The gift of life

Giving the gift of life yesterday I was drawn back several years, around 2007-2008 when there was a blood drive at work. I dragged my sorry hungover butt (a daily occurrence) down to the concourse to due my duty (only 2.5% of Canadians share my blood type). While going through the screening process a very kind nurse pulled me aside and told me to go home, chew on a big steak, and then get some rest. Turns out my blood pressure was pretty high (I now take medication), my iron was so low I was nearly anemic, and my ‘resting’ pulse was no where near resting, I was overweight and exhausted. It was definitely one of a few low periods in my life. I was working like a dog at a stressful job and not only drinking way too much but clearly wasn’t even coming close to looking after myself, even though I did make a daily trip to the gym and tried to eat well. That was my first big wake up call, however, not big enough to make the all important change just yet. I would periodically dabble with brief periods of not drinking – I would never say sober because I was merely biding my time until I could enjoy my next glass(es) of wine or snifter(s) of Grand Mariner; who was I kidding, I’d be enjoying both hands down any given day. In my first year of retirement in 2015, I couldn’t drink either fast enough, and trust me I drank enough of both. Although, I have to say I was quite discerning, I had standards and rarely drank before 2pm unless of course the start of the day involved mimosas… However, once the flood gates opened it was there was no stopping me.

Today, 1 August 2019, marks three years of sobriety, I can say that now as I no longer bide my time waiting for the moment I can have my next drink, my brain doesn’t think that way any more. I still don’t take any of it for granted as that would be foolish in my part. I remain surrounded by alcohol every single day as hubster imbibes every single day, most days too much, sorry to say. I do my very best to not enable him, but at the end of the day the choice remains his and I can only live my sober life for me, so continue my journey living with as much grace and gratitude as I can, all the while remaining in his corner.

Here’s to one more sober day, be well and be you. 💜

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Happy and Grateful?

Is there a difference between being happy and being grateful? Can you have one without the other? I ask because I am truly grateful for all that I do have, and I try to live each day with gratitude, as I have much to be grateful for – we all do! I’m just not in a good place right now and haven’t been happy in a long time, I need to find my way back, sooner rather than later.

In all honesty I’m not even certain where to start. I said this year I wanted to spend time on my yoga practice and I did that in January and sadly got very sick, coupled with a terrible bout of vertigo at the same time so yoga fell by the wayside, although I do continue to work out and walk every day. I also wanted to pen more poetry but I’ve yet to pick up my pen. That perhaps is a good place to start, just pick up the pen and put it to paper. Express how and what I am feeling and to look objectively at what I’ve written and find someone to talk to about it rather than allow the capricious thoughts ramble through my brain.

Although, I do know with absolute certainty whatever is going on at this point in my life, happiness will not come back by returning to the bottle, as my 32 month sober journey has proved time and time again. Here’s to one more sober day and happier thoughts.

Thanks for stopping by today. Be well, be you and if you can, be grateful, I know I am.

2019 – Ready or not it’s here!

Whether you make resolutions, set intentions or just go with the flow, I hope that you have a healthy, happy and prosperous new year.

I, for one am happy to have 2018 in the books and look forward to each and every opportunity that may present itself in 2019. I know am up to any challenge thrown my way, save for an Ironman or something equally as daunting.

I continue to become more proficient in Spanish every day thanks to living in the Baja and Duolingo. Great app if you’re interested in learning a new language and it’s free, albeit with annoying adds, but free nonetheless. It’s not a paid advertisement for the app just my opinion.

This year I would like to write more, especially poetry, and spend more time with my camera, I love black and white photography, and I think it speaks to the overall beauty and simplicity of life. However, the one thing I really want to immerse myself in is yoga. Most days I can’t touch my toes to save my life, that is of course a wee exaggeration but close to it. My getting older bones and joints creak, crack and protest at every turn, I will after all turn 57 this year. I know yoga will help to alleviate some of those aches and pains, but I actually have to get on my mat and practice, and be consistent about it. Funny how I can be 31 years smoke free and 29 months sober today, but I have trouble committing to 30 minutes let alone five on a practice that will only assist me further, in all of my endeavours. I am however, determined to get there, and get there I will, damn it! I’ll get there because I have a plan, a simple one but a plan all the same.

As you travel your chosen path I look forward to reading all your blogs and posts and sharing in your triumphs and struggles equally throughout 2019.

Here’s to one more sober day, be well and be you!

