Day 17: Dry January

Wow, my last Dry January check-in was utterly and terribly depressing. I really was feeling like crap though, so I guess it was my real feelings coming through (ha, sorry). Fortunately, I’m feeling MUCH, MUCH better this week. I still have a little bit of a cough, but I think I’m mostly mended. I think the fact that I’m not drinking and thus not smoking cigarettes actually made it so that my body could heal faster, specifically with the coughing. Anyway, today is day 17 and I feel fantastic. My head is clear, I am falling asleep faster and sleeping longer and uninterrupted which is great except for when I need to wake up early and get my butt to work. I don’t really miss drinking either but I’ll write more about the reason I stopped drinking for a month later in this post.

First, let me start by telling you all the amazing things that I’ve noticed in the last 17 days (well at least the last 7 that I haven’t felt like a total zombie). I’m sleeping better, which is a major plus in my book. I’m not usually great at falling or staying asleep. I suffer from typical female bedtime anxiety. You know, the hour before you try to go to sleep that suddenly becomes the hour in which you worry about everything real and imagined for no reason at all whatsoever. I also typically have a difficult time staying asleep, waking up sometimes several times a night around 2am-4am. This hasn’t happened recently which is amazing. I’m getting at least 8 hours every night which anyone who can do this will tell you, makes you feel like a real normal human being. I do have a confession however; I did have one glass of wine at dinner over the weekend. BUT it was only one glass and it was because the hubs and I went out to a fancy restaurant for dinner as part of a downtown event for charity. I felt like this one glass was excusable because the dinner was so nice and no nice dinner feels complete without a fancy beverage. I am happy to report that the glass lasted me the entire three-course dinner, which never happens, and I think allowing myself the treat made the wine that much sweeter (not in flavor but in feeling).

I will be breaking my alcohol fast on Superbowl Sunday, which seems like not only a good excuse but a good amount of time. You see, I didn’t take on this challenge because I feel like I’m an alcoholic per say, but rather because I feel like I have enough alcoholism in my blood to make it a possibility. This also isn’t to say that I haven’t struggled with alcohol before because I totally have, and it wasn’t really something I had thought about until before this challenge. When I was younger, I would drink ALOT. I would drink so much that I would get terribly drunk, then I would vomit privately and then continue to drink. Maybe you’ve heard the saying “puke and rally”? Well, this was sort of my motto. And looking back what a terrible and embarrassing motto it was. This hasn’t been my mode of partying for quite some time, in fact partying in and of itself hasn’t been in my mode for years, but thinking back to this time made me realize that I could very well develop a huge problem if I allow myself. This Dry January challenge for me was a way of showing myself that I am strong enough to say no to alcohol. I am strong enough to say no to getting drunk. I am strong enough to have a life without alcohol. Now don’t get me wrong, the social aspects of this are huge and can be quite difficult. It seems that these days everybody drinks and everybody drinks together. To be honest, I haven’t spent much time with people since starting this challenge. It’s funny though because most of the people I spend my time with are also not drinking this month so maybe I’m not the only one to blame.

Overall, I’m digging this whole no-drinking thing and I think it’s helping me see the benefit of having it as a habit and not drinking as regularly as I was before. Again, this is not to say that I drank alot before (usually weekends and maybe once mid-week), but I think so far it’s a great reminder of how good it feels not to. Not only do I feel great, but I haven’t even mentioned all the stuff I got done this weekend. I felt so motivated and active I was able to accomplish things I’ve been putting off for months (here’s looking at you pile of clothes to be mended). To say I’m not excited for SuperBowl would be a lie, I do miss a big glass of wine every now and then, but I AM excited for the prospect of a teensy life change. I encourage anyone and everyone to take a sabbatical from alcohol if not for the enlightenment but for the challenge itself. And if you do decide to try and cut it out for a bit, check back in with me and tell me how you feel.

MelissaRose

Day 10: Dry January

Today is day 10 of my first ever Dry January, and wouldn’t you know it, I’m feeling like crap. It’s annoying really. Anyone who has ever done this whole sober-for-a-month thing has told me how “great” I’m going to feel. “Your head will feel so clear”, they said. “You’ll sleep great”, “You’ll have more energy”, “You’ll be happier”. Well so far, not so good. I’m not sure yet whether to attribute my sickness to my lack of alcohol, as I’m sure that’s not the case; however, this blows, and I’m not just talking about my nose. I suppose, in all fairness, being sick is actually making it easier to not drink, which in turn makes it easier to not smoke since that’s the only time that I really crave a cigarette. But all in all, I’d trade in this sickness for the shame of a drink and a smoke in a heartbeat.

