Day 183

Roasted cauliflower salad with lemon tahini dressing


Percolating along over here, still sober. The daily epiphanies may have slowed down but good stuff is still happening under the surface. Seismic shifts without the earthquakes. And once in awhile, something will crop up to remind me how far I’ve come.

Last night, cleaning up the downstairs on my way to bed, I drank some water from what I thought was my water glass… only to realize it had been C’s and he’d had something alcoholic in it, beer or bourbon – then filled it with water after. Even watered down, the taste of stale alcohol was completely disgusting. I found myself recoiling in a visceral way. In only six months, I’ve completely lost my taste for it.

Of course, I wonder if that same reaction would happen had I tried the pinot noir he opened for dinner tonight. A bottle from one of the verticals we have from William Selyem, a relatively unknown winemaker that specializes in the pinot noir grape – and I will admit to feeling a pang of longing. The color was perfect, a clear jewel-tone red, with legs for days and a thin clear layer on top… 

But then the longing passed, and I enjoyed the rest of the evening without the dry mouth, the impending headache (wine always gave me an early hangover), and the added impatience with boys’ bedtime routine.

Tomorrow marks 6 months. 

I’m going to celebrate with a nice workout, green smoothie for breakfast, new hearty salad recipe for lunch, and lots of outdoor playtime with the boys.

Gratitude Postscript

I am extremely grateful for the wonderful family day we had – running around our favorite local beach in a 50-degree, perfectly sunny day, biking on the boardwalk and running into random Easter-bunny fun (something I wanted to do this weekend but hadn’t planned ahead for). The boys were uncharacteristically easy, and we even went out to eat for lunch. Overall, it was a smooth-sailing kind of day, and I’m appreciating every moment of it.

Day 182


Today was supposed to be our first day of Spring Break but work got in the way. So now, I’m wrapping up the details and have finally, I think, extricated myself from all responsibilities. Let the relief soak in!!

Now, I can finally wrap my head around this upcoming week with the boys – which, in spite of recent parenting struggles, I am actually looking forward to. Maybe we’ll even take a little trip – certainly a day trip or two… Grounds for Sculpture if it’s nice, Liberty Science Museum if it’s not. Maybe a visit in to Brooklyn to visit family… now that work stress is off my back, anything seems possible.

This is also the week I start my 90-day workout program, which I intend to enjoy thoroughly.

It’s amazing what a good chat with a sympathetic friend, plus the anticipation of a little time off has done to shift my mood.

Now, I’ve got two crazy boys in my ear wanting to have a pillow fight so I’m out.

Gratitude Postscript

I’m grateful to be heading into a weekend and week ahead with zero desire to drink. I’m grateful for two little boys who remind me to lighten up. I’m grateful for the upcoming break!

Day 181


This is gonna be quick because it’s late and I’m exhausted. Today was a scramble from the start. Morning routine went better than it has lately, because I laid down the law from the get-go. Guess I need to get better at that.

Then work insanity from the moment I dropped kids off – juggling multiple conference calls and work that needed to get done at the same time. And of course, I’d agreed to join my friend for the HRC talk at Rutgers in the afternoon, so I needed to magically get a full day’s work done in 1/2 the time (which didn’t happen).

On to Rutgers, one ear in yet another con call while chatting with my friend, M, who I hadn’t seen in way too long. Catching up with her was so nice, getting a chance to verbalize some of the changes I’m going through while also picking her brain about this age with twins given that she’s a fellow mom of twins. 

Seeing Hillary was a real experience, while she answered questions in an informal format in front of a packed-out and enthusiastic audience. We both got the OK from our spouses to stay out for dinner, and enjoyed that thoroughly (neither of us drinking!) before heading home.

Now, I’m beat – just wrapping up the final work stuff of the day and headed down to meditate, then shower, then bed.

Today’s catch-up session was a nice reminder that in spite of my recent discouragement, I have come a long way and am slowly making progress even on my more persistent personal issues.

Gratitude Postscript

Thank god for quality friends like M, who bring out the best in you but also understand when you reveal your worst side. 

Day 180


Well, a look at my sober calendar informed me this morning that although 180 days is 6 months in theory, the actual math of the last few months means I’m still shy by a few days.

Which is fine by me as today was anything but exemplary.

In fact, I’m phoning it in today and may even smoke a little pot, in spite of my “not on weeknights” rule. It was One of Those Days – and tonight, honestly, I just want a break from it all, including the self-work of wondering Why I’m Escaping. So my little pot pillow will have to do. At least I’m not drinking?

Headed downstairs to finally have dinner at 8:30pm, pack lunches, finish laundry, create the spring party favors for daycare that I promised (why?!), and then shower, maybe meditate and fall face first into my pillow.

Just a quiet evening.

