Parenting

Teetotal Road Trip Success

Sober Road Trip adventure

We took a road trip with the boys this weekend.

The hotel room brought a courtesy bottle of champagne up after we checked in.

My husband doesn’t drink champagne and I didn’t want it.

I can’t believe I’m typing this but I DIDN’T WANT THE CHAMPAGNE AT ALL!

  • The popping of the cork

  • The fizzy bubbles

  • The fancy champagne flutes

It didn’t strike an urge for me like it normally would. I didn’t romanticize it at all.

It feels SO good to pass up on stuff like that.

A year ago I would have glugged it ALL down, which would have started a downward spiral of me wanting more and more and more to drink.

Road trips are meant for overindulging, right?!

And then, like clockwork, I would have spontaneously started a fight with my husband about an hour and a half after my last drink. The night would have gone down in flames, and I would have probably woken up to a cold shoulder and the dreaded question:

Do you want to apologize for what you said last night? UGH THE WORST

The kids woke up at 6 a.m. - because of course they did! They were super stoked because it snowed like crazy where we were staying. And I was - for the most part - more than ready to start the day with them.

If you are struggling, please know that it takes time to rewire your brain from thinking you need alcohol at every turn. Be patient with yourself and immerse yourself in sober stories and read as much as you can about how much someone’s life changes the instant they decide not to give so much power to alcohol. It can happen. xoxo

I drank as a mom - reader submitted story

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One of the best things about starting this 100 Days of Sober page is that I’m able to connect with so many people out there just like me. People out there who are questioning their relationship with alcohol and the role it plays in their lives.

I have become friends with someone who is a reader of the blog. While she wishes to remain anonymous, she has a powerful message to share.

*******

I'm a Mom of two wonderful and amazing kids. They are the best thing that has ever happened to me!  

I'm a mom who once drank in front of her kids, not realizing the depths of this problem, the negative effects it had on me, and the example that I was setting.

Kids are little sponges, seeing all the good and bad. They see everything, regardless of age.

When my kids were younger, they'd play the game “restaurant,” - and on the menu was always beer and wine.  I once thought this was funny and cute and have an Instagram pic of my daughters’ “drink menu,” listing all types of beers and wines.

Ugh. When they got older, I knew they were watching, they see everything. 

A little over a year ago, we were having friends over. The kids were all playing and the adults were drinking, wine was flowing.  I don't remember ever feeling that intoxicated, but I was. When everyone left, I went to put the kids to bed, and I ended up passing out in my bed with all my clothes and makeup still on. IN FRONT OF MY KIDS. 

My son told my husband that he was worried about me and he cried himself to sleep. (my husband told me all this the next morning).  All of this makes me cringe. The next morning, I apologized to my kids. I told my husband that I was taking ANOTHER break from drinking, which was not my last break by the way.  I know that my kids will always remember that night, the night their mom was so drunk she just straight up passed out in front of them. 

Drinking starts off to be so fun and harmless, but this story right here is full of pain, shame, and utter sadness. BUT, now I no longer have to lurk in shame over past mistakes.  They can see a mom who is working on making better choices and trying to be the best possible version of herself. I'm choosing this way of life for me, but also for them.  They are and will continue to be one of the biggest reasons for me to not drink.  And that makes me feel good!

Life lessons from a pumpkin patch

After spending the past two days in beautiful Chapel Hill, NC with Lara Casey and her team, I am so pumped to pick all the beautiful flowers from the vine - and concentrate only on a few “prize pumpkins” I’m growing in life.

pumpking patch family

Have you ever fallen victim to the season of “yes?”

  • Yes to hosting a baby shower of your brother-in-law’s cousin from out of town

  • Yes to volunteering at school twice a week and bringing turkey to the fall festival

  • Yes to that extra project at work that your colleague passed on

  • Yes to attending every single birthday party your kid is invited to

  • Yes to serving on the board of your favorite non-profit

  • Yes to coordinating the go away party for your husband’s coworker

  • Yes for organizing the first Sunday School class at your church

None of the things above are inherently wrong. Of course it’s nice to do things for other people. And I truly believe that giving back and doing things for others brings the very best out of us. But I used to be one of those people that would say yes to all of the above, all while trying to raise two children, keep a house clean and walk the dog.

