Dry January Magician
Winter in Chicago means booze. Especially the deep freeze months of January and February where eye contact in public spaces is strongly frowned upon and the wind feels like razorblades shot from a cannon slicing our cheeks and lips. We cozy up to whiskey and heavy urbacious beers to keep our blood from freezing in the wind gusts, and more importantly, to secure smiles on our faces as we contemplate why we still live in this uninhabitable frozen swamp.
I first heard of ‘Dry January’ a few years ago when my bar-back made a public announcement to the staff that he was doing it. His reasons really resonated with me, and I’ve reflected upon them every January since: The only reason to drink in January is the weather. There are no holidays (usually the Super Bowl happens in February). We just got off a two month long purgatory of over eating, needless drinking to get through holiday parties and family functions, and we all spent a huge amount of money on presents, food, and travel. Plus, business is slow in January, so it’s the most crucial time to save and cleanse. Ignoring it literally sets all new resolutions up for complete failure.
Those amazing reasons aside, 31 days off has some health benefits (shocking). According to DryJanuary.org (which 2 million people world wide sign up for each year):
“Dry January participants often report losing weight, sleeping better, more energy, clearer skin, plus huge savings.”
I haven’t consciously gone a full month of my adult life without having an adult drink. Maybe it’s happened, but not as a testament to my own will. This January marks my last month of being 31 years old. It therefore seems the perfect time to go 31 days with out booze. I’m extremely curious to find out if I have the discipline and self control to actually have an alcohol free social life, without locking myself in my house all month.
I am part of a thriving artist community here in Chicago and have posted my reasoning to several groups. A handful of my friends and acquaintances have agreed to join me. We have set up an accountability group /support group with suggestions for sober night activities, journal prompts, late night yoga, etc… What it will develop into will TBT…these kids get creative.
Aside from testing my own discipline and will power; I’m mainly motivated to experiment with this because I want to start 2016 off with a swift kick to the head in my business pursuits. Those nights spent a little too long at shows start to add up.
Think about this: If you write for 15 minutes a day…Thats 91 hours of writing after a year. Imagine if we add up all the extra half hours spent at a party, or nursing the next day hangover. I’m sure it equates to thousands of dollars of missed opportunities in my line of work.
If anyone is interested in being a part of the accountability group, reach out to me on Twitter @trickythechamp