I generally hate new years resolutions. Scratch that, I don’t ‘hate’ new years resolutions, I just choose not to acknowledge their existence as anything that would make a difference in my life. Alas, I think I’ll be making one this year. A big one. I want to stop drinking alcohol. Completely.
This will certainly come as a shock to most, as most people know me through social drinking, or, people who know me have known me in an inebriated state for some large percentage of the total time they’ve known me (sentence fail).
My reasons for wanting to give up the drink are the following:
- Drinking is expensive. Better ways to use my money include: paying off my student debt; saving up for travels; giving to charity; spending it on healthy, fun stuff (camping, biking, climbing, etc.); and more
- The amount that I drink is not healthy. I’m not saying that I’m on the verge of getting the DTs, but by removing alcohol I will probably: have a healthier liver; reduce my chances of getting certain cancers; lose my belly fat (I know, it will be missed).
I foresee many obstacles: SO much of my social life revolves around the consumption of alcohol. I have no idea how I’m going to hang out with Tim without drinking, for example. No idea. What will I do on my birthday? New years? Parties? (!)
Plus, not only will I be ‘that guy’ because I’m a vegetarian (vegan failure), but now I’ll be ‘THAT GUY’ ’cause I don’t drink. I should be strong and not care what people think, but fuck is it ever annoying when people give their snide judgmental two cents.
Why not just give up heavy drinking? I think that’s a great idea, but the problem with it is that, once I’ve had alcohol in me, I just want more. More more more. I think I have to go all the way for this to work. The drunken slippery slope has a 89 degree slope, ya know?
I’ll probably fail. It’s true. But hey, maybe, after so many failures, I’ll finally get it. I know that my friends will laugh in my face when I say: “oh, no thanks, I’m trying to quit”. They’ll think I’m: delusional for thinking I can succeed; judgmental; righteous; a fool for wanting to do it at such a young age; unrealistic; etc.
By writing this post, I’m in a way making myself accountable to the online community (my three friends who read this sometimes). So I’ll let you know when I fail, and what I think. I’m excited for future defense mechanisms/rationalizations (saaaaaaarcasm).
Endquote (note: I hate quotes):
The reason why I refuse to take existentialism as just another French fashion or historical curiosity, is that I think it has something very important to offer us for the new century. I’m afraid we’re losing the real virtues of living life passionately in the sense of taking responsibility for who you are, the ability to make something of yourself and feel good about life. Existentialism is often discussed as if it’s, a philosophy of despair, but I think the truth is just the opposite. Sartre, once interviewed, said he never really felt a day of despair in his life. One thing that comes out from reading these guys is not a sense of anguish about life so much as, a real kind of exuberance, of feeling on top of it, it’s like your life is yours to create. I’ve read the post modernists with some interest, even admiration, but when I read them I always have this awful nagging feeling that something absolutely essential is getting left out. The more you talk about a person as a social construction or as a confluence of forces or as fragmented of marginalised, what you do is you open up a whole new world of excuses. And when Sartre talks about responsibility, he’s not talking about something abstract. He’s not talking about the kind of self or soul that theologians would argue about. It’s something very concrete, it’s you and me talking, making decisions, doing things, and taking the consequences. It might be true that there are six billion people in this world, and counting, but nevertheless -what you do makes a difference. It makes a difference, first of all, in material terms, it makes a difference to other people, and it sets an example. In short, I think the message here is that we should never simply write ourselves off or see each other as a victim of various forces. It’s always our decision who we are.
– Robert Solomon (I think…it’s from Waking Life)
[update: I didn’t drink on new years! So far so good…]