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The high in New York City is 55 degrees today. I know what you’re thinking. You want to get out there tomorrow and mix it up. You want to toss on your Barbour and make your way to a bottomless brunch spot where you’ll inevitably get cut off by whatever hungover waitress is hating her life because she’s not doing the same. Sure, the weather isn’t ideal. But given how it’s been lately, 55 degrees might as well be 75 degrees.
I urge you — don’t do it. Stay the course. Listen to the angel on your shoulder. Distract yourself.
You’ve made it 12 days in. By weekend’s end, you’ll be at the halfway point of Sober January. Halfway to the promise land. Halfway to fitting into your clothes better. Halfway to mental solitude.
Last year, I broke on day 28. I wasn’t proud of it. A long day of sober golf followed by meeting two friends at a hotel bar for appetizers spun me into a whirlwind. I pretty much got whiplash from how hard I was rubbernecking the cocktails that flew by. There were dudes wearing black tie for a wedding reception in the same hotel. Jealousy got the best of me. Going to a hotel bar at the tail-end of Sober January is akin to putting an eightball in front of an addict. Hotel bars are top-two places to drink without regard. I got blinded.
It’s plagued me ever since. Why did I do it? Had I just not ordered that white ale and driven myself home on that Saturday night, I could’ve coasted to the finish line beating my chest in celebration. Instead, I found myself drinking stiff cocktails until late in the night only to wake up with a hangover that reminded me why I embarked on the journey in the first place.
Please, be better than me. Know you can do this. That make-your-own Bloody Mary bar has fixins that’ve been sitting out for hours. They’re probably riddled with E. coli too. The stein of beer you’re craving will just make you full and leave you in that weird day-drunk where you’re not sure if you want to take a nap or really ratchet it up for the rest of the night. That triple hops brewed Miller Lite in your fridge has been sitting there since mid-December before you went home for Christmas. It’s skunked. At least that’s what you need to tell yourself.
Now more than ever, it’s pivotal that you plan your weekend out. College football is over. Your NFL team probably fizzled out long ago or will lose this weekend. I ask you, “Is it worth it?” Sure, you justify it to yourself that a few beers during the Eagles game just makes sense, but please look at the bigger picture here. One domino falling is all it takes.
Some of you have probably already fallen off the horse. I get it. I’m no better than you are, especially given I snuck in a Guinness in a plastic cup last night while walking my dog. You made the conscious (albeit hungover) decision to do this to yourself after a big holiday season. December was a bender, remember that.
I ask this with extreme hesitation in my voice for fear of getting answers that I don’t want to hear — how’s it going, everyone? .