I came back from the Making Things Happen Conference in Chapel Hill, NC led by Lara Casey at Cultivate What Matters. And, while there were so many takeaways, one of the biggest one was the following quote - and also the very timely visual of how to grow a prize-winning pumpkin.

Too much of a good thing is still too much. - Lara Casey

You see, Lara gave us a sneak peek of “Rita” - a very large and beautiful pumpkin she grew in her garden. While preparing for this task, she ran into a farmer who told her that the secret to growing a pumpkin is to select one or or two flowers from the vine that will eventually become a pumpkin - and to remove all the other beautiful flowers off the vine.

Concentrate on one single flower to grow into a formidable fruit.

According to Growing and Gathering:

If you want to try your hand at growing even bigger pumpkins you can prune your plant even further to leave just a few fruit on each vine and see just how big they can get.

These remaining pumpkins will now get a chance to receive all the water, energy and food that the plant is taking in, and will grow bigger and better for it.

Lara made the parallel between growing impressive pumpkins and selecting a few things in your own life that should be prioritized over everything else.

To make things happen in your own life, to reach your goals and life a fruitful, joy-filled life, pour your sunshine, energy and soul into just a few things that are worth of your time, attention and talents. Genius, right?!

If I commit to everything under the sun (I’m a huge fan of Gold Stars!) to please everyone else around me, I will become tired, resentful, run down and burned out. I’ve tried this and I just can’t do everything all at once. I can try - but I won’t do anything very well.

Alternatively, if I select a few things that I KNOW I want to grow - my faith, my family bond and a few key projects to provide for my family - those good things will benefit from all my love and energy.

I don’t want a bunch of tiny pumpkins. I want several large and impressive pumpkins. Too much of a good thing is still too much - and I’m not bending over backwards anymore to add more to my plate, unless it makes sense within my very own pumpkin patch.

What do you think? Do you fall victim to saying yes to things, only to regret all that’s been added to your to do list?

I can’t wait to write more about the conference. Happy Hump Day, y’all.

No more Monday morning anxiety on Sundays!

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I LOVE SUNDAYS. AND NOW I LOOK FORWARD TO MONDAYS!

I enjoyed such a great weekend with friends and family. I sure do complian when things are stressful so I need to also take time out to share when things seem to go right.

I used to have a tremendous weight on Sundays evenings because of a former public relations client.

A pit in my chest. Nervous about anything and everything.

  • What barrage of crazy emails would I have flooding my inbox on Monday morning?

  • Or what unexpected new and out-of-the-blue projects would be placed on my shoulders at work because of someone else’s problems?

One of my former clients used to call me “the miracle worker” - I was always someone’s go to person to clean up projects or get things done and I was proud of that nickname.

But now, I have let that client go and it has made ALL the difference in my attitude, perspective and motivation to try new things. I have more energy to spend with my children and the energy to dig into new and exciting ideas. I’m more concerned about being a “miracle worker” for my own family and passions!

I feel so free and excited for Monday!

I have:

paired down

simplified

prioritized

I don’t say yes to anything and everything. I’m no longer looking for gold stars from those who don’t matter. And I’m sharing this because I know how hard it is to hold on to something that is comfortable - but that IT IS possible to take chances and let go of things that no longer serve you - whether it be a habit, a client, a friendship or a commitment.

What goals do you have for yourself and what things are you willing to let go of to get closer to your dreams?

I messed up my family's whole morning with the decisions I made! #momlife

From @jillianmichaels book Making the Cut:

“...become aware and in control by evaluating every one of your choices, no matter how big or small, with two simple but critical questions: 1. What are the consequences of the choice I am making? 2. Will this choice bring happiness into my life and bring me closer to my goals?”

Confession. I made my kids late today to K4 and feel like a craptastic parent who is undeserving of the love I receive from them. One of my kids got me up in the middle of the night to sleep with them. This is a usual occurrence but this time I didn’t bring my phone in the room with me. So we all woke up at 7:45 and I started running around like my head was cut off. (My husband had taken cold medicine and overslept too so that was an added bonus). Instead of chalking it up as something we were going to deal with in a calm manner, I started screaming and running around like a crazy person. My kids don’t move fast but they are 4 and just don’t understand what “hurry up means”. I feel like I have been so consumed with being proud of not drinking that I have been too loose with everything else. My patience. My parenting choices. My diet. My work. 

