2018 Resolutions Results
Last year I resolved to do three things: Quit Twitter, Quit Alcohol, Quit Coffee
Done. I deleted the apps. Signed out of Twitter on my phone. Didn’t on my work computer so I could check in on DMs and @-mentions, but only caught myself a few (dozen?) times opening it up and reading in the first couple of months. While it was hard to stop Twitter I knew I still needed something to check throughout the day so I threw myself completely into Instagram. It worked. I don’t even THINK about Twitter anymore other than occasionally getting linked there to read a funny thread or get more info about some news.
Another interesting stat that might reveal how deep my addiction went: I currently have 66,300 liked tweets. I hit like on tweets over 66,000 times in 11 years. Hah.
The point of this one was to reclaim my time and I think I did except for that little Instagram addiction I have. It’s not nearly as bad for me though.
This turned out to be easier than I expected. I estimate I drank one to two beers a day, nearly every day, since about 2008. The year my son was born I began doing the grocery shopping. Our local store had a huge selection of craft beer from all over the country and so as a treat I’d buy a different brand (or two) each trip. I became pretty familiar with all the local breweries and styles. IPAs were getting huge back then so my tolerance was sky-high for nearly a decade.
In 2015 I started noticing how much trouble I was having getting to sleep or staying asleep. And in the morning I’d feel pretty bad for not sleeping or just sleeping poorly. Around the same time I developed eczema on my foot. It became clear after cutting foods out of my diet that my sleep and the eczema were both caused by alcohol. I tried wine. I tried hard liquor. Nothing changed unless I quit alcohol entirely for a couple of days.
Last year during our annual December anniversary trip I had a few beers, slept terribly, and decided the next morning I was just going to flat-out quit alcohol this year. I didn’t plan much further than a year out, but I felt like if it worked for me I would just quit forever. Now looking back on the year I think I’m going to quit forever.
The funny thing about not drinking is the little bit of social awkwardness it presents. I was at a kid’s birthday party and the parents were obviously huge drinkers. We arrived a bit before everyone else had gotten there so it was just a few parents and the dad started handing out beers. I waved off a beer saying “I don’t drink” and got a sad, uncomfortable, almost pitiful look from him.
Another time the sommelier arrived at our table before we started our five course meal. I again said “I don’t drink” and felt complete coldness from her every time she came back to the table to serve my wife. (Incidentally I discovered just having water with a multi-course meal turns out to be a great way to enjoy the food.)
It only took a couple of these interactions to realize I should say “I’m not drinking” as it sort of suggests a temporary reason like being a designated driver or perhaps a medication interaction.
This was a lot harder to do. While I enjoyed my morning cup of Earl Grey I definitely missed the caffeine burst that coffee delivered. I decided to quit because I thought it would also help me with sleep but I don’t think it mattered as much as the alcohol.
A few months ago my friend started up his coffee delivery business on Kickstarter (Yes Plz Coffee) and I backed it. When it arrived I tried a cup and instantly knew my morning cup of tea days were gone. Drinking a cup now.
I don’t know yet what I’m going to do in 2019. In 2017 I wanted to learn French and I completed the Duolingo course over the year. I have been toying with the idea of keeping a media journal where I write down all the books, tv shows, youtube videos, articles, and movies I watch in a year. I’d likely put them into a weekly blog post here.
In 2018 I did start keeping a paper journal using Tamara Shopsin’s Five Year Diary. This is a very clever diary that stacks five years for every date on one page so that as you pass through days again you can see what you were doing in the years prior on that date. Because of the format there are only a couple of lines available so you have to keep your entry brief. It’s become a habit for me to sit down before getting into bed and write out a summary of what happened during the day.
See you next year!