Friday, 17 October 2014
Actually, I'm not planning on drinking tonight at all. I often don't, and haven't for the last couple of years. There have been several times during those 24 months that I have gone for maybe 6 weeks at a time without drinking. Whilst training for the Moonwalk, I barely drank from February through to May, because I really took that walk seriously, and wanted my body to be in peak condition.
So it comes as a surprise to me to find that 'not drinking' is apparently considered a way of raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support. Now I am usually only too happy to sponsor people. I may only give a little, or I may give a lot, depending on the state of finances, but I'll always give something, because I know that people put a lot of effort into their endeavours, and what better motivation to do something challenging or scary than to know that if you do, you are raising a shed-load of money for charity. Even dieting - I've sponsored people to lose weight - because it is HARD. But to sponsor someone for not drinking alcohol??? Maybe if you are an alcoholic, but otherwise don't even bother to ask me. And CERTAINLY don't ask me to join you - calling it a 'challenge' does not make it one; and I'm not a person to ask for sponsorship for pure inconvenience, otherwise I'd be asking for sponsorship for cleaning up my cat's endless puddles of pee.
No-one sponsored me for my abstinence during the Moonwalk training. No-one sponsored me for my abstinence during pregnancy and breast feeding. Should I ask for sponsorship in retrospect? No, cos you know what? It wasn't hard. It didn't hurt. It required no training or preparation. It didn't scare me.
So what the hell is the sponsorship even FOR?
It's like Movember - what a non-event to sponsor someone for. Man grows moustache. Whoopy-fecking-do. And chucking ice water over yourself. MY GOODNESS that one pissed me off. A work colleague has spent a couple of years raising money for MND (British for ALS), during which time he has climbed to Everest base camp and swum to the Isle of Wight. Were people jumping out of the woodwork and crawling out from under their rocks to sponsor him in these valiant efforts? Were they heck as like. But all of a sudden there they are, all cold and wet 'for charideeeee'.
(Although in discussing this with friends, it did occur to me that maybe I could do Movember. Man grows moustache isn't a story or any form of effort. Vain woman grows moustache and beard is a real discomfort as it would force me to challenge gender stereotypes whilst facing daily mockery. There's a difference)
But back to Stoptober - the whole thing has managed to combine two concepts that really get my goat - people being sponsored for nothing AND waiting for a specific time to change your life. I mean, if you want to stop drinking, why wait til October? Stop now. If you want to lose weight, why wait til Monday? Start now. If you want to get fit, why wait til the New Year? Start now!
It's like New Year's Eve - don't tell me when I should be having fun! And even more so, don't then come on all righteous in the New Year going on about how I should be giving up alcohol (snore) and fatty food etc. Especially as it is my birthday month, you bunch of utter killjoys!
Tell you what, here's an idea - you go about your life however you want, and I'll go about my life however I want, and let's not ask eachother for sponsorship for our lifestyle choices. Deal?