I love the “Word of the Year” idea.  My last post indicated I am not making any resolutions.  I have been thinking about what my “Word of the Year” would be, however.  Unlike specific resolutions, the idea of a “Word of the Year” seems a bit more broad, open-ended, adaptable to me.  After all, we’re talking about 12 full months!  I also liked when I read somewhere that you are allowed until January 31 to choose and change your word.  So I took my time in choosing my word.  I needed a word that would help me continue with what I started in 2014.  Around mid-month, I starting thinking about “Growth.”   A goal to keep growing in all the areas I am striving to improve might work, I thought!  I shared the idea of “Growth” with a few people so far, and I’ve gotten positive feedback.   I have joked with my kids, “It does not mean I want to get any bigger; I want to grow on the inside.”  It means I want to grow in lots of areas:  love, presence, awareness, gratitude, kindness, initiative, time management, self-care, and many other possible areas I am not thinking of at present.  I figure with “Growth,” there is always room for this list to grow!  So I am going with “Growth” in 2015. Today is also Day 260 of being alcohol-free.  In 40 Days (essentially equal to another Lent), I will be at Day 300.  That is part of how this alcohol-free journey started. Two years ago, I decided to give up wine for Lent – I made it about half way through.  Last year, I also decided to give up wine for Lent.  Again, I did not make it through, with lots of starts and stops throughout those 40 Days.  Finally, on May 12, 2014, three weeks after Easter, I had built my resolve and decided to go fully alcohol-free for 100 Days.  I joined Belle’s challenge and that worked!  I joined the 180 day Challenge, and then signed up for Team 365 after that.  And here I am at Day 260. My plan is to keep going, one day at a time.  I know now from personal experience, in addition to hearing this great advice early on, when you take one day a time, the days add up.  This year on Ash Wednesday (February 18), I could be at Day 282 (if I keep on going!).  On Easter, (April 5), I could be at Day 328 (if I keep on going!).  At that point, a year, 365 full days, would be in sight! But I am getting way ahead of myself. As I have also learned in the past 8 1/2 months, the days are going to pass whether I drink a glass of wine or not.  The world does not revolve around me.  And God is not going to grant me worry-free, stress-free days as a reward just because I stopped drinking.  In fact, I am going to have to deal with the worries and stress in other more mindful ways, without the escape of alcohol. Also, the thoughts do come sometimes.  “OK, after a year, you can stop this little exercise in will-power and go back to normal.”  No, I respond to myself.  Why is drinking so normal?  Who decided this?  And It seems like more than an exercise in will-power.  I am learning so much.  A gentler little voice sometimes tries to tell me, “After a year, it will be OK to have a glass of wine with friends every once in a while.  You can just continue to be alcohol-free at home.”  But so far, I have been able to push the voice away, and bring myself back to today. “I will not drink today. And, I will take one day a time.” Most times, when I don’t have these thoughts, I feel really good.  More often than not these days, I feel a peace inside of me, a warmth; I feel love and hope.  I also feel a motivation now to dig deeper and figure myself out more.  I feel a need in 2015 to learn more about myself.  So I will keep on going.  I will keep on growing.

Happy New Year 2015

I don’t really have any New Year resolutions.  I am just going to keep doing what I am doing – trying to be true to myself – as I continue work on the many personal goals I have mentioned previously.  If I do so, my loved ones will benefit too.  And I had a great realization in the past 7 months – I fall into the category of my “loved ones”!  I love my husband and family so much; and I also love myself.  I know I am really trying and I am proud of myself.  I am on a good path.  I will keep appreciating every day as a gift.  I will keep thinking every morning “Today is the first day of the rest of my life.” If I am hesitant on what to do next in a certain situation, I will think, “Do the next right thing.”  If I make mistakes, I will make amends.  And I will forgive myself.  I will keep practicing kindness and gratitude.  I am glad I decided to stop drinking in the Spring and to take it one day at a time.  And now I am here having just closed out 2014 after 233 Days alcohol free.  It felt really good to have an alcohol free New Year’s Eve!  I am thoroughly enjoying, at 12:21 am in the time zone I am in on vacation, all the New Year Facebook posts, and the blog posts here, and today’s posts from my Gratitude Group.  So I decided to do a quick post here.  I am clear-headed and happy.  In 2015, I will keep going “on my way” – Viatoday.