Do one new thing every day…

3 Jan

1:44 am

…is my New Year’s mantra! I’ve already broken a few resolutions, like, eat less cake and drink less Diet Coke, BUT… Resolutions are things to work on, not attain. When it comes to goals like these, it’s not all or nothing, it’s not black or white, and it’s not one-size-fits-all. Just like getting sober! (Not to mention, what does the Gregorian calendar have to do with my soda consumption? I’m sure the Pope wouldn’t really care if I didn’t eat less cake…)

I like the idea of having a year’s theme. In fact, I was reminded by Mished-Up’s awesome post just how productive declaring a “word of the year” can be! I did that for a few years back in my early 20s. One year it was something like Growth. Another year it was Change. A third was, This is the year of Creativity.

Haha, I KNOW. But the words resonated with specific things in my life at the time, and it seemed to work. If I had a word for this year, or a theme, it would be… ‘ME.’ Or, ‘BACK UP, BITCHES, AND MAKE SOME ROOM!’

ME, to me, translates to kicking ass. Starting. Getting to work. Making a bucket list and getting ON IT. Letting go of the past year and reaping some of the rewards of getting sober. So, I’ve decided that I’d like to try something new–something that’s probably been on my to-do list for years–every day. It doesn’t have to be exactly new, or even grandiose. It could be as simple as trying a new food, or trying to make a new kind of food. Ordering some crocheting tools online and starting my “plastic bag” project. Hiking a new trail. Visiting a new island. Pitching a story. Taking an online fiction class. Learning how to give a better massage. I mean, the list is ENDLESS!

I have the tendency to overthink things. I know, I know, it’s hard for some of you reading this blog to believe, but it’s true. 😉 Overthink and overplan. I’m trying to try something new this year, and to a certain extent, it’s out of necessity: I no longer have the energy to be a perfectionist, especially in the face of the work it takes to maintain my sobriety. The other day, after reading something (probably someone’s blog), I realized that most, if not all, of my recent choices and lack thereof have been based on my fear(s). Fear of doing stuff, fear of starting stuff. I’m a fearful perfectionist, and these two character traits have definitely prevented me from moving forward in my career, for example. They’ve also tied me to the wine bottle, as it’s easy to avoid confronting your fears–and your fear of your perfectionism getting the better of you in the creative process–when you CAN’T do anything because you’re either drunk or hung over. You can’t fail if you don’t try, right?

Anyway, it’s been a good new year so far. New Year’s Eve was fine, actually. Sure, I felt a few pangs, especially at midnight (though, the whiff of champagne I got from someone else’s glass made me feel almost sick–ah, the power of association), but I got over it quickly by remembering just how much I have. I guess, the whole “I do not want what I haven’t got” idea is hitting home these days because I really don’t want what other people “have” anymore. (The question is, what DO I want? Another day, another post.)

I felt good where I was at, no desire to be out and about, getting drunk. I was in bed by 2 (am, that is), and woke up to a bright, sunny day. And, what a great way to start off the new year–no hangover, no drama, nothing to hate myself for having done or say I’m sorry about for having said, no tracks to cover or mishaps to fix. My frustration(s) the other night have passed, and I’m “back on it,” as they say. I guess some days will be harder than others, but it was good to pinpoint my triggers (thoughts and then, feelings, that drive me into a tailspin) by actually observing them and not drinking them away.

And, one new thing a day? Well, my boyfriend and I hopped the 2 pm ferry over to [beautiful island] yesterday and hiked to a beach. We’ve been to that beach before so that wasn’t “new,” but we hiked around a resort and over a few trails that I had never been on, so that was! Today, I signed up for my first road race in like, years and years–8 Tuff Miles. It’s an 8-mile course up and over the hills of [beautiful island], so…it’ll give me a very good reason to stay sober past my 90-day goal. (Not to mention, my sciatic and leg pain have subsided to like, a 2 out of 10, so that’s a HUGE relief. I’ve been swimming to strengthen and now running to build muscle without overdoing it… The key for me is skipping yoga; basic stretches are OK, but anything else is counterproductive.)

