There was a time in college when seemingly out of nowhere I realized I didn’t actually enjoy being around the people in my circle. It wasn’t after reading a self-help book or going to a seminar, in fact it was shortly after I realized that every time we hung out, we were drinking alcohol. Every. Single. Time. Now, I wasn’t drinking every day, and to this day, I don’t believe I ever had an actual problem by any means. It was simply a realization that if I was going to hang out with a particular group of people, we would always be drinking.
Out of curiosity, I decided to see what it’d be like not to drink around them, and I quickly realized two things. One: it was very nearly impossible to find these people amusing or even nice when completely sober. Secondly, and a little more frightening: the “friends” I’d been trusting to drive me safely home had no concept of how drunk they actually were, let alone did they have any business getting behind the wheel. Shortly after this revelation, I graduated, moved out of state, and made a very clean break to find new friends with better habits.
Then there’s Sober October. I’m all for a catchy little phrase, so for the last 25 days, I have not consumed alcohol and will continue not to through this coming Wednesday. Since I’m no longer completely surrounded by people who want an alcoholic beverage ANY time there’s a chance, this almost feels like cheating because it’s a relatively easy thing for me to give up. So, I’ll admit something: I have a bad cookie habit. A little piece of pie, a small bowl of ice cream, maybe a cupcake, it’s super easy to stop after one. Cookies though? I have trouble not eating the whole box. It’ll start with two, then I go back for just one more. Then one more. Then I call it “being realistic” when I go back to the cookie jar and grab a handful to “save me from making so many trips,” and it just keeps going downhill from there. So with me and cookies? I need to go cold turkey. It’s pretty simple for me to walk past an unopened box or even a cookie jar filled with homemade chocolate chip. I just have to make sure I don’t take even a little nibble.
You should know, my birthday, my sister’s birthday, my Grandma’s birthday….they’re all during the month of October. Not to mention all the festive little beverages available for Halloween! So no celebratory glasses of wine, and Dad, you can eat all those cookies in that jar during your visit, but I’ve got to say no. Getting to the end of the month without cookies or alcohol means I have to be a lot more intentional. If I want something sweet: do I want to do the dishes from that bowl of ice cream? Do I really want to drive the ten minutes down the street to get a shake? More often then not, a pumpkin spice flavored Greek yogurt will satisfy that little craving. Plus not reaching for a glass of wine on a Friday night, or a beer to go along with the football game, means I’m choosing to drink water over any other options, and that makes it pretty darn easy to hit my water drinking goals – more on that later.