I wish I had something better to report. I wish I had an encouraging post about how my lack of alcohol has made the world a better place and I’m farting rainbows and rosey smells, but right now, I just feel like poop. I’m looking forward to not feeling this way and to being filled with alcohol-free inspiration and encouragement. If you’re still reading this, I apologize for being such a pitiful, snot filled sack of sadness. All in all, though, I suppose I should be proud of myself. 10 days of not drinking may not seem like a whole lot but to me it’s feat in itself. I usually drink on the weekends and typically once a week right in the middle of my weeks. The mid-week drink I suppose is the drink I use to get me through the week, and last week I took Friday off due to illness so I haven’t had to work a full week in a while either which helps.

To summarize, yes, I feel like crap-o-la, but I’m trying to find a glimmer of happiness in the fact that I’m still here doing what I set out to do for January. 10 days of no drinks or smokes. I’m also hoping that not drinking and not smoking will heal this sickness faster. It should heal faster after they actually install some filters in the intakes at work too, but that’s another conversation all together, along with the mold in my ceiling tiles in my office. Nothing like a solid cough to help motivate a conversation with management about workplace conditions! If you find it in your heart, say a little prayer, or send a little healing light my way. I’m needing it today.

MelissaRose

2020 Resolutions #4 & #5: Create Everyday and Try More New Things

2020 is off to an interesting start, and I’ve already missed several days of blogging due to being sick – yay. I’m a bit off my game this week but I am ready to jump back on this horse and get things going. Today is my last overview post of my 2020 resolutions which seems fitting since it feels like I’m having to start all over since being sick. I had been doing such a great job the first few days and then BAM like a tidal wave – hello, cold. It’s interesting how it’s hit me in the midst of cutting all the terrible things out of my life, but I guess that’s how life works sometimes. My mom always said that if it seems really difficult to do something you feel is right then it probably is right. In other words, I guess, doing the right thing isn’t always easy. Especially in my case of cutting out toxic crap from my diet and life.

Anywho – my last two resolutions for the year are fairly simple, Create Everyday and Try More New Things. Creating Everyday so far means that I can make a new dinner, maybe do a macrame project, draw something, sew something, basically do anything creative. Do something besides sitting and watching TV or playing on the Switch – which is terribly addicting by the way. I’ve done fairly well so far. Jewelry making, macrame and lots of new recipes have been taking up my time so far. I’m super into polymer clay recently – well, I’ve done one batch so far – but MAN that stuff is fun and so relaxing for some reason. As always, I love to cook too. New recipes are fun because I’m finding more and more ways to make meals I love vegan-friendly. I’m also getting back into drawing on my iPad and having new stickers printed – stay tuned for a giveaway on that. All in all, I’m feeling more inspired the more that I create and it’s a great feeling that makes me feel motivated and happy.

Trying More New Things is more a resolution to get me out of my comfort zone. I want to take more classes – fitness classes, cooking classes, tactical shooting classes, ALL THE CLASSES. I love learning new things, but my anxiety often keeps me from signing up because I’m nervous about walking into a room full of people I don’t know to learn something I don’t know. It sounds ridiculous, I know, but I guess that’s how anxiety works. So far I’d love to take the tactical shooting class I mentioned and someone just messaged me today about doing a cookie decorating class. How fun does that sound? I’m also gearing up for a yoga class this coming weekend that my brother is teaching. He’s currently in training to become a yoga instructor so not only am I fulfilling my resolution but I’m supporting him too. I’m excited to find new things to learn as well. Other new things I’m trying are pretty recurring in my life already, such as, new recipes, new craft projects, new restaurants. These types of things come more easily for me, I think because they are more personal and don’t force me to meet new people. I think that, overall, is what I need to be better at.

Overall, I’m excited for the possibilities that these resolutions hold. I’m nervous but looking forward to pushing myself out of my comfort zone and trying new things and meeting new people. I’m also interested to see what types of projects and creative things I can come up with. All I need to do now is be better at getting to work earlier so I can find more time – ha!

MelissaRose

2020 Resolution #4: Shop Small / Fair / Less

Shopping in 2019 was basically not a thing. I told myself I was not allowed to purchase anything new unless it was absolutely necessary, and for the most part I followed that for an entire year. I did buy a couple of things that were necessary and did buy myself nice things a couple times (literally only twice that I can think of!), but overall, everything I bought came from the thrift store. I even found a can opener at the thrift store, okay? That’s hardcore. This year, I want to continue this thought process but also sprinkle in some fun. Because let’s face it, not shopping for years at a time is no fun, and sometimes ya girl needs to buy something new for no reason.