Gratitude Postscript

I’m grateful that work has slowed down enough for me to feel like I can take a true break next week during Spring Break – now, I just need to rally the desire to enjoy it with the boys who are driving me nuts lately. Well, that wasn’t the greatest expression of gratitude now was it, Self? Let’s try again. I’m grateful that my friend offered me an extra ticket to go see HRC tomorrow at Rutgers, and somehow life opened up and I can go. I’m grateful for friends interested in splitting a CSA share with us, and for friends wanting to join me on a motivation train for fitness that I’ve set up on FB. Good people around me, so chin up, Self and get over this slump.

Day 179

Vital, by Yellena James


Last night’s meditation had me ask the question “What are you resisting?”

Still mulling over that question, so in true procrastination fashion I spent all free moments today researching a new 90-day workout challenge now that my 30-day is complete. The hurdle I’ve hit with mental/emotional progress is discouraging and tough, so I’ve redirected my energy toward the simpler, more achievable goals – and right now, that’s the physical stuff.

I’m proud of those achievements, and looking to capitalize on them by doubling down (well actually tripling down). Positive energy begets positive energy though, so I’m hoping that my efforts in the physical arena will boost my motivation in the emotional and mental areas as well.

For now, I’m resisting my own internal struggles apparently… but consistent exercise and meditation may help me face them.

Gratitude Postscript

I’m grateful for a free evening ahead, for lunch plans in the future with mr. C, for progress on our outdoor shower plans – finally!, and for a better mood than I was in yesterday.

Day 178

no divulgada, by Lena Gutschank


On the phone with my dad this morning and found myself venting a bit about the recent work and family mini-dramas. He and I have a weekly Monday AM call that I’m grateful for, even if I’m not always chipper and positive every time we talk. And this call was no exception. He talked a bit about the next few months before his retirement this July, how he is transitioning into this new phase of his life, ready or not. He and mom were finishing a late breakfast and sounding very leisurely – something I must say is not normal for my folks, but quite refreshing.

In contrast, I had just come away from 2.5 hours of morning chaos: a quick Tabata workout at 6:30am, then breakfast with the boys and morning prep – getting everyone dressed and out the door 10 minutes late for daycare. I have no idea how this all takes 2+ hours, but somehow I can’t manage to get it done any quicker – I’m racing the whole time.

So my commute is a welcome quiet zone between work and home that I like to fill with e-books, podcasts, music, and calls with loved ones.

And after venting a bit to Dad, he expressed how full my life was right now – how he had no idea how I did it all. I admitted “not very well!” and then found myself saying that the one big success of my life right now has been quitting alcohol. And that has made all the difference. I honestly have no idea how I was doing it all before, without the hours that alcohol was sucking away from me in the evenings, and dealing with the handicap it gave me during the day. 

And here I thought it was HELPING.

With all the juggling and balls constantly dropping left and right, I’m grateful for the last 178 days of sober success. At least I’m staying consistent with this one important goal.

Gratitude Postscript

I’m grateful that C is getting an Xray today to diagnose some back problems that were exacerbated over the weekend (and kind of hoping the doc sees a hint of fatty liver and warns him – is that bad? omg it is) I’m grateful for a relatively slow week at work. I’m grateful for fitting in my workout today before the boys got up. I’m grateful for room to grow, and for life working hard to teach me the lesson of acceptance.


Day 177

Loneliness, by Lin Ran


I posted in my sobriety group on Facebook about being in a slump, coming up on 6 months and just feeling like my personal development had hit a wall. The two types of responses so far have been: 1) Work the steps, stay with the program, talk with your sponsor (yeah, none of that helps me as AA is a bit too cultish for my taste) and 2) Wow, you’re brave for saying that. Thanks for voicing what a lot of us feel.

The second response I find interesting. Why am I brave for admitting that I’ve hit a slump? I certainly don’t feel that way. I feel weak and actually a bit shy about it – hence the reach-out in anonymous Facebook land rather than anywhere else, even here.

But that’s where I’m at. Frustrated with my lack of progress on the personal front, in spite of great strides on the physical front. I’m still losing my temper with the kids and falling into the same old pit-falls with C.

I guess tomorrow is a new day. One day at a time, as they say in AA.

Gratitude Postscript

I’m grateful that I didn’t expect much from today. C’s back is out, so it’s been a full day of me & the boys, who also didn’t nap, which meant there has been no time for anything other than playing with them and making meals. I’m grateful for the yummy gazpacho I had time to make, miraculously while cleaning up from breakfast. I’m grateful for our friends & neighbors who didn’t mind when we just dropped in on our bike ride this afternoon.

