“i ate the chicken”

some of the best (and worst) search engine terms that have brought people to my blog over the last 6o days.

  • tired of thinking about drinking
  • jason vale alcohol
  • gigantic anus
  • how to celebrate 90 days sober
  • ode to red wine
  • where to set up a hot dog stand
  • does your metabolism change if you stop drinking red wine
  • 8th day sober
  • big anuses
  • oh god i wish my husband had a dick this big
  • pink cloud sober
  • hilarious misunderstanding
  • irritated by drinking habits of husbands
  • if shit were a mouthful
  • i ate the chicken
  • swarming thoughts of you
  • why can’t i sleep well after drinking red wine
  • drink every night, brain feels fragmented
  • 4 glasses of wine before bed
  • bored in hotel room drinking beer
  • first day sober from alcohol
  • feeling sad and irritated first 30 days of sobriety
  • how to make wife stop complaining about drinking
  • sober vacation france
  • i want my teacher to notice i throw up
  • jobs which require drinking with clients
  • sample topics for sober thinking
  • 10 things i’m grateful for
  • i’m grateful for my husband

i’m sure the person who entered “i ate the chicken” was super disappointed to be directed to my blog as a result …

vomiting newborn

I have two regular jobs. They’re interesting but not passionate. about a year ago i had a series of light bulb passionate moments, and tried to turn my passion into a tiny job #3.  being an international arriving in a foreign country gives you a different perspective on ‘what this place needs’… you know, bar room talk like: What this place needs is a hot dog stand.  What this place needs is an English-speaking psychologist who specializes in law of attraction.  What this place needs is a Starbucks.  What this place needs is a crunchy granola breakfast place that serves free range eggs and nitrate free bacon (like my favorite one back home in Vermont).

Most of these ‘bar room’ ideas won’t work. And you begin to think that your idea won’t work either. I mean, if it’s such a great idea why hasn’t someone else done it? This place needs a running group just for slow runners, not elite athletes, just people who want to get off the couch (like couch to 5K but in real-life).  This place needs a big swapmeet/flea market/buy&sell shop just for vinyl albums.  This place needs a fine arts daycare/after-school program for latchkey kids.  This place needs kids’ music classes that aren’t so serious – how about teaching them music but doing it through teaching them the Beatles …

like i said, most bar room ideas don’t work. but they’re really cool dreams.

i had one of these cool dreams, and a year ago I started to to poke away at it.  frankly i didn’t care if it didn’t work financially because i loved doing it so much.

then in March something happened:

when this hobby/passion started to really take off and be successful back in March, i had to quit drinking for 5 days straight to make it through a big client job (cuz this is all in addition to my regular job).  i knew then that to deliver the kind of work it required, i would not be able to drink at all. i remember i pulled an all-nighter, and celebrated by having a bath in the morning with a cup of tea before crawling into bed at 9 am.  now i realize that this passion — the work it requires, the sacrifices in time — it is what led me to KNOW that i had to quit drinking (eventually) for good.  There just wasn’t room in my life for passion and booze.  i knew that booze had to go, even then, even back in March (4 months before i actually quit). there was never any question about not pursuing the passion once it got hold of me.

Then my small puttering at #3 led me to the Big Contract.  Then my smaller clients seemed to love me MORE. then i preached (to myself) to avoid exhaustion at all costs.

