It’s been two months since we took our new year’s pledge. The yearly “New Year new me” you hear at work or school. People trying to change themselves for the better and that’s pretty admirable. I can honestly admit that I’ve given and then subsequently broken a few of those promises. It’s about this time of the year when we face our true challenge. Will you keep going in making it a permanent habit or stop and give in to the temptations. Just one more cookie won’t hurt.
This year I made two promises and I’m going to keep them.
The first one is with IVAN, which we’re doing together. Neither of us is allowed to drink any alcohol the entire year. That’s it, as simple as that. Personally I feel like I’m almost cheating, since I can’t even remember the last time I had a drink. He might be the one to struggle and break, but who knows. If there are two of us, wouldn’t it be a bit easier? He’s most likely going to write a story about it anyway. He’ll title it: “The True Perils of a Man.”
Now the second promise.
I’ve decided to make a game out of it. Something that is challenging and good for me at the same time. I split the year into months and make each of them a challenge. January I do X, February I’m not allowed to Y, March I’m going to Z etc. Different experiences each month, which in turn will hopefully instill some good habits onto me. If I succeed a month and then fail the next, I won’t stop entirely. With a new dawn comes a new chance. One could easily be net positive by the end of the year.
January: No green.
The idea is to go a month without smoking and I don’t mean tobacco. I spent 4 nights in Amsterdam right after Christmas, so a break was much needed. In essence, it’s really simple. Don’t buy any and there isn’t a problem, unless you’re addicted, right? That’s what it ended up being, me proving it. Not for anyone else but me, just for me. A month may not be a long time compared to a year, but the little wins count. They will eventually stack up and count as a big win. In the game of life it’s all about those little wins. Or as Mr. Pacino put it: “In any fight, it’s the guy who is willing to die that who’s going to win that inch.”
February: No energy drinks
I don’t drink coffee, at all. I dislike the smell, I hate the taste and it ruins everything you put it in. I understand why people drink it, caffeine. It’s the sweet nectar of life that pushes us out of bed in the morning and forward during the day. I just happened to substitute my coffee addiction with a Red Bull addiction. One to get me going in the morning and sometimes another during the day. This habit of mine I wish to kill entirely. I don’t want to depend on quick fix drugs so cutting it cold turkey is my weapon of choice.
How did I do?
I haven’t had a drop of liquor and neither has IVAN.
I succeeded in January, and modified my intake the following month.
I succeeded in February, and eliminated my intake all together.
The alcohol thing was never going to be an issue for me. The holidays could be a struggle and events are always a challenge, but just say “No.” Buy a bottle of water if you want a drink, I recommend the apple flavor.
January started off as a challenge. Amsterdam was a complete fender bender. I can’t remember how much was smoked, but it was fun. The first two weeks after was fine, but then it suddenly got rough for two or three days. I would get constant nightmares and cold sweats when sleeping. It felt as my body was adapting to this new situation where it had to take care of itself again. Either it’s going to work or I suffer. It was the opposite of fun but everything else afterwards was uneventful. I proved that I can do a month without and that I have to minimize my intake. Over consumption is almost never a good idea.
February was quite frankly hard as hell and then it wasn’t, nothing else happened. I was tired in the mornings and then I wasn’t. I woke up naturally and every morning it took me less and less time to do it. Some early mornings after a long night, I buy a can of Coke. The slight sugar rush in it is enough. It’s odd to think back at it now, because it’s not the first time. Back when I lived in Australia, we used to buy three packs of Monster. Drink it all during the day and buy another one in the evening. That vicious cycle kept going until I tripped out. One late night when I went to take a leak I was certain my piss was neon. It looked exactly like the shit I was drinking, almost as it had never been in my body. Guess who stopped drinking then?
Sometimes it feels like if you let go of a habit a different one is applied. Eventually it’s just a roll of the dice, hoping for something good to pop up. Even then it’s not guaranteed, because if we forget to nurture our good ones, we’ll lose those. I have no need for energy drinks any longer, but sometimes I’ll smoke some green. All I know is that it’s March, so it’s time for a new challenge.