If you’re looking for the perfect New Year’s resolution, I’ve got one for you. I’ve been hearing some buzz around this #DryJanuary thing. It basically means not drinking any alcohol, at all, for the entire month. It falls right in line with your typical New Year’s resolutions: fresh starts, new beginnings, diets, exercise, promising to do this (or not to do that), and so on. We end one year and welcome another one with a “bang,” complete with parties, fireworks, and lots of champagne. Then we resolve to do better and be better in the year ahead.
I read somewhere that most resolutions don’t last more than a month or two. So vowing to give something up for the first month of the New Year seems pretty reasonable to me. For some, Dry January may be a real personal challenge to see if they actually can give up booze for a designated period of time*. For others, it’s like a month long break to simply detox their bodies and re-set their minds. It’s kind of like Lent for Catholics, where they make sacrifices for 40 days in preparation for the resurrection of Christ (i.e., Easter). It’s a spiritual preparation. For those of us here in South Louisiana, Mardi Gras is like our 6-week long New Year’s party, before the Lenten season begins.
But I have to think of all this in terms of my Real Mom Life. After giving it some thought, I came up with the following ten rather convincing reasons on why to say buh-bye to booze this month:
Holiday family reunions are (finally) over.
Let’s face it, we all know there are at least two (or five) relatives or in-laws that drive you just a little bananas. Now that the long, busy, stressful holiday stretch from Thanksgiving to New Year’s is over, you can finally breathe again and won’t have those family ‘triggers’ to deal with until the next big family event. At least, hopefully for the rest of this month.
You’ll save money and calories.
I admit, I’m a total wine snob. I like (ok, looove) the good stuff. Sniffing, swirling, sipping, pairing with foods, and all. No matter how desperate I am to relax and unwind with an evening glass or two (ok, maaybe three on a rough day), it still has to be decent enough to enjoy and agree with my palate. You can keep your big bargain bottles, even if I am pouring rather large glasses of my own these days. But when I figured out just how much money and calories I’ll save in a few weeks by not buying and consuming my nice vino, I realized I can actually afford and fit into that new Mardi Gras ball gown I’ve been wanting to purchase! Shopping, anyone?
You want whiter teeth.
I was recently at a holiday party where a friend of mine refused to be in any fun party pics because she was self-conscious about her red wine-stained teeth. You know that look. It usually starts happening around the same time she starts slurring and getting just a wee bit sloppy, and then both get progressively worse throughout the night. I can’t say I blamed her (they were pretty bad), but what a party pics pooper! She later complained about not being in the tagged pics all over social media to prove she didn’t miss out. Moral of the story? Don’t drink the red wine, problem solved. Instantly whiter teeth. Just keep brushing after every cup of coffee.
You might actually complete a Whole30 challenge.
If you’ve ever vowed to try the Whole30 diet (eghm, ‘lifestyle challenge’) like me, you might agree that the hardest things to give up are booze, sugar, carbs, dairy and cheese (sounds so awful healthy, right?). Pretty sure the hardest for many moms is giving up the glass we pour come the witching hour (fondly known in my house as “whine-o-clock”). If we can give this up for even a month, we may actually have a shot at the Whole30 thing. Just don’t remind me about the coffee creamer issue, because I will cry ugly tears.
No more “Morning Afters.”
Instead, your buzzed friends will to turn to you for reassurance that they didn’t act the fool last night. Or drunk text, dial, or FB inappropriately after your moms night out (you can have as much fun answering those questions as you want to because you actually do remember everything)! They’ll have to “fake it ‘til they make it” on a shameover all day in front of their kids’ teachers; while you’ll be all calm, cool, and collected with a clear head and even clearer conscience. You might even remember to bring the cookies you promised to your kid’s class party. On time.
Repeat after me: “More. Me. Time.”
Because, better sleep. Believe it or not, you’re quality of sleep will improve drastically if you cut the booze out for a while. And if you have tendencies towards being anxious and waking up through the night with your mind racing, even that will improve! It’s no secret that alcohol fuels anxiety and depression. Even those of us who typically “don’t do mornings” might actually find ourselves bouncing out of bed before the kids wake up to enjoy ourselves a nice HOT cup of coffee. ALONE. Or, with just enough time to poop in peace. Can you even imagine???
You can have fun sober and leave on your terms.
Because you’re the designated driver with your own car. You don’t have to rely on someone else’s agenda, and you’ll save even more money by not paying an Uber to get home. Or better yet, skip the party, keep the babysitter, do a little happy dance, and go have more of that aforementioned YOU time.
Instant eye cream.
It makes perfect sense if you think about it. The dark circles under your eyes will magically and drastically (and naturally) improve because you’re getting more and better sleep, and you won’t be dehydrated from the booze. You’ll look fabulous and glowing in carline at 7:30am! No actual eye cream required.
Because there’s always coffee.
AKA, “mom fuel.” And it’s still trendy. Just keep drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated and maintain that “bright-eyed and bushy-tailed” appearance.
You’ll be a better parent.
You can be more present, giving, and grateful when your mind and body are not drowning in booze (or recovering from a hangover). And you’ll gain more quality time with your family, and yourself. Which mean everyone wins. Especially you.
So, count me in. Maybe I’ll even jot down some quick notes or journal entries at the end of each day or week to track my progress (stay tuned).
*If you or someone you know has a real drinking problem, they need to seek professional help since detoxing for serious alcoholics can actually be very dangerous or life threatening.