I’m sure everyone with a newborn would say they’re exhausted but it’s worth it! i’m sort of like someone with a newborn – EXCEPT i get to control when my newborn cries and i get to control how much sleep i have … at first i was just so damn thrilled that #3 was working (after a year of very small successes). now it’s like “ok, what happened to my regularly scheduled lazy life?”  and while i will be fine, i have to find a new normal …

And I can happily and thankfully say that drinking never comes up as an option on how to unwind.  Even as recently as the end of September, when exhausted i would think of drinking.  That reflex or instinct seems to have left me now. There’s just not a shit hope in hell of me having a drink and being able to thrive in my current life. The only analogy i can think of … it’d be like being up with a colicky newborn at 3 a.m., and the baby is vomiting every twenty minutes, and you think that drinking two bottles of wine would make it better … it is Just. Not. Possible.

finally, i wonder if it’s ridiculous to continuously refer to my “job #3 passion/thingy” … maybe it’s already clear what i’m doing. Is it a little bit irritating when people share parts of their story but not all of it? (i know, i know, we all want some anonymity but i’m wondering what that serves exactly, in my case, and honestly now it feels weirdly pretentious to keep talking about something without saying what it is… it feels forced now).

i think i’ll have a contest where you guess what #3 is (everyone except Mrs D can guess).

what are your thoughts on “what this place needs” or “exhaustion” or “filling your life with passion” or what my “#3 job passion/thingy” is?

Or you can just press “Like” and keep going … : ) Happy Saturday everyone!

busy, tired, well

remember how i said that i was going to ensure that i got enough sleep and could run, even as this new job kicked my ass? time to re-evaluate. it’s kicking my ass! i have no interest in alcohol, have lost track of days, am working as ‘hard’ as i have in my whole life (i look longingly at my desk and wish i could sit here more often, the new job is much more physical than i’ve ever been, ever). in a physical job, you need your body to work. reliably. not be hung over, dehydrated, or feverish. i have so much good going on right now, i simply don’t have time for booze or thoughts of booze.

i remember once hearing some self-help wanker saying something like “don’t worry about trying to change bad habits, just fill your life with good habits and the bad habits will fade away on their own.” this clearly is a bunch of hollow advice, and yet … back in march when i started this new job #3 passion thingy, it was super clear that i couldn’t do it and drink at the same time, and the drinking left.  albeit only for days or weeks at a time, but it was on its way out.

i’ve got nothing to say here except: i’m busy, i’m tired, i’m looking forward to this day and i’d like it be finished. i only got 6 hrs sleep last night. driving in a new country is scary and exhilarating. i have NO thoughts of drinking. i’ve finally lived up to the title of this blog. (just looked it up, i’m day 111 – that’s seems like a good number!) wine is no longer a daily part of my thoughts, of my coping mechanisms, or how i choose to ‘have fun’.  i haven’t been posting as often or leaving comments on other blogs as much as i’d like. i’m reading everything, just not commenting as much. please know that i’m here, that i’m well, and that i’m THRIVING.

what ‘good’ thing could you fill your life with, that — when placed next to drinking — would make drinking look like a gigantic waste of time?  a new relationship. a passionate hobby. your second half-marathon, the perfect apple pie …

i’m curious 3

First, my brief update: i am well, just very very very busy with job #3 passion thingy, it’s literally taking over my life in a good way. it’s freaky busy/successful and my biggest challenge isn’t growing and advertising, it’s balancing the growth that’s happening without me doing anything. now that i no longer have to think about ‘not drinking’, i’m focusing on getting to bed early and running. these two things (combined with not drinking) are my survival tools. I am surviving and thriving. my job #3 passion thingy is so fucking busy that i crashed for two days on the weekend, like nearly had a coma:  i just read and sat inside watching the rain.  i did run, eat well, slept well, and did nothing else. nothing. no tv. no cleaning, no food making. i did play cards with my husband and he beat me 7 out of 8 times. this morning, back to work, and it looks like it might be busier than last week. And the new client who had hired two of us to share the work? the other chick ain’t doing so hot, they let me know, so they want me to step it up a bit. a bit more. i even have to rent a car and start driving in this new wacky place. i drove today and, of course, it was fine. i’m adaptable. i can drive in foreign countries. i’m a smart, sober chick. i’ve got this covered…

but anyway, the point of this post is the CURIOUS part : )  This is becoming a monthly thing, and i look forward to it : )

I know that i lurked on a few blogs for a while before I actually quit drinking for real. I was looking for motivation and i really wanted to hear that other people had been successful at what i was contemplating/struggling with.

