2019 – Ready or not it’s here!

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

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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

Inspiration

I believe that inspiration can be found in the most obscure of places, provided that you are in fact aware of your surroundings.

As a thrift store maven, I am always in the hunt for something fun or funky and even something practical. Like the beautiful Jill-E designer Canon camera bag I scored for $1.50. And yes, it fits our Canon perfectly.

As I was out and about yesterday running errands, etc… I stopped at my favourite thrift shop – Blessings in Zurich ON, if you’re ever in the neighbourhood please stop by, they do great work for their community. I found a book that I knew hubster would be interested in reading and a beautiful gift for my bestie’s birthday. For myself, I found a golf skort by Liz Golf, and I also found this little gem, Daily Reflections from AA.

I don’t belong to AA as it’s not my thing, although it’s an outstanding program that helps millions. Prior to his passing in 2014 my dad was sober 54 years with the help of AA. When I opened the book, the inscription was from 18 years ago written in July of 2000 and it was booked marked with a red ribbon for 5 July (a Thursday no less), the date on which I found this treasure and it speaks to hearing about the weak-willed alcoholic, but that I am the strongest-willed person on earth. And I thought to myself, this is indeed a sign, as am the strongest-willed. I don’t believe in coincidence, so I shelled out the .25 cents because I am worth it and then some.

Regardless of the path chosen, my hope is that Carol, and many others are still being healed at Thursday wing night or tea on Saturdays or quietly in your own humble abodes, and that inspiration no matter where it may come from helps to make you a believer to be strong-willed and stay the course because you’re worth it.

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

What inspires you in your journey?

It’s a day for celebration!

1 July is the birth of our great nation – happy 151st birthday Canada. Here’s to a day of parades, concerts, picnics and fireworks at dusk. As a country Canada has contributed many significant inventions the world over. Not the least of which are insulin (1922), the Canadarm (1981), hockey, lacrosse and of course poutine and Namaimo bars.

It is also the birthday of my long suffering hubster, happy 58th sweetheart, fingers crossed for a hole in one today as you make your way around the links, during what is expected to be a 40C day.

As a nation, we Canadians enjoy our drink, and I suspect that there will be a cool refreshing beverage or two consumed by many today. According to Health Canada 80% of Canadians consumed alcohol last year, and nearly 3.1 million of those 80% drank to excess. That’s not a statistic that I can say I was proud to be a part of. But because I was, I am no longer ambivalent to nor judge those that do struggle. I believe in the saying ‘ Never look down on somebody unless you’re helping them up’. An ear to listen, a shoulder to lean on or a helping hand up, there is always something I can offer, and I always will when and wherever I can. The struggle is real, and as I’ve said before and those before me have said, you don’t have to go it alone. If you no longer want to be a statistic, reach out, ask for help, it’s not likely to be an easy process, however, you won’t regret it.

On this beauty sweltering day I sit here enjoying my new found treat in the form of a Blossoming Rose Tea latte, I am thankful for the great country (with all her faults) I live in and 23 months of sobriety.

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

How are you spending this Canada Day?

2018 A new beginning or is it?

2018 MMXVIII, the Year of the Dog, a common year (exactly 365 days), and the 18th year of the 3rd millennium is shaping up to be a great year.

1 January 2018 I will have 30 smoke free years under my belt and more importantly (at least to me) 17 months of sobriety. The first of each month – as does each day, offers a reminder of just how strong I am, and how far I’ve come. By the same token, I am mindful that through my own thoughts and actions or lack thereof, my sobriety can be given away by me in an instant.

A new year can offer a fresh start, a new perspective or sadly, thoughts of self doubt and failure. So if your 2018 involves some lifestyle changes, I would suggest setting yourself up for success and find yourself a community of likeminded supportive people that you can connect with either online or in person. The resources and places to find these communities are endless, one only has to type that which you seek into a search engine and voila! The point being there is no need, nor should you do it alone. It can be comforting to know that you can reach out at anytime and there will be someone on the other end to offer a smile, a wink, or a word or two of understanding and encouragement, or in some cases a well deserved kick in the butt. And more importantly, you are not alone in your journey. In my opinion it’s always best to have several tools in the tool box and a couple of options to offer you a different perspective. I think people feel more grounded when they have choices relating to their needs. A few of communities I visit or subscribe to on a regular basis and in no particular order are; thesoberschool.com; Sherecovers.co; Fmumble; and okayishness.wordpress.com. I enjoy what’s offered by these women and what they have to say. At times, I feel like I’ve been able to relate or offer my own opinion to a topic of discussion.

My plan for 2018 is to maintain my commitment to my sobriety, to continue to live my life with dignity and to my best on any given day, and to share a bit of my story on a much more consistent basis via this blog.

All the best for a great year no matter the path you choose, whether you set intentions or make resolutions I hope you all enjoy the freedom to make those choices. All the best for 2018.

In the words of Teddy Roosevelt “Believe you can and you’re half way there”.

DaM