Flashbacks

Lately so many memories (childhood, teenage, twenties, early marriage (pre-children years), thirties (child-bearing years), early forties) have been FLOODING into my mind.  It is amazing – overwhelming at times, exhausting at times, sad at times, funny at times – always incredibly therapeutic.  I have also been dreaming vividly!  I am sure all of this must be related to the state of self-reflection I have been in lately.  Blogging is also bringing things to the surface (although I am still somewhat guarded and pretty general in my writing).  I have no doubt giving up alcohol has also helped my mind receive and think about so much more lately.  As of today, I have gone 49 days (7 weeks) without drinking any alcohol.  It is been a long time since I have gone an entire month without drinking any alcohol, but I can now say that about the month of June 2014!   Finally, as I mentioned in my previous post, I am reading a ton. Right now I am reading Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol, by Ann Dowsett Johnston.  It is part personal memoir, part very thorough research about alcohol and women.  It is a fascinating book, and reading it is probably also a major factor in getting me to think back on my own personal 43-year history, in a very deep way lately.  Needless to say, my mind is so active right now!  It would probably be helpful if I started writing about some of this in more detail, but for now I wanted to record how I am feeling – overcome with memories, emotions, thoughts, and feelings – and it really is a good thing.  I feel very alive.  I feel like I have a lot to accomplish.  And I feel confident about my chances!

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Time Management

Time Management – such a great concept in this busy time we live in!

This is a new goal I have, but it is not really new because it it is tied to a lot of my other goals.  As time passes since I have started this blog, I am realizing I need to improve at time management.  A lot fits into this goal:

-making time to spend quality time with my husband and my 3 children (individually and collectively);

-not overextending myself outside of my family life;

-making time for myself (yoga, long showers that I love, reading, etc.);

-managing my time so I am more punctual;

-finishing things I have started (instead of walking through my house from one unfinished project to the next feeling frustrated);

-enjoying the feeling of accomplishment when I get things done (instead of being so hard on myself about all that remains to do).

Mondays are always a To-Do List kind of day, as I am usually coming off a busy weekend with the kids’ sports and other obligations, and feeling overwhelmed with laundry, etc., as well as the schedule for the upcoming week.

For this reason, I am also glad that my weekly “anniversary” for not drinking also falls on a Monday.  As June proceeds, and the Mondays multiply, at least I always have this to feel good about on Mondays – I made it through the weekend without drinking and added another 7 days to my total!

Today is 42 days – 6 weeks alcohol free!  I made it 40 days – plus 2!  This actually exceeds the Lenten promise I did not accomplish the last 3 years!   More on that later, but for now, I am thrilled with passing 40 days.  There actually have been a fair amount of outings and events where I declined alcohol and I am proud of myself.   More on that later too.  But for now, Day 50 (July 1) is in sight – half-way to 100 on Belle’s Challenge, but I plan to keep going after that!

And on that note, I am off to bed to accomplish another goal – 7-8 hours of sleep a night, which also ties in with the time management goal.  I need to keep trying to be productive in the day and at night so I can get to bed at a reasonable hour and enjoy some nighttime reading.  Good night!

Mondays – Weekly Milestones

Monday the 16th of June – Day 35 Alcohol Free!  I made it through the weekend and a total of 5 weeks now!  This past weekend I thought would be the most challenging, but with the momentum I built, and being prepared with answers to politely decline when offered a drink, it was easier than I expected. More details later but wanted to post today as promised to myself.  Tired but proud!  Summer is here and now is my chance to be more “present” and “patient” in my daily life with the kids home from school.

Fridays

Today is a Friday.  Friday the 13th in fact.  Fridays are always hard when it comes to not drinking.  And it is Father’s Day weekend.  My Dad passed away many years ago.  Fathers’s Day weekend is always sad for me.  It is Day 32 for me.  I needed some motivation to get through this weekend.  I read some blogs and found the motivation.  I will not drink this weekend.  I really wanted a glass of wine yesterday; and I know I will want some wine this weekend.  But I will stay strong.  I will not drink.  I am heading to yoga in an hour. That will help me too.  This is a short post but I needed to put it in writing today.  I will not drink today.  I will not drink tomorrow.  I will not drink Sunday, Father’s Day.   I will do this for me, my husband, my children, the memory of my father, and the memory of another relative (also a father) very dear to my heart.  See you Monday Day 35 (5 weeks). 

Today

“Today” is my theme here. Today, like every day, is the first day of the rest of my life – a new start full of new opportunities. Today, June 11, as it approached, became a day I was determined to post here (at my secret place under my secret name :)). Today is Day 30 of being alcohol free! I am doing it! I am accomplishing that goal one day at a time. And in continuing to read sobriety blogs and listening to The Bubble Hour, I am maintaining my motivation and drive to continue alcohol free. It just makes so much sense to me now to not drink.

I don’t know why, but I am a bit surprised, as I think back on the last 30 days, how much time and energy not drinking consumed! But hopefully I will never have another Day 1-30 again. Hopefully, that is it for me! Now I can move on to Days 30-60, 60-90, 90-120, etc.. And hopefully I can do so without obsessing about not drinking so much and turn to my other goals more. As I passed Day 15, and tried to get to Day 30 of not drinking, I went easy on myself on some other goals and that is OK. But I feel like it is time to try to start trying to achieve the balance in my life I am looking for with the five basics – water, food, exercise, sleep, spirituality.  These have been my goals for a while simply put. And my main goal is to strike a balance among them.

