Monday, 4 July 2011

I need to drink more beer

Today is my birthday, and as part of my routine for this day, I usually spend half of it by myself. Just to have some peace and tranquility, be alone with my thoughts, reflect on what I've done for the year, and review if I'm still on the right path towards my goals. This is also my time to plan for the year ahead. And my conclusion from that self-imposed solitude for this year: I need to drink more beer.

My favorite beer
Let me explain before somebody brands me as alcoholic. I love beer. It is one of the simple things that make life enjoyable. There's nothing like an ice-cold drink of the gods after a hard days work to cool you off and massage the stress off your shoulders. And beer is also one of my greatest moderators of all time. You see, if I'm drinking too much beer and getting regular hangovers, I know that I'm not doing well with my life and and that I need to set my priorities straight again. And if I'm not drinking enough and becoming too stressed out, it means that I'm too involved in my plans that I need to lighten up, relax, and enjoy life's simple pleasures a little bit more.

This year's conclusion came as a surprise really. Usually I'm telling myself to start getting serious with my plans so that I can move forward. A little less loitering around bars and street corners with my drinking buddies and a little more dedication towards improving my profession. But this past couple of years I guess I overdid it. I've been so consumed with my work that I barely have time to drink anymore. From my usual average intake of 6-12 bottles per week several years ago, I'm now down to 2-3 bottles per month. I rarely go out now and have not much of a social life beyond the office and home. I have become irritable from all the unreleased stress at work.

I've been too driven lately with improving my skills and getting to that next level that I've forgotten to pause every once in a while to enjoy the small milestones, and commiserate the usual failures, with a bottle of beer or two. That life, like beer, if rushed though the fermentation process too fast, might come out acidic, yeasty, or bitter. Our goals will only be worth it if we take the proper steps, relish our progress through it, learn from our mistakes, and patiently follow through the development of our plans. Having a destination is all well and good, but the journey we take to get there is important as well. Rushing through it is useless and might even prove detrimental. We should learn to appreciate the intricate process and recognize the ingredients it needs to make superb beer, or a good life. Realizing this makes the whole beer tasting experience all the more enjoyable.
My son's first sniff of the drink of the gods.

So here's a toast to the brew drinkers out there who aspire of impossible dreams, who struggles mightily, failure after failure after failure, against overwhelming odds to reach their goals, who keeps on pushing the boundaries beyond sober perceptions. May you always remain true to your convictions, to be always determined and focused, but not be too intoxicated by your ambitions, and remain appreciative of the simple pleasures of life; to find contentment in what you have, but push the limits on who you are and what you can do. May you be able to revel in your successes in-between failures, and not let your craving consume your spirit. Kudos to those who can find happiness on the smallest of things along their way towards their aspirations.

And with that thought, I'm off to enjoy the remainder of this day off from work. I still have an afternoon of rare freedom to go out a bit and enjoy some of the city's sceneries, maybe go to my favorite bookshop or for a walk in the park, watch the sunset over mount victoria, then enjoy a mug of guiness in courtney place. Then later on savour a relaxed evening with my wife and son, and a bottle or two of beer. Cheers guys! Bottoms up!

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