So. Starting now I will do better and go back to asking those two questions by Jillian Michaels. I will be kind. Better prepared. More mindful and calm. 

“...become aware and in control by evaluating every one of your choices, no matter how big or small, with two simple but critical questions: 1. What are the consequences of the choice I am making? 2. Will this choice bring happiness into my life and bring me closer to my goals?”
— Jillian Michael's - Making The Cut
Selfie in the parking lot - not being a danger on the road. Disappointed for how this morning started out but hopeful for how it will end because of my commitment to mindfulness.

Selfie in the parking lot - not being a danger on the road. Disappointed for how this morning started out but hopeful for how it will end because of my commitment to mindfulness.

September 11 Anniversary - I love New York City

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I love New York City. It’s a magical place that I’ve been fortunate enough to visit several times throughout my life.

When I had just graduated high school, a friend and I drove to NYC because we had received David Letterman tickets in the mail (old school!). I lived in Maryland at the time and I cannot believe I was so brave and brazen to drive into the city on my own with a friend. Vince Vaughn, Elle McPherson and Jewel were the celebrities on the show during the taping.

My father grew up in New Jersey his whole life and lived just outside NYC. He tells stories of being a teenager and going to the big city as a young child before going into the ARMY.

On my husband’s birthday several years ago (which is September 11), we traveled to NYC becaus he had never been.

I can remember going there as a child with my family from New Jersey and seeing all the brightly colored yellow cabs and feeling so excited to be in such a vibrant area.

Each September 11, I try to remember exactly what I felt in 2001. I don’t want to ever forget how scared I was. Confused I was. I had just graduated college and was working at my first “real job” and, as the events unfolded, ended up huddling around an old T.V. set (one that was plugged into the wall and sitting atop a T.V. stand! old school!) with my colleagues wondering how someone could do something that caused so much devastation, tears, harm, hurt and anger.

For the next few days, there were no planes in the sky. T.V. and radio programming completely pulled shows, songs, commercials off the airwaves. People wondered when it would be appropriate to laugh or celebrate again. It was so weird to see a plane in the sky several days afterwards. Everything had changed.

I was consumed with learning everything I could about the people who lost their lives. Back then, the internet was obviously around, but it wasn’t a full treasure trove of access like it is now. I would spend hours looking at sites dedicated to the stories of the people who lost their lives. I would close my eyes in the shower and see the faces of the terrorists who created a national tragedy.

Each year, still today, on the eve of September 11, I think of all those people who woke up the next day not knowing it would be their last. I know people every day wake up not knowing it’s their last - but for those who died on September 11, who faced unfathomable terror, it’s just something I can’t comprehend - even to this day.

This sobriety journey has taught me that alcohol is only good for one thing: wasting time. It’s taken 70+ days to get here - I will be honest that, even up until this week, I was dying for a glass of wine, just waiting for the 100 days to be over with.

But today, I don’t really want to invite that back into my life. I don’t want to drink too much and waste a day of recovering, of hiding from my children so I can take a nap or of brushing them off because I’d rather have a glass of wine and watch T.V. I don’t want to waste another minute connecting with friends and family under the false social lubricant of alcohol. Or worse, waste time connecting with someone I love and not remembering it the next day.

I don’t want to take for granted something that many people don’t have the luxury of doing - living my life to the fullest.

When I think of drinking wine now, it makes me physically ill. I don’t know if it’s because of all the studies I’ve read about the fact that wine is a carcinogen and truly a poison, the accounts I’ve followed where alcohol has taken everything from someone, the messaging I see from brands that hold alcohol up as a magical elixir that promises everything but leaves you with nothing.

I just feel differently today - more than I ever have - about alcohol. And I want to share that if you are fed up with feeling like crap. If your anxiety is through the roof, if your kids are driving you crazy, if you just want to spend time with a friend or family member and really connect with them in a way that will be life changing, then alcohol is not for you.

