prunes, vacuums, and nature

thank god it’s all over, the holiday season. didn’t realize how exhausted and stressed i was, how near to drinking i probably was 3 or 4 times.  I didn’t seem to remember that it would take me a full 10 days of my 14 day vacation to truly unwind (i’m there now!). i’m glad the whole holiday/celebrating thing is finished, that new years eve is done, that my 6 month sober-versary has passed — and with it any ideas i had of ‘maybe i can drink now that it’s been 6 months’.  done with that kind of thinking. now i can go back to my regularly scheduled sober life.

and i feel pretty great. strangely empowered. better than i’ve felt in a long, long time.  I’m a girl who loves her vacations, that’s for sure.  i like working when i feel like it, sleeping, running, and frigging around in the kitchen.  i like planning for the new year without actually doing anything to advance my plans!  (I am a girl who loves a plan, but i might even like MAKING plans, and scheming new plans, more than i even like having the finished plan. I like the chart paper on the wall, i like the vomiting of ideas, deciding which ones to pursue, what to prune.)

What to prune.  This brings me to today’s a-ha moment.

i’ve been on autopilot for so many years, that now being 6 months sober is providing me with an unusually clear perspective and a quiet sense of determination.  Pruning.  I’m about to prune some of what i do in Job #2.  Eliminate a few services that are irritating and not worth it anymore.  what’s HILARIOUS is that i found a note from november 2011, where i identified that i wanted to prune Job #2.  And then i didn’t do any of it.  i kept drinking (January to June) and then beginning in July, all i could focus on was getting/staying sober.

Now that i’ve been squirted (splat!) out the other side, i had a look around was like “yeah, now’s the time. do some pruning.”

And as soon as i figured out the first thing to prune, a new idea came into my head to take its place, hopefully bigger and better, something i’ll love doing instead of something i feel obligated to do.  you know, that stupid fucking trite saying about ‘nature abhors a vacuum’ … well.

well that’s all i have to say about prunes, vacuums, and nature.

Here are my 2013 things i’d like to do (not resolutions).  I record them here so that i can torture congratulate myself later when i check them off one by one [sorry Amy if you’re seeing these more than once]:

  • get 100% caught up on paperwork, filing, banking, accounting
  • trim 3 things from my business #2 which isn’t doing very well
  • add 3 new things (not yet imagined) to business #2 to see if it perks things up (i have one of them imagined already)
  • build my passion job #3 thingy to a more steady and reliable stream of income
  • I’d like to lose 15 pounds, then re-evaluate, and perhaps lose another 5 after that (this was a 2012 goal that I’m carrying forward; I’ve lost 7 of the original 15, but still have a bit to go)
  • I’d like to eat my way down to the bottom of my freezer (this was also on my list for 2012, that I’m carrying forward)
  • read 52 books in a year.  This year I read 40 34
  • continue to run 3-5 times per week
  • continue to be sober until July 1st which is my one year s0ber-versary. I can re-evaluate then, but I suspect I’ll remain sober.  it suits me.
  • have one night away per month, with or without husband, for mini-vacations since we’re not able to afford real vacations this year.
  • I’d like to be thin, with long hair, eyebrows done from the salon, nice nails, and have a good (real) tan.  then I’d like to go home in July to see my sisters… yes, even at age 46 the sibling rivalry continues … it can be pretty motivating. I’m trying to let this go.
  • I’d like to be in bed by 10:30 most nights, and 9:30 pm at least one night per week.

In general, I’d like to experience the feeling of being ‘done’ with a bunch of loose ends.  I’m spread a bit thin, and I think the kindest gift I can give myself this year is to do fewer things better.

Happy New Year everyone 🙂


I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • WAY TO GO on 6 months!! WOO HOO!! Sometimes a few prunes are really the only way to “get going”. (Had to add my own prune pun, sorry.) I don’t have a chance to check in often, but really, the names of some of your readers’ blogs have got to be the most creative I’ve ever seen. Kinda goes along with the idea of “how great could we be w/o the damage done by the self-medicating”…I’ma keep comin’ back. : )

  • Congrats on the 6 months! I’m still underwater, but I am hopeful things will clear up any day now!

    I think there is something to be said for being an only child. I have a strained relationship with my siblings. Partly because I can be an asshole & mostly because they’re bigger assholes. I’m hoping quitting drinking will also help me let go of these resentments.

    While reading the comments, I’m reminded of something I read in an Ester Hicks’ book– If you cannot get it done, then you cannot get it wrong. Maybe that’s why I’m an underachiever too.

    Speaking of prunes, they can call them “dried plums” all they want, but they’re still prunes. Blech.