Yes, the thought of drinking at 90 days has crossed my mind, but, WHY? I mean, what purpose would it serve? I like where I’m at now; I feel like I’m finally getting out from under some of my thought triggers. I want to work more, do more, and run at least every other day. HOW WOULD BEING HUNG OVER HELP ME? Not to mention, I have no “need” to drink: there is nothing that I want to run from, and I know that I have to face my issues and fears and goals and relationships, including the one with myself, sober if I’m going to move forward. Drinking just sets me back. How simple, but profound.

2013 and, well, life is the same–I’m still sober! Happy new year, indeed!

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14 Responses to “Do one new thing every day…”

  1. Belle (Tired2012) January 3, 2013 at 8:41 am #

    here’s an example of true genius thinking: “but, WHY? I mean, what purpose would it serve?” yes, *why* indeed. i feel like we are sharing a brain these days, i come here to read your blog to confirm what i’m already thinking. Sure there are times when a glass of wine SEEMS like it MIGHT be a good idea, and then i think … but WHY? surely going for a run, going to bed, blogging, or reading are also good ideas… better ones, in fact. i’m not interested in starting over. i’m happy with where i am now. and everyone says ‘it gets better’ and i believe them. here, i’ll say it to you now: the slide from 90 days and 180 days (where i am now) went by in the blink of an eye for me. doing the work of being sober is pretty much all i can manage, and i’ve got my head down and i’m doing it. And yet, i’m starting to look around and figure out what ELSE i can begin to work away at. nothing too dramatic, not interested in rocking the sober boat too much, but what bits can i fix, try, explore, lock into place so that i continue to feel as good as this, and possibly better. for you it might be coming out of your *shell* a bit each day. for me (i think) it’s running more predictably and sleeping more hours on average. My word for the year last year was LEAN and i didn’t quite get there – i got sidetracked with cake getting sober. I think i’m going to hang on to LEAN for another two months, and then when i’m done with it, i’ll pick a new word for the last 10 months of the year. I don’t think the pope cares which month i choose to begin my Year 🙂 hugs to you for being a genius. no, really …

    • Drunky Drunk Girl January 4, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

      Haha. LOVE your comments, Belle! Yes, I read your blog with the same thought in mind–this woman actually has what I might want!

      Alas, I know that feeling of putting all my effort, and getting all my sense of accomplishment, out of not drinking, but…but… I do have other life stuff I want to start on! Can I do both, and feel safe in my sobriety? Gotta start trying, and it’s, gulp, sort of scary. I used to reward myself so heavily with wine, which allowed me to stretch myself so thin and go, go, go. It’s different now…

      LEAN…that’s great. I feel like the days are already flying by, and I can’t imagine really wasting any time right now drinkin’. Still, the thought of, “Oh, well, maybe I can moderate now,” keeps crossing my mind. Who cares, really, if I can or can’t–drinking any amount will just mess things up, if even having a slight hangover, which would piss me off and slow my already VERY SLOW self down. Plus, the *mentality* of being sober–getting through my thought cyclones, which I NEED TO DO–that’s what I need to keep going forward with. I ain’t done yet! 😉

      LOVE you, lady. Thanks for being in my corner. xx

  2. themiracleisaroundthecorner January 3, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

    Your post has motivated me to get up from the computer and take down the Christmas decorations! I love reading your thoughts!

    • Drunky Drunk Girl January 4, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

      YES! We still have to take ours down, but it’s a matter of swiping the lights off the tree and lugging it to the dumpster…or maybe just chucking it off the back porch! 🙂 Good luck with the chores. xx

      • themiracleisaroundthecorner January 5, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

        As expected, I was incredibly happy when it was all said and done (although now my house looks really empty!)

      • Drunky Drunk Girl January 10, 2013 at 5:19 am #

        Haha. I bet! Our tree is still there…I guess I like the sparkle too much to take it down.

