At the airport now, flight home delayed by 1.5 hours.
Thank god co-workers are not drinking as this would be a tempting environment.
In the past, I used to drink regularly before flights. The airport bar, with its overpriced cocktails and “Would you like a double?” bartenders, and of course, the excuse that you’ll be immobilized over the next few hours anyway, had always offered a welcome reward for the stress of travel.
In fact, I think this is the first flight I’ve taken since quitting. Certainly, the first work-related trip… which adds its own excuse to drink. We earned it!
All the stress of preparing and delivering the presentation, of getting up at 4am to meet colleagues, of flying in and out in the same day… plus the comradery of completing all of this as a team. Surely, having a drink together is well deserved.
Well, not today. Even in spite of the delay.
I’m grateful for how well the meeting went, for the travel time to read a book on my to-do list, for the time building work relationships, and for my husband who is holding down the fort while I’m away.
Freelance travel plans are taking priority over any self-work today, although thoughts on acceptance (primarily of my husband and our marriage in its current state) are percolating along in the brain pan.
Tomorrow, I leave home at 5am for an early flight to NC. After a 5-hour meeting I return, hopefully home bound 9pm.
Today at work, discussions on where to eat and what to drink are circulating – with the assumption being that we’ll all be drinking with the client at some point. My resolve is unchanged, but I will admit to having some thoughts about how my teetotaling ways might come across to this team of clients.
Then I remind myself that no one will be giving me much thought at all, and even if they do stop to wonder whether I’ve had a problem with alcohol in the past, who cares.
A little window into a current research project of mine, the scientifically-proven benefits of intermittent fasting (IF)
My perceptive friend said this years ago and it’s really stuck with me. In a moment of angst as I sobbed to her about a recent breakup she sighed,”You make life so difficult, my dear”. This comment, coming at a moment of vulnerability, was hard to hear when I would have preferred warm, comforting words that pushed the responsibility of my pain on anyone but myself.
But over the years, with the distance needed to process and observe, I’ve noticed the truth in this statement.
It always comes back to me in moments when life does feel extremely difficult – and I reflect on the possibility that I’ve somehow, for some reason, caused it to be this way. And often, I have.
I don’t know why I do this, why I choose to challenge myself, overwhelm myself, take on more than I can handle, try to change things I have no control over.
But I do know that just in recent weeks and days, I’m starting to accept life as-is instead of fighting with it – trying control it and make it what I think it SHOULD be in the moment.
Because sometimes, life just IS. And I don’t need to change it, make it my version of “better”.
Keeping a weekly notebook of work/home/life tasks as well as my little bullet journal of goals has helped me realize 1) I already accomplish an inhuman amount every day 2) I always seem to add about 1-2 too many tasks to complete each day and 3) when I make lists and checkboxes, it adds an internal pressure to complete things that is a construct I don’t necessarily need to listen too. I’m allowed to cut myself a break.
Now, I’m playing hooky from work to do a kickboxing class, having worked until midnight last night to give myself this break.
Grateful for the physical health and time flexibility to do this.
Putting acceptance and meditative breathing into practice today. High stress at work, and not enough time to do it all.
How in the hell did I ever fit drinking into this mix?!
Grateful for a steady job. Grateful to be working with someone I enjoy spending time with, an old friend N. Grateful to be headed home, less invested than I would be were I full-time staff… it’s a night where I’d be glued to my desk before but now? Family first, as much as possible.
If I can fit in some more hours tonight, after kickboxing and the rest of the evenings plans, then great. If not, the world will continue to rotate around the sun.
It’s interesting, this evolution into sobriety. It used to be that I dreaded the reentry into the work week because it meant an end to the heavy partying and the start of some semblance of responsibility, always kicking off with a killer hangover on Monday mornings because Sunday evening was never quite as sober as I intended it to be.
Now, I still head into the weekend with the excitement of letting go a bit (both C and I enjoyed a puff or two this weekend when kids were in bed), but the impending work week doesn’t stress me out as much as it used to. In fact, the idea that I might need to be 100% sober on Sunday night actually comes as a relief.
I’m LOOKING FORWARD to being sober.
Why am I looking forward to it? For the opportunity to get my head cleared, organized and prepared for the week ahead. For the mental space to meditate properly. For time with C that isn’t colored by a substance. For a clearer morning on Monday.
Tonight, we are going to have our first Family Meeting – C’s idea, proposed at the follow-up conversation after our last blow-up, when I complained that there really was no time in our lives where we could have an adult conversation, given that the evenings were consumed by alcohol. So now, we have one night a week where we can meet to discuss all the things going on in our lives, and maybe even keep the conversation productive.
