Day 243


I don’t have much time to write but as I look ahead at the upcoming weekend, I’m excited to spend it with one of my best friends, S.

She doesn’t drink because of a medication she takes, so in the past, I’ve gotten a buzz on while she stayed sober. I was about to say it was weird, but she is a very accepting person so it never felt all that bad, at least from my perspective. I’m going to ask her about it while she’s here, curious to know if she remembers it differently…


Day 242

Jenni Rope: Mobile 1, Mirella Bruno


Percolating along with a lot of input and not a lot of analysis. For today, here is what’s in the brain pan, aside from work:

How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen, by Joanna Faber (Audible book for commutes)

How to Change Your Mind, by Michael Pollan (Hardcover book for evening reading)

Boundaries, by Henry Cloud & John Townsend (Up next after Pollan’s if I don’t get distracted by a novel first)

Some articles on being a people-pleaser, like this one

A few articles on disentangling oneself from a strict evangelical upbringing, like this one

The random article on juicing sent by a friend… Beets? Not sure I’m that evolved yet.

And for fun, planning the upcoming pop-up camping trip with the boys, and dreaming about treehouse construction.


Day 241

Strong – Hairy Athlete, by Anna Maria Lubinska


Back to work today, back in the office tomorrow. Thank god for an easy start, sans pants and commute.

I may not have fallen off the sobriety wagon but I’ve definitely “taken a break” from the workout wagon this month. Of course, as with any lapse in dedication to a self-improvement project, the longer you wallow in the slump, the harder it is to get back out.

But I’m trying to remind myself – when you do climb back out, it’s such a boost in confidence. Then after a few achievements under your belt, you’re back in the game, right?

I’m contemplating various ways to exercise tonight and struggling to find the motivation. But I need to kick myself in the pants and get on with it.

Day 240

Memorial Day Monday

For some reason, lately I’ve been losing a bit of resolve. Not sure if it’s a bit of burn-out? or that I’m less vigilant as time passes? But tonight I almost had a sip of C’s wine – and his wine has been looking mighty delicious this weekend.

I can’t point to any specific reason. Things are going pretty well so it’s not avoidance that I can see. The desire comes from the foodie place inside of me, not the “get-a-buzz-on” place. 

Anywhoo, today was a full day with the boys and I’m headed back downstairs to prep them for bath & bed.

No buffer, ’cause I’m a rockstar.

Day 238

First Beach Day Saturday

What a perfect day for the first beach day of the season. And another First for my sober journey… coming home after the beach WITHOUT having a cocktail or glass of white wine. 

And yes, I was missing it. Especially when little W had a meltdown after waking up from his car nap… the type of meltdown that continues through the rest of the evening until mom & dad can get him to bed and breath a sigh of relief.

Days at the beach are The Best. And also exhausting with twins of a certain age. Each year it gets a bit easier and this year, I’m in shape so I can keep up pretty well. But after a few rounds of dragging them down the beach on a blanket, running to the playground and back, “carry me, mom!” over the hot sand and other activities, I’m beat.

C’s glass of chilled white looked especially good tonight.

Instead, I’m hydrating with seltzer and my body is thanking me.

Grateful for the perfect weather to kick off summer beach season, that C found our beach badges purchased as gifts for Xmas, for the fun I had with the boys while C played volleyball, that we have a three-day weekend and grateful to be sober through it all.

Day 237


Right now, I’m hiding in my office upstairs having had enough of the kids this afternoon. Dinner is, for some reason, especially hard tonight with the boys acting grumpy and refusing to eat, pounding their silverware on the table, and other annoying misbehavior. 

Growing up in a rather strict household, dinner rules were enforced and the chaos that reigns at our table (C tells me only when I’m there) really pushes me over the edge sometimes.

C and I are in a tough spot regarding discipline right now, not on the same page and dealing with some kind of developmental delay on W’s part so we’re not really sure the best way to get through to him. Since we only really talk on Sunday evenings, we haven’t had much time to come up with a plan yet.

And in the meantime, the dinnertime shenanigans go unpunished.

So after a few failed attempts at bringing the chaos under control, I picked up my dinner and went upstairs.

C’s had about a 1/2 bottle of wine, maybe more at this point, so he’s got a bit of a buffer. Maybe it’s the poor sleep from last night, but I feel like my usual buffer is thinner today.

But none of that matters really. At some point, I’m going to need to go back down and deal.

Otherwise, I’m percolating along… 


Day 236

Not me


Going through old pictures today in search of photos for my dad’s retirement party. It’s been interesting to see myself years younger, knowing where I was internally – the lack of maturity and self-confidence, the anxiety, the constant striving for external approval.

