7 Weeks – Day 50

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It’s the final push of tax season. Nothing gets finished. Tax returns are the most complicated right now, so most times you can’t finish in one sitting. 

There is no cleaning at home, no cooking and sooo many school obligations.

No closure and completion, just a sense of get through this…

My much needed weekend of rest has been cut short with a staff member’s emergency. I have to get dressed today, lol. 

I had some cravings to drink last night. A miscommunication and too many mandatory commitments made me upset because it will add more schedule juggling next week.

 I was excited to come home and watch Room. I had recently finished this haunting book and a movie night seemed perfect. My thoughts went to ‘happy to be done & would love to check out with a warm glass of red’.

I talked on the (headset) phone while driving to avoid stopping at the store. I made it, but know that this could be a tough weekend of cravings to drink.

My plan is to stick close to home and focus on not being busy. I really need some things to close before Monday. Meaning, no dirty dishes, laundry done and house picked up. Just some surface stuff, but a fresh beginning to next week. Put away some left out projects to pick up a few weeks from now. 

I need to cook. I need to rest. I need to read. I need to plant some seeds. The smells of warm potting soil, strawberry rhubarb bars, homemade bread, clean sheets.Time getting lost in a book until the oven timer goes off. Reading ONE chapter as a reward for vacuuming ONE room. Clean sheets. Did i say that already?! Aahh….That kind of rest.

The strawberry rhubarb bars smell amazing right now…..

6 Weeks – How did This Happen?

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Because I have blogged for years, I get to look back. How did getting to 6 weeks sober get “easy”? Only because I did the hard work a little at a time, over many years, with lots of starts and stops. Each time built a stronger foundation. 

It feels like, “Mom, Mark is poking me!” Mom sighs, “Just move.” 

  1. I want Mom to fix it. Someone tell me how to be sober. Just do it for me.
  2. I want Mark to stop poking me. If only everyone else would quit bugging me, needing me, if the stress would go away, I could stay sober.
  3. Mom is frustrated. She has the answer. It’s (sort of) simple. Just don’t drink today.
  4. I move. I stand further back from the problem. I take action. I can’t make Mark stop poking me, I can’t make Mom stop Mark poking me. I, however, can move. [Or I can say No & punch him.] All those answers start with me taking action.

In these last six weeks being sober, I’ve taken action. I have tools built from past experiences. I’ve developed a hundred different ways to step back from my annoying brother.

Taking a drink every night felt like getting poked. I couldn’t figure out how to make it stop. 

Being sober makes me feel powerful. I can’t stop all  the stupid people in this world from trying to poke me (politics, overtime, health care, violence, global warming, no chocolate in the house). But I have learned what makes me thrive. 

Sometimes nibbling a lemon cookie and sipping hot tea in the evening and watching everyone else poke each other is a good place to be. 

Just move.

Am I Attached To (Garden) Outcomes?

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Yes.

End of post.

Haha. I have been working on this issue this week. This is such a pretty way of saying I’m a control freak. 

What I have been trying to do is react to my gut feeling and then let it go. Let it percolate in the universe and see what comes back.

  • A piece of land came up for sale. My heart said put a bid on it. I did! The sellers came back excruciatingly high. I took someone out to get a good opinion of the work that needed to be done and found it was much worse than I thought. My bid at half the offer price was even too high. When you have to replace both the septic and the well, that is out of my league for a piece of land for a garden.
  • I have been trying to process my relationship with My Friend. I am very tender and hurt. I am uncovering how many ways he was quietly protecting me when I thought he wasn’t speaking to me. Unless he did x,y,z, I assumed there was no relationship. He didn’t let me go during that time. I let him go. I gave up after a week because it didn’t fit my time frame to wait. (Insert longer, detailed story here…) Looking back on my blog posts, the morning I surrendered the outcome, he showed up in my life.
  • He walked the land I wanted to buy and asked me what was the rush? I told him I needed my garden. A garden that no one can take away from me. If I garden at my home and it sells, I lose it. If I garden at his place and we break up, I lose it. I needed to control the outcome so badly I was ready to make a $20,000 mistake. Wow. That was an eye opener. 

