Happy New Year to all of my readers! I hope 2016 is a fabulous year for everyone. As a friend recently said to me “may you have many unforgettable stories in the coming year”.
The New Year always brings to our house new resolutions, new goals, and a hope for a better self. We are hoping to get healthier, smarter, and of course we want to get into better shape. Never easy, always worthwhile.
One way to make any resolution easier is to make it within reach. Baby steps. We do not resolve to workout for an hour everyday in 2016. Instead, we make a promise to our self to workout more often (add one or two days to each week), for the month of January and February, then re-evaluate, add more time, another class, or another day, after that.
January always brings an abstinence of wine, beer and spirits to our house. It is a tradition in our house to stop drinking alcohol in January. Again, never easy, always worthwhile. It is easier to accomplish this resolution if everyone in the house agrees to do this together.
We started the no-alcohol-in-January tradition many, many years ago. The obvious benefits were weight loss, save money and give your body a break. One surprise was how personal relationships were affected. Drinking is a social thing, and some folks tend to get offended if you don’t or won’t join them in the imbibing of alcohol. Some people take it personally and won’t invite you to the party if you are abstaining. I found this interesting. If you find you’re in a situation where your friends are grumpy because you’re not joining in with their drinking, you can do several things. You can give the bartender some cash to only pour club soda and lime, no matter what you order (if you’re going to do this, it is most effective if you order Vodka and Tonic), or, you can say you’re feeling a bit under the weather and simply order club soda and lime or lemon, or you can just ignore the grumpiness and go on with socializing with your friends.
Another surprise we experienced was the lack of tolerance to alcohol after we finished our 30 days of abstinence. In December, we were accustomed to consuming a bottle of wine between the two of us per dinner. We only had wine with dinner about three times a week, but we usually finished off the better part of a bottle. In February, we found one-half of a bottle was more than enough, showing us our
tolerance was not what it once was. This can be a good thing! Just think – you only need to purchase half as much wine, and you only consume one-half of the calories.
We also noticed we appreciated the subtle nuances of what we were drinking, and our nose was more sensitive to the delicate and more understated notes of the bouquet of the wine. Another wonderful surprise.
So, if you’re going to make a New Year’s resolution, keep the goals realistic, keep the promise to yourself within reach. Get a partner to help you along and to give support. And, if you’re NOT giving up alcohol for January, check back in two weeks, I’ll be doing a recommendation for wine pairings with cold-climate stews.
What resolution(s) did you make for 2016?