I truly believe this. I don’t know if it’s the emotions of the day. Or if I’m far enough into the journey to really see this shitty story we’ve been served as a false veil being lifted from my eyes, but, as a woman, as a human, as a mother, as a friend, I honestly can share that I’m turning my back on alcohol. It’s put me in situations I regret, made me say and do things I would never do sober and it’s time to let it go.

Let’s all go out and live our lives with our true potential shining through. xoxo Kim

Alternative t-shirt ideas for Rose All Day

An alternative to wine memes
An alternative to wine memes

There are a lot of conversations happening around the marketing of alcohol to women. I know that before I started evaluating my relationship with alcohol, I bought into the messaging that I deserved wine for making it through the day.

Alternative to wine memes
Alternative to wine memes

Being a parent, whether a single mom, working mom, stay-at-home mom, empty nester mom, mom of twins, mom of girls, mom of boys - YOU NAME IT! - we are all in the same boat. Many of the same load bearing challenges present themselves to parents across the nation.

We are navigating each day with the HUGE responsibility of raising children with the intent that they will be kind, responsible, healthy and content members of this human race. To make minute-by-minute decisions on everything from nutritional choices to behavioral concerns and sleep routines to screen time and healthy habits to everything in between, it is an intense journey we are on as parents. It can also be fun, sweet, sentimental, rewarding and full of fabulous memories that can be filed away to revisit during the not so sweet moments.

Yes, it's stressful. Yes it can feel like we are in a vortex, void of any identity, trying to make it through the day without losing too much enthusiasm, positivity or sleep. Funny enough, that's all the reason why abstaining from alcohol can help. Instead, we are bombarded by messages telling us that wine, mojitos, beer and the rest of it are our friends as stressed out mammas.

I co-own a PR firm and, before we purposefully downsized - read "conscious uncoupling" for small biz owners! - we had a rule in the office. If you came to one of us with a problem or concern (about a client, project or anything else), then we would be happy to address it, but you were also expected to have a suggestion on how we could fix said issue.

I've seen a lot of blog posts, Instagram posts and conversations confronting brands and individuals about their attitudes towards alcohol. I think this is interesting and I do enjoy seeing a rising tide of changing perspectives that question how these messages are received. BUT I would like to contribute to the conversation by providing a few alternative messages.

What do you think? Which ones do you like? Is it possible to highlight treats and rewards to women without the mention of wine? I wonder how well that would be received. Also, what suggestions do you have for a favorite alcohol-free self care tee? xoxo Kim

All is fine with pizza and a phone line
All is fine with pizza and a phone line

Oh Bother! High Expectations for Winnie The Pooh

IMG_7538 🍿 E X P E C T A T I O N S 🍿

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Last night we went to see the Christopher Robin movie. It’s blazing hot here and we were all looking forward to eating popcorn and snuggling together.

The boys brought their Pooh’s that they’ve had since birth. That they sleep with every night.

I snapped a few pictures to document this precious moment AND the guacamole hit the fan before the previews even stopped (WHY are there 30 minutes of commercials and previews for a kids movie? I don’t even have the patience or attention span for that!).

The kids got all wound up and started throwing their Pooh’s everywhere. Over the aisles and through Hundred Acre Wood.

They weren’t using their “inside voices” and when I tried to tell them to be quiet in a low whisper; they screamed “I can’t hear you!”  We left after we got shushed by a few folks.  🤣

Cheese and rice. That experience did not meet up to my expectations AT ALL. I pictured a Norman Rockwell painting and we got a comedy of errors instead.

Just a nice reminder that things won’t always go the way you planned. And you don’t need alcohol to cope with minor disappointments in life. In my own experience, it just makes things worse. Have a terrific Tuesday!

Christopher Robin, we will catch you on a DVD coming soon!

Alcohol Free Beach Vacation - part 1

O.K. So we drove to the beach yesterday for a long weekend. It was a pretty annoying day. We had a four hour drive and it started to rain on our way down there. When we got there, we went to an alligator adventure, which was mildly entertaining but everyone was just kind of tired and in a craptastic mood.

