So one of the things that drinking does, is it sucks up our time. Every night beginning at 6 pm (or earlier!), after the first glass of booze, we descend into a pit of un-productivity! That dinner i was going to make turned into potatoes and nothing else. The plans i had to clean the bedroom closet turned into 3 hours of watching A&E’s Intervention. Drinking squeezes out other activities. There just isn’t time. or energy. or brain space.
And so once we get sober, there’s this vast time called ‘evening’ that we have to fill. And some weird things have been known to happen. Like going for groceries after dinner. Like going to dinner and then going to a late movie. Just as recently as last Friday, my husband and I left to go and walk to dinner at 10 pm, not getting home till after midnight… just out walking around the city, enjoying the (finally) beautiful weather. I can assure you there’d have been NO walking to dinner at 10 pm if i was drinking…
One of the other things that can happen to ‘fill time’ is that our passions and hobbies come back. Used to be a writer, a dancer, a runner. Used to make jewelry, write romance novels. Always wanted to learn Spanish, walk a marathon, get tenure.
And then there’s Christina. I asked her what her hobbies and passion were that she could resume now that she’s sober.
Here’s what our emails looked like over a couple of days:
Christina: I wish I had a hobby, something I was passionate about…
Me: OK, let’s get you a hobby then. want to do some homework about this? I’ll do it with you at the same time 🙂
Christina (the next day): Still Sober and thinking of my homework, hobbies. Will come up with a list of things i like to do.
Me: How are you doing on the idea of hobbies? shall we brainstorm… I’ll do this too. when you were 9-10-11-12 years old, what kinds of things did you do for fun … I used to play songs and then try to play them on the guitar or make my sisters sing them (thinking we’d be a band someday). I also always had a pen and paper with me, was a regular Harriet the Spy. I loved puzzles, and bought crossword puzzle books all the time (funny now I like jigsaw puzzles and suduko, so that hasn’t gone away) … I’m a half-decent photographer who doesn’t take my camera out often enough (it feels like it’s too heavy/too much work/too much something. probably just inner critic again saying the pictures will be shit). OK, for me it’s puzzles. no inner critic can come out when you’re making a jigsaw puzzle. think I’ll start one tonight. well that helped me! your turn 🙂 [and i did start a puzzle that night and it is very soothing…]
Christina: Thanks for the brainstorm. I love to do million things. Taking pictures, two years ago bought myself a nice Canon DS500 reflex I carry it all the time when travelling. I always dreamt of playing guitar, just one tune, but I never find the time to really take a course. I would love to be able to “pimp” old furniture, there again never tried … Belle thank you for everything you are doing. I never felt so much strength to stay away from booze. I have tried everything before AA, doctors but in vain. This challenge and the sober blogging is the best thing that never happened to me.
Me (the next morning): are you ready for some photography homework? sort of like building up to having a hobby?
Christina: I am READY:-)
And then I sent Christina a little photography assignment, and I told her that I’d do it too.
Then something amazing happened! Not only did Christina do her assignment right away, she started to gush enthusiasm. Then the next day she sent me another photo…
and the Sober Photography Project was born!
I’m thinking that there might be a few other sober folks out there who are looking for a new hobby, or are trying to find a way to revive an old hobby. So if you want to join Christina and me, and take a few pictures, i think we could have some fun! This is open for anybody, you don’t have to be a fancy ass photographer. No inner critic allowed. Are you ready?
Assignment #1 Sober Mornings
Your photo can be anything that deals with the early part of the day, sunrises, work commutes, breakfast, etc. My morning usually includes running, coffee, and emails … What does your morning consist of?
- DEADLINE: Tuesday, June 11 @ 12 noon Eastern.
- The format is open: black and white, filters, cropping, all OK. You can use your camera phone or a nice camera.
- The photo must be original, and taken AFTER the assignment is received (like, no going through past pictures taken, it has to be new).
- If you suck at photo adjustments or cropping, send it anyway with a note that you’d like me to adjust.
- Send as LARGE a file size as you can manage (up to 12MB per image). Don’t reduce for size. the bigger the better.
- Um, you have to be sober …
- One entry per person per assignment (think of the size of my inbox!)
I will post all of the entries I get in about a week. Then if you like, we can do another assignment.
What do you think? Here are two ideas on Sober Mornings to get you started: