A writing piece from Scott P. Scheper.
One American Plaza
Downtown San Diego, CA
Monday, 2:15 pm
Recently I wrote to you about how you should respond to a day wherein you wake up tired and groggy, and feel like crap. Days of this nature are ones you start later than usual.
You may recall I advised you to respond by sticking to your morning ritual. I also advised you to go easy on yourself. That is, to have self-compassion and view your time as a resource of abundance.
You may also recall how the next day I attempted to invert this advice by expressing the seriousness of your scarcest resource: which, indeed, is your time and attention.
Today was of a similar morning for me.
I awoke tired, groggy——and frankly——feeling like absolute hell.
Yet this time, I have decided to do something in addition to the advice I recommended previously.
I've decided to no longer be gentle on the contributing source to these mornings from hell. I've decided to no longer pardon it.
The contributing source I'm talking about is, of course: alcohol.
Now, I don't want you to get the wrong idea.
This isn't some piece about someone who turns into Frank "The Tank" from Old School (The Movie). I'm not one to streak naked down the street after one beer turns into fourteen. Hell, I'm probably just as likely to do that sober!
Nay, my style is sipping chardonnay. Ideally with three or four ice cubes. My environment of choice is not a fraternity party near the quad. Nor is it happy hour with the girls——which is a more conventional setting for chardonnay. Nay. My preferred setting is reading at home on my couch as I sip my chardonnay (interrupted only by episodes of Beavis and Butthead).
The problem with such a vice is this: I am a creature of habit. It's easier for me to do the same thing every day, than to forbid certain things on certain days.
I've found that it's easier to have absolute rules (like, no alcohol). Compared to moderate rules (like, alcohol on weekends only). It's counter-intuitive and yet true in many ways that the moderate route is more difficult.
Thus, about once or twice a year, I go strict. I do a self-imposed challenge. I give up alcohol for a week, which actually turns into a month. It keeps on going for several months, and perhaps even close to a year.
I have decided to do such once again, but this time, with different conditions...
I will be forgoing alcohol for a minimum of 21 days, and a maximum of 63 days (which is three times the minimum). I have made an agreement with myself to do this challenge for one reason: I'm tired of feeling tired in the mornings.
I've decided to structure the challenge this way (with a minimum AND a maximum day limit. Why a maximum limit? Because, well, frankly I tend to be an extremist.
I'll make it for so long not drinking that I'll convince myself to never drink again, but as a result, guilt-trip myself if I ever give in.
Most people set a minimum day streak when they do challenges; however, based on previous experience, I believe just as important is to set a maximum. Humans have the tendency to take things too far.
With alcohol, if there's anything you can take too far, it's drinking it, not abstaining from it. So if never drinking again works for you, then great! I'm glad.
Further, I am intimately aware of alcoholism——something I hold no objection to in categorizing as a disease.
Therefore, if your relationship with alcohol is something much more nefarious than what I've described of my own, then this concept does not apply, at least to alcohol!
Anyway, I wasn't overly excited to write about this topic today. Reason being: I didn't want to come off as a buzz-killington! ...(pun intended).
I thought of writing about several other things. I toyed with other topics that are more fun and applicable to marketers and copywriters. However, I've made an agreement to myself to write the authentic truth. Today this topic was the most true.
I set out to make it funny and light. I'm not convinced I've done that, but I am convinced I fall into a rare category. For there are very few who write about doing a no-alcohol challenge——while glorifying Old School (The Movie), and recommending a maximum day limit, so you can once again partake in the favorite pastimes of its author: reading books and watching Beavis and Butthead... And for this reason, I am more than pleased.
Scott P. Scheper
P.S. I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Over the next set of days that I'll be carrying out this no alcohol challenge, I'll be leaving a metric at the bottom of my daily writings with this acronym:
NACS. This stands for No Alcohol Challenge Streak. Next to the dimension, you'll find a number which displays the number of days in a row of not drinking alcohol. I've decided to do this for two reasons: First, it will be a fun secret code kept between readers of today's writing piece, and myself. For I will not explain what it means anywhere else. Second, I think you may find it interesting to see this number build. Remember: it will only be between 21 and 63! That's my minimum limit and maximum limit. If you don't know why, then re-read what I wrote today.
- STOPPED WRITING: 3:29 p.m.
- FINSIHED EDITING: 4:55 p.m.
My younger and only sister of two years is an alcoholic. She recently surpassed another year of sobriety and has done so for over ten years straight. Her willpower and persistence in overcoming this disease is something I greatly admire. It's also something I am continually inspired by. ↩︎
Scott P. Scheper