There is hope for the catering industry

It worked. No alcoholic drinks on my birthday for the first time in about thirty years. Turned out to be a bigger challenge than expected. It gave me some great insights.

  1. Do not try not thinking about alcohol.
  2. Shift your focus.
  3. There is hope in the hospitality industry.

The first two insights are related: your intention not to do something is more difficult than your intention to do something. Resolve not to think of a pink elephant and go, you see a beautiful plump bright pink specimen appear in front of your mind's eye.

By emphasizing that I will stop drinking alcohol for a month, I keep thinking about alcohol.

If I focus on the fact that I will live a healthy life for a month, then that is where my attention goes.

That insight doesn't sink in until after my birthday. The whole day is a 'battle' against alcohol. A friend, unaware of my quest, presents me with a beer package and I feel a twinge of longing. The fact that I don't go for the ax during dinner with my love in the evening is only due to a soft drink menu that is even more adventurous than the wine list (which brings me to insight 3). When I get home I doubt: still have a glass of that good bottle? I decide that the evening is still too short to sin.

All in all, I try to avoid drinking alcohol throughout the day. And that's stupid, because other than that I'm actually not so concerned with the fact that I'm dry.

That's because I've shifted my focus to something else: I've started a search for adventurous non-alcoholic drinks. Because let's face it: of the non-alcoholic drinks in the world, only coffee and tea come close to a 'wild taste experience'. All the sweet stuff in soft drinks is more of the same, even if they are 'a little strange'. When you buy a bottle of Coke, you know exactly what it will taste like. Besides, you won't try all kinds of different kinds because only one is the best. It's a different story with beer, wine and whiskey. Due to the variety in origin and composition, they remain exciting.

In the restaurant on my birthday, however, I discover that, in addition to the too sweet sodas served in most restaurants, there is a universe of adventurous alternatives, much less sweet and just as surprising as the wine list. There are no fewer than eleven special drinks on the menu: spiced lemon & rose, ginger & lime leaf, yuzu (whatever it may be)… Each and every one of them makes me curious and I think: a few more catering operators who will participate in IkPas, and there is hope in the catering industry!

Margreet (51) lives with her husband and teenage son in the middle of the country. She is now an experienced IkPasser, although not all her pass attempts were equally successful. After a month of Dry January, she continues for another period of Short Dry.


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