Joe MacLeod’s SOBER CITY 2011

Dear Friends, Family and Followers (The Twitter kind not the Manson kind),

I’m sending out this message to the entirety of my social circle (both inner and outer) as a declaration, affirmation, and proclamation. Sometimes in life we naturally encounter forks in the road that can change our path and sometimes I believe we must make our own “forks” and decide to change our own paths for a multitude of reasons. Sometimes our health is at risk so we take a hard look at our eating habits. Sometimes our jobs are not what they need to be so we think about looking for new employment. Sometimes our happiness is being compromised so we distance ourself from someone or something that’s bringing us down. Other times we just seek change for the sake of change.

I am very fortunate to be living a life I thoroughly enjoy and I have a plethora of invaluable friends and deeply important and loving family members who all mean the world to me. I love acting for a living even though I don’t always get to do it, and I love playing music as much as I can even if I don’t make a living at it. Losing Dad has made the past three years the toughest and most life changing times I have ever experienced, but it has also made me a much stronger and more fully defined person. I’ve had many lows but many highs as well and I’m thankful for both because of the lessons they’ve taught me and the places they’ve brought me.

Like many people at this time I was beginning to think about New Years resolutions and what I would decide to “give up” or “do more of” and I decided to go one step further. I decided to conduct an experiment of sorts. Do something that would seem almost completely impossible for me but would most definitely change me in some profound way if only for a short time. I’m going to the trouble of posting this ridiculously long and self indulgent statement only to bind myself to a public declaration and add a sense of exposed urgency in not wanting to fail everyone that knows me by going back on my word. For the record, the build up sounds way more impressive then the actual idea, but never-the-less if I have any chance of succeeding I need to go all the way and risk everyone holding my feet to the fire on a regular basis. I’m hoping “saving face” turns out to be my saving grace. Oh man that was pretty terrible. I’m “Oprah-ing” this thing way too much. Without further ado (to those still reading and mildly interested) Here is my pledge:

As of January 1st, 2011 for exactly one year,

I AM QUITTING DRINKING ALCOHOL.

Oh, yes. I can hear the laughs and “Bullshit!”s and “Nobody likes a quitter” already and I don’t blame you. There’s a part of me that’s saying the same thing. But the bigger part of me is asking, “But what if I did?”. Now I’m in no way an alcoholic and talking rehab here by any means, but being a Cape Bretoner and musician and very much my father’s son, I absolutely love to drink and we all know I do it quite frequently and in abundance. I’ve taken “breaks” for weeks even months at a time but never an entire year. While that may not seem like that a big deal to some, I know A LOT of you can agree that it is a very difficult and even down right crazy thing to try to attempt. I honestly just need to see if I can actually do it. Health plays a small role in this decision but really only for the weight loss benefits. The biggest reason I feel I need to do this now is to jump start a positive change in my life and challenge myself to be a better version of me. I’m not giving up drinking forever, I like beer too much and I love my red wine and Lemon Hart. I’m just conducting an experiment to test the limits of what I’m capable of and force that fork into the road that is my journey to see where else I can go.

To my close inner circle of friends, don’t stop asking me out to the pub for a pint. I’ll make an effort to go out more than ever and drink all night with you (only with something different in my glass). To my friends I don’t see all the time, we’ll damn well still catch up over drinks and party like we do (I’ll just be using caffeine only this time). To my family, keep that wine flowing at dinners this year, just don’t worry if I cheers you with a different beverage. I do this asking everyone for support and understanding in this endeavor because as head strong as I can be at times, I know I’ll have a lot of tough moments. I’ll never once treat you any different or preach sobriety to you because that’s not why I’m doing this. I STILL LOVE BOOZE and I love people who drink it. I just wanna see how the other side lives for a bit and find out what good can come from it.

Thanks so much for taking the time to hear me out and I apologize if any of this comes off as pretentious or self centered or any other negative adjective that may apply. I’m on a mission to do the impossible and I’m determined to make 2011 the year I reintroduce Joe MacLeod to the world as the person that I truly want to be. Happy New Year and cheers everybody! Here’s to good times and better things!

Joe