all or nothing

oh my god i feel better today. Let it be said, i know i’ve said this before, boring, repetitive: i like vacations. i really don’t like stay-cations. I just get nothing done and then feel bad about it. If i’m in a hotel and doing nothing, i’m fine with it. if i’m at home and doing nothing i just self-flaggilate the entire fucking time.

woke up today, september 1st, sigh, that’s better. can turn off my vacation message, can happily empty my inbox. can invite more people to join team 100.

and Mr. B says next year we should just go away for the entire month of august (like to Australia) and be really really unplugged.

Here’s what i learned in my one month of enforced, limited, online time.

moderation is hard (no shit!). it seemed like i would just get going on responding to emails or reading blogs and then the timer would go off, and i’d have to stop. i apparently suck at forced stopping when i’m ‘not done yet’.

i was always watching the clock to see if it was my online time yet (i.e. is it 6 pm when i could log in for an hour). If it was 5 pm, i wouldn’t start anything, i’d be waiting for it to be 6 pm. i wouldn’t go out. i’d just putter around and what. ridiculous. but that’s is how my brain works.

then when i was really officially offline, and i was reading, or listening to podcasts, or sleeping, or distracting myself, i was waiting for the online time to begin again.

this may mean two things: i’m happier when i’m productive and feel like i’m ‘caught up’ and that i’m a girl who likes structure and expectations. BUT ALSO it probably means that ‘limited’ online time for me is harder than just taking a 100% break. so i’m going to experiment with that too this coming weekend where i’ll try actually being 100% off. My guess is it’ll be easier.

My god i’m slow to learn this stuff.

Here’s what I know about me. I really am a bit ‘all or nothing’ … (i know this comes as no shock, as most over-drinkers i’ve talked to are very similar). So for vacations, i really should strive for ‘nothing’ in the ‘all or nothing continuum’. And then, this presumes that when i’m working, i’ll give it my full attention. This trying to do both at the same time thing just didn’t really work. I felt agitated by times the whole month. i had good moments, then crappy moments, the weather was crappy, but mostly I felt like i was wasting time … whatever that means.

i do email a lot of sober people. and i know that wolfie doesn’t take vacations. i just might find it easier, in how i take care of me, to go away entirely versus trying to ‘moderate’ my online time. like, is it a vacation if you take your laptop to the beach and check emails but just one hour a day? just in case?

up until today I would have said, yes, that’s best, check an hour a day, in case something is really happening.

but is this FOMO (fear of missing out), or is it a misplaced sense of importance, or is it a real inability to relax.

it’s probably all of those things.

not to self: moderation isn’t for you. For you, Belle, the thing is either on or off, at least as far as vacations are concerned. You’re either working or you’re not. You don’t mess with this 15% online thing. from now on you take 100% time off.

Starting this coming weekend when we go to the beach. no laptops at the beach. no cell phone. no connectivity. nothing.



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

  • I know that I’m an all or nothing person too…. But I haven’t seem to have gotten to the ‘nothing ‘ part quite successfully yet. I could give you every excuse or all the excuses. Or I could give you none. I like following your blog and your emails . Tried the 100 days but only ever managed 30. Still trying. You do good work, Belle. It will sink in… I just know it.

  • I like your discussion of moderation v. all or nothing here – thank you! The way you write, it really makes a lot of sense as to why all or nothing is actually probably easier for many than trying to cut back. Happy September!

  • You will manage just fine Belle. So much of how you describe yourself sounds like me. You give so much of yourself time wise to your blog and looking after all of us pen pals that you really do owe it to yourself to take a proper weekend off. And as you said before in a post “you can give up anything for. 7 days right?” 🙂 It will be easy peasy. Enjoy xxx

    • i know 🙂 it just feels easy to check in on christmas day to make sure everyone is ok. but really. christmas day. sheesh. look at me. i need to take my own advice more!

  • We will miss you, but you deserve that time. We all have days off from work, why shouldn’t you? Enjoy your time! Happy sobriety.

    • i know. it’s a trap i fall into. even on my honeymoon i checked in once a day to ensure that things were going ok with job #1. i had left my sister in charge, but still called her to check… it’s a bit of madness. job #1 has a couple of clients who are super demanding and i didn’t want my sister to take the brunt of that… but really. i was eloping. control-freak-much? me?