I recently read the book by David Downie ‘Escape the Routine, Take Control, and Join the Clear Thinkers‘ and really enjoyed it. I read it in one sitting and it triggered a great deal of reflection on my part.
David is an Aussie who knows a thing or two about beer having founded AustralianBeers.com and was the Australian contributor to the international beer bible ‘1001 Beers You Must Drink Before You Die’. Having been such an advocate and encourager of the swilling of beer he is now 3 years into a stint of being ‘between drinks’.
This started as a decision to give up alcohol for a year and he was so struck by the changes that happened that he decided to keep going. Why did he stop? Tired of feeling tired and unfit, curious as to what life would be like and because he felt he had nothing to lose as he could always change his mind and have a drink if he wanted.
When he started the journey he was a partner in a major law firm and beer expert. Now he has left this job having cleared all his debt and works as a writer, has moved from the city to a beach on the Gold Coast and found a new girl. Life for him has improved immeasurably since he became a clear thinker. Stopping drinking enabled him to assess what he wanted from his life which prompted massive changes.
The book looks at the value of being a clear thinker and the differences between clear thinkers and typical drinkers. He shares his experiences through the first year and offers actions at the end of each chapter. The thing I really like about this book is it considers the benefits of this change in lifestyle and the implications for the long term. It is framed in terms of huge gains and you read it and think why would you not?
This paragraph summed it up for me:
for people who have let the grog monster grab them by the tail, I am 100 per cent confident that breaking the pattern and letting your soul and mind recover for a good while can give you an opportunity to ask some of the bigger questions, and make real changes to your life as a result.
I absolutely agree with David on this and my life has changed immeasurably in the 5 months since I quit. Personally, I would never have started this blog if I was still drinking. I wouldn’t have tried my hand at sewing again. I wouldn’t have met the brilliant people who write these great books and the many brilliant sober blogs I read every day.
I’ve already worked out that we will save almost £5K a year from not drinking. And that’s enough to pay for tickets for my family to potentially fly to Australia and go sit on the beach with David now that he doesn’t have to do the work slog. If that’s OK with him? 😉
Edited to add: David and I have been in touch on email and he had an update for me:
I’m about to take off with my ‘new girl’ next week, around Australia, and then Thailand I think, who knows after that. Maybe France…
Of course as France is only across the water from here I invited him for a cup of tea 🙂 If this is booze free living – I’m in!!