May seems to be an auspicious month for me for giving things up. I don’t know why, but all of my many abstentions seem to have begun in or around the month of May.
Maybe it’s something to do with spring, the return of the sun, an eagerness to move on to new things, but the major changes I’ve made and stuck with all seem to have taken root at the same time of year.
At midnight on the 23rd of May 2005 I made a solemn vow to give up tobacco.
In 2007, after dancing around it for nearly a year, I committed to going fully vegan.
In 2008 I realised I wasn’t going to be messing about with any highs, legal or otherwise, anymore.
And in 2010 I finally swore off alcohol.
Been totally sober, animal product, and stimulant free since then, and I like it. It’s better for your body, better for your head, just better all round really. I never have a stinking hangover, never get into fights with my friends on a night out, don’t have to worry about paranoia attacks, food scares, or anything like that. I just go about my day, doing my thing, and it’s all good.
If you’re thinking about giving something negative up, do. You could make a solemn vow, like I did with tobacco; or you could take a week off, then two, then three, then a month, etc., like I did with alcohol. It isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth the effort. No attempt at positive change is a waste of time.
And don’t wait until some special set of circumstances kicks in, like New Year’s Eve. This is your starting point, right here, right now. Don’t put it in the future, because that is where it’ll stay. Make it something you do today, and eventually you’ll do it forever.