Okay, not really. But it’s hard to make Lent sound interesting, and it’s a proven scientific fact that if you put “The Musical!” after anything, it makes it 127% more exciting.
Here’s where things are with my alcohol-free Lenten party (boy, that sounds like the worst party ever, doesn’t it?): The first three days—especially the third day—were hard. My husband would be enjoying a beer and I’d look longingly at it (and I’m not much of a beer drinker). It was Friday night and it seemed wrong not to unwind at the end of the week with a glass of wine. But I pushed through and went eight days without drinking, which took me up to my first designated “cheat” day (more on that in a minute).
A few things happened during those eight days. First, I apparently lost 10 pounds. I’m certain this isn’t the case and that my scale is screwed up, but numbers don’t lie, right? Also, I felt more clear-headed and less cranky. Although that may be due to the lack of snow days recently. My skin remained just as flaky and scaly as ever, dammit.
The way I think about drinking kind of changed, too. It had become very much a habit, like something on my to-do list: Pick up kids from school, check e-mail, pour glass of wine, start making dinner, have second glass of wine… As a friend of mine once said, “My stove doesn’t work properly if I don’t have a drink in my hand.” Well, my stove really doesn’t work properly, but it works just as crappily has it has been whether or not I’m drinking. Once I broke the habit, it got easier. One thing that helped, I think, is that instead of telling myself, “You can’t have a drink,” I told myself, “You can’t have a drink now, but you can have one soon.” Maybe it’s just human nature, but if something is presented as forbidden fruit, it just seems that much more tempting. Knowing that I could have it eventually made it less desirable somehow. Or maybe it was more that I was delaying gratification, because when I did arrive at my first cheat day, I enjoyed the hell out of it.
My best friend was in town last Friday, and we consumed a large portion of red wine, and it was great. The next two days were alcohol-free, but I allowed myself two pints of stout on St. Patrick’s Day (I mean, come on! It’s St. Patrick’s Day!). The night before last, I had two margaritas when the husband and I went out for Mexican food. Those are probably more cheats than I should have allowed myself, but I don’t feel guilty about it, and I don’t have any plans for drinking in the near future. Although my kids’ Spring Break is coming up, and an entire week of quality time with them will probably prove to be my biggest test yet.
How about you? How are you doing with Lent?