Surrendering Control


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 🙂 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.💟 )

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


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!)


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


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

March Madness


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! 

3 Weeks – Moderate Thoughts


You know how we all want 0 & 10 as addicts and 5 sucks? I need to get my old brain working on some 5 issues.

I want : To run away on vacation.10!  I’m planning: Nothing. Zero.

Answer: Dunno….. What is middle ground? Books & Movies – I do these, probably a 2 or 3 on the Escapism Meter. Run to the bigger town & do errands/ shopping? 3/4. Going to Mpls to visit family? 7/8. No surprises or anticipation to any of these things though. 

I want: A big garden 10! Can all my produce & buy nothing from grocery store 10! I’m planning: Yep, planning. Doing nothing. Zero.

Answer: Container gardening. Small garden. I’ve had offers from friends to use their yard since my house is for sale. 

I want: My old life back pre-break up! I’m planning: Nothing or a half hearted attempt to keep it the same.

Answer: Accept what each day brings. Not looking back, not looking forward.

The Search For 5….. A NEW HOBBY that gets me out of my head and house, is a challenge, fulfills me without draining me, is sustainable! 

Not Search For 5…..Sit, relax, no goals.

Finding 5 ……Finish Stuff…..It may be time to address my own home. My photos, my hundreds of cookie cutters, stamping supplies, Legos. Maybe it’s time to KonMari my life. If I get rid of stuff, who or what is left behind? If my summer is spent working on myself versus giving my time, talents and energy away, who will emerge? How will it be reflected in my daily routine? 

Finding 5 – Feels like relaxing into the best of myself. No ten, no zero. Action without crazy. Yep, that feels like 5.

Day 17 – My New Life


I went back and read my blog posts before the relationship. I did not remember that I had ended my 7 months sobriety BEFORE the relationship. I ended it over my car accident. 

I get very tired of remembering things incorrectly. Before I had children, my teens, 20’s & 30’s, I would fight anyone who told me I was wrong. After a good few years of ‘baby brain’, my 40’s,  I realized that it was okay to be wrong. After ‘baby brain/fog’ lifted, my current brain status, I found it was even okay to laugh at how poorly I remembered. Especially when everyone was the same. It’s just normal human stuff.

Looking back at before the relationship I thought I was so settled and content. Not according to my blog posts though. During the relationship I was happy. But I was giving away all my time and energy to someone else. THAT is something I do very well. Caretake. Manage. Control. Name your poison. 

So, I got sober for a while. (Yeah me!) But hadn’t really found MY SOBER LIFE. Then I started a relationship  (Another Yeah Me! for taking a chance.) But I was piggybacking on someone else’s life. Now, it’s time to start my new life.

I would love to garden, but my house is on the market. Do I take it off for 4 years until my youngest graduates? Do I start a garden and look at it as a selling feature? Do I not garden and get a summer job? Do I keep fixing up the house and push hard to sell? Then do I buy/rent another one? And start all over? 

What part of the thought process feels like a sober life? The part where I get lost in my passions, when I can’t wait to wake up and start thinking. My Pinterst (Lori’s Books) has 3 sections, recipes, garden and decorate. Things not on my Pinterst, fashion, tattoos, art, parenting, health & fitness, and a whole bunch of other stuff. 

Following my areas of interest and passion is going to help me find My New Life. 

Day 16 – One Or The Other


Whenever a wave of sadness hits, I tell myself

  • If this didn’t happen, I would still be drinking.
  • I would still be drinking and pretending that it hadn’t gotten bad again.
  • I would have been disengaged from my kids & dog,
  • Work days were feeling longer and more stressful,
  • My house was messier,
  • My body was heavy & bloated, my clothes were uncomfortable.

I can’t have both. The relationship and drinking. 

I had chosen drinking and it cost me a relationship. 

But if the relationship had continued, I know my drinking would have.

I didn’t fully understand why people held their sobriety as so fragile. I loved my 7 months sober because I felt great. This relationship tested me and I failed (or won) because I can now define cunning, baffling  and insidious. 

I thought it was a cop-out when alcoholism was defined as a disease. I liked dis-ease, but not disease. I watched someone get a heart attack at 30. Undiagnosed diabetes was a big factor. But he was a strong normal young man with no symptoms. He  now has to guard his lifestyle so carefully. For the first time I feel like my drinking feels like that.

In my relationship, he truly believed it was a willpower issue. I think deep down I did too. And when you love someone, you also tend to believe things together. He was never comfortable with my NOT drinking, but I thought I could do it. I know I ignored many warning signs.

I didn’t choose to stay sober. I’m chalking it up to my Year of Yes last year. I said yes to drinking and a relationship. Both things taught me many lessons. The biggest lesson is I can’t drink. I have a disease and I have to guard my lifestyle carefully.

