The tragedy of alcohol abuse scars the streets of our major cities. Wasted human potential lost in the bottom of an empty bottle. Those are the visible victims, yet in many homes the addiction is no less real.
Every few years I like to reset my relationship with alcohol and do "a year with no beer." By no beer, I mean no alcohol. I decided to do it again in 2021, especially given that 2020 was a year where one might have consumed a little too much.
I have the good fortune whereby not drinking is a trivial exercise for me. I realize for many others it is anything but. I'm writing this post to encourage anyone who needs a break from alcohol. I've got your back. In fact, ping me on Twitter and I'll support you on your journey.
After the experience of living through a global pandemic, the caveat to my plan is that if there's a good reason to celebrate, I will. An Old Fashioned during a weekend in Paso Robles. Lunch at my favorite Bay Area bistro, Enoteca La Storia, matched with a glass of Bodegas Care Garnacha. A night at The Sawyer in Sacramento, and dinner at The Kitchen* might require a glass of Occidental's pinot noir. The above events might in fact be the entirety of my celebrations.
Follows is a little history on my periodic year sans alcohol.
In 2014 I wrote:
The most difficult part was dealing with social expectations. Weird looks for drinking something other than alcohol far outweighed any interest in why someone might do such a thing.
Alcohol is a very commonly consumed drug in Silicon Valley. People use it to lubricate social situations, cope with stress, and simply have a good time. My experience back in 2014 was that societal pressure to drink was significant. I hope that changed in the intervening years.
January 2012, I wrote:
I hope the following outcomes from my experience will inspire you if you’re thinking about meaningful change in the New Year:
* My physical health improved. (I didn’t have a single day of unwellness during 2011.)
* I experienced significantly improved mental health. (I’m plain and simply happier.)
* And lastly in a nod to Seth Godin, I became significantly more focused and I now 'ship' without fail.
The benefits of not consuming alcohol are simple:
- Improved physical health
- Improved mental health
- Improved intellectual focus and rigor
You will also reduce spending and potentially save money. Depending on your consumption (be honest), a lot of money.
Join me on this journey, reduce your alcohol consumption, improve your health and fitness, and enjoy 2021. You've earned it!