I can’t remember when I first heard of the concept of “Dry January,” but it immediately made sense to me.
As someone already capable and prone to imbibing what some might consider an unwiedly amount of beer on the regular, I routinely find myself at the close of the Christmas season wanting to swear off, scale back and reallign. Year in and year out, if you read my dependably flimsy answers to the “resolution” question on those year-end surveys, I make some half-hearted acknowledgement that I need to cut down on the beer, but it rarely sticks. In due course, some social event rears its head or I slog through a long, difficult day at work, and I’m suddenly jettisoning my resolve and reaching into the fridge for a cold one. Either that, or I start rationalizing and whittling down the parameters ala “well, I’m going to continue not drinking on my couch, but if someone calls and invites me out, that’s okay,” or “Well, I’m just not going to have any beer during the week, but weekends are perfectly okay.” It’s all, of course, weak-willed bullshit.
This year should be different.
I turned 50 this past October (as mentioned here), and, as such, I’m attempting to be a bit more responsible about it. As also recently noted, having not seen my primary care physician since probably Obama’s first term in office, it’s fucking high time I had a proper, physical check-up. With an appointment with a brand new doctor looming (I believe my former p.c.p. has retired), I am becoming acutely concerned that my triglyceride count, sugar intake and overall physical state will prompt him to punish me with a robust battery of invasive tests. Suffice to say, I’m not looking forward to that. I don’t have that appointment until next week, so I’m determined to do my best to try to cleanse my system between now and then.
By the same token, January is a damn tough month to swear off drinking. It’s cold. It’s grim. It’s boring. I do not anticipate enjoying this month, if I manage to stay true to my convictions. A former colleague of mine just accomplished a similar endeavor with the help of a book called the “30 Day Sobriety Solution.” I got ahold of a copy myself, but have been somewhat put off by its length and its seeming preponderance of self-help psychobabble. I’m usually far too cynical to buy into that stuff.
So, anyway, that’s where this post comes in. By addressing the issue here, I’m hoping this public declaration will goad me into sticking with the plan. We shall see.
Wish me luck.