Another great day with the boys, filled with exciting new things like buying crickets to drive our bug racer, making banana bread together, and trying out a new juice with the two of them providing ingredient suggestions. Citrus Zinger ingredients below (turned out amazing!):
6 large carrots
1 yellow squash
1 medium ginger root
The day has been one in a series of vacation days, so much so that I totally forgot it was New Years Eve. I even made plans to work out tonight, not thinking that the gym would be closed. Big C and I have no plans – happily so. The idea of getting dressed up, going out in this bitter cold and being surrounded by people getting drunk is not my idea of fun. Getting older? Possibly. Getting wiser? Definitely.
So tonight will be spent home, maybe a fire to make us feel special, and fingers crossed – maybe even a little quality conversation. C’s downstairs now making a special NYE dinner (shrimp for starters, roast beef, risotto, mushrooms, and sautéed spinach), and I’m up here on the computer lining up some 2018 freelance items and contemplating resolutions for the new year. Lucky me, right?
The main focus is on slowing down and centering myself, with meditation top on the list. Sleep is a close second. Reading more, playing piano more, and yoga are all on the list. Cutting back on the weed, eating healthier (more juice!), and continuing to work on myself, physically and mentally, are as well.
A big project I know I need to work on more is focusing on my own issues more than on my husband’s. I can’t tell you how often in the last few months I have ruminated away over an issue, presumably his, that is making my life miserable, only to realize that I have that same issue – and maybe, just maybe, the real problem is with me – not him. Or at the very least, I’m more upset by the issue because I also struggle with it.
Lots to think about, work on, and reward myself with in the new year.
A day well spent at the Lincoln Science Center, enjoying a family membership gifted by my brother. I haven’t worked out since the Thursday before the holiday when I unintentionally boxed my knuckles into a bruised mess, but the boys are keeping me running, and today – although I was planning on working out tonight – I’m feeling spent.
I must admit, my brain has been on a bit of a hiatus as well. I’m sure the uptick in evening smoke sessions has a little to do with it.
I guess that’s what the holidays are for, right? Rest. celebration. Loss of self-restraint.
Of course I’m not proud and also not happy with the way it makes me feel, physically. But I’m enjoying the break from the usual pace and will be refreshing my resolutions in the New Year like the rest of humanity.
Speaking of which, I’m super psyched. Husband bought me a fancy juicer for Christmas and I immediately went out and purchased way too much produce. First successful juice attempt DOWN. Recipe for the refreshing, not-too-sweet, juice below:
Wow. The whole week’s gone by in a flash. Apologies that I didn’t keep up with this! We were out of town, and I took advantage of being unplugged – not touching a computer once. Saturday was a blur of travel to chilly Upstate NY, then Christmas Eve excitement followed by the wonderful Christmas chaos experienced through the eyes of two three-year-olds. Then, we settled into a vacation from the normal adrenalin-fueled pace, thanks to Nana’s planned-out schedule of fun, and grandparents willing to babysit.
Thoughts of alcohol were sprinkled throughout.
The worst moment was probably on our date night. We’d picked out a hip, upscale restaurant to visit, and checked out the menu in advance. With so many tasty gourmet cocktails and craft beer selections, the realization that trying new drinks was NOT going to be part of the experience was difficult. It was hard in the anticipation of the date, and even harder at the restaurant.
After a bit of thought I realized, I don’t know that I’ve ever been on a dinner date as a drinking-aged adult, without drinking. Incredible and kind of sad, really.
But certainly with C, I’m 99.9% positive I’d always had something to drink on every one of our dates until this one (minus pregnancy of course).
So I ordered a “non-sweet Mocktail, bartender’s choice” and received a refreshing and unique ginger/lime concoction, which I enjoyed twice. It wasn’t the same as C’s Manhattan, or red wine with dinner, or beer & bourbon post-meal, and I didn’t catch a warm buzz over the romantic candlelight.
But I did enjoy staying sober and in control of my emotions, able to communicate well with C (lately, our rare dates have devolved into nasty arguments as the alcohol freed our tongues), while watching him become more inebriated as the evening wore on. There were some beautiful shared moments that I tried to enjoy, knowing that he would probably not remember them, and that his romantic gestures were amplified or distorted by the alcohol so unfortunately discounted, but in spite of that – our time together went well. And I was glad to be able to drive home over icy roads without concern. Waking up during the night with the boys, and then in the morning at 6:40am was so much easier without the hangover.
The whole trip was easier without the holiday hangovers. Even though my family doesn’t drink much (in fact, was *I* the only one drinking to excess most of the time??), I did have to make a conscious choice not to drink over the Christmas meal and at other moments where people were enjoying beers in the evenings.
My mom, knowing that I’d quit, had alternatives on-hand, and although I’m not much of a soda drinker, I enjoyed a few blood orange Pellegrinos.
Beyond date-night, the other difficult moment came when we arrived back home yesterday after a strenuous frenzy of packing and long 6hr drive. Usually, I would have immediately, I mean even before unpacking the car, made both of us a “take-the-edge-off, we-deserve-this” stiff G&T – probably the equivalent of 3 drinks in a glass. Mostly gin, a splash of tonic, that we would then drink while unpacking and setting up dinner. The brain would melt as we instantly caught a buzz, and suddenly the evening would be bright again.
C did this, of course. But I was left with my post-holiday, post-trip blues, a car to unpack, two kids running ramshackle through the house after being cooped up all day, and dinner to assemble. Who knew it could be such a struggle?!
