Friday, February 20, 2009

The Month of Living Abstemiously

Several years ago - probably about seven, so in fact considerably more than "several," I decided to give up drinking for the month of March. I had read a newspaper article in which the author regaled us with tales of glowing skin and happy, interesting people. It was the skin that really sold it to me, unsurprisingly.

It was miserable. I didn't change my lifestyle at all, and London was still a fully smoking place, so I learned that half of feeling terrible the day after drinking could be atributed to a) cigarette smoke and b) lack of sleep. So I didn't enjoy it, and gave up giving up on March 29, a cold night in Glasgow over an Italian meal that cried out for a glass of montepulciano (although now I'd probably go for a Nero D'Avolo, Sangiovese or Barbera D'Asti - hurrah for wine snobs in training(TM!).

Last year, a dear friend MC challenged me to 14 days without alcohol, caffeine, red meat, cheese. We were to do 7 cultural events and 7 pieces of exercise in 14 days. I refused to fully embrace it - only denying myself spirits, coffee, and cheese. I refused to give up tea (the year before's Lent without caffeine had taught me that was generally fruitless), and could not face no beer as there was the Super Bowl to be navigated. Even so, I broke that after three days when I had a mojito, cuban sandwich and then multiple maker's marks (in for a penny, in for a pounding headache), and had to recover with a boatload of coffee.

Therefore I was concerned when MC asked me to take part again. Yet for some reason I decided to go with it and try again. Starting Feb 2 (Super Bowl people, Super Bowl!) I decided that February would be the month - not just a fortnight as originally considered, but a whole month. MC came up with the "pass" options, namely that on four evenings, I could drink what I wanted (he got a pass for his dates). And so that's what's happening in February. I'm going to muse on it in the next week or so as my time comes to an end. It's been... intriguing. But just so that it wasn't a surprise.

Passes used: 2/4.
Days without alcohol in February: 17.
Consecutive days without alcohol: 12.


Adela said...

Cheers! You're amazing! I have never been able to give up anything in my life! Sugar would be the thing to give up if I had to...but since I'll probably develop diabetes some day anyway, I'll wait to be told by a doctor that I can't have it!

pumpkin said...

Well, I'm not exactly heroic for this, but it has been interesting. More musing on this later, but certainly the effort has left my lifestyle wanting in other areas...