#5 Have an alcohol-free month.
Truth be told, this item on the list had me filled ever-so-slightly with fear. Yep. The F-word.
I'm not going to lie- I love a drink. As I constructed my list, a long, hot summer was drawing to a close. Being a teacher, I had enjoyed a nice, long summer holiday. Summer holidays seem to, rather naturally, go hand-in-hand with catching up with mates over a few beverages. Being in my late 20s, I have matured considerably to drink in moderation. Long gone are the days of drinking to get drunk. However I was more concerned at the frequency with which I was drinking moderately. People would offer me a drink. I would accept. But did I really need that drink? This was the test.
So, together with 2 other alcohol-loving friends, we signed up as a team for Feb Fast. This event encourages people to give up alcohol for the month of February and raise funds to support people experiencing alcohol/drug related problems in Australia.
At the time that we commenced our challenge, a heatwave swept across Sydney and the first term of the new school year began. Such conditions screamed for vino consumption. It was hard. It's a bit embarrassing to admit, but we really craved a drop from the vine.
A minor fact that I had overlooked when I signed up for a dry month, was that The Man was due to turn 30 at the end of February. And I had bought him 2 tickets to a beer-tasting workshop (assuming that he would take me.) I offered my beer-tasting place to his best mates. They were conveniently busy. And so I broke my dry spell. A few sips of beer at the beer workshop and a glass of vino at his party. I got through two and a half weeks before succumbing. Fail.
Meanwhile, our team had raised just under $2000 for our efforts. Feeling like a big, fat, dirty cheat I vowed to give up drinking for all of March. And so I did. And it really wasn't that bad.
One of the things I found interesting about this challenge was how I needed to change my mindset. When someone offers you a drink, you don't need to accept the offer. It sounds silly, but it was like a light bulb moment. Luckily, I didn't encounter too much public ostracism. I guess that's kind of why I wimped out at the beer-tasting workshop. I didn't want people noticing that I wasn't drinking. I didn't want to be 'that' girl. Someone I worked with told me of how her daughter, who was also undertaking Feb Fast, was being publicly ridiculed by her friends for choosing not to drink at public events. Mindsets need to shift greatly in this country if we want to change attitudes towards drinking.
So, I am back on the drinking bandwagon. But only in moderation. Cross my heart,hope to die, stick a needle in my eye.