It took me by total surprise though I should have known it would happen. I guess I wasn’t ready for how much I’d depended on that cocktail to “fix” the way I felt after that drive. And now, I’m left wondering why exactly I feel so desperate in that moment. Is it the let-down of the holiday gone past? Missing family left so far away? The stress of packing and driving with the kids? Probably some mix of all of the above.
But I resisted, and am now headed into a new year with one more holiday hurdle under my belt.
As the wrapping and packing and baking and holiday-making is happening, I’m realizing that I’m not as prepared to be alcohol-free this holiday as I was for Thanksgiving. No AF drinks, no thoughts about what to say or do when I feel stuck, no real thinking about it at all.
I’m not sure if that’s a good sign or not, but I know I’m starting to feel unprepared. Thankfully, we’re visiting my side of the family for this holiday, and they don’t drink much. My sister, who would normally join me for a wine or beer, is pregnant right now. And my two brothers who would probably be disappointed I wouldn’t be joining them for a late night bourbon and drunk-y chat are not going to be in town. My folks are essentially teetotalers.
Uncle T is a bit of a lush, but that won’t be tempting (although his wine choices may be) and his wife and kids are generally disapproving and abstain. So, now that I’ve talked through it, maybe I’ll be fine.
I’ve cut back on the fancy AF drinks lately – got a little tired of the Kombucha, and found some pricey cold-pressed juices I like a lot but don’t have the $$ for on a regular basis. In the evening, to decompress, my recent go-to has been decaf tea. Occasionally, with a toasted english muffin and honey.
Lost today’s post into the ether, so this is gonna be short.
Had a major urge today, after coming downstairs from my final day at work before the holiday. There was a real sense of celebration and relief, and just as I was arriving in the kitchen, C was opening a bottle of wine.
Although I didn’t even look to see what kind, I immediately WANTED A GLASS.
I mean, I’d earned it for damn sure. And what better way to kick off the holidays than with a nice glass of wine. Chill out, relax with the kids, enjoy a nice dinner while sipping away, right?
Can’t believe how strong the urge was.
But I made it through, mainly with distraction and the promise of a puff tonight before tackling the mountain of present-wrapping and other Christmas magic that needs to happen.
Still leaning on that crutch, but I made it through.
Today was my last day in the office before the break, so there were a lot of Merry Christmases and Happy Holidays, and a small gift exchange with a good friend. She was touched by the gift and as we chatted, I found myself opening up about quitting, and why, and how it’s affected me and going on and on until I felt a bit embarrassed.
She, of course, being the wonderful person she is, was open and appreciative about all of it – even sharing her own attempts to cut back and thoughts on the reasons why she drinks, especially during the holidays.
As I drove home, I went back over what I’d said and how much gushing I’d done about CONNECTION… and then it hit me.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve felt disconnected from the world around me. Apart. A loner, who no one really understood. Not part of a “tribe” or a group, often fighting against settings where I had to be part of a team or a club. At times, I’ve embraced this and at others, I’ve questioned why. What is wrong with me that I can’t connect?
And now? That part of me is still there, but I feel like I’m growing out of it. Or at least more aware of the reason Why.
Good therapy session today. Some combination between a great therapist, and being ready for personal change has helped these sessions be really effective. Many ah-ha! moments.
One of today’s less personal ones related to my inability to Be Still. It explains why, of all the items on my list of self-care, sleep and meditation are the two I have yet to actually try with any success.
Once we get through the holiday madness (only two more work days before the packing and wrapping and baking craziness begins, then we float into Nana & Grampy land where everything gets easier for a few days…), that’s my plan in the new year.
Better rest, and a more sincere attempt at learning meditation.
The fun continues today. But rather than bore anyone with the ongoing flu debacle happening around here, I’d rather provide an honest update on my coping mechanisms for quitting.
When I started this process, I had a list of ways I thought I would avoid drinking, and things I’d do to replace the urge. Healthy ways, for the most part. And I’ve reported on a few of them here: exercise, reading, listening to music, working on creative projects.
But as the Amazon Prime packages roll in in time for Christmas, I must admit there are a few not-as-healthy replacements that I’ve been noticing, primarily online shopping and social media addiction.
I’ve excused the shopping with Christmas, and the fact that I’m pulling in time-and-a-half a lot lately for the extra freelance hours. But I can see it’s not a great trend.
And the SM stuff – I always had a weakness for that, but now, I often find myself obsessively, compulsively scrolling Facebook late at night when I KNOW I should be in bed. The same kind of feeling I’d have while making my late evening drinks… I’m gonna regret this, why am I doing this, I know better, every day it’s the same story…
What is it with unhealthy addictions? Guess I have some self-work to do… I’m obviously not getting to the root of the problem yet.
The day started well. A trip to Allaire State Park for a taste of Christmas from a simpler time. Met up with good friends and their little boy, so all three boys enjoyed their toddler status by begging cookies and candy off anyone nearby.
This afternoon’s nap gave me an hour to work on the puppet theater while C went to work another gig.
Then it all went south.
W woke up from the nap feeling puny, not his normal self. And after feebly attempting to make playdough ornaments, he promptly got up, went in the other room, and projectile vomited all over the couch, rug, table, himself, and god knows what else I haven’t found yet.
After Friday night’s 3 hour session that I could recall in fresh detail, I buckled in for the long haul. Sure enough, around 3.5 hrs later, he was finally done.
Now they’re in bed, and I’ve resorted to smoking up tonight. God damn, I felt like I’d earned a relax. Laundry’s going, and I’m headed downstairs to finish the last velvet stage curtain.
Feeling the weight of tomorrow’s workload as well as the concerns over W – how to balance family responsibilities with work responsibilities when both weigh so heavily.
Why does it feel like this unwinnable tug-of-war affects us Moms more?