I remember way back in May when I signed up for Belle’s 100 Day Challenge. I downloaded a counting App but I also wrote tiny little numbers in my daily planner/calendar to keep track of my days. I wrote a tiny little number on every day all the way up to 100 which brought me to August 20. And every day in that timeframe, I know exactly what “Day” I was on. I never had to look at my tiny little numbers or App Counter to know which Day I was on. I knew every morning when I woke up and I knew every night when I went to sleep what “Day” I was on. Counting the Days and building this momentum really helped me.
At the same time in May, when I was writing tiny numbers in a calendar, I was also booking a family trip for November 7 to November 12. It struck me that the 6 month mark, (if I was able to continue alcohol free for 6 months), would be the last day of the trip. I thought that would be pretty cool! I set this as a goal without trying to focus on it to much.
When I reached Day 100, and pledged to Belle to do 180 Days, I counted out the days again in my planner, this time counting by 7’s, putting a tiny little number in my planner for each Monday until I got to Day 175, and then I noted the individual days up to Day 180. Back in August, November seemed a long way off too!
But sure enough, guess what happened after Day 100, I wasn’t really thinking every day anymore about not drinking. In other words, especially during the weekdays, it was becoming normal not to drink and not to think about it! I no longer knew every day what “Day” it was. If I was curious, I would look at my App or the closest Monday and do the math. But I was thinking less and less about what “Day” I was on. And I was realizing that this is a good thing!
Weekends were and are still the toughest time. So among other tools (mostly reading blogs, posting in my Gratitude Group, or listening to the Bubble Hour), I would also motivate myself by thinking about that tiny little number – a 3-digit number now though – that I would see on Monday, if I made it through the weekend. And sure enough, when I look at my planner every Monday, that little number brings me joy. I like numbers and math, and also started to notice whatever multiple of 7 the numbers are, thereby calculating the weeks too. In October, for example, October 6 was Day 147 (21 weeks), October 13 was Day 154 (22 weeks), October 20 was Day 161 (23 weeks), October 27 was Day 168 (24 weeks). I did stop and write down Day 150 on October 9, and wrote a blog post that day, because I thought that was quite a milestone. And getting that far was not easy!
Also, October was a tough month, full of ups and downs. I knew it would be tough – but this became all the more reason to get through October without drinking! As Mrs. D recommends and Belle too – in October I was trying to look on the bright side and tell myself at least I am experiencing the ups and downs head on – and letting myself feel what was happening and I was not escaping into wine. And I was not obsessing over what “Day” it was. But October could not end soon enough for me.
I tried to follow my philosophy of one day at a time, but I found myself really looking forward to November. I was thinking about and longing for that tiny little number I would see on the November 3 page – “175”. I knew the first Monday of November would be Day 175 (25 weeks). That will feel like a milestone, I remember thinking – that day will feel great!
And It does. I decided I should write something today here. (Because on November 8, I will be celebrating on vacation my Day 180, and will probably not be near my computer). So today, November 3, Day 175, was a good day and I have decided it would be a good day to write something after my Day 150 post.
It turns out all I am writing about is how I counted my days and came up with my idea that I wanted to write something today! But it is something – because I am here – I made it to November. And not drinking, as hard as it has been at times to abstain from wine, has been a really good thing for me. It is good.
And I plan to keep going. I will keep going beyond Day 180, beyond the 6 month mark, and into the 200’s. I don’t know if I will start counting by the 12th of the month or by 25’s then in my calendar . . . but I am not going to analyze that now. I do know that counting the days and the weeks has been a good tool for me. And it helps me when I start to think too far ahead to remind myself to just focus on today, one day at a time.
So, I am going to follow my own advice and bring myself back to appreciating the moment here and now on my Day 175. And I am going to feel grateful that November (elusive far-off November) is here!