Have you ever given something up?
Maybe not forever, just a little while
Have you taken stock of your daily habits and realised that there is something in your life that may be controlling you, your thinking, your daily practices?
Every now and then drinking can be like that for me.
Because I’m not a staggering, stinky or bickering drunk, because I never drink before lunchtime and stick to vino by the bottle over metho, cream sherry by the flagon, or goon. And because what I describe as problematic is 2-3 glasses (not 12), even though the more health conscious friends and mentors in my realm may consider the behaviour unhealthy, it’s highly unlikely it will be deemed ‘irresponsible’, ‘risky’ or unsocial’.
In fact, I receive much more criticism from NOT doing it than actually pouring my second or third glass.
So anyway, as I headed towards the end of a long, long July I declared an alcohol free August and asked who else might like to join me in August Adventures where together we would give up something for the month.
37 of us it total have embraced the challenge to varying degrees. Personally I don’t mind if it’s full abstinence or part for others, but for me, I knew it would be an all or nothing challenge. And today, day 16 I’m very proud to say I’M WINNING (winning by my own personal benchmark that is).
As I’ve been working through the challenge and keeping others motivated at least to some degree I’ve been asking myself if it’s better to replace that thing with something else OR to readjust life around it… I’m still not entirely sure of the answer but here are a few things that are most certainly working…
* I’ve noticed that I love a glass of wine when I first walk into the house after a day. This glass of wine is punctuation and I LOVE IT. It’s permission to unwind, a sign that work is done and home starts and, it’s yum. Now I walk into the house and indulge in another passion, cooking. When I cook I’m at home. I’ve been experimenting with new flavours and bringing life some things that I just couldn’t be bothered to create before. The new habit feels good.
* I’ve noticed how I FEEL without wine in my system. My head is so clear it’s almost dangerous. My gut health is also at a high (after the initial detox). I feel less sluggish overall. It’s fair to say my health has improved enormously as I abstain from my friend, wine. The better I feel the better I feel. It’s a thing that builds upon itself. While I’d easily avoid exercise in days gone, even though I knew how much I needed it now I dive into it, even if it means pushing myself just a little. Rollerderby today – look out !
* Wine isn’t part of my daily life any more. There is no wine / in fact no alcohol kept in the house – out of sight, out of mind. I’m also more careful about where I catch up with people – While I’m a long way from being a barfly and that challenge hasn’t been a problem, I really love having dinner with friends and sharing a wine. Last night over dinner another friend was also doing the challenge. We shared a posh bottle of sparkling mineral water (and I was the designated driver). Problem solved ! I also find I’m catching up more with people in the day than in the evening (when I’m more likely to feel like a wine), another diversion.
* I notice the ill effects of the stuff – just take a walk past a bar on a Friday afternoon and you’ll see what I mean. That cure lasted at least 48hrs. (even though I’m still convinced I’m incredibly intelligent and engaging while drinking).
There’s so much more to share but I still have 15 days to go so I’ll bring you some more a little later. My challenge to you… If there’s something that you really know you should be going without just try it. It doesn’t have to be forever, just a little while. See what happens…
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