Resistance & Futility, Temptations & Miracles

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Yes, as we make our way through the month of January, and the Ready to be Thirsty challenge we might be dealing with a little thing called… temptation.

As you deal with that primal urge for your favorite beverage, you’ll be able to notice your triggers.  Why do I want this now?  What is it that I really want out of this experience? What is alcohol going to give me right now that I cannot seem to get on my own?

  • a buzz?
  • an escape…or relief?
  • a jolt of pleasure?
  • a heightened (or lessened) experience?
  • a burst of confidence or courage?
  • the freeing of my mind,thoughts, wit, humour, or inhibitions?
  • alleviation of boredom?
  • fulfillment of my habit?

Whatever it is, that moment is the time to gain insight.  And perhaps we can ponder how might still achieve that desire in an alcohol-free, or even healthy way.  Exercise.  A book.  A phone call to a friend.

After all, many persons who do the challenge report that they fill that temptation with unhealthy replacements:  like chips or carb-filled snacks. Greasy food.  Sugar.  An indulgent binge-watch of Desperate Housewives.

Our need for that hit of pleasure in our minds is strong indeed.

Can we learn from this temptation?  Can be stay on the path and honour our commitment?  And if we can’t, can we pick up the torch and try to once again stay on the course?   You knew you’d be Thirsty!

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Top photo by erika dot net via Flickr.  Creative Commons. No changes

Lower photo by sharyn morrow via Flickr.  Creative Commons. No changes

Thus begins the Long Walk…

Quick collection of photos taken on my holiday to Morocco from October 9th to 24th, 2010.

Thus begins our long walk through the driest of January’s with Ready to be Thirsty.  I imagine some of us are feeling pretty dusty and dried out already, only five days in and four of them weekdays ;0

Now, I know we probably had a drink or two on New Year’s Eve.  Maybe even bubbly wine in a tall glass.  And we celebrated life, laughed and smiled, and lived as large as we could.  If only for a few fleeting moments, we were as alive as possible…

That’s what Dec 31st is – a recognition of existence!  Look at us, we are still here….we survived, we can see a bit of the future, and we roughly anticipate being alive for another cycle ’round the sun.

Whoop whoop, let er’ rip!

But this year, some of us realized that we were going to go real easy, or even give up alcohol entirely for the month of January as a psycho-social experiment or experience.  And maybe that’s different for us, as this new year begins to unfold.

All of 2017 might be different because we made a Dry Month or Dry January one of our resolutions.  We said to ourselves that we were going to examine and maybe change our relationship with alcohol, if only by virtue of taking an extended sober, clarifying look.  This is interesting, because it taps into our great human need for resolve – our need and want for control.  Or at least the illusion of it, to foster and nurture our sense of well-being.  Yes, we can make decisions that matter.

And whether we ‘succeed’ or not, whether we can influence ourselves strongly enough to meet our goals….we will have learned something just in the attempt.  A metaphor for our entire lives, no?

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Photo by Maarten van Maanen via Flickr. Creative Commons.  No changes. 

The Dog is High on Life!

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Have you ever noticed that dogs are generally high on life?

There’s that joke where the dog keeps track of his daily activities, like a diary…and everything he does… is his favorite thing:

DOG DIARY

8:00 AM – Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 AM – A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 AM – A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 AM – Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 PM – Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 PM – Played in the yard! My favorite thing!

Meanwhile, the cat’s diary reads like the journal of a prisoner of war:

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets…

We could take a lesson from the average dog.  Yet as humans we do so much to escape from life, to cope with life, to deal with life.  And we spend a ridiculous amount of energy seeking out our favorite things…only to sometimes have contempt for those things when we finally get them.

Yet, if we lived and thought a little more like a dog, and found life to be more of a thrill than something to be endured, I bet you we would need a lot less alcohol. After all, many of us drink ritually… to de-stress, decompress or distract.

Maybe, just maybe, we could try to see why this is so, with a break this January, and go Dry, with Ready to be Thirsty.  Attempt to go alcohol-free, or merely cut back.  And!… find your favorite things.  Snowshoeing, hiking, skiing, hot chocolate, cooking, the company of others, whatever.

The dog days of winter are yours to discover.

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Photo by Ernst Grafenberg via Flickr.  Creative Commons.  No changes.

Dog/Cat joke as published by Funny 2

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.

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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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The Daunting Power of New

If you’ve been following along here at Ready to be Thirsty, you know there’s a challenge coming up after Christmas and the New Year to go booze free – a ‘dry month’, in January 2017.  Well, instead of going completely cold, you could instead cut back, or give yourself a handful of select drinking days.  Whatever works for you.

What’s the point of it, Doug?’

Well, thank you…I am so happy you asked.

The point, good fellow, kind madam, is to make the attempt to go without the alcohol for a month to….well, to get healthy.  Or…to become conscious of your drinking patterns.  Or…to gain insight into something new, a healthy habit, find joy, renew a long-lost activity, or otherwise discover something besides drinking (which we often do for entertainment, or to facilitate/lubricate the same).  Heck, you could discover a new YOU.

According to studies and news from the Brits – whose Dry January campaign has followers in the millions:

  • the value is in the attempt, succeed or otherwise.  The attempt makes all the difference…
  • many persons who did the challenge, perfectly or otherwise, carried healthier habits forward for six months, a year, longer
  • they tried new things, while escaping their routines.  They learned about themselves, their friends, their habits, and dare I say it, their spirit….!

So, if that sounds interesting to you, come to our Facebook page, ‘like’ it, follow along in January.  Maybe challenge a friend to do the same and dare to get Thirsty

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The Upside of Situational Sobriety

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When you look at the picture above – do you see a glass of water or a vodka on the rocks?  Very telling, kiddo!

Never one to shy away from skepticism, I thought I would do a little digging on the potential benefits of going Dry for a month.

After all – there must be a point to this walk through the dry desert in January, this Ready to be Thirsty challenge.  I ain’t doin’ it for the good of my health, right ??  Oh, wait….

Check out this article from Good to Know. You’ll see that the potential benefits of going dry for 31 days are numerous and huge:

  • reduced sugar intake
  • weight loss
  • improved sleep
  • increased clarity (or reduced ‘brain fog’)
  • better hydration
  • heightened sex drive
  • enhanced mood

All in all, there are 15 listed benefits.  So if it’s even half true, you’ve got seven-plus reasons to give this a try.   Thirsty is as thirsty does, folks – I’ll be liver-deep in benefits and invoking my sober spirit after Christmas, drinking tea and watching my spleen get leaner by the minute.

Join me on the journey and reap what you didn’t soak.

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PONG !!

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No, not that Pong.  This Pong:

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Beer Pong.  You know, that game involving ping pong balls and Solo cups and lotsa heavy drinking.

And we can find beer pong ‘kits’ and other drinking paraphernalia at local grocery stores and big box (department) stores that sell beer as an extension of their grocery department.  Funnels or beer ‘bongs’.  Drinking games. Other fun stuff.  All to encourage mass consumption and intoxication.

People love it so much, they’ve built interactive, electronic beer pong tables, as covered by the CBC.

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems a tad irresponsible to be marketing Beer Pong and the tools of crazy drunkenness in the same place they sell toys, cheese and baby clothes.  We have children, many of whom that cannot discern between colorful things meant for amusement or more nefarious activities, that are going to get the wrong impression.