This blogging community really does have all that, and then some.

So here’s what i’m curious about. Can you do me a favor?

  1. Post a comment with your number of days sober.
  2. If you are an anonymous lurker, and you’re sober, you can just put Sober as your name, and then use a fake email as your email address (12345@12345.com) – tell me how many days sober. You can remain anonymous of course.
  3. If you are a lurker, and you aren’t (yet) sober but you’re looking for inspiration, you can put Hoping as your name (or whatever), and use my email as your email address (12345@12345.com). And you can pick a date when you’d like to start your sober journey (i.e. in 5 days, or november 1st, or whatever). You can remain anonymous, too.

I also sometimes forget how far along in the sober journey some of you are … so this will help me remember and help me celebrate with you.

Really, if you’re an anonymous lurker that’s totally fine! Just chime in with where you are : )

PS/ HERE’S MY GUT REFLEX: I have no proof of this and am only going on a gut feeling here, but if you are a lurker and still drinking, then by posting something anonymously, it’s like raising your hand and saying “ok, yes, i could use some support” and i think that makes a big difference in what happens next for you.  Well, if you don’t believe me, you can try posting something and see what happens : )

PPS/ I hope to hear again from “Hoping!!!” and from Jen and from NoMorePinot

well, it’s official

yes, it’s official. i not only need glasses to read my book in bed, but as of this past weekend i also need them to read menus, to fill out hotel registration forms, and nearly to tie my shoes. I’m nearly 46.

this doesn’t bother me much — except that it’s irritating to carry my glasses around all the time — it doesn’t bother me, because aging doesn’t really bother me much. i’m in good health, i look younger than my age, i don’t have to color my hair (no kids! no gray hair!).

I’ve heard 45 called “middle-aged.”

Me, I see life like this: from ages 0 to 20 years old, you’re growing as a body and as a personality, and you’re under the influence of parents and peers.  Stating at age 20, your life really begins.  If you live to 80, that means that you’ve got 60 really productive, adult, fulfilled years in your life.  OK, from age 20 to 40 you’re still figuring out a lot about who you are, and hopefully you stop doing a lot of bad shit, and you get yourself together, and you figure stuff out. More or less. That means from 40ish to age 80 is a huge bonus time, where you know what you want, and you set about having it …

So, at age 45, my life is really about 1/3 finished.  Disregard 0 to 20.  I didn’t really have any choices then.  My life started at 20.  I’ve lived from 20-40; I still have two more thirds to complete:  40-60, and 60-80.  And really, i may well live beyond 80… or i might get squished by a big bug, but i’m not counting on that.  i’m a non-smoking, non-drinking girl in a happy marriage, who runs.

i’m a girl who blogs OUT the bad shit before it takes root in her head.

i’m a girl who does NOT have to learn everything myself, the hard way. I take direction, I learn from mentors … so i can get where i need to go more efficiently. Stop wasting time. Start having fun.

and this is my plan.  even if i need bifocals to help me find my way!

100 days

100 days yesterday. bought myself a new pottery teacup as my reward.  i’m just back from a wonderful 4-day vacation, warm temperatures, lots of lounging, walking, eating good food. and upon arriving home, my 90 day reward (a big electric griddle) had arrived in the mail, so now there may be homemade english muffins in my future.

on my vacation, no cravings to drink. no thoughts whatsoever.  thankfully, it looks like a quiet week work-wise, which would be a blessing since the day before we left for vacation i think i worked 16 hrs … and the first day of vacation required a 3-hr nap to reset : )

get to the point, belle!