Namaste

A well traveled journey

We lived to tell another day after our incredible 7000 kilometre journey from South Western Ontario to our home in San José Del Cabo, which began on 29 October and ended on 7 November. We traveled through Michigan, Indiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, and finally California before crossing the border at Tecate into Mexico. Thankfully, it was all without drama and mostly uneventful, save for one small crack in our windshield just before Yuma AZ. We also took the opportunity to stop along the way to knock off a few items on the old bucket list.

We spent a couple of days in Flagstaff AZ, and made the trek to the Grand Canyon. I was in no way prepared for what would greet us once we arrived. I cannot possibly begin to put into words what I saw and experienced as we walked, hiked and wandered our way around. I was awe struck and it served as an enormous reminder that we are mere specks on this amazing planet we inhabit.

One thing which I did find interesting were the number of folks who were walking about with their face in their phones and not paying any mind to their surroundings. Case in point this lovely gal laying about enjoying the day, if you weren’t looking for her you wouldn’t have seen her and certainly not with your head down focused on your phone. Taking pictures and videos is one thing but carrying on a conversation for all to hear is another… Baby rant over.

In a way I was exactly the same whilst my face was buried in a bottle. My focus was at times singular in thinking what would I drink next and when. It saddens me to this day, but I am so grateful that I ended that love affair, as it was most definitely one sided, and my only reward in the end was heartbreak.

1 December 2018 will come and go without much fanfare as I celebrate 28 months of sobriety and because it is my journey, I do keep it close to the vest, even though I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve. Today I will do my Spanish lesson and I’m getting quite proficient – muchas gracias, email my mother, and do my 22 pushups, all while soaking up the warmth and sunshine that the Baja offers. Amongst other things, I will read fabulous blogs written by fabulous people about their trials, tribulations and successes, I take strength from them and perhaps offer a word of thanks or encouragement. But of one thing you can be certain, I will be sober.

Until next month, and one more sober day, be well and be you.

Remembrance

You once were young

Not yet a life lived, yet all too soon a life taken

When you arrived home a hero to those that mourned

There were no loud cheers, but rather silent sobs and spilled tears

Please take a moment in time to stop and reflect, where would we be today for it not for those brave souls who came before us to lead the way, and we live to tell another day

Their ultimate sacrifice of service before self must never be forgotten

11, 11, 11, we will remember them

It’s all about control

It would appear that I am still very much protective of my 26 months of sobriety. Although, there are now many days where the thought of alcohol never even enters into my daily routine – whatever that looks like lately because there isn’t any structure to my days of late! The other day my beautiful neighbour was making a caesar for another friend and offered one to both Hubster and I. He of course graciously accepted whereas I sassily informed her that I didn’t drink, and without even batting an enhanced lash she replied that she knew that and would happily make me one without alcohol. Problem solved right? Not so fast, again I thanked her (yes, graciously this time) but declined the offer, stating I was happy with my never ending steaming mug of green tea. Could she be trusted to remember which drink would be mine of the four she was making? Would her mind wander at that all important crux of the moment where vodka would just happen into my glass? Oh, how my warped mind works some days… I knew without a doubt she would make me a more than delicious caesar sans alcohol but I just couldn’t give up the control of not watching every step throughout the drink making process. When we are out, no matter how tempting it would be, I never dream of ordering a virgin whatever for the simple fear that it would not in fact be virgin. For me I stick to the trusted basics of soda water with line or iced tea.

Early in my sobriety, we were out to celebrate my step daughter’s 30th birthday at a popular pub in town. We all ordered our preferred beverage of choice, a soda water with lime for me; to which, the young server asked if I’d love a shot of vodka or tequila in it. I get that’s how bars make money, and once I picked up my jaw from the floor, I pointedly asked if I had in fact stuttered with respect to my order, the young fella slunk away, sadly he caught me on a bad day, regardless, my behaviour was completely uncalled for. By nature, I am not rude nor flippant to wait staff merely doing their job, politely I might add.

I am much more in control and comfortable if you will with my sobriety as long as I keep said control firmly within my grasp. It was sort of the same while still wearing the uniform and serving our great country, I wanted control and things done my way ALL THE TIME! I was after all, the boss, at least for the most part. Until one day, thankfully early in my long and storied career, the proverbial light bulb came on and I realized well if that isn’t just stupid! Especially seeing how I had the privilege of working with and for some of the best and brightest that the Royal Canadian Air Force had to offer. Giving a little sure has heck gave me a whole lot more in return. However, when it comes to alcohol and my sobriety I am not willing to give up the control and as I’ve said since day one of my journey, I own my sobriety and it will be my choice alone and a cold day in hell should I ever choose to give it up. I hold the power today, and (choose your own deity) willing, I will hold the power tomorrow. Until then, here’s to one more sober day!

Be well and be you xo.