My husband - who is a wee bit high maintenance and not so much self aware of his downfalls at times (bless him) had his heart set on some restaurant that was literally 25 minutes away. I feel like a 25 minute drive at the beach to eat seafood is a bit of a ridiculous need, no? We are not fine dining it with two four year olds, but alas this is what we pursued as part of our great beach adventure.

This wouldn't have been a problem if we had eaten recently, if it hadn't been 7 o'clock at night, if it wasn't busy as crap in the middle of summer vacation to a highly flocked to beach town and had two small kids in tow.

My husband asked the bartender if we could sit at the outside tiki bar. She said yes, to my horror. That's kind of my personal pet peeve. I don't think kids should be at the bar. And I used to be a bartender in college and it used to annoy me way back then. I hated having two kids and a sober lady taking up seats at the bar when other people are literally waiting to sit down to have a drink. Plus, it's tacky. We had an absolute dinosaur of a local beach bum sitting next to us chain smoking like literally blowing smoke in our faces. It's cool. It's his territory and we're at the bar. I get it.

But my husband insisted and he can be annoyingly assertive so we just rolled with it...for an hour and a half we waited to get fried food (I could laugh out loud at this if it wasn't so annoying). I also spilled my soda water and the bartender was so busy I never got another one so, not only did I not drink alcohol, I didn't drink anything else either!

But OF COURSE it takes an hour and a half to get a hot dog and hush puppies. And of course my kids start melting down. I was about to meltdown. It was just an all around horrible idea. But that's life. And I endured it and we all survived and went back to the hotel. And I'm happy to report I remained alcohol free.

End of story. Success overall

P.S.

The bartender accidentally made a bloody Mary with house vodka, instead of Tito's so she asked if I wanted a free bloody Mary. I easily said "no thank you" - but a year ago I would have greedily sucked it down. Another man's trash is another man's treasure!

 

You Are Allowed to Change

🎵Ch-ch-ch-ch-changesTurn and face the strange. 🎵

I used to be so afraid of change. I held on to everything, played it safe and asked a business coach one time “what if we fail?” And he talked about the importance of being RESILIENT. Let stuff bounce off of you and come back stronger. You can’t control life or an employee or a friend. But you can absolutely control how you respond to almost anything. Change is constant. I’ve been married to my husband for almost 11 years but our relationship is always changing. I’ve owned a PR agency for nine years and it changes all the time. I’ve been the same me my whole life but I am always changing, setting new goals, doing new things to improve my life and my family. What do you want to change? 🎵Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes Turn and face the strange. 🎵(Try not to have David Bowie in your head all day now!) 📸

Day 29 - I'm so freaking tired!

To be fair, this has nothing to do with kicking the booze. But everything to do with the fact that my two little guys got some sort of stomach virus over the weekend. We were up quite a lot last night, changing sheets, getting water, etc. I can't wait for bedtime tonight. But you know what? At least I'm not hungover from a few glasses of wine!

Sobriety finds me being calm at the top of a Chic fil A slide

True story - yesterday my kids were screaming and fighting and name calling at the top of a Chic fil A slide - an indoor play area that amplifies screams and shouting by about 20 times. After many attempts (pleas/begging/demands) begging them to come down, I decided to climb up that damn thing myself and get them. I did not scream. I did not lose my cool. I simply told them that they were coming down because they were fighting and not listening to me - and so we had to leave. It took some maneuvering getting us all down but you know what? I followed through with what I said I was going to do and I hoofed my adult hiney all the way up the slide to get them to come down to let them know I meant business.

I follow through with things more now being free of alcohol. And I like it. Happy weekend everyone.

Day 10 - checking in

Since we are at the lake this week, it's been a nice change of pace and really easy to just be sober. My parents would drink wine with me if I initiated it - we'd usually blow through a bottle a night but now I realize that they have really shared like two glasses of wine the whole week so far. So now it makes me realize that it was me who was blowing through the wine. Duh.

I did pick up some St. Regis rose - but it made me feel a little hungover the next day. It may not have been that but I had a headache and my stomach was queasy. It could have been that I didn't sleep well either.

