Welcome to Dryuary 2017! We are going to spend this month together, our little band, on a journey many of us never expected to take- To spend all of January without drinking alcohol. Dryuary asks everyone to make the decision to invest in themselves as a healthier, more productive person. During this month, our daily posts can provide both encouragement and context for the experience we will be sharing. There will be a lot to read. Your comments are also valuable, and can help others – We invite you to use our anonymous Comment system to add remarks to each post, or to use the “Secret Name” Janet to register and post at the Dryuary Forum. It’s going to be a ride – and we are glad you are along with us.
My friend Cristian always throws a terrific New Year’s Eve party at his home in New Jersey with the theme “Come As You Are NOT.” Come As You Are NOT is open to wide interpretation. One year, a guy came as a magician because he was a terrible juggler. Arthur always came as some variation of Morpheus… he is tall, handsome, amazingly cool dude who likes trench coats, so it wasn’t quite “NOT”, but we let him get away with it. After attending 10 or so consecutive Come As You Are NOTs repurposing various halloween costumes and ideas ranging from Pregnant! Not! to Tall! Not!, one year I simply wore blue contact lenses. I’m not blue eyed.
On December 31, 2001, I was with my closest friends at Cristian’s. It had been a tough year. Cristian was on an airplane flying to California when the planes hit the towers on September 11. He was on JetBlue, so all the passengers on his plane were watching the headrest screens of live news coverage. It was terrifying. Friends knew people who were killed in New York. Others had lost jobs. One person had lost a parent to cancer. But we all Came As We Were NOT – carefree and ready to celebrate friendship and ring in the new year.
Cristian greeted us with a “2001” poster board, strips of paper, and markers. On the poster board, he asked us to write about things we hated, things we wanted to let go of, things that had hurt us. And on the strips of paper, he asked us to write the same, but also to memorialize those things that were more personal, remembrances we did not want to share about 2001, but that we wanted to trash.
At midnight, we burned them. We burned the poster board of hateful and awful things from the previous year. We burned all the individual, personal strips of paper writ with terrible things. And we cried and laughed and hugged and felt a little bit renewed for 2002.
2016 has been a difficult year for me and, I’m sure, for some others. And for some of us, it has been a joyful, blessed year. But for all of us, I’d wager, there are likely things we don’t want to repeat in 2017. And there are 2016 events we might want to destroy in a positive, cathartic fashion.
So on this first day of 2017, I encourage you to reply with how, in 2017, you are going to Come As You Were Not in 2016. I’m NOT going to put off meditating to the end of the day. I’m NOT going to drink as often as I did in 2016.
Second, I encourage you to reply with those things you’d like to burn on **Micro’s Imaginary Strikingly Gigantic But Completely Safe Bonfire**. I’m burning the ill feelings I have toward people who don’t think like I do. I’m burning the health scares in my immediate family.
And for those personal things you want to burn but not share aloud, write each of them on an imaginary strip of paper. Squeeze those imaginary papers into little balls in your hand, and silently throw them on our Bonfire.
Stand back with me, friends, and let’s watch our Imaginary Strikingly Gigantic But Completely Safe Bonfire BLAZE.
Here’s to everyone’s better 2017!
Written and submitted by Moderation Management Member Micro