We both love Autumn here at Havenwards. Crisp, misty mornings; golden leaves crunching under foot; floppy jumper weather - it’s what we live for. And one of the great pleasures of an Autumn afternoon is a warm Dark n’ Stormy: warm spicy apple juice and ginger, a tot of rum…
The Escape Artist went dry in February, and with hindsight that might be a better choice - it’s the tail end of winter, it’s nearly Spring, everyone wants to be healthy. Autumn is the time of mulled wine and spiced cider. BUT we’ve set ourselves the challenge, and we’re now nearly one week into it.
It’s not going too badly - we’re currently working our way through The 28 Day Alcohol-Free Challenge which is written by two guys who set up One Year No Beer, a year-long no-drinking challenge. They incorporate a variety of psychological and habit-change approaches to help you focus on succeeding at not drinking for 28 days.
As you can tell by our intro to this post (and the already vast number of alcohol-related recipes on this site…) we love our booze. One of us recently had a couple of sessions with an alcohol adviser, who was pleasantly surprised to hear that I don’t just drink whatever I can get my hands on… but I still drink a lot. It may be posh booze, but it’s still booze.
We like challenges (both of us have now run multiple marathons; one of us took part in a white collar boxing competition last year - we’re no strangers to confronting difficulty). So partly because we felt like going a whole month without drinking might be quite difficult, we decided to go for it.
Also, it ties in to so many other things we think are important here - mindful consumption, frugality, even minimalism. Applying a minimalist, ‘what value does this add to my life?’ mindset to our drinking is probably the most sensible thing we could do.
There’s a lot more discussion here in the West (especially England) about our attitude to alcohol. There’s a general consensus that we probably all drink a bit too much (your authors certainly do…) and this could stand to change. However, neither of us wants to go entirely sober: for a start, we have nearly 100 bottles of home made wine slowly maturing; it would be a waste not to at least try them! Also, alcohol isn’t like meat eating, to our mind: it can be done without harm, if it’s done consciously and sensibly. We’re seeing this October as a chance for us to hit the reset button on our alcohol habit. We’re taking a break from it, and looking forward to re-assessing our thinking about drinking (what a rhyme…!) so that from November we can come back with a healthier attitude and better habits.
Is there a habit you want to break? Have you ever found yourself trying a sobriety challenge? Let’s chat below.