#57 Befriend a stranger.

I’m on Day 6 of my sugar/alcohol detox – and other than a brief moment of shortbread cookie weakness – I’ve been going strong.

The problem with this lifestyle change is that it severely stunts your social life. During this last month of warm weather, my friends are understandably preoccupied with patio hopping and boozy nights out. Alas, I have been finding other ways to keep myself preoccupied.

Every night, before I go to bed at an embarrassingly early hour, I head down to the pool, swim laps until I can’t breathe, and then finish off my night in my recently-discovered sauna, where I sit and meditate in unbearable heat until I’m so drenched in sweat that I must tap out, crawl into the cold shower and emerge a new person. I love it.

For a high-rise building such as mine, I’m consistently surprised how little people I run into during my nightly routine – everyone has to pay a monthly cost for these facilities but hardly anyone uses them. I essentially have an Olympic-sized swimming pool to myself each night. This is why I was startled around the 10-minute mark of my sauna session, when the door cracked open, and a middle-aged woman sauntered in and plopped down beside me. My first reaction was to grimace. I closed my eyes, leaned back and tried to retreat back into my happy place. But I couldn’t.

In the past, I would have given up and left. My nightly routine ruined by the presence of a stranger. Instead, I decided to break the awkward silence and say hi. We chatted for a bit (she was quite lovely), talked about the building, living in Toronto and even some of her travels to various retreats around the world. She then eloquently tapered off the conversation by saying, “I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to close my eyes and recharge now.” Perfect! We both spent the next 15 minutes in a comfortable silence now that the awkwardness had dissipated.

As I hit the 25-minute mark (my absolute sweaty beast record), we said our goodbyes and as I was exiting, she said, “Thanks for saying hi. I feel awkward sometimes in here with someone else.

I slept like a baby.

Total Kindness Cost: $0



  1. I just want to say there’s no reason for a sugar/alcohol detox to impact your social life. If you don’t have friends who will stick through that with you, someone will come to you if open up to them. 🙂 There’s always someone who will listen, I’ve found, if we allow them.

    • My friends have actually been pretty great about doing other things with me, but can’t expect them to want to stay in with me on a Friday night! Just have to get creative with fun things to do; but quite a lifestyle change for me.

  2. I enjoy reading your posts and this one in particular. Your detox should not come in way of your social life, sip on root beer or apple juice. No one can tell the difference by sight!

    • Agreed. I do lime and soda. I’m just still weak in week one and want to avoid situations where I will inevitably crack! Thanks so much for leaving a comment and for reading – glad you enjoy them!

  3. Sounds lovely. I was just wondering how different these kind of interactions with strangers are depending on which country are you in! I can imagine that in Spain somebody would say ‘hi’ automatically and start a chat immediately but in Germany people would sit in the awkward silence forever. No matter what nationality you both were, good job! 🙂

    • That’s a very poignant observation. I live in Canada where most people are friendly, but not so much in big cities. Where I’m originally from in Europe, it is no big deal to talk to a stranger.

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