2020 is about being more intentional with what I purchase. Do I want new towels? Hell yes I do. Am I going to buy them from the thrift store? Heck to the no. BUT what I want to do is set restrictions for myself and try to be more responsible with where I spend my money. I want to shop small businesses and support local companies and people, I want to support companies that maintain fair practices, such as fair trade, no child labor etc., and overall I really just want to shop less. Shopping less doesn’t necessarily mean spending less, let’s face it, unfortunately supporting local and fair-trade companies can be more expensive than the alternative. I thrift shop ALOT. Not as much I did at the beginning of 2019 – yes it was a thing I was working through, I’m over it now. I want to practice only buying things that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE, and this includes with thrifting trips.

I have gotten SO MUCH better don’t get me wrong. I think the last time I went to the thrift store I walked out with only three things which is basically unheard of. BUT the three things I bought are absolutely things I’m going to use over and over and over, so I’ll be getting my money’s worth. So far for 2020 I’ve been to the thrift store only once, in aforementioned trip, and I visited the mall to find some new jeans, because jeans are next to impossible for me to find thrifting for some reason. I decided on purchasing jeans from Madewell, which, hello, are pricey. The great thing about Madewell though that I didn’t know until I went into their store is that their denim (and many of their other products) are fair trade certified. This means that their products are made in factories that maintain fair practices, take care of their workers and are all around just better businesses. You can read more about their initiatives here. Not only that but they will take your old jeans and use them to create housing insulation for Habitat for Humanity. How freakin’ cool is that? So I gotta say, thank you to Madewell actually for inspiring this resolution. 2020 is all about intention people, even with shopping. Shopping smaller, with better intention, and overall buying less. Wish me luck!

2020 Resolution #1: Dry January + Better Health

Every New Year it seems I am trying harder and harder to make promises to myself to take better care of my body. Last year it was a two week detox from alcohol, smoking and sweets, this year I’m tackling an entire month (well, most of it). It’s going to be a challenge for sure, but to be honest I’ve been excited about the possibility of how great I’m going to feel once I’m done. I’m also hoping to be encouraged to stop certain things altogether and to cut back on everything else.

I feel like alcohol is such a huge part of having a social life. Why is that? Is it just a social norm? What do people do when they don’t drink? This is something that I had been thinking about when I decided I wanted to go a month without alcohol. I want to find better ways to fill my time, better ways to spend time with family and friends. Now, I’m saying I am going a full month but I guess I’m actually doing a bit less than that. Because of vacation schedules and holidays this year I decided to start this challenge today, January 6, instead of on January 1. However, I did take it fairly easy in between, I drank a few beers on New Year’s Eve, had wine with friends on New Year’s Day and attended a concert on January 4 where I had a couple of drinks as well. Writing this out now, it sounds like alot which makes me even more excited to cut back. The challenge will end with the Superbowl which is February 2, so all in all I’m only a couple days short of a full month.

The most difficult part of this challenge for me will be not making excuses. Someone is having a birthday party, a friend wants to go for drinks, family is coming to town – none of these should be viable reasons to stop the challenge. I want to be strong and consistent throughout the entire term mostly because I don’t want to smoke. Smoking lately has totally grossed me out UNLESS I am drinking. Drinking is the main time I want to smoke and lately has been the only time that I do. But it stinks. It’s expensive. And yes, it’s deadly. I had an epiphany recently where I woke up on my hair and it reeked of cigarettes. I immediately decided I wanted to change. This will be difficult for sure, but not as difficult as if it would be if I weren’t cutting out drinking as well.

Today is the first day of the challenge, which of course is easy. It’s Monday, I’m back at work after a long weekend off and I have no worries. I will try to continue to post daily or regular updates of how I’m doing and feeling. Like I said, this is going to be challenging, but I can’t wait to see how I feel at the end. For the rest of the year, this resolution basically just means to be better to myself. Walk more, exercise more, eat better. I feel like I made leaps and bounds with this last year, especially eating better and practically vegan, and I can’t wait to continue it for this year as well. I think another thing I’d like to really press upon myself is to wake up earlier as well and get a small yoga flow routine in in the mornings. I was doing it for a couple weeks before the holidays and felt amazing. I need to get back into the swing of waking up early – this will be one of my biggest challenges for sure. Wish me luck!

MelissaRose