I’m certainly no where close to where I’d like to be, but those pictures made it clear I’ve come a long way… and I’m headed in the right direction, finally.

Amazing how years of drinking slowed this maturity process so much. I feel like I’m playing catchup with the (sober) grownups around me… not that it matters. Just happy to be aware and growing now.


Day 235

Pink Dahlia, by Georgianna Lane


Meeting my friends K & K out for dinner tonight, can’t wait. We’ve met a couple times now since I quit drinking, so there won’t be the need to explain anything. And I’m looking forward to catching up with them, to really hearing how they’re doing and maybe sharing a bit about me too. Grateful to be in a pretty good place overall, in spite of the usual ups and downs of life – and I attribute that to a more resilient headspace rather than the circumstances around me.

I will admit that the thought of enjoying a glass of wine with the girls passed briefly through my head. But sparkling water will be a decent substitute.

And in the end, honestly, it’s more about being in the company of good friends than it is about what’s in the glass… although at least in my experience, sparkling water will enhance the evening more than wine would. The conversation will be more connected, my memory of the evening more detailed, the post-dinner drive home safer, and the night more relaxed overall.

Grateful for good friends who seek each other out for the occasional dinner, for a husband who will be home putting boys to bed on his own – without complaint, for an unexpected grace period given at work today that allows me an evening free, and for the pink cloud headspace I find myself in today.

Day 234


So. Online shopping addiction. Let’s talk about it.

Honestly, I’ve been avoiding bringing this up because it’s not something I’m proud of – and it indicates that after all these months and hard work, I’m still struggling. But it hasn’t been getting better so I’m going to bring it out into the open.

I have a bit of an online shopping addiction.

And of course, all sorts of justifications to go along with it: I mainly use an online consignment store, so the prices are very low, plus I recycle my clothes back into it so I get $$ back (albeit not enough to balance what I spend). I try to limit shoe purchases to less than 6 pairs/year (and I know some of you are gasping at this right now…). I don’t spend over $200 in one shot, and I try to limit my monthly spending to a certain budget. I like to tell myself that if I were going to my favorite brick & mortar stores, I’d be spending more. But I’m not sure that’s true.

“Retail therapy” had always been a go-to for that little punch of happiness but now since quitting alcohol, I’m seeing a uptick in my purchases. Even if it’s little stuff from Amazon like books for the boys or kitchen tools that we really need, I seem to need to be constantly purchasing stuff. 

This morning, I participated in an agonizingly stressful conference call where I was put on the spot and required to commit to doing something for work that I’m not at all happy about. What did I do right after the call? Purchase a new pair of sandals.

I decided to start tracking it and cutting back. This is the first month and it is as bad as I thought.

I’m trying, and at least I’m more aware of it now. Plus, I’ve started bi-monthly sessions with a new therapist so maybe we’ll address that as well as the rest of my personal issues… but for today, I’m just sharing, in case it helps anyone out there know  – shit isn’t perfect around here.

5 Common Substitute Addictions and How to Avoid Them

Day 233

Shadow Dancers, by Charley Harper


Phoning it in after a long day back at work. I read this in an email newsletter today, and it resonated so I’m sharing here, no additional thoughts or commentary:

The answer to control is practicing surrender.

Trying to maintain control in this life is a bit like trying to maintain control on a roller coaster. The ride has its own logic and is going to go its own way, regardless of how tightly you grip the bar. There is a thrill and a power in simply surrendering to the ride and fully feeling the ups and downs of it, letting the curves take you rather than fighting them. When you fight the ride, resisting what’s happening at every turn, your whole being becomes tense and anxiety is your close companion. When you go with the ride, accepting what you cannot control, freedom and joy will inevitably arise.

As with so many seemingly simple things in life, it is not always easy to let go, even of the things we know we can’t control. Most of us feel a great discomfort with the givens of this life, one of which is the fact that much of the time we have no control over what happens. Sometimes this awareness comes only when we have a stark encounter with this fact, and all our attempts to be in control are revealed to be unnecessary burdens. We can also cultivate this awareness in ourselves gently, by simply making surrender a daily practice. At the end of our meditation, we might bow, saying, “I surrender to this life.” This simple mantra can be repeated as necessary throughout the day, when we find ourselves metaphorically gripping the safety bar.

We can give in to our fear and anxiety, or we can surrender to this great mystery with courage. When we see people on a roller coaster, we see that there are those with their faces tight with fear and then there are those that smile broadly, with their hands in the air, carried through the ride on a wave of freedom and joy. This powerful image reminds us that often the only control we have is choosing how we are going to respond to the ride.