October 17, 2023

Sober October thoughts!

It’s October 14th, nearly mid-month! The time has flown. It’s been fun exploring the absolute plethora of ‘wellness’ branded seltzers at the grocery store. I love fun drinks and trying new things! I went to a show at the trailside and sipped on cranberry soda, I took in an evening at Street Feast with a Libra Stout in my hand. Tonight? I sampled 12 different cocktails, and let me tell you, none of them were zero proof.

I was graciously gifted tickets to a Fall Flavours event this evening, called Mix Masters. Twelve mixologists from establishments all over the island came to showcase the best of fall cocktails they had to offer! A competitor from the Netflix series Drink Masters was a special guest, tasting and judging each creation.

It wasn’t as though I had these tickets far in advance. I accepted them just this week. How does a commitment to abstain from alcohol mesh with an event centred around sampling alcohol? In a black and white world, it doesn’t! But the same sentiment even applies to our work in this industry. Just a few days into October, I was participating in a bench trial at nine in the morning, because that is an aspect of my job.

I almost declined the tickets. I wrestled a little internally. Was I betraying my commitment to myself if I took them? Would saying no now preclude me from being invited next time? Would taking them, but not sampling, be rude or take a space from someone that would use them fully? This event was put on by a new events company - am I missing a networking opportunity? Am I telling myself this is important to attend as an excuse to drink? The overthinking was real.

AND THEN I SAID TO MYSELF, “JAZ CHILL.” We are so often our own biggest critics. I offered myself the softness and forgiveness I would to any other person that isn’t me, and finally found the question I really needed to be asking of myself: why did I choose to do Sober October? What do I want to get out of this experience? I want to challenge ingrained routines that may not be serving me. I want to explore my relationship with alcohol and approach it with more intention and awareness.

So that’s the mindset I carried to Mix Masters tonight. I wanted to taste them all, so I did. I didn’t want to get drunk, so I didn’t. I listened to my body and was so surprised that I could already feel the effects after the second sample. I took my time. I remembered I was under no obligation to finish what was in my glass before trying the next, but also savoured a couple I really enjoyed. I had a great time with my coworkers! I was in a cab home with a four pack of Libra before ten o’clock. I’m going to feel amazing in the morning. I feel amazing now!

- Jaz

General Manager, Front of House

Upstreet Craft Brewing