Day 11: Fifteen Minutes

“I can’t even carpe 15 minutes in a row. So a whole diem is out of the question.”
– Glennon Doyle Melton

Okay, here’s the deal. You don’t have to abstain for 31 days for Dryuary. What?!? No way! No one told you? Ha! I’m here to tell you the Big Secret. You DO NOT have to abstain for 31 days.
You only have to abstain for 15 minutes. That’s it! Seriously! 15 minutes until you are done!

Well, of course, until the next 15 minutes.

Here’s the actual Big Reveal: We can’t abstain for 31 days in one day. You and I both know that, but Boy Howdy! we sure seem to think we can. We usually start a week or two before January 1, getting all excited about Dryuary. As the day gets closer we start getting a little nervous, then a lot nervous. Maybe on New Year’s Eve we get a  little bit of oh-the-heck-with-it-I-don’t-really-have-to-do-this. Then January 1 arrives, and we kinda roll with it for the first day or two. We keep the novelty going and the anxiety at bay. Hey, I got this!

Then…then…reality starts to rear its less then gorgeous head. 20 more days of this? Are you kidding me? No way. Can’t do it. I can’t see myself going through this anxiety for 20 more days. What if I don’t finish? What will that say about me? I barely got through last night. How may more hours? Truth: on January 11 we still have 500 more hours to go. Are you kidding me? 500????? I can’t do it.

At the times when the thought of abstaining for 31 days (or 20 more days) seems so daunting I want to throw in the towel, here’s what I do. I break it down into manageable pieces.

I don’t have to abstain 31 days today, only today, one day. And actually since I am at work (5 days per week) and don’t get home until 6pm, I really only have to abstain for 3 hours until I get in bed. And then, I can push that back a little, brush my teeth early, get my jammies on, and hop in bed by 8:30pm. So now I’m down to 2 ½ hours. Of course, I’ve piddled around since I got home, putting away my lunch things, putting a load of laundry in, organizing for tomorrow, and yes, thinking about drinking so it’s 6:30, and I only have to abstain now for 2 hours. And maybe I’m still thinking about drinking. At that point I tell myself that if I still want a drink THAT bad in 15 minutes, I will let myself consider it. I’m not giving myself permission to drink, just permission to revisit the issue. You know what happens? I do other stuff and forget about it for 23 minutes. Ha! See! I must not have wanted it that bad because I went past the 15 minute mark, so I set myself another 15 minute mark. At some point, usually sooner rather than later, the evening is over, and I have another day of abstaining in the books.

And that, my friends, is how I break down 31 days into 15 minute manageable bites. We can do almost anything for 15 minutes. We can go for a run, walk outside, do yoga, read a book, write in a journal, talk to a friend, check social media, meditate, draw a picture, declutter a drawer or cabinet, and the list goes on.

When I Google 15 minutes I get 4,020,000,000 hits. All we have to do is anything else in the entire world, except drink, for 15 minutes. Ready? Set? Go!

Post Submitted By: HorseLover, MM Member