I have decided to garden (for free) at both my house and his. Just do my favorite thing. Enjoy the experience and trust the universe. Last summer my garden brought me so much joy. The minute the garden was put to bed last fall, I have been scouring catalogs and designing the next garden on graph paper. When I thought the relationship ended I thought my garden ended. I find it a little funny that out of all of this, I looked to replace my garden but didn’t want a replacement boyfriend. 

4 Weeks – Old & New Treats

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This is a collection of treats & rewards from several of my Day 30’s. Reading old posts reminds me how hard the first go-around at getting sober was! I was so strong to keep going. WOW This time around I haven’t much noticed. It has been relatively easy (in comparison). I was able to feel great physically very quickly. That first time was such a physical battle of PAWS or detox. Each sobriety attempt gets longer between relapses. I am also not having to develop new tools. My home is filled with those things already. This is one of those times that I am glad that I put the time and hard work in earlier, even if I failed sobriety. Now, when I truly, truly need them, my tools are there to keep me safe.

I haven’t posted much about rewards and treats lately. I am definitely making them a routine part of my life. Here’s some of the special things I saved up to do on 30 days sober instead of doing just any old day.

  1. Homemade pizza – or as my son says “If I was Gordon Ramsey I would be yelling THIS IS BLOODY GREAT!” Yep, he loves my pizza.
  2. Dole Banana Dippers – chocolate covered frozen bananas
  3. West Side Story – oh my goodness, just thinking about it makes my eyes water. The first notes of the love songs I would start to cry and my son just shook his head. In high school this was our summer musical. I was in the band and got to play 3 different clarinets for the performances. Instead of dancing or singing along, I finger my notes during the music. I have also done Fiddler on the Roof. The stories, the music, the memories. Where were you when watched musicals? I was in the orchestra pit. Every scene, every intermission, the music.
  4. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – fabulous psycho thriller! Jodi Piccoult’s new one is up next.
  5. The Grand Budapest Hotel – watched in the morning with my son who also appreciates smart movies.
  6. Pizza dough flavor from King Arthur Flour. My package arrived yesterday with lots of goodies, such as Vietnamese cinnamon, Buttery pretzel mix, Chocolate donut mix, Very vanilla – very expensive! 
  7. YUMCheesy vegetable chowder soup mix which I made for breakfast while watching movie.
  8. FranklinCovey Planner  with new garden pages to organize my work life. Waking up and being able to do all the things I planned on a Saturday because I feel great! And very grateful šŸ™‚
  9. NEW – lol – more FranklinCovey notebooks & pages! Plus new planners for recipes and errands. Organization makes me feel safe.
  10. NEW – Toast & my homemade jelly.
  11. NEW – Room by Emma Donaghue
  12. NEW – Tea in my best mug. (2 cups of coffee first though šŸ˜‰

Surrendering Control

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I was reading Melody Beattie’s book Finding Your Way Home and this hit me hard yesterday morning.

“Most of the time I would rather stress and stay attached to outcomes. That seems like the logical, practical and only was to go. The problem is that path doesn’t lead the way home. When you surrender you don’t know how things are going to work out.”

I was rather WTF! How can anyone live with that CHAOS! My EVERYTHING depends on OUTCOMES! My job, parenting, grocery shopping…. Usually when something makes me that crazy, it is an issue that needs help. 

So, I applied it. 

Surrender #1  –  The 14 year old had school 7:30 – 3:30. Driving instruction 3:30-5:30. Drinking (lol spell correct) DRIVING classroom 5:30-8:30. No breaks. (This broke my Mommy Heart. My baby won’t eat! He won’t have any decompression time!)