Last night one of my boys developed a low grade fever and wanted to go to bed at 7:15. Which, that just is not typical in the land of four-year olds. He started getting so hot to the touch so I ran out and got him some Children's Tylenol and my mom patted him down with a cool washcloth. This was about 9 p.m.

I couldn't help but think that if I was half a bottle in the wine, I may have missed something. I don't know? But I was glad to be sober and help soothe him. The first few hours he slept like crapola but I was there by his bedside sober as a bird and there for him. Present.

Not like I need a pat on the back for being there for my kids. I just am thinking out loud.

Anyways, I stayed up until 1 a.m. (so not typical!) watching the entire first series of Younger, a t.v. show about a 40-year old who passes for a 26-year old and dates this super cute guy with arm tattoos. It's fun and cute and I loved it. Really funny distraction since I was laying on the floor next to the boys making sure they knew I was there if they needed me.

Happy Hump Day!

Day 9 - sober and stronger

IMG_7051 So I've been here before. I've reached week two without alcohol and have seen the self-confidence slowly coming back. My sleep and skin improving. I've had this "high on life" kind of feeling before on this sober journey and somehow, some way always sneak in a glass of wine. It usually happens on Day 14 or Day 15.

But I'm determined to keep going and keep this journey afloat. I'm just more prepared and aware this time around.

Yesterday, because I was wine free and not chasing my next drink, I went out with the boys to look for rabbits before bedtime (to be honest, it was WAY after their bedtime but it's summer so....).

I'm at the lake this week with my parents and the boys. We didn't see any rabbits but I noticed the sunset and the boys got SO excited about the "orange sky" they wanted to run back in and tell my parents.

Imagine the joy and purity of being so excited about a sunset that you want to share it with other people you love. So I ran back in to get my parents and then grabbed my phone.

It was awesome. I wonder if I would have noticed the sky or would have suggested looking for rabbits before bedtime if I was half a bottle into the wine. Would I have been rushing them to bed? Or been irritated that I couldn't pour another glass?

I don't know. But I'm so glad we witnessed this sunset. A

P.S. (what do you think that bright thing of light is in the top left? Someone said they thought it was a planet or space station. Is that possible?)

Growing in this sober journey

So, today is the Friday after July 4. I'm staying at home with the kids because it's a holiday week. But because I own a PR firm, I've got clients who have returned to work and there are lots and lots of projects to do, copy to write, people to respond to, images to caption, trees to shake - and all that jazz. And my husband played golf today. He has played golf every Friday since the kids were born. They are only four. But that means that for four years in a row, my husband has decided to play golf instead of spend time - doing anything - with the kids. His point is that he spends a lot of quality time with them. But my point is that there could be one Friday in the last 200 or so where he could plan a day to be with them.

His point also is they are only four. But that is my counterpoint point.

Yes, they are only four. And "they" means two. So when people say "I don't know how you do it with two the same age!" I think to myself honestly, "I don't know either!"

So when he decides to play golf on a Friday during a holiday week, I suppose it's lost on him that it all falls to me to try to entertain the boys, plan their meals, fight with light sabers, put batteries in remote control bumper cars and the whole shabang - while also running that pesky PR firm that provides for us financially. It's a lot. And I'm tired of acting like I've got it all handled because - Superwoman I am not.

I'm not on Pinterest sharing my latest marshmallow creation. But we are all fed and for the most part happy so we've got that going for us.

Yet this is where I have gotten into trouble in the past. I'm like "sure! Let me be all Polyanna about this and keep the house clean, wipe the kids' bottoms, do a thousand loads of laundry, wipe sticky peanut butter from plates, find an obscure toy they want to play with that was last seen around Christmas 2015 - ALL WHILE KEEPING A COMPANY AFLOAT. And I may as well try to still look  like I'm 21 and a little underweight - because, really, isn't that how a lot of people expect women to appear these days?

So here in lies the link to my previous dependence on alcohol, which I already know is not the answer.

A few weeks ago, I would have started pouring the wine around 3 and it would have gone downhill from there. By the time my husband came home, I would be surly and pissed and I would have slept like crapola and woken up with regret. Only to start at Day 1 again.

I mean, I'm at Day 5 AGAIN! so going back to Day 1 wouldn't be all that much of a big deal. Except it is.

