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All the wine I cannot drink. And the cocktails. That’s what I’m thinking about these days.

I read an article this morning about William-Chris Vineyards in Fredericksburg as I sipped my one cup of coffee. I longingly recalled how enjoyable it was to be there with friends six weeks ago, sipping a glass of Mourvèdre on their patio under a shady oak. My favorite red, I will miss it.

I thought about Veuve Cliquot champagne. Will I ever be able to enjoy that again? And the delicious old-style cocktails I have developed (without bragging) a certain amount of expertise crafting for our friends… What about them?

I know I sound like I have a drinking problem. I don’t. It’s the idea of not drinking I have a problem with. LOL.

I guess I’ve forgotten how to carry on socially without a nice glass of wine or a scrumptious cocktail. I’m uncertain of how to wrap up my day when it’s 5:00 pm (and it’s always five o’clock somewhere), and I’m used to taking a spirited drink out on the patio.

When I was 40 my sweet therapist suggested I quit drinking for eight weeks. I was on the verge of a breakthrough, and she was certain this would prove beneficial. Of course I agreed, not realizing those weeks included the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

It was harder than I’d imagined: no bubble-bath with a glass of wine and a bowl of popcorn after a hard day’s work. The idea of parties was excruciating, I turned down almost all invitations except with very close friends. And the day before Christmas Eve, I found myself standing in the wine aisle of the supermarket staring balefully at all of the bottles, searching out my favorites. I didn’t realize I was crying until some sweet old lady asked me, lightly touching my elbow, “Sweetie, are you okay?”

I was okay. I worked through what needed it, and in the end, I changed where I worked. I moved into a new cottage. And I found a wonderful new group of women friends.

I know I’ll be okay again, wine or no wine. I’m sure my lovely cardiologist, and I, will iron out all the wrinkles and get me feeling in tip-top shape soon. I can concentrate now. I’m reading and writing again, and I’ve watched some fantastic series on Netflix: Last Tango in Halifax, Russian Doll, and Longmire were faves.

I miss having a second cup of coffee, but “a cuppa” good English breakfast tea is delightful. And all of the wines… Well, dang! I miss them, but I’m sure they’ll be even more delicious when I’m able to savor them once again!

XO Donna



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Donna O’Klock spent 35 years in the beauty business, talking, teaching, and learning. These days, she’d “rather write than talk. It’s better that way because I can edit.” She writes two blogs, and, and is the author of  Sick and Tired & Sexy: Living Beautifully with Chronic Illness.

Austin, Texas, has been her home since 1978, but she and her fiancé have downsized and are traveling the country in their RV.

13 thoughts on “ALL THE WINE”

  1. The older I got the less alcohol agreed with me. I’d never been a drinker, but it eventually didn’t relax me or give me that same little buzz I used to get, and one drink… wine, margarita… made me feel terrible the next day so I quit. My doctor said that happens to a lot of people as they age. I remember my mother stopped having wine for the same reason. It’s my friends who now act like I’m out of step when I pass on having something to drink. xoxox, Brenda

    • You’re one of the most social women I know, and if you can “be out there and enjoy yourself sans alcohol” that’s inspiration enough for me! Thanks, as always, for your support!
      XO Donna

  2. It’s tough to give us things we enjoy. As I have gotten older, I find more than one glass of wine disturbs my sleep. Then last year I was diagnosed with a bladder condition that required me to cut out a ton of favorite foods that have too much acid in them – chocolate, coffee, wine, tomatoes! I was bereft. But I found after some treatment and some healing time that I can have one cup of coffee, one piece of chocolate, one glass of (white) wine, a bit of fresh tomatoes. I still avoid concentrated tomato sauces, red wine, and (mostly) dark chocolate. The reaction of my body has made them unappealing. Such is life and aging, I guess. As my 87 yo mother always says, after 50 it’s just patch, patch, patch. 🙂

    • It IS tough to give up things we enjoy, isn’t it? But, there comes a time (for some of us) when common sense and the desire to feel good must triumph over ingrained habits that don’t serve us any more. Thank you for sharing your story… I appreciate it! (Love your Mother’s sentiment!)
      XO Donna

  3. I had to give up alcohol when I was diagnosed with a rare form of RA. At first, it drove me crazy and then I started to notice that there are a lot of people out there with alcohol problems. People forget how to socialize without it. Medical marijuana anyone? Wish it were legal here!

    • I’m so sorry about your RA diagnosis. You’re right, that was exactly what I noticed when I quit drinking years ago! But, I found others who knew how to have fun without needing to over-indulge to feel comfortable… I’m certain I will again. You take care!
      XO Donna

  4. Donna, good to hear from you again. It sounds like you are getting better each day and that is great to hear. I have never really been a drinker although until I was 28 I did drink a little socially. Then, on a business trip with my husband, I saw all of these so called “ successful “ business associates acting like fools at an event and I quit cold turkey on that night. Haven’t had a drink since and I am now 68. The only thing I notice is that I have little tolerance for drunk or high as a Georgia pine men and especially women; it’s not a holier than thou attitude it’s just that I don’t see the point. At any rate I enjoy myself thoroughly at social events and I can remember the next day what went on clearly. With respect to your stroke, sounds like you are right on schedule my dear, and 9 months from now it will all be a bad memory and like I said before, you are going to be fine!

    • Good to hear from you! What a powerful decision to make so young! There’s so much to be said for not making a fool of ourself, not doing/saying anything we’d regret, and waking up feeling great the morning after a big event… isn’t there? Re: the stroke… as my little Italian Grandmother used to say, “from your lips, to God’s ears!”
      XO Donna

  5. My husband and I do ‘dry January’ every year to test our stamina without alcohol. It makes me realize that I CAN STOP, but, I go back on February 1st. I do try to not overindulge, which isn’t all that difficult, and only drink wine or beer. I grew up with alcoholics and I know all the symptoms, so I try very hard to stay in control.

    • Hi Barbara – What a great idea, and so much better AFTER the holidays than before! I know a lot of people whose parents were alcoholic, and they too are very judicious in their imbibing. Self-awareness is “a very good thing!”
      XO Donna

  6. YES, we all get there……….
    They now think I have a reaction to YEAST so that means NO WINE!
    I like to put my coconut water into a STEMWARE GLASS its the sipping motion that I like and it works for me!
    I have not been drinking since SEPTEMBER and to be honest I do not miss it over all!I LOVE the idea of having a PROSECCO or some BUBBLY to celebrate an occasion…………
    I have now been told by two different doctors I have COMPLEX MIGRAINES.Just got that info this AM so off to GOOGLE.

    • Ah, Contessa, that’s a bummer, I’m so sorry! Yes, agreed, it’s the bubbly to celebrate that bothers me most. I keep singing “Que sera, sera” trying to humor myself.
      Based on a discussion with the neurologist, there are now wonderful new meds for treating migraines! I hope you find a solution to both challenges very soon. Stay in touch, ciao!

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