before it's renewed. It's no big deal to us, financially, but it's a big deal to the project. We're launching it for real right about now. It's big, it's complicated and I'm the primary architect / engineer of the thing. 

For the next 13 days, just like the last 14, I'll be working as hard as I can to get things documented and debugged. I want it bulletproof and well-understood by the time I leave so the team doesn't get blindsided by something. The workdays have been long and my sleep schedule is all horked up as I sometimes awake at 0300 and then can't get back to sleep, thinking about what needs to be done. My workday then starts at 0330.

By the end of the day, I'm fried. Habitually, I turn to beer, but I like the results of that less with each passing day. Dealing with brain fatigue by consuming low-grade poison is stupid. Looking up some tips on dealing with deep-fried brain, there's talk about "mindfulness" which is just a watered-down, secular echo of prayer.


Sadly, our local Perpetual Adoration Chapel is still closed due to Wuhan Flu Paranoia. That was my go-to sanctuary of prayer and meditation. Relying on somewhere I had to drive to was a poor choice in the first place. It's useless unless I've got an hour to spare. When I was a pup, I used to hear older people talk about having an area in their home they used as a small chapel. I thought it was interesting, but never did anything about it. It might be time to try creating one now.

The beer never really works anyway.

Note: When I pray, I don't recite. I used to start with the Rosary, but I don't do that so much any more. Instead, I try to blank my mind and listen to what The Big Dude wants to tell me.

Watching the critters at Ken Little's feeding station in Hoover, AL is always a good second choice.


psudrozz said...

I've been trying to cut down on the booze for similar reasons. Beer really doesn't go well with my low carb diet, and while I can have a glass or two of bourbon and function well the next morning, the following afternoon naps are needed as the fog sets in. Also, I notice I get short tempered with my kids. Exercising, etc. helps but there's the time factor I just don't have given the requirements of 2.5 acres of land, family, and a dog (and another one coming in May).

I'd also be fibbing if I said I don't thoroughly enjoy knocking back a few at night watching a good hockey game.

I grew up with most of my family having shrines to the Polish saints (and the good Pope). I thought it silly back then but over time I think it served a wonderful purpose for them. For example, many of the ladies of the family couldn't drive and had husbands who worked. Or that their church was located miles away and in inner city neighborhoods that were quickly deteriorating.

K T Cat said...

Thanks for stopping by, psudrozz. Great stuff as always.

As Jordan Peterson says, the alcohol feels great as long as your blood alcohol level keeps rising. The men on one side of my family have chased that pixie forever, leading to early, messy deaths. I find myself doing the same thing, then sleep sucks and the next day is sometimes pretty poor. There's usually no hangover, but the body is stressed from filtering out the poison.

I'm trying to back away from the problem and understand the goal. There's got to be something better than a crowler and more of hazy IPA.

tim eisele said...

Hearing stuff like this makes me glad I never developed a taste for beer. Neither of my parents drank anything alcoholic, so there was never any around the house. And the couple of times in college that I was talked into trying some it tasted so vile, and made me feel so cruddy afterwards, that I never bothered with it further.

Now that you've established a beer habit, though, I think you're right that you can't just quit it, you need to replace it with something else. Setting up a little "chapel" to pray in might work well for you, although that would still leave a void if you then went to watch TV.

I was having similar problems with snacking too much in the evenings, and I found something that works for me, although it might sound a bit stupid. I just got a bag of those pink wintergreen lozenges in the cheap candy aisle at the grocery store. And now, when I start feeling generically peckish, I just have one of those. I like them well enough that they are satisfying, and they dissolve slowly enough that one will last about 15 minutes. But, they aren't "more-ish". I have one, and then I'm good for some time. There is no temptation to just sit down and devour the whole bag, like there would be for, say, chocolate candies or potato chips.

I think a lot of "old-fashioned" candies and snacks, the kind of things that your grandmother might have had around the house, would fit the bill. These are the ones that were created before the food chemists knew how to make things addictive, and so you can just eat one and be satisfied with it. Lemon drops might be OK, too. The "Circus Peanut" candies would probably work pretty well - eating one of them is OK, but no more. I don't think it is physically possible to eat a lot of circus peanuts because I start feeling nauseous after eating two.

Mostly Nothing said...

After leaving upstate New York in 1989 (I think it was) I more or less quit drinking. I went from several a night to 1-2 a week. Just beer. Wine on occassion. I never developed a taste for hard alcohol. There were still a few instances over drinking and suffering for it the next day. That just wasn't worth it. I was married and there were more responsibilities.

Off on a tangent, SciFi channel has a new show this spring. Resident Alien. Alan Tudyk (from Firefly) is an alien who has to masquerade as a human. There was a scene where he goes to the bar, and drinks way to much. He wakes up the next day and monologues, "this alcohol must affect humans differently than me, they would never drink it if it affected them like this." Something like that. It's a weird little show, just a distraction.

K T Cat said...

This idea worked well last night. I'm coming to believe that I was physically craving was mental rest.

Re Tim's point: "that would still leave a void if you then went to watch TV" - I've been doing a study of my habits and they correlate with what I've read from some alcohol-quitting advice I've heard. You don't need to cover the whole day with substitute activities, you only need to interrupt the process when it happens. Once you interrupt it, it needs a new catalyst to get started again.

As I understand it and it's certainly true with me, there's a small, finite time segment where I'm vulnerable. For me, it's the hour from 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM. If I don't get going then, I won't get going at all. In fact, by 6 PM, the idea of a beer becomes distinctly distasteful if I haven't had one already.