Day 176


Really struggling, and trying to figure out why. Most likely it’s that I’ve overbooked myself (as I sit here on the computer after almost a full day of weekend work for four different, non-agency clients) and am stressed out. On top of that stress is the pressure I’m putting on myself to fit in healthy stuff, like the yoga class this morning that kicked my ass, the recipes, and oh shit – right I still have to do my daily workout challenge. And of course, last but not least, my expectations that this will all help me be a more Zen mother and wife, which lately has not been happening at all.

C, in a very generous offer, took the boys to the aquarium this morning so I could fit in all the freelance and a bit of yoga – in an attempt to get it done today to leave tomorrow free for other things. The plan was that they’d be gone until about 3pm, boys would nap in the car.

At 1:30, I hear giggles and look out the window. They’re back! I was nowhere near done with my work, had yet to eat lunch, boys bedding was still in the wash, and nothing to be done about it. I admit, I was snappish with C when he was POSITIVE he told me they’d be back before 2pm and without naps. 

Of course, that conversation happened last night after he’d had more than a bit to drink, and like many conversations – he didn’t remember (or in this case, he misremembered). This may be one of my biggest pet peeves with having a partner who drinks every night. The memory loss.

Almost daily, there is some piece of information that I realize was lost in our communication from the night or nights before. I’ve learned not to have important conversations in the afternoon or evening, for this reason among many others, but the effect of the loss is still there. It’s common for me to ask, “Do you remember talking about XYZ last night?” because most of the time, he does not. So I leave notes, or I remind, or I just reiterate without reminding him that we already talked about that.

But today, I snapped. 

“I remember exactly what was said because I was SOBER! Drinking and memory do NOT go together! You said 3pm and naps in the car, I remember distinctly! ARGGGH!”

And then stormed off to deal with bedding laundry.

Now, I’ve cooled off and realize how stupid that outburst was – certainly not very helpful, and definitely not grateful for what he DID do – taking the boys out of the house to give me time to work.

I need to get better at feeding the Good and starving the Bad. 

Gratitude Postscript

I’m grateful to C for the time to work. I’m grateful for a strenuous and technical yoga class at the new studio I’ve discovered near our house (and grateful for its proximity). I’m grateful that I got a lot accomplished, enough to not work tomorrow. I’m grateful for a simple evening ahead with family.

Day 175


What a day. So much work drama I feel like crying and it’s so not worth it. And I failed at home too. This morning, in spite of a short cardio workup before boys got up, I still lost it with them. 

My personal health goals are chugging along merrily: making green smoothies, working out, yoga-ing it up, etc. But hot damn, the personal work is so so so much more difficult.

So many more ingrained patterns to relearn, so many sharp points to get stuck on, and life just keeps on coming.

I feel like I need to double-down on the meditation thing. Really commit to doing it once a day, and see if that helps. Because, god help me, if not – I’m running out of options…

Or maybe I just need to have more patience with myself, as well as those around me.

Gratitude Postscript

I’m grateful it’s Friday. I’m grateful that after today’s drama I still have a job. I’m grateful for the close friends and family I can go to for wisdom about raising kids. I’m grateful for C, who has offered to give me a break this weekend to work on freelance (much needed), in spite of the fact that I’m sure he could use the break too. And I’m grateful to the boys for stretching me and helping me grow.


Day 174

Snow Day Thursday

After a fun morning clearing snow and making (and alternately destroying) snow sculptures with the boys, I headed right in to deal with a few agency fire drills and am slowly coming down from that adrenalin infusion into a sleepy, Vitamin-D-induced afternoon vibe.

I still have plenty to do today, but I’m finding myself fresh out of motivation at the moment – so I’m here, procrastinating while a file downloads.

You know what’s one thought that occurs to me on a frequent basis now? I find myself going back to an email or a text that I sent late the prior evening, and doing a double-take. In the past (if I remembered), I would have that sinking feeling of “Shit, what did I say. Was it obvious I’d been drinking? I should re-read and do some damage control.” Now, I go down that path but immediately reverse – because, guess what Self, I was sober! No worries! I may have been a bit tired, but the likelihood of regret is slim.

Late last night, I got the text from the boy’s daycare that they were canceling today. Did it throw a wrench in my plans, without leaving me much time to find childcare or work coverage? Yes. Was I pissed? Yes. Did I shoot off a frustrated rage-filled email to anyone, or send a work email full of defensive language about how I wouldn’t be able to work today? Nope! I had the sober peace of mind to handle it like an adult.

Go Self.

Gratitude Postscript

I’m grateful for time with the boys even if I lost my temper slightly when they started destroying the snow race car I made for them. I’m grateful for Little C’s unique fashion choices which have made the last couple days fun. I’m grateful for tonight’s self-care for women enterpreneurs workshop (that’s a mouthful) in Asbury Park, attending by myself and looking forward to meeting other women business owners. And of course, I’m grateful to C for giving me a night out.