Is there a magic garlic time?

From me:

i’m happy to report that i’m back to work at my regular job, catering is busy this week, and my health seems stable and 100%. all good news as far as i’m concerned. oh and i’m running!

I had the beginnings of a very interesting conversation yesterday with Tim about how we manage our careers… and i think, as boozers, we’re all so prone to seeing things in black and white (me included), that once we realize that there are shades of grey, it really is like we can embark on a new adventure.

Have you ever had this thought: I can’t do X because of Y. Sure you have. We have those thoughts all day, every day. I can’t pursue my passion because I need a day job. I can’t go to the mall to get detergent because i have to pick up the kids. I can’t start the lasagne sauce now because it’s 8 a.m. and i don’t want to smell the sauce all day long.

i am going to write and think and do podcasts about this subject, because our default setting of black/white thinking means that we miss the other squillion options.  do you have to go to the mall to get detergent? I mean aren’t there other stores? Yes, the mall may be cheaper, but there are other stores that are closer, take less time, and then the task will be done and you can get it out of your head. Frankly, removing the item from your to-do list is worth more than 35 cents.  Cuz really, saving 35 cents and putting it off for 10 days or until you have the ‘right’ time to get to the mall when the planets align is just crazy making and exhausting.

Or in my case, the catering example, because this just happened to me this morning … up early, i start baking, but i leave the cooking stuff aside, saying to myself that it’s too early. Oh really? Is there a magic hour that cooking with garlic is OK? Like would 9 a.m. be OK but 8 a.m. isn’t? And if there is a magic garlic time (and clearly there isn’t), then i could do one squillion other things towards making the lasagne at 8 a.m. I could grate the mozza, i could prep the sauce to cook but not turn on the heat and instead put the pot in the fridge. I could start the fucking sauce at 8 a.m. and just get over myself.

what’s your I can’t do X because of Y thought today ? I can’t get sober until the planets are aligned. I can’t sing because i’m not good enough to make a living at it. I can’t start a knitting project until i finish every single other project i’ve ever started in my whole life first. I can’t sell birthday cakes because someone else already does that in my town. I can’t pursue my passion because it won’t make me rich.

I love this shit. really really love this. for some reason, i really like examining what we think (what I think) and WHY. and then flipping it on its head. the queen of reframing.

now let me go reframe that lasagne sauce.

let the gloating continue

i feel like i should write something but i got nothing to say. not in a bad way, but in a good way. i got nothing to say because all is well, continues to be well. no cravings, no real triggers, no hard moments, no big lows. Just lots of glorious happy sober sleeping-through-the-nights.  went away for 24 hours to have a tiny break (sans husband) and it was divine, and i got to sleep long, read long, run long, drink coffee, buy spices, have a big long bath and generally gloat and wallow in how fucking great my life is.

Yes, ok, the days when i have catering i’m pressed flat, squished by the success of it all. i do not sleep enough on those days and i am unable to run.  But it’s limited to two days a week (i only do orders two days a week cuz the rest of the time i’m working at my REAL jobs, ha ha). But i’m coming to terms with this new life. I make sure to have food on hand, to get enough sleep before and after, and to take real breaks and time-off on the weekends so that the ‘working hard’ continues to seem worthwhile.

while i appreciate that this gloating thing of mine is super tiring, let me say this. I know for a fact that my improved life is due to quitting drinking.  There is a one-to-one correlation between WHEN i stopped drinking and this new improved me. I wouldn’t go back now for anything, i don’t care if i’m on the outside when others are over-indulging (i don’t seem to be, it actually seems fine, i still am too loud and too funny boozeless).

right now, at this moment, there’s an apple cake in the oven, i’ve just returned from a mini-vacation feeling super well rested (hard to believe it just takes 24 hrs alone to recharge), and tomorrow is a holiday for my ‘real’ jobs.

all is well. let the gloating continue. long live the gloating.

… and if you’re lurking and wondering if you should quit drinking, let me say YES YES YES YES YES YES (have you quit yet?) YES YES YES and YES : )

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!