I’m doing Dry January and I’m struggling. There, I said it. Am I an alcoholic? I bloody hope not. Do I like beer and wine? Yes, a lot. Does that make the answer to my first question even more hopeful? Definitely.
I don’t really know why I’m doing Dry January. It’s not something I’d planned to do in the lead up to the New Year, but it might have something to do with that intangible peer pressure that’s subconsciously transmitted through cyber space, AKA Instagram. Yep, I seem to have fallen into that trap. I would love to say I’m doing Dry January for health or monetary reasons, as I know taking part in this brilliant campaign does wonders for both, but I seem to have inadvertently jumped on an alcohol-free bandwagon, and less than two weeks into the dry spell, I want to get wet again.
Multiples of Instagrammers are raving about how good they feel without a tipple in their evening routine. There’s talk of feeling healthier, having glowing skin, sleeping better and feeling more awake the next day, yet I don’t seem to feel any of these benefits. I continue to feel ridiculously unhealthy after a Christmas that to an outsider appeared to be sponsored by Quality Street, the erratic winter weather has left my skin resembling that of a North Sea trawlerman, and my sleep is increasingly interrupted (I don’t think this has anything to do with alcohol, nope, instead my daughter is going through a stage where she wakes for the most trivial of reasons – mostly unanswered questions about the new Star Wars).
For me, alcohol is not a necessity, I just like the taste, like lots of people like the taste of kale. Ok, bad example. It’s just a small reward for making it through the day. That sort of makes it sound like a necessity, and borderline alcoholism, but I like to bookend my days with a coffee upon waking and a beer once the kids are settled in bed, as I’m sure so many of us do. Since the turn of the year I’ve tried alternatives for that end-of-day bookend but sparkling water in a wine glass, although almost looking the part, just doesn’t quite do it.
I work as a freelancer from home, I do both school runs four times a week, I take my son to his childminder or grandparents three times a week, walk the dogs, try (and fail miserably) to keep on top of any housework, make the kids’ supper and fit in meetings in varying locations to try and secure more freelance work. I’ll be honest, it’s a struggle. Even before I enjoyed the cosiness of working from home, I worked in education but faced huge amounts of pressure, so again, with the combination of work and being incredibly hands-on with the kids, I found it tough, but that said, enjoyed the tangible close to the day.
Almost two weeks into January and I’m gagging for a beer, as I’m sure a lot of people are. So I’m bending the rules slightly with a prestigious renaming ceremony here on The FMLY Man where I’m no longer calling it ‘Dry January’. From now on (for me anyway), this primary month of the year will be known as ‘Slightly Damp January’ (catchy I think you’ll agree). Yep, things might get a little moist at weekends, so instead of bookending the day with a beverage, I’m bookending the week (sparkling water will just have to do during the week). I think that’s a fair compromise for something I didn’t consciously intend on doing anyway… bloody Instagram and its influencing ways.
So, here’s to Slightly Damp January.