All is well now. i have laundry to do (who cares). i have a desk full of paperwork (yippee). and i really need to go to the big store and get big groceries (blech).  all is well. wouldn’t want to be anywhere other than here …

i’m going to bed

it’s 8:40 pm and i’m heading to bed. it’s the only way i can be sure that i won’t consume wine, so bed it is. i’ve asked my husband 3 or 4 times if we can have wine, and he’s made a joke each time. he made me tea, then tonic and cranberry juice. he made supper. he wrapped me in a blanket. he says shitty-chipper things like “i like it that we’re not drinking now.” Then i’m just silently mad at him that i can’t have wine, cuz now it’s his fault. by asking him for permission, and him saying no, i’ve made it so i can be irritated with him. instead of just announcing that i’m having wine, which he probably wouldn’t counter. what a co-dependent GIRL i am. i’m sure boys don’t do shit like this.

well, this girl is dragging her sorry ass to bed. i had a perfectly lovely busy day, yes i’m tired but not overly so. yes i was hungry but then i ate. it was a nice sunny day.  light reflecting off rooftops. and everywhere i looked, every single fucking person on the planet had a drink in their hand (this was at about 5 pm). there was booze in the grocery store, in the store windows, it was just fucking everywhere.  everyone else is having wine and having a nice lovely time. and i’m not.

and now that i’m 91 days i deserve a prize! A big Wine Prize! (I did order a 90-day present, it’s an electric griddle/frying pan thing.  hardly exciting (to you maybe) but i can’t wait for it to come so i can make homemade English Muffins cuz the ones in foreign-land SUCK rocks…

Did i say bed? i’m going to bed. tomorrow will be fine. thank god i can always go to bed.

to get away from myself.

90 days sober and an eargasm

90 days today. i’ve been planning a reward but haven’t come up with anything suitable yet.

I have a long — “time to make the donuts” — kind of day ahead of me today.

As I celebrate 90 days, i’ll share a few random things:

  • my favorite meal to have at home is roast chicken with carrots, dressing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce (homemade if possible, depends where you live, can’t get fresh cranberries here). my favorite meal to have out is breakfast. yes, it’s eggs and toast, but in a restaurant it tastes so much better.
  • my favorite dessert is Pie. I know i write a lot about cake, but a really good apple pie can change my day. or homemade cherry pie (none of that canned stuff). or lemon meringue. or coconut cream.
  • ok, something not food related: i had younger sisters growing up, but LOVED playing with my teddy bear. i used to think if i was quiet enough, that i could hear it speaking to me. one year i made my teddy bear a christmas tree out of the branches cut off the bottom of our big tree. i still have that bear, worn and bald, stored in my in-laws’ basement.
  • i can sign in tune and have perfect pitch. i can sing an A, for some reason that sound just lives in my head and i can pull it out at will. i used to tune the instruments in my junior high school band. if i’m watching a street performer and his guitar is wildly out of tune, i scrunch up my face a little.
  • that said, music is the one thing that can consistently and repeatedly give me goosebumps.  listen to this if you dare: http://gawker.com/eargasm/

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZ5ZclZTeTU]

  • when i go swimming, i feel like i’m on vacation. even if it’s snowing outside and i had to take the bus to get to the pool. something about swimming is magically relaxing to me. it takes me somewhere else. sort of like a long run, but with less angst …
  • i wrote this in my journal once: If i could paint like Mark Lague, my life would be complete:

Now I live in Europe, i’m super happily married, i have a couple of great jobs,  and I’m a wine-free zone. I don’t need much else : ) Think i’ll celebrate 90 days with a nice thick English-language newspaper imported from somewhere (Guardian UK? NYT?), and then on Sunday, when i’m finally done my work week, i’m going to spend an entire afternoon just reading it …

Hugs, me

Goal #4 is better than 95%…

funny. re-reading notes from january made while reading a self-help book. i made a list of personal development goals:

  1. Thin and lean, strong, bathing suit body
  2. Long hair, well groomed, nails, eyebrows
  3. Ridiculously well read, 52+ books/year
  4. Alcohol free (to 95%),with toasts and treats but no regular consumption
  5. Even mood, good sleep
  6. Clean, tidy, organized, prepared in advance
  7. Run more consistently
  8. Be more patient, willing to go slowly and do the work as well as dream outrageously

I’m always fascinated when i reread my journals. What strikes me about this list is that now that we’re nearing the last 3 months of the year, i can say that other than reading a ton, i do have the rest of it pretty much under control. Oh, well i don’t have #1. But goal #4 is better than 95%. Goal 6 is happening. Number 7 is true. and number 8 is definitely improved.

