Dry July – A Month In Reflection

How was your July? Mine was Dry! dry_july_member_FB Last year, for the first time, I took part in a fundraiser called Dry July. It is a movement that asks you go “Booze Free” for the month of July in order to raise funds for benefactors that focus on the wellness of adults with cancer. This is something that is dear to my heart, as I see on a daily basis, adults who are going through cancer treatments. Last year I was able to rack up $225 which I thought was an amazing amount! With that in mind, I signed up again for 2015! What an amazing opportunity I have had! Not only have I successfully smashed Dry July, I was able to bring exposure through newspaper, radio, and public fundraising.dryjuly9 I began Dry July full of optimism, although a little concerned I wouldn’t be able to go to my nightly wine. The first couple of dryjuly11days were a bit blah, and I felt like I didn’t have a go-to drink. It was an effort to boil the kettle and figure out what tea I was going to have. Then I would sit and pout about how it didn’t taste the same as wine. I managed to get to a wonderful 30th birthday celebration and by-passed all of the alcohol! It was hard!!! It was at the beginning of July so I was still very much in the mind dryjuly6frame that booze was fun! I did a lovely ‘test tube shot’ of lemonade while everyone knocked back some schnapps! I didn’t let it dampen the fun, and still had a hilarious time playing Heads Up with a bunch of loaded ladies!!!! It was also a struggle during school holidays. Three kids, two weeks, no booze. That’s enough to send anyone a little crazy. Lucky for me, I already am crazy, and I was able to make amusing Mr T. memes to distract myself.dryjuly1 As the month went on, I found it was less and less on my mind. With winter in full swing, it was just as easy to boil the kettle and make a nice warm cup of herbal tea. I don’t mind the Chamomile & Spiced Apple. That flavor definitely became a favourite. Half way through the month I was blitzing the donations and was extremely thankful dryjuly3that I had so many people “on my side”. Knowing donations were coming in really did keep me accountable. Not only did I have something to prove to myself, but people were giving up their hard earned money with the assumption I would follow through on my end of the bargain. I knew I needed wanted more money so I decided to have a go at a cake stall! The local dance school (that both my daughter and I dance at) kindly allowed me to set cakestall3up shop one Saturday morning. With the help of a bunch of great friends who came forward and baked for me, I had a great set up. There were lots of goodies on order, and my local Tupperfriend came to lend a hand and showcase some goodies. I cakestall1decided not to mark any price on the items, and simply mentioned that all items were “by donation”, allowing the choice to remain in the hands of the buyer. I was amazed. By not restricting myself, I ended up with a whopping $341.55!!! I mean the fact that someone paid $20 for a cupcake was simply amazing to me! As soon as I explained WHY I was doing the cake stall, the money was handed over with no question!!!!! The following weeks were even easier. I didn’t think about the wine anymore. It was non-existent in the fridge and in my mindset. I was sleeping better, and I certainly felt a lot more alert. I did lose 4kg over the month, but I dunno..is that really the wine (please say no, so I don’t have to be sad!!). I’m just glad it’s over! I didn’t drink for another week, and then had a really bad experience, but that’s another story for another time. I can’t believe I managed to get through another July without booze! It was worth it! In fact, it was $923 worth it! That’s the amount that I have managed to raise! My dryjuly4benefactor was The Crown Princess Mary Cancer Centre at Westmead. I am so proud of being able to contribute to ongoing funds to the centre. My hope is that by being one person, doing one thing, I can make a difference. I’m not sure if I’ll do it next year!! We’ll have to wait and see! In the meantime, have you attempted Dry July, or something like it? Had you ever heard of Dry July before? What’s the most amount of $$ you have raised for a charity? How did you go about raising so much?! Let me know, so I can be prepared for my next fundraising venture!

Why I quit Facebook and Booze ….and other random stuff

I’m not a Quitter, I am GREAT! The Great Facebook and Booze Dry Spell of the year!

Hello, my name is SydneyGen and I haven’t had a drink in 12 days…. Wait.. wrong forum!

Actually, it’s true though!! I am still going strong in Dry July and have to say… not missing it at all too much!!  I thought it would be harder to put down the wine and vodka (mmm….vodka…….) and not have a drink, but it truly has been easier than I anything I’ve ever done realised. It’s also made me aware of the fact I think I was drinking ‘just because’ before, and that kinda takes the enjoyment away!  I’ve replaced wine with water (There’s something awfully backwards about that statement!!) and know the health benefits are rockin. So far I’ve started exercising more *slowly first, but more than before* and I’ve started watching the scales decline… (hoorah, finally.. although I had a sneaky suspicion this would occur once I stopped) I am glad my minds at a place now where I can do this. I have ‘tried’ in the past, but absolutely didn’t pass because I wasn’t strong enough to give in to temptation. The Aussie culture is definitely one laced with booze, but that’s not a bad thing (in my opinion), it’s the responsibility of booze that needs to remembered and reenforced.  I am about to go off on a tangent here, because that my dear friends, is my brain!!! Anywho… the other night I was flicking through the tv channels (which is rare in itself, I barely get time to sit down at night, let alone watch tv…whoooops, there I go again!) and I came across a show on the ABC called

Shitsville Express with Joe Hildebrand. Shitsville Express

If you haven’t heard of it, it’s this:  Each week, Joe Hildebrand rubs the noses of our four bright young things in Shitsville’s darkest and grubbiest corners, examining issues including the explosion of alcohol fuelled violence, the gambling epidemic, Australia’s substandard transport system, the current housing crisis, and the pros and cons of coal seam gas mining. And at the end of it, all four will put their ideas to a former Prime Minister who’s been to Shitsville and back many a time, and who knows the difficulty of making change happen. 

