Words & Banter

Dry January Has Nothing To Do With Weather

Photo by OnTheRunPhoto for iStock


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I keep getting emails about where to go for mocktails. I know alcohol-free cocktails, like Virgin Margaritas, have been around for a while, but I’d never heard that term before. Do you think it has to do with New Year’s resolutions?


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It can if any of your resolutions are to lose weight, save money, sleep better. Or, drink less. Psychologically, January is the month when we “reset”, so a UK-based organization, Alcohol Change UK, started Dry January, where you abstain from drinking alcohol.


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Perfect timing since many people shop, eat, and drink more than usual over the holidays.


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I know you used to drink a glass of Cold Duck on New Year’s Eve, a tradition going back to our childhood, but that hardly counts as drinking. But, I have always wondered why you rarely drink, but never asked.

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That may be the only thing you haven’t asked me. It isn’t for any moral or health reasons; it’s because, even many decades later, I still have vivid memories of overdoing it at a fraternity dance at college. Although lately, I’ve been drinking more than normal.

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For you, that means more than one drink … a year.

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Very funny, but pretty much true. However, after visiting Tennessee Hills Distillery in the fall, I did develop a taste for their flavored rum. So, between the ones I brought home and the bottles of Moscato that Natasha had delivered to me by Drizly as a surprise holiday gift, I’ve had more to drink this holiday season than ever before.

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Well, I drank more this year, too. But, that is because, during COVID, I went over a year without a drink. For years, I used to go out to dinner several times a week and would always have a drink or two, but now do not go out as often. Combine that with a lack of dating, and my alcohol consumption is almost non-existent.

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But your condo has a pantry that you converted into a beautiful bar with all those liquor bottles on display. And you’ve collected wine for years.

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Yes, it looks enticing, but I do not drink alone. Never have. But, if I did, I would probably need to hide the liquor, or put yellow “caution tape” in front of the bar during Dry January.

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That’s funny, but do you really think that people can go cold turkey for an entire month? That seems like a long time if you’re used to drinking on a regular basis.

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Yes. Besides the fact many bars are taking advantage of Dry January to offer customers something new and different versus just alcohol-free versions of traditional cocktails, the demand for nonalcoholic beverages continues to increase as more people prioritize healthier lifestyles. Not to mention, many people now feel less social pressure to drink.

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Please don’t start quoting statistics and studies! But don’t you think, come February, everyone will just go back to their “normal” habits?

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Since you do not want me to mention any of the science, or the fact people are already drinking less, I will come at it another way. If once you start Dry January, you experience the health benefits, including more energy, why would you go back to your old habits?


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Because it’s a habit? Sorry, I couldn’t resist. But good points, especially as we all know drinking can lead to health problems. Not to mention the risks of driving under the influence of alcohol. But I’d think there’s still some peer pressure to drink socially.


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As more people are trying Dry January, or at least are aware of it, the more acceptable it becomes. And, the easier it is to find others to support you. Although sometimes you may need to avoid those people who do not.


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Well, I’ve seen you drink this month. And you can’t blame it on me! What’s your excuse?


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Dry January is not about having a perfect score. It is about reevaluating your relationship with alcohol. And, taking a night off does not mean the end of the effort. It just means it may be a Damp January.
Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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As you know, I love history, but I appreciate many people don’t.


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I am one of those people, so not sure where you are going with this.


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Exactly. So, when you first wanted to talk to me about the history of credit cards, I should have known something was up.


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Or, at least been curious.


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How was I supposed to know it would make a difference in my life?


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Why else would I want to give you a “history lesson”?
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Photo by mevans on iStock
Let’s be very clear. Autism has no correlation with intelligence; it’s a developmental disability (or what Black refers to as “DIFF-abilities”). And it’s a spectrum disorder, which means each autistic person has their unique mix of abilities, challenges, and ways of seeing the world (can’t that be said of all of us?!) So, as we celebrate World Autism Acceptance Week, remember it’s more than just awareness – it’s about acceptance.

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Did you know that April's Autism Awareness Month? I wasn't aware (pun intended) of it until I read our local homeowner's monthly newsletter and it caught my eye.


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Actually, last month the founding organization, the Autism Society, changed "Awareness" to "Acceptance" to foster inclusivity, as knowing about something is very different from accepting it. But I am guessing that is not the point of this call.


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Although it isn't autism, it reminded me of years ago when we found out that Natasha has learning disabilities.


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I think you mean DIFF-abilities.


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Of course, that's another thing I remember. I was focused on the negative aspects of her diagnosis until you asked me, point-blank, "Why are they called disabilities?" And proceeded to explain that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses.


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Exactly! Imagine the world if everyone excelled at math, but flunked English. Or, a world of lawyers, but no musicians. Some people are better at social skills, while others excel at handling technical data. Why not just say that people who have different skillsets and abilities have DIFF-abilities versus making them feel like they have shortcomings?
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Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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As much of a history buff as I am, I’m embarrassed to admit that for a long time, I didn’t know March was Women’s History Month. But now that I do, I’m amazed by all the inspirational stories of women’s remarkable achievements.


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Too bad Natasha and Sawyer do not still live at home; it would be fun to start a conversation by asking them what women they find inspiring.


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I already know who they would pick. The first woman to race the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And I’d have to agree with them. Your Ferrari racing has made an impact on so many people. But especially girls.


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Until you mentioned it several years ago, I never thought about that. In the 1970s, I was one of the few women in business school. I then made a career in the male-dominated oil and gas industry. I am used to being a “token” female.


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Trust me. I watch people whenever we’ve done speaking engagements. It’s predictable ... we put up the family tree, and Natasha and Sawyer get awws, but your two racecars get everyone’s attention.
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