I am not one for making lofty New Year’s Resolutions. I am too hard on myself if I don’t accomplish my goals so I try to stick to something simple and meaningful. As I reflect back on 2009 I realize I came a long way. I worked on reshaping some of my values and dealing with my materialism. It was not easy but I think I made some strides. I spent the better part of 2009 without a relationship. There were times when I was lonely but I learned that I have to be happy with myself to be happy with another person. While fiercely independent, I am a habitual pleaser and it tends to suck the life out of me. Being alone gave me the chance to focus on what truly made me happy.
Craft Beer & Slow Food emerged as two of the things that fueled my desire and enhanced my passionate personality. I joined the Slow Food Movement and made a personal commitment to eat ethically and sustainably raised food a minimum of 3 days per week. I gave up bottled water and bought a Zero Water Pitcher and a stainless steel bottle to carry with me. I began taking my empty beer bottles to the recycling machine at Whole Foods. Baby Steps…
It ended up being much easier than I anticipated. I sought out ways to buy more local food. I started doing more of my shopping at my local farmer’s market. I asked questions at Whole Foods about
where and how the meat was being raised. I read books like Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and saw the movie “Food Inc.” during the early summer. I learned so much it would be hard to list it all here. With each step along the way I discovered new things I could do to make a difference. I started telling friends about it. Some listened intently, others rolled their eyes. I reminded myself that my priorities are not always reflective of others. I worked hard not to judge people and I started cooking again so my friends could experience the sheer pleasure of Farm to Table. Suffice it to say I converted a few folks along the way…
Twitter was a big part of my journey believe it or not. I selected “TheArtofBeer” because I wanted my identity to relate to how I felt about the amazing world of craft beer. For some reason it just made sense.
It was a little daunting to dive in to a public forum and express my feelings openly but my love for beer guided me through the process. I was really tentative in the beginning but by Spring my confidence grew. I started to connect with other beer lovers and I was shocked at how my connections expanded. It was so great to share information about beer and learn from other people about beer that I had never tried. My decision to go to GABF in Denver was a good one. I got the chance to meet some of my Twitter friends in person and to experience beer that is not available in California. It even inspired me to start this blog — something I had wanted to do for a very long time.
While I did not meet her in person while in Denver, somehow “TheBeerWench“ became a part of life about that time and when San Diego Beer Week rolled around it was a given that she visit San Diego. Ashley became my little sister in beer. I could see something in her that very much reminded me of myself a long time ago. Hanging out with her made me feel a little younger and a little more alive. For that I will be forever grateful. It was a very busy week and one that I will never forget. My next post will talk more about the other relationships developed during that week. My Twitter presence became even stronger and more amazing craft beer people emerged. These people represent a diverse group of people who come from many walks of life. Age, race, religion, etc… don’t matter. The common thread is a love for good beer and all the great times that come from being connected with people who share something in common. If only the world could mimic this dynamic…I digress…
I will finish this post by saying that 2009 will end up being a major turning point in my life. There has been some sorrow, but mostly there has been intense personal discovery and growth. It may sound silly to some but Twitter helped me down the path, allowing me to explore things that needed to be explored. I am not getting older, I am getting better. I believe that with all my heart.
Thank you to those who took the time to read this. Happy New Year!
Love & Peace…“TheArtofBeer”