So long wet December. Hello dry January

Aspirations not resolutions

I don’t do new year resolutions. There is much I could improve with new habits, but I don’t like to make promises I can’t keep. And as regular readers will know, I have a problem with commitment. Past neglected resolutions include ‘be taller’ – which involved wearing heels in a bid to look more commanding and professional at work. This came to an abrupt end the day I found myself prostrate in the middle of the road, after a spectacular tumble outside a client’s office.

I may not have resolutions but I do have aspirations for the year ahead. They include blogging more frequently and about a broader range of subjects. I would like to collaborate with ethical brands and feature more sustainable fashion.

Also big on the list of aspirations is looking after my health and cutting down on the booze.

Beware the booze

Christmas, Twixtmas and New Year’s Eve were all boozy. We hosted Boxing Day here and got stuck into the bubbly just after midday. Twixtmas was spent in Devon in a lodge in the grounds of Bovey Castle. Pub lunches, swimming, visits to the seaside and lashings of red wine.

Is this madness - being stone cold sober for January, the most depressing month of the year? I've done the research and here's my Alcohol SWOT analysis.

New Year’s Eve’s drunken party was predictably followed by the hangover from hell. There’s nothing quite as nausea-inducing as the smell of smoke from a fire pit, clinging to your hair the morning after the night before.

Emerging from my bed sometime that afternoon, I vowed to stay sober for January. I mentioned it on Instagram and announced my intention to Mr Maven. So it looks like I’m doing Dry January.

It’s been just over a week so far and I’m thinking about alcohol more than ever. Just as when I try a diet, I become obsessed with food, so these last few days I’ve been googling ‘non-alcoholic wine’. I don’t consider myself a heavy drinker, but my policy of being allowed a glass or two of wine three nights a week, did start to slip at the end of last year.

I’m nothing if not thorough and have done my research – namely reading the excellent book The Sober Diaries by Clare Pooley. I’m sure the benefits of not drinking far outweigh the sacrifice. But I’ve written an alcohol SWOT analysis just to make sure.

The alcohol SWOT analysis

Strengths (or why I love a drink):

  • Just one glass of wine gives me all the warm, fuzzy feels.
  • All the tension of the day ebbs away, replaced with a feeling of relaxation.
  • A couple of drinks provide courage, confidence and, occasionally, hilarity.

Weaknesses (or why the drink doesn’t love me back):

  • Too much of anything will make you sick (Cheryl knows what she’s talking about).
  • It will also trick me into thinking I’m being scintillating company, when I’m actually talking utter nonsense.
  • It makes me incredibly tired.
  • My skin suffers, with patches of red on my forehead and enlarged pores.
  • I’m carrying around a stone in weight more than I need, it sits around my middle, wobbles and is impossible to shift.

Opportunities (or what I can do about it):

  • A month to clean up my act, to improve my skin and overall health.
  • Four weeks when I can wake up with a clear head, drive instead of paying for Ubers and stay away from medicinal Big Macs.
  • I will donate the money I’ve saved on wine to Cancer Research UK at the end of the month.

Threats (or how this could all go tits up):

  • Nights out with friends.
  • Stressful days at the end of stressful weeks.
  • The grey monotony of January.
  • The irrational fear that life might not be quite as fun without alcohol.

Well as we can see there are many compelling reasons to stop. Who knows it may be such a revelation that Dry January turns into Dry February. But I’m not making any promises. 

Who is with me? Let me know in the comments if you’d like an accountability partner.

In other news

In other wellbeing news, I had my first ever endorphin high last week – something I thought was just propaganda by the fitness fascists. In the middle of a dance fit class, I found myself grinning like a loon. It was short lived, but I can now tick that one off the bucket list. I’ve also kicked the Pringles habit. They are the devil’s food and I have restraining order in place.

Now it’s your turn

I’d love your feedback. What would you like to see on these pages? More fashion, recipes, product reviews or something else? Menopause looms large in my conversations with friends – does that interest you? Or do you enjoy personal diary-type articles like this one? Please let me know in the comments.

Wishing you a healthy, prosperous and above all happy 2019. Don’t be a stranger.

Much love, Vx