  3. js January 3, 2013 at 11:06 pm #

    Seems we have a lot in common, you and I! I appreciate what you say about “overthinking” things…..guilty!! Keeping it simple is key, yes? Good luck on your sobriety….I’ll be checking in!

    • Drunky Drunk Girl January 4, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

      Thanks! Yup, good luck, indeed. At this point, it’s more hard work, and not letting my romanticizing (Oh, wine, we had some good times, too, didn’t we?) get the better of me. Approaching 90 days, and while the pangs have gone, I still think about drinking… Thanks for stopping by!

  4. B January 4, 2013 at 5:08 pm #

    HOW WOULD BEING HUNG OVER HELP ME?

    That is one line (well there were a few) but the one that spoke to me loudest… I am taking that with me and will journal an answer to that question. Glad you had a wonderful New years. I was picturing St. John as I was reading it! So Jealous 😉

    • Drunky Drunk Girl January 4, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

      Haha. YES, I am a little jealous of something, too: people who can FULLY enjoy it because they’re not, if even a little secretly, wanting to drink! I mean, the irony of being in a vacation-type setting and not drinking has not escaped me. BUT, I do have to ask myself, how would being hung over help? One glass’ll probably do it at this point–more like, I know I’ll have enough to get hung over–and, well, I still don’t want to be hung over MORE THAN I want to drink, so…that’s the equation I’m working with at the moment. All the other pangs and passing thoughts are, thankfully, coming in second to my primary equation: drinking = my life – a lot of stuff; not drinking = my life + a lot of stuff!

  5. Al K Hall January 5, 2013 at 11:20 pm #

    How cool is it that you’ve recognized you have no desire to go back to your previous life style. That’s the strongest kind of sobriety, the one you don’t have to fight! Have fun with your Newness. i did a similar thing years back when a break up left me particularly sad and i have some very good memories of that time and the new things i tried.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl January 10, 2013 at 5:24 am #

      Yes! New things abound, and it’s possible–possible to recognize the possibilities–because I am sober. And, one of the reasons I don’t go back to drinkin’ is, I KNOW that disaster will ensue and I won’t be able to do any of the things on my new list. Thanks for your comment, as usual! 🙂

  6. lucyrussell500 January 9, 2013 at 10:36 pm #

    Firstly, let me say congratulations on 90 days! Yaaaayyyyy for you! That is just awesome. I hope you treat yourself to something very nice like a great meal out or something and have a big slice of birthday cake– with diet coke!

    And secondly, let me say, I clicked on the link to your upcoming race and before I had clicked on it I thought you were talking about St. John Newfoundland or something but then I saw Virgin Islands and thought to myself oh how can I feel sorry for this girl– she lives in the Virgin Islands for gods sake! But seriously, I have heard there are a lot of people with alcohol problems down there so I guess I’ll cut you some slack. (Hope that came across as sarcastic as it was in my head).

    Your comments on fear really resonated with me. A lightbulb went off for me when I read what you wrote. How insightful of you to realize that fear is what was setting you back. You’re right– how can you fail if you don’t try? I’m going to have to think about what role fear has played in my life. Thank you so much for being so honest and for being such an entertaining writer! ~ Lucy

    • Drunky Drunk Girl January 12, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

      Hi, Lucy!
      Thanks SO much for the encouragement! Haha, I KNOW, I sometimes think about my situation and cringe at how “first world” my “problems” are. BUT, like everything, the pendulum swings both ways, and, it’s a bit ironic that of all places, I’m getting sober on an island known for its drinking and partying! Oh, well…

      Yes, I’ve had to think a lot about how my drinking relates to my writing, specifically, and my creativity/creative endeavors, generally. Like, I had such angst re: NOT doing my creative things (one of which is earning me a living, and has for a long time) but at the same time, every single time I got the chance to do them (i.e., had the time and energy), I would GET DRUNK! It was maddening, and honestly, is going to continue to require baby steps to confront and move forward on all these goals and ambitions (my problem in the first place, I think!) and not be afraid of failing or running into writer’s block, not being good enough, etc.

      How far along are you in sobriety? Big hugs from da islands, mon. 😉

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