Chah-lahnge!

challenge accepted

Do you think this game is easy?  It’s not easy.

For certain, as soon as you attempt to deprive yourself of anything – more accurately, anything pleasurable…then you begin to CRAVE that thing.

This January, we challenge you to challenge others!

After all, if you are going to do the Ready to be Thirsty challenge – and ‘go dry’ this January, then you are going to crave alcohol.  It’s true. You’re going to suffer (a little, a lot) as you miss its buzz, its social lubrication, its relaxation, its means as an escape…whatever it does for you…

So you may as well challenge your friends to endure all that craving with you. Don’t suffer alone!  At the same time, your friends and family and you will rediscover other things while you engage in the drying-out effort. It will be like climbing a small mountain as a team, and not letting each other quit…and regardless of how it goes, you’ll ponder and feel proud of the effort.

pondering

And! You will find something in that dry desert, and it will look at lot like you and them.  Taking the challenge will bind you together in solidarity and commiseration, in laughter and activity, in the bonds of shared human experience.  I am no oracle, but I am not kidding, either.  It works.

So challenge others.  Challenge yourself.  Do it together.

Share, survive, endure, enjoy.  

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A Dry White Season Reason

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Once again, not against my better judgement but actually using my better judgement, I will attempt to GO DRY this January.

Yep – January this year.  Like the Brits, doing their Dry January

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Or an amalgam of Canadian charities doing their Dry January

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Or a British Columbia charity, BeYouPromise.Org, hosting their Dry January:

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Seems like everyone is doing this sober thing in January.  Makes sense.  In December you’ll be doing some serious indulging.  You’ll be gorging yourself on butter tarts and beer, turkey and tequila, whiskey, wine and wasabi.   You’ll be engorged with the Holiday Spirit(s)!

And then you’ll be spending time whooping it up on New Year’s Eve, either at a party or parties, or strangely alone on your couch.  Any which way, you’ll have tied it on, soaked it up, drank it down, ate the roast beast and otherwise heard the Whos who-whoing down in Whoville.

And maybe, just maybe… you’ll need a break from the boxes and soxes, the drinking and slinking.  If you do pause from boozing, it’s weight you’ll be losing.  If you break from misbehaving, it’s money you’re saving.  And if you stop getting wetter, your sleeping’ll be better…

Don’t make me steal the sobriety alone.  Go Thirsty this January.

 

#R2BT Kicks Off !!

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If you’ve been following along on here on the Thirst blog site, or on Facebook as part of the Ready to be Thirsty Community…or you’ve gone even farther and committed to #R2BT challenge, you’ll know that February has kicked off with a boom!  Or, perhaps more accurately, the absence of…

Akin to the non-explosion of fireworks, we’ve begun to hold back from alcohol, to abstain, to withhold, to withdraw.  To use a fancy old word, we’ve begun an abeyance.

And yes, some of us are actually enjoying this non-event, as a time to reflect, dry-out, learn about ourselves, do something different.

But we know there are many temptations to come.  Maybe you like a glass of wine after work.  Maybe you party it up on Fridays with the neighbours.   Maybe you have a dinner party to attend and the company is better when drenched in a little booze.  Or, perhaps you have a concert or sporting event to go to, where excitement and enthusiasm is key.

Certainly the Superbowl comes to mind.  Heck, you don’t have to like or even comprehend Football to enjoy food, drink, merriment and frivolous excess. That’s why they throw parties!  And even here in Canada where hockey is still king, there are still thousands upon thousands who will take in the game, drink gallons of beer, and rejoice in the biggest single-game sporting event in the world.

Beyond liquid excitement is the pressure of others, drinking alongside us in social situations.  There is still often social leverage to drink up, and everyone feels it, whether we are so very conscious because we are going without alcohol for a month, or just within the circles of our everyday living.

Photo by Ralf Κλενγελ, via Flickr, Creative Commons license, no changes. 