 If I had gotten to keep my relationship, I would still be drinking. I can’t say it enough. I don’t get both and stay healthy and sober. If I had guarded my sobriety would I still be in the relationship? Maybe it would have ended sooner or maybe it would have been better. I don’t get to know that anwer. It is part of the grieving process to mourn what could have been.

My body feels amazing sober, my lifestyle has become easy again but oh my head is sad. That will pass. My commitment to creating and maintaining a sober lifestyle is number one right now. In so many ways this event (my rock bottom moment) has been a gift. A second chance to be my best self. 

Day 14 – My Son Has Anxiety


I got a phone call from the driving instructor that my 14 year old son was crying in the back of the car after his turn to drive.He had asked him a bunch of times what was going on, but my son was to distraught to speak. When he called he said he would let him try one more time, but then he would request that he be let go from the program.

I asked my son what happened and he cried again. I asked what he was feeling and he said he had no feelings, it just happens. I told him he had to stop it. After getting nowhere, I sent him to shower and I got on the internet.

First, I found that repeatedly grilling him is not helping. (I love parenting – it’s so easy!!) 

Second, I discovered the most amazing website for anxiety in teens.  There is a site for adults too. 

He took the test and I was surprised. My introverted, sensitive, quiet son isn’t! He has, in his own words, Social Anxiety. The site didn’t have those words but HE NAMED IT. Now I have a beginning spot. “IT” has a name. The intangible, overwhelm can be contained.

I compare it to how I have come to understand alcoholism. Once I understood what it felt like, there were others like me, and there were answers, I could work with it. Not eliminate it, but calm it and quiet the beast. And i have learned that it is a part of me and I am not ‘less than’ for having it. It will flare up if I don’t take care of myself. 

Honestly, I don’t want to add helping my son deal with anxiety so bad that he may be let go from driving, to my plate right now. But…this is what has to happen above all else. 

Day 13 – Alone & Boundaries


I finally drove in the car without listening to podcasts. At work, I sent everyone home to get them off overtime. They were thrilled. I crossed about a billion things off my to-do list during a quiet afternoon alone at the office. I finished my candy route and at home is wasn’t my night to cook. I started the new Stuart Woods book and barely made it to 8 pm bedtime.

The newest Yoga Church Podcast was on Boundaries. It has really been resonating with me. I have boundary issues. I love their examples as relating to yoga. Friends, I just DO NOT STAY ON MY OWN MAT. And I do not set healthy boundaries for myself in relationships. 

Part of this stems from alcohol issues and part from family of origin and part from living alone for most of my life. I moved out at 17. Was married for 7 years and he travelled about 200 plus days a year. So, of the 53 years, I have been alone for well over 30 years. Making decisions, paying bills, raising special needs kids. 

If I DON’T GET OFF MY MAT then nothing gets done. Well, that is how I see it. 

I am finding out my theory is flawed though.

If I don’t get what I want, I will jump on your mat and show you. If you dont do what I want, then I will drink because life is hard and nobody understands what I want. 

Supposedly this is what I am supposed to do, disengage. Let you do it wrong. Because it is only wrong to me. It may be perfect to you.

 You might not be able of touch your toys because you broke your pelvis. And I’m all jumping on your mat and forcing you into a pose because I totally am an expert in this and I totally know what I’m doing, so much better than you. I can make it easier, more efficient and cost effective. So do it my way! 

Ugh…it’s rather embarrassing how much I do this.

Then in relationships, I push and push. I need to know if this is the happy ending I am searching for, because I want the relationship to be easier, more efficient and cost effective. I don’t have time to invest in a product that won’t produce over time. (My management skills do not translate well to relationships!) But these, so far, are the skills I have honed from being alone.

As much as it hurts, I need to continue to be alone right now. Staying on my own mat. My sober mat needs to make its boundaries strong again. 

Day 11 – Knocked Down Again


I was up…now I’m down….My son asked if we broke up. He heard it at school. WTF

Since I have told literally no one, how does he hear it at school? I didn’t even get a chance to tell my kids myself. 

But I was horribly, painfully, honest. I said I did something very bad. I drank and we fought. My oldest immediately figures out that I drank and drove. He is furious and disappointed. 

I barely slept last night. I am down 10 pounds in a week. (I’m okay with this though! It was just crappy bloating.) But I need to be careful. I’m feeling fragile at a time that I need to be strong for work.

And speaking of work, it is going really well! Then, I immediately feel sad because I wouldn’t be here at all, without my friend’s relentless encouragement and support. 

Reading back over old blog posts at this time of year, I was insanely stressed out. This year has been wonderful! Except for this breakup. 

Up. Down. Up. Down.