I made him a sack supper and told him to eat at some point (all 97 pounds of him – My baby! He barely turns off the air bag when he sits in front!!) I was brave and told him I wouldn’t be able to help him today, he would need to rely on others to figure his day out. 

I gave him the food and surrendered the outcome. 

At 8:30 pm he was not dead. Success! Bonus parenting moment – he was chatty and told me about his day. 

Surrender #2 – I had finally let go of any hope of being able to have a conversation/face-to-face apology with my friend. I was dead to him. My head and heart wanted some closure. 

I decided yesterday that closure was going to be my surrender. (Or my version of closure.)

He walked through the door at work and I said as long as he was there we could finish his taxes. (For farmers we start in December for a March 1st deadline.) He didn’t answer but took off his coat and sat down. 

I started working and surrendered the outcome.

I do a new tax return/client/corporation almost every hour, ever day for 4 months straight. (I don’t do as many in the summer but prepare other taxes.) This girl can make conversation & stay professional! And more people tell me that they learn something new every year and almost everyone leaves smiling šŸ™‚ I love my job! 

So, I did my job. By the end, he was smiling too and making jokes with the staff. I was brave. I said I would walk him out. I asked him if he was ever going to speak to me again. Loooong pause……finally he said yes. We talked briefly and he said it wasn’t all my fault. And yes we do need to talk sometime. He said he was giving things space because of tax season. 

I was completely shocked and had a major headache the rest of the day. 

Bonus. I told my 17 year old that we talked. He said he had seen him last week. (Hello?! WTF) He said, “Remember when you told me I stunk and I said I had sore muscles? I was helping out on the farm. Are you mad?” Heavens no, surprised for sure though. My kid went on to tell me that they talked and he was reassured that they would always be friends no matter what happens between Mom & him. (My heart softened. There were forces at work beyond my realm of reality.) 

How do I feel this morning? SUPER PROUD of myself for what others call normal parenting. I rocked letting my 14 year old handle his day!

The other issue, woke with a headache, but realized it’s weather related & took a decongestant & feel much better! Once again, I thought I knew FOR SURE it was a stress headache. ONCE AGAIN, my answer was wrong. (Truly – I thank God for taxes that I do control the outcome and there is ONE right answer. I love you math.šŸ’Ÿ )

I am not giving too much thought to The Guy right now. The chicken catalog came in the mail yesterday. Before the fight, the 4 of us had planned to have eggs, fresh garden produce and lots of good Iowa sweet corn for sale this summer. 

I let myself open the catalog for a quick peek…… 

Life at 5 – Moderation Compromise

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I found myself attracted to the ‘Declutter’ posts on Pinterest. I signed up for one that was a 15 minute a day for 2017 Challenge. As I have made HUGE strides in reducing clutter, I knew it would not be overwhelming, but would just give me a gentle nudge. 

A Fantastic 5 Weekend! 

I started with one drawer, and it completely took my mind away from thinking of my shame and sadness. My goal was to get the drawer 100% empty. I ended the weekend with 4 completely empty drawers and an empty head too.

From my last post Anne reminded me to not take on any major projects, so I stopped at noon on Sunday and got the house back to normal. Then I painted my toes, washed my sheets and watched Woman In Gold while eating both popcorn & ice cream! 

In the last three weeks I have had only two small cringes of wanting to drink. For that I am grateful! One was definitely when I watched the movie. When I first began the process of getting sober in 2013, I couldn’t watch movies at night because of the triggers. (I LOVED watching them in the morning with coffee though!)

Self-Care:

  • Got out of my head.
  • Cleaned out drawers
  • Picked up the house early in the day, leaving time for…

Rewards:

  • Pretty polished toes
  • Clean sheets
  • Movie with popcorn & ice cream
  • Waking up to a clean home

March Madness

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Oh sheesh…just realized these old hats someone gave my kids 15 years ago were not really appropriate for the sober blog. They were sure fun for toddlers!