So the reason I’m bringing this up is because the episode I caught just happened to be on alcohol fueled violence. I sat in astonishment at the awful scenes of women barely wearing anything, stumbling around drunk. Men beating each other up, and blood pouring everywhere. A boy who was only 16, drunk, showing gang signs and looking for a fight. And I was sad. So, So, So, sad. What has happened with our youth? What has happened to parents instilling values, decorum? I remember being a fresh-faced 18 year old in Tassie, and stumbling through the streets of Hobart at 2-3-4am and walking between bars, but there was never violence involved. It was usually a bit of hippy love to a passer-by, a hug and a squeal to a stranger, or a friend you hadn’t seen in a while, but never violence. There were no brawls, no beatings, and certainly nobody dying from being king-hit as they walked out of bar. The issue bought up on the tv show is, “what can we do about this”, and I seriously don’t have the answer. My mother taught me to drink responsibly, and if I’m going to get shitty drunk, still be a lady about it. OH, and WHAT EVEN is this ‘pre-loading’ these people are doing at home. Drinking a bottle of alcohol and THEN going out? (I of course blame the cost of alcohol for this! We used to go out for $50 and be able to shout rounds to people and still be happily drunk by the end of the night!)  If you’re going to drink at home, make a night of it!!! If you’re out to pick up, WHY do you need to be drunk?? You most likely won’t remember it!! Ugh, I think I’ve ranted, for far too long!! (I do that, too!) So … anyway.. my advice to the youth and drinkers of today…. drink, have fun, be merry, and keep your mitts to yourself. You’re giving booze (for the rest of us responsible people) a bad name, and making it cost FAR TOO MUCH! I’m not sure what I’ll do when August 1st comes around. I don’t even think I’ll notice it. I have 2 assessments due that time anyway, so booze will be the last thing on my mind!! We’ll just wait and see.

Right, now that I’m off that soapbox I’ll just briefly go into my hiatus from Facebook!

Two uni assessments due, lots of reading to do,  housework to be done, and what do I find myself doing? Glued to my Facebook feed. Clicking likes to win prizes I’ll NEVER win, playing awesome stupid addictive games, and being sucked in to a time vortex. Something had to be done, so I cut it. Cut it out. I have enjoyed Facebook for many benefits, but mostly for being able to share one image, one thought, a useless status update with many people. It has connected me with people from my past, and present, and has allowed me to stay in touch with friends who live far away. BUT… it’s a time waster. It really is. You think you can just check one thing, and the next thing you know it’s school pick up time, the tea is cold, and you’re rushing to get things done and be places on time. Since I’ deactivated my account I’ve managed to get a lot done. Uni is caught up, and I feel good. I do miss it, but not in a life is so much worse now I’m not on it way. The one thing I have realised is the amount of businesses, and bands, and people in general, who are using Facebook as their platform for promotion! I’m still on Twitter (and Instagram – I need SOMEWHERE to picspam my kids!), but Facebook is ‘The way’ to do business nowadays I guess? I even hear on the radio, ‘check us out on Facebook’ and I cringe and think UGH, why can’t they just have a good website that can be browsed and updated. What has the Zuckerburger done to us??? What’s next?? Who knows…. but yeah… a Facebook break has been good. I have a mobile phone, and anyone who’s important will know the number, so who needs an FB message to let me know if somethings happening, or someone’s pregnant!! I’ve disconnected, to reconnect!

So WOW… this post was epic and also about not much, basically, a common theme on this blog!! I hope you’re all well. I have almost survived School Holidays – which deserves it’s own blog post – maybe next time I have a spare five minutes!!

Take Care of Yourself.  Shine & Sparkle (and drink responsibly, and with class *in a glass)

Dry July

I’m going to tackle one of my biggest vices. .. alcohol!  Here’s how I decided to do “dry july”….So I’m sitting in the RSL (that’s returned services league for those who didn’t know) and I’m waiting for my food in the bistro (mr6 is upstairs at a disco, which subsequently is producing a few injuries!)and I look around at all the glasses of wine and beer and for the first time I thought. ..hmm. .. What would it be like to give up wine for a bit… so that’s it. .. I’m going to do it.  I’m not going to over think it, I’m not going to over analyse it (which by the way, I am brilliant at! !!) I’m just going to do it. I’m thinking of the health benefits as I well, I want to be where I was 12 months ago, which was 9 kgs lighter and happier! !

So, tomorrow is the 1st of July.  I  like the way Dry July rhymes (!!!!) So we’re going to do this. … One day at a time. ….
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until we meet again….

Have you ever attempted to give up something?  Have you ever done dry July?