Eddie would GO Thirsty

Eddie Would Go

Eddie would go.

Those words are meant to invoke courage.

For those of you who may not know of Eddie Aikau, he was and is a legend among surfers and native Hawaiians.  Eddie was a lifeguard and surfer, who rescued dozens of flailing swimmers along a beach with monstrous waves.  Later, from a swamped ocean-going ship, Eddie disappeared in an effort to save his friends, in an act both brave and selfless.   Now, his name is spoken to inspire fearlessness and fortitude.

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That phrase is now becoming part of a wider culture.  There are posters, T-shirts and a Surfing competition in his honour.  Such things are meant to inspire us to live big, to take the challenge, to confront life head-on.  Eddie Aikau confronted hardship with bold sincerity.

Eddie would go.

In that spirit, I’ll offer you a challenge.

Ready to be Thirsty is a personal challenge to give up drinking for 29 days in February.   Perhaps that doesn’t seem hard, but you’ll be surprised.  If you attempt it, you‘ll have invoked your own spirit of grit and determination.  And you’ll have dared yourself to do that which isn’t easy – a confrontation with your own temptations.

Take the challenge.  Invoke the spirit.   If Eddie would go – so can you.

The Social you in the New Year

Social drinking can be very enjoyable.  It can also be a bit of a trap. 

Like anything, there is a need for balance.  Social drinking can walk a very fine line between enjoyment and overindulgence…between adding to a good time and undermining relationships.  

I was looking over an article from a website called Bustle that listed several signals, or warning signs that we might have reached the ‘tippling point’.  

Let’s look:

  • You look forward to coming home to have a drink

  • You consume alone

  • You friends and acquaintances joke (or maybe simple make remarks) about how much you drink

  • You can’t really socialize, successfully or comfortably, without alcohol

The issue is often that we’ve entrenched alcohol into our lives, and we can’t really see the beginning and the end – often we aren’t consciously choosing to let it loose or play it straight.  

But then we have that occasional moment of clarity where we become self-conscious of our drinking, and who we become when we do.  Even if you don’t care about physical consequences or risks, perhaps you care about social consequences.   

Maybe it’s when you made that bad joke, or abrasive comment, or when you lost your temper, or that time you were embarrassed.    Maybe it was when you felt anxious, or depressed, or your kids saw something in you, of which you aren’t exactly proud.

Whatever the reason, there is always a chance to reexamine your choices.  A great opportunity might be Dry January where you’ll have a chance to go off the booze for 31 days, and maybe even raise some dough for a great cause, lose weight and feel great. 

Or, if happen to miss that boat – you can get Thirsty in February in our local, Simcoe Muskoka ‘dry month’ – Ready to be Thirsty !

Dry times indeed !

readytobe_01There’s this trend out there, pushing temporary sobriety.

But sobriety is an ugly, unpleasant word.  I am not sure why, but we use that word to imply a fierce acuity of perception, so sharp as to be undesirable.

Or, we use it to imply consciousness of a hard, cold truth.

‘It was a sobering experience’

So instead, sobriety has been re-marketed and re-branded.  Now we call it, mostly, going Dry.   Sounds much more pleasant.   And the timing is good, because let’s face it – many of us overindulge around Christmas and New Year’s.  The brand new year is a great time to reinvent oneself.

In the United Kingdom, Dry January is a month-long campaign to encourage persons to give up drinking for 31 days.  There are many other similar efforts – such as  Dryuary from the USA or Dryathon, also from the UK.

In exchange for their  efforts, participants in these campaigns gain benefits:

There are many testimonials out there, singing the benefits of these types of journeys.  What’s more, just about all of them have Facebook host sites where persons can share, commiserate, garner inspiration and be amused.

We’ll encourage you to take a look.  And in case you miss participating in January – we’ve got our own ‘dry month’ for residents of Simcoe and Muskoka– coming in February, called Ready to be Thirsty.

More to come!!