November is Here!

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!

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7 thoughts on “November is Here!

  1. Congrats on your 175 days! Hooray you! And congrats on making it through your tough month. I totally get the numbers thing. Like you, I’ve left off counting day to day, but I have a bit of a thing for seven numbers, so ticking them off on Mondays has always been a cheery little boost if I needed one. I hope at least the down parts of your ups and downs have settled. And I hope you enjoy November, and that longed-for vacation. xo

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. It’s nice to hear you enjoy the numbers-thing too! Your comment really give me a boost today. I always feel a bit self-conscious or nervous after I publish a post. While not really earth-shattering, I enjoyed writing this one and talking about how counting really did help me. So far November has been great! October was exhausting though so I am very relieved to be past it.

  2. You know how wonderful and amazing I think you are! Your day counting is great. I loved your post, I love your blog, and I love you! Well done, dear friend. Annie x

    • Annie, thanks so much for your nice words always! I love you too! I feel so grateful to have met you during our tough days in April! I have said it before – you have accomplished so much in 2014! And I am so glad we are still in touch regularly via email and blogs!

  3. I’ve always shied away from the numbers. Because I quit on the 1st of December I know how many months have gone by.
    It has become my new normal. A peaceful, full normal.

    Enjoy your trip!

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