Now, today I have thought about drinking. Of course I have! Maybe it will always be a Plan B in the back of my mind.

But I quickly dismissed it. I really don't want it. I thought about going out and getting a pack of cigarettes but I don't really want to start a habit that I quit more than 10 years ago. That's freaking absurd!

So here I am sitting with my feelings. I am allowing myself to be mad, slightly muffed, because you know golf is already the longest sport in the world but on top of that he had a rain delay today. So it's almost 8 and he's been gone for about 8 hours. Playing golf.

In case you are wondering, he is not a professional! He does not get paid playing golf. In that case, perhaps my perspective would be a wee bit different. LOL and all that jazz.

In the headspace app, I have learned that I will have thoughts. I can observe them, notice them and let them pass. And I will. I won't let it build up. I won't look to something else to drown out my frustration (except maybe this blog and Instagram!). And this too shall pass.

So there. Take that.

100 days I'm coming for you.

Be Prepared - Sober Tip and Tool Box

IMG_6329.JPG O.K So I'm back on Day 2 folks. This journey has had many ups and downs! Each time I break a sober streak, I don't like to start back at the beginning but I really feel like I have learned from each misstep.

I've pretty much learned how to get through stressful situations or unpleasant situations (temper tantrums, feeling overwhelmed with work/life balance, fight with husband, etc.). I had a lot of practice - and Day 1s! - figuring it all out and "thinking through the drink."

My latest hurdle (and reason for being back at Day 2) was a simple beer at the pool. It was a nice sunny Sunday. We were hanging out with friends and I decided to crack open a can of beer.

I didn't have a second one. I felt irritable and tired the rest of the day but it taught me that I have to prepare for the Good Days and Sunshine too!

O.K. So tonight we are going to watch fireworks for July 4.

I need to prepare tonight so I'm going to:

  • Visualize myself enjoying the fireworks and enjoying water and saying no to alcohol and crawling into bed without a drop of alcohol.
  • I'm going to think about those who inspire me - like some of my favorite authors of sober success stories (Clare Pooley, Bex Weller and Elizabeth Vargas)
  • PREPARE - what am I going to say tonight when someone asks me if I want a drink:
    • No thanks, I'm not drinking tonight
    • No thanks, I'm doing a sober challenge
    • No thank you
    • No, not for me thanks

Someone on Instagram suggested "I'm a retired professional" which is fun. But I'm going to head on over there, enjoy the fireworks with the kiddos and just say no!

Day 1 of the #GR8TFUL28 Gratitude Challenge

gratitude weekly Been reading about the many benefits of cultivating gratitude in one's life. I am not great at journaling (hence the reason why I'm trying to maintain this blog), but when Gr8tful_yogi asked me to join her on hosting a Gratitude Challenge for the month of July, I thought this would be a great opportunity to try to journal and keep in mind ALL the wonderful things I have in this life.

Comparison is the thief of joy and, therefore, I am grateful for the following today:

  • Feeling really great lately. I have lots of energy, my skin has cleared up and I'm feeling pretty productive with work, maintaining a home life, connecting with the children, etc. I know I take for granted my health a lot and am just grateful that my body and mind are feeling good.
  • Enjoying the summer with my boys. Before the boys' preschool got out for the season, I looked at each week of the summer and tried to plan out some fun things for us all to do. I want summer to feel a little different for the boys - so I booked and scheduled a beach trip, a few trips to the lake and some summer camps. I'm making playdates with friends and their children and - while the schedule is not overly detailed - it's been nice to do different things and experience new activities together.
  • Grateful for a long weekend/week. This week marks the beginning of the July 4 holiday. I've already noticed that work is slowing down a bit and project assignments are slowing down. I'm grateful for the opportunity to work - but to have the luxury of a little more time with the kiddos is always a plus.

What are you grateful for this fabulous Sunday?

Today I am thankful for another sober day under my belt

IMG_6543.JPG This was written in my gratitude journal last week but I wanted to share in case it may help someone!

The last few days I have won the battle over my inner voice to have a drink. The sensation is a physical one - I feel so much pressure and heat in my chest. And the battle in my mind is a back and forth volley between a good voice - and a nagging, irritable shrill demand for alcohol.