Today, even though my to-do list is very long, I made it to a yoga class this morning. And I am so glad I did! It was an awesome class – 92 degrees (love to sweat!) and not too crowded. All of us participants had plenty of space. It was a great workout with a great wind-down at the end. I felt totally present with myself on the mat. My thoughts would wander a bit and them come back to the mat. The heat made me so flexible. In tree pose, I stretched myself up as high as I could and felt taller than ever (which is a pretty amazing feeling when you’re short like me). In dancer’s pose, I kicked back my leg in my hand and reached to the front of the room and felt so elegant (again amazing as I am so not a dancer). In airplane pose, I felt more balanced than ever in that pose and so so free!!!

Now I am back home and back to reality. I have a million things to do, but I wanted to take the time to write here like I promised myself I would. I know I am hard on myself. I get frustrated with myself. I have high expectations of myself and sometimes I disappoint myself by trying to do way too much. But today, at this moment, I am happy with myself. No matter what happens the rest of the day, I will have this moment and this memory.

Tonight, when I put my head on my pillow, I may have some some regrets, but I will also have these three things I can be proud of myself for today – 30 Days alcohol free, getting myself to yoga, and writing this post to congratulate myself. Namaste.

Preserving the Momentum in June

I love this post so much from Soberistas today I need to attach the link so I can easily access it this month.  This post is so motivating.  http://soberistas.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/get-set-ready-go-6-steps-to-reaching-your-alcohol-free-goal/#comments.

This line jumped out at me:  “[T]here are reasons, and good ones at that, for taking a stand and opting out of the booze trap. Now all you need to do is make sure you don’t forget those reasons next time you feel tempted to have a drink…”

I am at Day 22 alcohol-free, and I am feeling really good.  I lost a few pounds, not much because I have been treating myself to a lot of sugar.

I have been trying to incorporate more exercise into my routine.  I love yoga!  Last night, I made it to a Monday night yoga class.  I came home and had a mug of tea.  My husband and I had a great conversation.  I slept so soundly.

I am working on also trying to be present with my husband and kids and extra patient. The extreme irritability of the first weeks of not drinking any wine has mostly worn off.   Sometimes it creeps up and I need to recognize it and handle it though.  But every day is getting better!

Really all is pretty good at home and I am grateful for that!  I feel like I am in a state of self-reflection and self-improvement and my family is going to benefit from this.  I have realized in the last few months that I really need to slow down, make my circle smaller, make my life simpler, and focus on myself a bit more.  I also need to not be hard on myself for doing this but proud of myself.  SELF:  It is OK to focus on myself right now!  I have to keep reminding myself of this.

Everyone in my family is healthy.  The kids are doing well in school.  10 days until summer vacation!  We have our summer plans made – all good stuff – baseball, camp, trips to see grandparents.

This morning’s walk to school with the kids was great.  It is a beautiful June day – mid-70’s not a cloud in the sky.  It is Tuesday, usually my most productive day.  I am getting things done.  I even felt like posting here!

(It’s a good thing this blog is private so far because if I had any readers, they would be 1) disappointed in the lapses of time between posts; and 2) probably really bored!)

I am feeling really scattered at times – it probably shows in my jumping around in these posts!  Even though I don’t post much myself, I am spending a LOT of time reading blogs and the BFB and sometimes feel guilty about how much time I am on my computer during the day.  But hey, I am at 22 days of not drinking so I should give myself a break about that – it is working!

In writing, my life sounds pretty boring, but I really think this is going to be the best summer in years – alcohol free!

I know it is not going to be easy so I need to keep my momentum and motivation.  I need to have my answers ready!   These tips are terrific.  Thanks Soberistas!

Remarkably, I think I have the not-drinking-wine-at-home thing handled.  It surprises me so much!  I thought it would take longer than 21 days!  I drink sparkling water or some kind of bubbly refreshment out of my stemless wine glass and it takes the edge off.  The craving for wine at night is almost totally gone!  My husband has been great (without me even asking) about keeping the wine downstairs and mostly out of my sight.

The weekends have been and are going to continue to be tough!  I live in a great place with lots of opportunities for summer drinks.  I am not naive about how hard it is not to drink in social settings.

I have to tell myself to remember my theme – Viatoday – I am on my way, one day at a time!  I have to tell myself on those nights I am tempted to remember how great I will feel in the morning.

I am on Day 22 and my math brain is kicking in and having fun with the numbers!  Hey, I am more than 1/5 to 100.  On Friday, I will be at Day 25 – 1/4 to 100!  Yahoo!

I can’t let my guard down though.  I know I need to arm and protect myself if I am going to do this. I want to get to 100 Days, then 180 days, then 200, then 250, then 300, 1 year, and then not counting anymore.  I simply want to be a person who does not drink.  I imagine my kids in 20 years telling their friends, “Oh my Mom doesn’t drink.”  I like that!

It is still very early though.  And I know I am going to need these tips, my 100 Day challenge, and all that I read on BFB and sobriety blogs as well as the lovely voices of the Bubble Hour this summer and during our vacations to keep me going!

And I seem to have discovered how to make paragraphs on this blog!  I am sure future readers will appreciate that . . .  if I ever change the setting and let in the online community in!  You can tell I am struggling with this decision of public blogging.  I really want to hear the supportive comments but I am also afraid to just open myself up to the world.   I am not a shy person but for some reason with this I am.   And I am self-conscious here, which I am usually not with others.  In real life, I know how to show confidence and a brave face even if on the inside I am feeling totally the opposite.

But I also know if it was not for sobriety blogs and the motivation they provided, I would not have accomplished all that I have since May 12, 2014.  So thank you to those bloggers who ever may read this.  I know you will understand my decision to keep it private initially and will be so supportive if I change the settings.  You are so kind and non-judgmental!

And I know I am probably going to need to be a bit more open and  honest with myself here too about the not so good experiences that led me to this decision . . . so I don’t forget!