    Great entry!

  • Congratulations on six months Belle! And thank you for visiting my fledgling blog! I too am a list-maker. Love, love, love gathering information and options. What is it about that? I rarely follow through on them but it feels damn good to put it all down on paper.

    I loved this part of your post– you said after one year sober you would reevaluate drinking again but that you would probably remain sober because “it suits me”. That is so lovely. You seem so very much at peace.

    Love your list too! I have move to Europe, make more money, lose 10 pounds, be in bed by 10:30 on mine too!

    All the best, Lucy

  • Funny how most alcoholics have several dripping streams of revenue that if they were sober could all be making more money. Did you ever wonder if God wanted you to be a drunk so that you wouldn’t get too far ahead of the rest of the world? I sure do.

    • i don’t really believe in a shitty mean god. if there is one, he put all these opportunities in my path (and many more) and it’s up to me to pick them up and breathe life into them and make them soar : )

      i wonder if I (ME! just ME!) have been drinking to keep myself underachieving, so to speak. now there’s something to think about … I used to ask myself (and anyone who’d listen): “why do you think i stay up late, knowing full well that it’s going to make tomorrow suck” and someone once answered me “so that you can have an excuse to underachieve; who could be expected to do great work if they’re too tired.” so probably i stayed up late (and drank) so that i didn’t have to amount to as much as i could have…

      and now. here i am now. i own 2 companies and have a 3rd job on the side. i live in europe. i’ve done pretty OK, considering! but i wonder what’s coming next now that i’m sober? good questions! thanks for being here EveryShittyDay : )

      • it seemed like my mind was always on the go, starting new businesses, coming up with new inventions, or planning big exciting things–and i used alcohol to quiet this, I think (it can be exhausting!)— and alcohol worked for a while. but then it didn’t. now that i’m sober (again) my mind is back at work with my grandiose plans. meetings help me quiet my mind, if only for an hour each day. and of course prayer. and at least now that i’m sober i don’t have to ACT on all of my crazy (or fabulous) ideas.

  • great analogy “prune” — I need to prune some things this year too. glad to find your blog. my main blog is for business but my personal one is

    • hiya, happy to meet you – i checked out your blog, and my comments above to Amy and Kary May are about my version of vanity – sort of like you were writing about … i have to figure out what a life with less vanity might look like for me … anyway, thanks for stopping by!

  • I loved reading this! Ugh the x-mas holidays were hell on me anyway because i lost my mom and very best friend 2 years ago august 19th to cancer, and christmas was her favorite holiday of all. that and thanksgiving so i had to suffer thru that one too. The first year after i didn’t even acknowledge turkey day, and last year family had us over. but i’m wandering. this was great and i look forward to reading the rest of your posts. thanks for being so ‘real’ 🙂 and YAY on the 6 months!! something very big for me to shoot for

    • hey there “pink sober girl” – you might think that 6 months is something big to shoot for (and it is) but make sure you go back and read my blog posts at the beginning when i had 9 days. i was underwater for a long time before it all started to make sense. i think most people quit while they’re still underwater, not trusting that it gets better — quickly — just by putting in the time and doing a bit of work … lemme know if you’d like a sober penpal 🙂

  • Do we ever let the sibling rivalry go? I met up with my sister over New Year, there were all the rest of us Hickey’s in our jeans and sweatshirts, hugging in the parking lot of the hotel, and out trots my sis, in her tights and cowboy boots, fox fur vest, neck swathed in silk scarf. I swear there was a mix up in the nursery. But yeah, I was trying to drop 5lbs in 2 days before seeing her. Didn’t work.

    Happy New Year, Gal!

    • ack. i don’t know about sibling rivalry. it’s pretty grim. i don’t want to be like your fox fur sister… but i can relate to that kind of prancing. it’s in me, just waiting to come out! and really, what would i prove by being like that? It’s really all just “look at me, look at me” — and often it’s attention seeking from people i don’t even spend much time with … ack. i think i’ll make 2013 the year of NO PRANCING. I can be thin and i can be happy, and i can gloat anonymously online. but in real life, face-to-face, no prancing…. yeah, we’ll see how THAT works out!

    • Thanks Amy. I’m not sure I’m 100% cured yet, but at least i know it’s something I can work toward. There is so much judgement in my family, from the gifts we give (or don’t) to how we wrap them… so much criticism and not much recognition of the kind thoughts behind any actions. I’m going to try to distance myself even further from that kind of attitude. And ‘m not buying into the pettiness anymore. I already live far away (i mean one could argue for distance but i’m already half-way round the world!), so now i need to practice unpluggin from the vibes as well.