Eliminating these two things from my life changed my life forever, and I want to tell you about them today. At first, you’re probably going to say, “I don’t want to stop doing those things!” But taking these two things out of my life, cursing and drinking, have rid my life of so much negativity.
Let’s talk about the cursing first, I never cursed until I became a lawyer. Cursing, swearing, cussing, whatever you want to call it, I had never done any of that really before I was an attorney. I never really talked like that, but when I was starting my career I worked at a very high volume law firm run by men. They were very aggressive, cursing all the time, using tons of bad words, so when I picked up on that it was kind of just a way to fit in.
Additionally, the area that I practice in which is immigration law, is extremely stressful. You’re dealing with the federal government who can be very, very difficult to work against. There’s a lot of injustices that happen with our clients, a lot of things go wrong unexpectedly involving the government, and that can be very frustrating. Cursing seemed to be a way to just get through it all, but then it became a huge part of my life. I was cursing all the time, every other word was the F-word.
One day I finally realized that it didn’t feel right to me, even though I cursed like this for years and years, it still didn’t feel right. The reason being that it wasn’t really me. I also found that when I used those words in conversation, it felt like they were bringing a lot of negativity to me and to the conversation. It made me feel angry in situations where I wasn’t necessarily angry. I felt like it was bringing heat and anger to conversations where it wasn’t necessary. It could have even been a situation where I was joking around about something, but I felt like cursing would constantly bring a lot of negativity, even within light-hearted situations.
So I decided to stop cold turkey out of nowhere, just to see how I felt about it. I know that sounds crazy, and I know that most lawyers might say, “F*ck no, I can’t give up cursing!” and I understand that, but initially I was just going to try it out for 30 days. Essentially I was going on a 30 day cursing fast, and I noticed that I felt so much better in terms of my mindset and general positivity. I felt like my conversations with others were portraying me in a better and more positive light as well, whereas before I felt that often times my conversations would inadvertently take on a negative undertone. This is one of the main reasons why I stopped cursing, and it really made a huge difference!
So, now it’s time to talk about drinking. As lawyers, we know that alcoholism is something that plagues our profession, and while I was certainly by no means an alcoholic, I did have a glass of wine almost every single day. I would go to a networking event where there’s always alcohol for lawyers, and then as women, especially today, we’re always saying “Oh, I need a glass of wine. Oh, I’m so stressed out about work. I’m stressed out about my kids, so I just need a glass of wine.” Over time I realized that I started to turn to alcohol in those moments of stress, instead of turning to it to actually enjoy it. I would have a glass of wine because I wanted to take the edge off of my stressful day or a stressful situation that I had.
I realized that I wanted to stop drinking, not because I felt like I was abusing alcohol or because I was over drinking. I felt like I was not using alcohol in an appropriate way since I was turning to it as a stress reliever instead of just for enjoyment. Sometimes, of course, it’s great to have a drink, and I still do have a glass of champagne at my favorite restaurant every now and then, but I’ve gotten rid of the, “I need a drink because I’m stressed,” mindset.
This is in a way a little bit embarrassing to talk about this publicly, but the reason why I want to is that I feel like so many people aren’t. As women today, it’s almost encouraged for us to drink! You see it online all the time, “I need a drink. My kids are driving me crazy. I need a drink this job is so stressful. I had the worst day and people will say, go have a glass of wine,” whatever it may be. I feel like we just need to take note of our own drinking habits and ask ourselves if we are drinking for pleasure or if we are drinking because we’re stressed. Are we getting to the point where we’re tipsy on a regular basis?
I know that I love wine, but even two glasses are too much for me. I would get tipsy and then I would feel like crap the next day. I wouldn’t sleep well, I’d wake up in the morning and feel dehydrated, and I decided I want to be more conscientious. I don’t want to accidentally drink too much, so I needed to bring awareness to my own habits so I could make a change.
Whether it’s cursing and drinking for you too, or if it’s two other things entirely, just bringing awareness to how certain habits are affecting you, how you’re using them, and the way they may be manifested in other parts of your life can make all the difference. I challenge you to take a deep look at yourself and your habits today. This may strike a chord with a lot of people and I would love to hear from you. If you’re struggling with any of these things maybe this is what you needed to hear, and I’m just the one to say it to you.
But whatever it is for you, this is a conversation with absolutely no judgment. We’re not judging drinking or cursing whatsoever. We just have to do what feels right for us, what brings the most light, happiness, and authenticity into our lives. When I stopped drinking and cursing, I felt like I brought a lot more positivity in my life. I felt like a lot of the negativity and drama immediately fell away, and I felt like I was more actively engaged in the participation of my own happiness. And that’s what I hope for you.
Check out my podcast episode on this topic here!