I’m grateful that this was a positive outcome from that regrettable fight, and I’m looking forward to spending sober time together. Well, somewhat sober. I noticed a G&T in his hands as I went upstairs to write this, a drink that is usually mixed about 3/4’s gin and 1/4 tonic…
I sat in front of the computer last night before bed, trying to think of something to post but nothing coherent to say… thanks 420 Friday.
Today, with brain going in too many directions – kids, yard work, freelance, yoga, evening plans, I’m not much better.
I’ll just leave with this thought from my recent meditations:
What you resist in others is an indication of what you resist in yourself.
Yet another reason to work on acceptance, right?
Today, I’m grateful for C taking boys to gymnastics so I could attend yoga, for the yummy dinner smells coming up from the kitchen, for a growing friendship with a neighbor and her kids who we spent time with this afternoon, for getting a large part of my weekend freelance work done during boys nap (and I’m grateful they went down easily and stayed asleep for 2 hrs), that it’s Saturday night – looking forward to spending it relaxing with C – and I’m grateful we’re in a place where I can say that!
Still percolating along with the recent self-work as well as making headway with helping little W (second classroom observation today, plus visit to pediatrician, message left with neuro/behavioral ped for a new patient eval etc) but I’m gonna dial it in today and just share a couple articles that have passed through the brain pan in the last week or so:
Feeling grateful that today’s classroom visit went well, and provided a better look into what is going on with W. Grateful to get a meditation in before both boys were up this morning – it really helped. Grateful that work has been super slow today, so I’ve been able to spend time following up on doctor and insurance research etc, and grateful that the storm has passed for big C and I, now back to the usual stasis of not talking about the emotional stuff between us, just the household logistics – but at least we’re doing it without the rough edges. The “I love yous” and nightly hugs have not returned yet, but maybe tonight.
I always find it interesting when the Universe serves up just what you need in the moment. Today and recently, the lesson is about pain and acceptance. And everywhere I look this morning, the lesson is presenting itself.
A friend of mine lost an early-term pregnancy this week and is blaming herself. I reached out to let her know I understand the need to find someone or something to blame when the pain is so great, but it might be better for her own health to set aside that need and instead honor her grief by accepting it.
As I thought about my words on this morning’s commute, I found myself in tears for her loss, but then slowly realized I was also crying for my own personal pain and the struggle I’m having to accept it – looking for someone to blame for W’s issues, for C’s struggle with alcohol, for my own impatience and unhappiness.
A bit of a lightbulb when off when I made the connection:
Like alcohol, blame is just another form of avoidance we use when we don’t want to feel pain.
Of course then this video pops up in my Facebook feed:
Another full day, not over yet. So much going on in our life right now– W’s behavioral issues at school and neediness at home, the install of a new HVAC system started today, ongoing outdoor projects, potential work travel coming up, and all of it requiring C and I to work together when I can barely bring myself to look at him.
So far today, we’ve done the minimum communication necessary via text but now we’re both home for the evening and I’ve escaped upstairs to finish up some outstanding work emails. Avoidance, at least until boys are in bed, seems to be the best policy. Then, of course, he’ll probably be too buzzed to talk anyway.
This morning’s meditation was about Acceptance, intentionally. And it asked the question again, “What are you resisting in your life right now?”
What AM I resisting?
It feels like I’m resisting all of it. I don’t want to accept that W may have a social/emotional/behavioral issue or delay. I don’t want to accept that I married a man who can behave the way C does, who may have a problem with alcohol. I’m resisting examining my own part in all this, it feels so overwhelming. I struggle with accepting additional responsibility at work because of the issues at home, major mom-guilt complex. And I’m resisting my newly gained and hard-won healthy life choices.
I actually had the thought last night after boys went to bed, with C out at a bar with a friend: If I have a drink now, no one would know. Life has gone to such shit recently, what could one drink hurt. What are you really trying to prove?
In my mind, I tapered it back to smoking pot, then decided to stay entirely sober instead. And I also tapered my internal drama back, taking myself off the ledge by finding the Good, drinking a cup of tea, losing myself in an entertaining book and meditating at the end of the night.
Today, I’m glad I did, of course. I always am.
Where is the Good?
I’m grateful to have two healthy, intelligent, active, smart, fun, creative boys. I’m grateful for all the good that C brings into our life – his positive parenting, his involvement with the boys, that he cooks dinner and does laundry and takes care of the dogs. I’m grateful to have an ongoing “perma-lance” job that I enjoy, and for the ability to finally do these household projects that we’ve saved for over the years. I’m grateful for the short workout today, and that the tulips are blooming out front in spite of spring snows and an over-population of neighborhood rabbits. I’m grateful for the excellent book I’m reading for book club, recommended by a close friend with whom I’m also grateful to connect so well. I’m grateful for the chance to visit W & C’s classroom today to observe everything in person. And I’m grateful for the slow learning process that these life struggles inspire, for the ability to exercise and find time to meditate, and for a partner who makes room for all of that.