What i didn’t realize in writing this list back in january, was that the keystone habit that i needed to incorporate — the one thing that i could change that would make everything else easier — was being 100% sober. Had no idea how much easier it would be to achieve everything else i wanted in my life. Also had no idea quite how hard it is would be to quit. Could never, ever have done it alone. Blogging and this community is what made it possible for me.

While I do still toy with the idea of 95% sobriety, with treats and toasts, for the most part i’m too freaked out to lose the other things i’ve gained, and so for now, since i have something that’s working, i don’t want to fuck with it.

It’d be like if you gave up wheat and refined sugar (my next goal?), and you lost 20 pounds (is that me?), and then someone says “don’t you miss cake?” and you say “sure i miss cake, but i like this better.” I feel that way about wine now. maybe i’ll feel like that about cake some day. maybe after 30 days of anything that is life-improving, you’re more likely to say “i like this much better than that old thing.”

The hard part is starting and getting some momentum in your little car.

and now that i’m nearly at 90 days, i’m certainly not the slightest bit interested in starting to count days again from day #1.  and fuck yeah, sure, i’d love some wine. and yes, I’d like a glass of champagne now and then.  But for now, i am continuing to decide that the other gains i have are worth it.  Much more worth it than a glass of wine.

who do i have to become?

i am well.  day 86.  i do feel like i have a reward coming on day 90 but haven’t figure out what it should be yet. maybe a big feed of sushi. i was previously thinking expensive jewellery.  but now that i’m here at day 90, i want my BIG reward to come later… it’s getting easier to move the big reward forward in time. when i’m sober 120 days, 6 months, 12 months …

yesterday afternoon, after another 3-day passion/job thingy, i was sooo tired. and there was an open bottle of champagne in the house from guests. it was 5 pm and i was nearly collapsed with fatigue.  i asked husband if he was going to finish the champagne, and he said no. i said well this would be a good time for me to have some. a normal time. this would be the exact time where champagne would be a normal thing to do. he asked if i wanted tea. he poured the champagne down the drain in the kitchen, with me at his side, and i was saying “maybe you’ll finish it?” he kept pouring.  i love my husband. he is adorable.  he emptied out the champagne and then made me tea.

so yes, had a very busy weekend but with my new rules, i’m doing OK. i was even in bed last night BEFORE 9 pm and then slept 10.5 hours… this week i’m going to get to bed as early as possible every single night, just to ensure a good, smooth, even, enjoyable week.  This is the week that i begin the new contract for my passion/job thingy. well i haven’t heard from them since we ‘agreed’ to the terms by email, so i assume it’s all going ahead starting on wednesday. i have planned a very slack week for the rest of my life, to ensure adequate time, energy and room for this. also, husband is out 3 evenings this week so i’ll have lots of alone time suitable for bubble baths and early-to-bed reading.  i can seriously vegetate.

Who do I have to *become* in order to achieve my life goals?

I need to be someone who gets enough sleep 6 out of 7 nights, who is ‘in-advance’, who is patient, who does today what needs to be done and doesn’t wait for tomorrow. I need to be someone who rewards myself small and big, someone who pats myself on the back for a job well done. And someone who takes enough time off and has enough mid-week mini vacations to make it all worthwhile.

ladies and gentlemen, I have shit I want to DO with this very cool life of mine, and so i need to become the right kind of person. i need to evolve. and for me, the first step in evolution is enough sleep.