Dry January

I had to laugh at the blog prompt WordPress left for me today: What could you do differently? Sheesh, that’s not much of a focused topic. Anyone could do anything differently. I think a more important question is: do you want to do anything differently? Or perhaps: how could you do something differently? Or even: if you want to do something differently, would it change anything?

At the moment, I am doing something differently, at least differently than I did last year. I’m doing a “Dry January.” A relative does this — she enjoys drinking, especially wine, and so she uses January as a time to reset her body. I hardly ever drink — in fact, I’ve gone decades without a single sip of alcohol — so my Dry January is about getting me off the sugar kick. I don’t know why it’s been so hard the past several months — I’ve gone for years without indulging in sugary treats. I have a hunch it’s more that I don’t care, at least not all the time. I go from wanting to do the best for my health to indulging my every whim no matter how unhealthy. Unfortunately, I am not one of those who can take a few bites of something — a cake for example — and stick the rest in the freezer for a later time. Nope. If it’s in the house, it’s fair game. (I know for a fact that frozen cake is almost as good as unfrozen cake!)

Surprisingly, so far, I haven’t had a problem with my Dry January. It helps that I stopped beating myself up over my lapses, being kind to myself and accepting of whatever I do. It’s not as if I commit crimes (alas, not even fictional ones lately), so the things I do that I don’t like are minor infractions of health parameters more than anything else. I mean, there’s not a whole lot of trouble a person can get into while reading, and I read most of the time.

Not giving in to sugar cravings does change things. For one thing, it gets rid of the cravings. For another, I have a little more energy. Since this has been a dry January weatherwise so far, the streets are finally clear, so yesterday I went for a walk. Admittedly, a mile-and-a-half walk is rather paltry compared to what I used to do, but it’s a heck of lot more than I have been doing lately. What surprised me more than anything is that I actually walked. Not trudged. Not plodded. Not dragged. Walked! Upright, moderately fast, with not a twinge in my knees. That sure felt good!

There are many other things I could do differently. Although I tend to be a person of habit, habits come and go. I ended up with a Magic Bullet my sister wanted to get rid of, and I might actually use it. I do have a blender that I never use, but this small blender might be fun. And it would be good to be able to add a few new flavors to my life. I’ve never been interested in things like smoothies, but they might be nice for a change. Also, I’m considering trying different things that can be made quickly with the Bullet, like carrot ginger soup or broccoli soup.

Or not. It might be too big a difference. Still, you never know. As I said at the beginning of this blog, anyone can do anything differently, even me.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.