By Rob Allanson

Ringing in the changes

It’s that time of year again
So, here we are again, New Year and all those New Me promises. By the time you read this, especially if you get the print edition in the US, then 2019 will be in full swing.
Do you make any resolutions each year? Mostly I try, but we all know where good intentions end up.

So this year I decided on achievable ones as there is so much instability out there in the public arena, I feel the private should be more of an even keel this year.

The ability to navigate and ride out whatever the year brings might outweigh the need to be bigger, brighter more sparkly than before.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s great if you can put a change in place and stick to it, but for me I need this to be achievable, much better to do something simple and get it done well than fail.

Even better is to make it something you love, then if you do fail no one can say anything; you were trying to reach for something you love to do and gave it all. That for me is the essence of any sort of resolution.

Let’s face it, there are so many things you can plump for, read more, drink less, take-up more exercise, swear less, have more patience, eat better or even more conscientiously.

I even heard on the radio the other day that if you are a dog owner you can now get dog food made out of insects so that you can reduce your dog’s reliance on meat; thus reducing your impact on the planet.

My suggestion would be if you want to do that, eat less meat yourself, the poor hound has no choice, but you do.

For those of us in the alcohol industry, that age-old promise of drinking less and drinking better always rears its head at this time of the year, and really that is a good thing...

Like everyone else I try to stick with this, and yes, every now and again fail. But what I have learnt is not to beat myself up about the failure. You look at it, look at the flags and move on, keep on trying.

I have said it before, and I will keep saying it, let's embrace the idea of better drinking

As I said last year, “Once you dig up the problems and shine a light on them, they are not so divisive, and with a little help they can be solved.”

Of course this solution is really a journey, a path to walk and try not to stray from; and learning not to beat yourself up if you do.

There’s a great quote from the English Catholic Cardinal Basil Hume, when asked in an interview about what he felt about prayer.

Now go with me here, I know it’s an alien concept to most, but the link I am trying to make here is that for some the two, prayer and keeping resolutions, rely on blind faith and hope, they share certain similarities in my mind.

I realise that you reading this might not share the same belief system, but if you are staring into the dark void of trying to keep a resolution, I think the answer resonates.
When asked what he felt when he prays, he answered, “Oh I just keep plugging away. At best it’s like being in a dark room with someone you love. You can’t see them, but you know they are there.”

So when you feel like you are failing at upholding the resolution you have set, and yes I put myself in that bracket too, I think speak up, tell someone and ask for support; even if that support is sharing what’s happening with another human being.

To my mind, even if they agree you messed up and tell you the hard things you don’t want to hear, if that person has any depth at all, the support is there. That other person in the dark room knows you are out there.

So welcome to January, the month where we all feel the struggle and strains, the blues post festive season. But it’s also a time of year to have a little faith and joy. The rest of the days and month are blank slates. Let’s take a little hope that Spring and a new beginning is on the way, and it will be here sooner than we know.

I have said it before, and I will keep saying it, let’s embrace the idea of better drinking folks.

May your year be full of the most extraordinary and thrilling drams, no matter their cost or age, those drams that move the heart and soul are the ones I am talking about.

Let’s drink with curious minds, clear eyes and in the company of those we love and respect.