Temperance Q3

Ben Franklin’s 13 Virtues: Week 1, Q3

TemperanceEat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.

Personal notes:

  • Limit alcohol;
  • Reduce sugar;
  • Improve meal intake

I always feel a little bit of joy when temperance comes around; a week of lighter food, less alcohol and mindful eating. It’s a short week, but like an overdue vacation, it goes a long way. After just a few days, everything feels lighter and recharged and belts pinch less when buckling.

There was a time when destruction helped me recharge: terrible food, terrible drink, terrible hangover — the furthest thing from rest and relaxation. It was wonderful and comfortable, like an old pair of gray sweatpants, but something had to change or sweatpants would be all I could afford. Along with the growing waistline, the hangovers grew as well. The pain, oh my goodness the pain, it slipped from Monday to Tuesday to Wednesday — I had to stop before it reached Thursday.

I still slip today, and still have a few rough mornings here and there, and the results are still the same. Hangover Saturday is the best day for me to start a losing argument with my wife, yell at the kids for being kids, and generally become an annoying grump. Sleeping it off doesn’t work, the kids don’t sleep and, even if they did, hangover sleep is cheap and fraught. Tossing and turning, hot then cold, a racing heart and panicked dreams — I won’t even mention the indigestion; I need to eat more greens.

Lethargic and gray and stuck on the couch is the surest way for me to stay unhappy; the 13 virtues grow love handles and look terrible in a bathing suit. Does that mean we all need washboard abs? No way. Triathlon? Pass. 26.2 miles? I’ll take a bus. Cozy up to moderation and use this week to reset and redraw the lines. Moderation and temperance, that’s what I’m going for; it’s the extra padding that feels great, gives you something to hold on to and keeps you warm in the water.

Next Week

Ben Franklin’s 13 Virtues: Week 2, Q3

Silence: “Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.

Personal notes:

  • Shut up and cut the sarcasm;
  • If angry, do not say anything, it’s a losing proposition;
  • Practice listening;
  • Limit the gossiping;
  • Get away from useless conversation.


Have a great week

Originally published at bens13.com on August 15, 2016.

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