The wine witch/wolfie or whatever people call it - is a voice.

And I see a CRAZY parallel between my inner voice (when its telling me I need a drink) and my toddlers when they incessantly ask for something that I have already told them no to.

  • There are SO many times as a parent where I have just given in to whatever their demand was.
  • Seeing no end in sight.
  • Just wanting the nagging to go away.

But I know that's not good for the kids. And giving in to my inner wolfie/wine witch isn't good either.

Cravings, much like whining kiddos, are temporary situations.

If my kids are whining about something and I remain clam and just stay consistent in continuing to say no, eventually they concede. And so does my inner voice telling me that the only way I can relieve stress is by having a drink.

 

Slaying Your Weekend Warrior

Bare Organics (2) O.K. So I downloaded Slaying Your Weekend Warrior - and I like the idea of a workbook incorporated into overall product. My first assignment for the first two weeks (on day 6) and I'm logging it here.

  • How do I feel right now? Nervous, optimistic for the opportunities a 100% sober life will bring. But nervous because I have had so many day 1s before.
  • What problems have I encountered because of my habitual drinking routines? Lack of energy, irritability, fights with my husband, dumping money down the drain, mindless eating, crappy sleep...
  • When did I start drinking and why? I think I was 15. I was living in Germany and the drinking age was 16. I was curious. I got sick off Amaretto. I never thought of not drinking because it's always been important for me to blend in - or at least fit in (if there is a difference).
  • Why do I want to stop There's just no good reason to drink anymore. I'm 41. I want to keep my health. I want to sleep better. I want to be a good example for my sons. I want to feel confident and shake my anxiety. I want to *maybe* inspire other mommys or women out there who are wondering if Wine O'Clock is really helping them in their lives. I want better clarity. Better productivity. More positivity in my life. My workouts are better. I rarely fight with my husband when I haven't had wine.
  • Where do I see myself in four months if I continue to drink? In the same place I am now. Trying to string a few sober days together and then giving in for a glass of wine. And then being frustrated at myself for giving in.
  • Where do I see myself in four months if I extinguish alcohol in my life? Full of life, vibrancy and positivity. Perhaps even be in a position to help other people and inspire others! :)

O.K. Here we go.

Always Be Prepared - new motto!

Bare Organics (4).png I'm just going to take a page out of the Boy Scout handbook and need to come up with a game plan for being prepared. When I haven't been prepared, that is when I get caught off guard and end up drinking.

  • One of my triggers used to be stress with the kids. The kids whining - or an unexpected meltdown. Those still stress me out BUT I have learned to do some deep breathing, ask my husband for a time out or meditate for a bit. And sometimes I just have a non-alcoholic beer (and chug it like a normal beer!. I can move on past this trigger without thinking about drinking.
  • One of my triggers also used to be a nice, sunny day or event of some sort. The way I cope with this is to have a fancy coffee drink or just reflect on why a drink isn't a good idea - I'll get tired, lazy, irritable - I'll regret it later. So this used to sneak up on me but now I've got some sort of handle on it. I can also resort back to a non-alcoholic beer.

Now, this exercise will help me prepare for the unexpected moment of just being relaxed and content. The last time I stumbled, I was caught off guard eating dinner with my husband and just thought "oh one wont' hurt" - but it did. Even though I didn't have a hangover or anything the next day, I was really disappointed and pissed that I have to start all over again.

Here we go. Let's get prepared for some other instances:

  • Location - nice, relaxing setting outdoors or inside - during dinner or at home - where I am feeling content
  • Time - probably in the evening
  • Emotional state - content and happy
  • Other people - friends and family
  • Preceding action - Why don't you just have one?
  • What routine do you put in place? Imagine the disappointment of starting back to day 1, ask for a mocktail n/a beer or soda water.
  • Location - Beach trip
  • Time - daytime or evening
  • Emotional state - content and happy - the feeling of "deserving one" because I'm on vacation
  • Other people - friends and family
  • Preceding action - Why don't you just have one? It's vacation!
  • What routine do you put in place? Imagine the disappointment of starting back to day 1, ask for a mocktail n/a beer or soda water.