We’re all on the clock.
The Great Inevitability of Life – it’s own end – ticks away, but still ignored by our inclination to rarely check the minute and hour hands to deal with that truth.
But ever so often, our ears are retrained to hear the staccato of their machinations, usually when some tragedy has affected us or, even worse, it’s Too Late.
We hold tight to the thought that there will always be more time, simply because we believe so. But whether we have religious tendencies or not, we are still left at the mercy of some variable outside our reach. It could be Fate or it could be the fact we just don’t know what tomorrow will bring.
This is the kind of existential quandary that has picked at my brain recently, a byproduct of unfortunate circumstances chipping away at my consciousness.
A friend’s father – one I was close to – died suddenly in the middle of the night. He had spent the last five or so years getting into the best shape of his life.
A friend – at 28 – was diagnosed with breast cancer, although “the best kind,” I’m told.
One of my wife’s first mentors died at 44 – an otherwise non-serious accident during a softball game causing a surprise health problem that same day.
These examples are not meant to gain pity. I know others have experienced worse loss or tragedy exponentially deeper and darker than this. But these instances call into question my own ability to recognize and understand the mundane, daily aspects of life I take for granted.
How easy is it for me to selectively listen to the world around me? Am I missing out on hearing those watch hands?
Which is why, Craft Beer Newbie, there is good reason to get excited about your latest passion – if you take the initiative.
One of the great “problems” we face today – if you dare classify it as such – is the ever-expanding number of options we have to enjoy our liquid bliss. Breweries are making newer and better(!) beers all the time and given the portfolio drinking culture we’ve established, it seems our duty to continually diversify the collection of fermented stocks we invest into our tongues and livers.
And that’s OK.
If there is a beer you feel you must have, find a way to get it.
If there is an event you must go to, find a way to get there.
If there’s a person you must meet, find the time to make that connection, no matter how fleeting.
In the beer world, we are sometimes struck by the need to mark experiences like notches on our belt. But instead of viewing these opportunities as a way to enhance your standing among peers, realize them as the chance for memories you’ll hopefully look back on fondly through the haze of some Russian imperial stout or double IPA or barrel-aged such and such.
Our beer culture is growing up and with it, our richness is plentiful. We are lucky to live in a time that may be the best for American beer enthusiasts. We should be thankful.
So, Craft Beer Newbie, focus on going onward and upward. Try new beers, go to new places and meet new people.
You may not notice it right now, but those minutes and hours still tick in the background. Which is why, as I welcome you, know that it’s worth focusing your ears every now and then to listen and remember: live.
This post is the fifth part of what will be multiple essays from Mid-Atlantic bloggers looking to offer one word of advice for those who might be new to “craft” beer. Make sure to check out these posts, too:
- Doug from Baltimore Bistros and Beer – Craft
- Jake from Hipster Brewfus – Patience
- Oliver from Literature and Libation – Reciprocate
- Andrew from Das Ale Haus – Drink
- Josh from Short on Beer – Journey
- Liz from Naptown Pint – Relax
- Sean from BrewKeep – You
*Within reasonable impact to your loved ones and financial status, of course. For every action, there is reaction, even amongst the pivotal moments of our lives.
“Don’t drink to get drunk. Drink to enjoy life.” — Jack Kerouac