Friday, January 22, 2016

Continued Growth

Winter Walking!
Dear Readers,
I believe with all my heart, that a person in recovery must keep growing mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically, in order to be happily sober.

Sometimes in reading and thinking about the many aspects of recovery, I can get a little self-absorbed. When Mr. UnTipsy gets home, he gets to hear about all I have learned reading your blogs, books, and what I learned at my meetings! (Lucky him!)

But without growth in all areas of our lives, we just won't learn what made us drink, and how we can make life better for us and our loved ones. And we will stay stuck in a story of unhappiness. 

Each day, life gives me some tests.
When I am sick, life asks me to be patient.
When I don't do things I need to, life asks me to be responsible.
When I am scared, life asks me to trust.
When I am lonely, life asks me to reach out to someone. 
When I am tired from sitting, life asks me to move.

Being patient when I am sick, is very hard for me. I get sick often, and it isolates me. 
And yet, I am learning that I can be alone and not lonely. I am learning that maybe I can't go to yoga for several weeks, but I can walk on my treadmill. This too will pass.

Being responsible is another area that can be hard for me, especially in terms of self-care. I put off calling the doctors, getting a massage or a pedicure. I put off running errands. I had no problems being responsible when it came to teaching. But now, I often don't do things that would make me feel better, or tasks that I need to.

Trusting God, or in the order of things, would help me when I get scared. I often think I will always be sick, always have this problem or that, and I get anxious about many things. I am still learning to be trusting, that somehow things will work out. They always do.

Now that I am retired, it is harder to build connections with people. So I can get lonely, or feel lonely. My family doesn't live close to me. But life asks me to reach out to people, first. It asks me to call someone, text someone, send an e-mail. This never fails to make me feel better!

Life asks me to move. Sitting around reading is nice, but my heart, body, mind and soul is happier when I walk. Walking with Mr. UnTipsy is a way we connect with each other, and we try to do that several times a week. Walking by myself sometimes seems lonely, but I am being asked to do just that. It is the connection with nature that I seek.

All of this must be done with self-compassion. I will not continue to make growth if I am angry at myself all of the time. I am human. I can't be perfect. I am working on being gentle with myself.

This week I was sick, but I made commitments to meet friends and kept them.
I found out I didn't need a lot of energy to get dressed and go out for a couple of hours. I didn't worry about what I wore. I didn't worry about anything but enjoying my friends' company.
Looking back, I didn't even think about drinking or not drinking. 
I just don't drink, so it didn't enter my thoughts.

It is my responsibility to take care of my life. 
This is very hard to do at times, but if I don't, who will? 
And if not now, when? 


With Love,
Wendy 
On Day 475

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Baking

Dear Readers,
I used to love to bake.
I baked pies, sweet bread, whole wheat bread, and cookies.
I even baked my own wedding cake!

The reason I don't bake anymore is quite simple: I eat ALL of it. Hubs maybe gets one cookie. Or, HE eats all of it and it's not good for him to live on cookies!

I bake about once a year now.
Ready!
But I as I am looking for something to do on cold days, I decided to make banana bread this weekend. Now when I told my dear Loved One this, his eyes lit up!!
Almost glowing!!
We even bought a new hand mixer as my old one was from 1976, an avocado colored Sunbeam!
We looked up a recipe on the Food Network (the Macy's clerk told us to do that), went shopping for all the stuff, as we had none in the house, and I got to work.

I mixed, stirred, measured, and put the bread into the oven.
Now, as things have it, I don't use the oven.
Ever.
So I don't know how to use timer, and I set it for minutes, not an hour. Of course it started beeping.
I couldn't hear it, because I didn't have all my ear hardware on!
After hubs informed me of the beeping, I set the microwave timer, instead. Problem solved!
Done! 

There is an end to this story, and that is, the middle of the bread is RAW!
I didn't bake it long enough!

Now the baked part tastes yummy!
I only ate 2 pieces so far, and so there is plenty of raw dough left for him!

I like baking because I can mix things up and have them come out into something good to eat! It's fun, like a science project! 

Hubs and I decided it would be good if I baked something once a month.

If I were still drinking, my Loved One and I wouldn't be joking about baking very much. We'd be arguing about my drinking, my hiding.
Note Written By Wendy to Wendy
Now we can be our silly selves, the lovers and friends we were meant to be, like we were way back when we met in high school. 
I love being home when he gets home.
I love giving him a hug after his hard day at work.

There is a freedom in sobriety that I cannot express in words.
I never knew it could be this wonderful.
I don't say this lightly. It wasn't easy to get sober, and I often struggled. 
But with each day, I find the secret held within; it is pure joy to be sober.

With Flour on the Floor and Dough on the Walls
On Day 466

Wendy

Monday, January 4, 2016

Blue Skies on 16 Months!

Blue Sky on our Hike

Dear Readers,
Today I have been sober for 16 months!
Yay! 
The sky is so blue today!
The prettiest blue ever!
I LOVE blue!
(Blue is my favorite color, in case you didn't guess!)

Hubs and I went for a walk Saturday, in a park close to our house. There is a creek that flows even in winter. It has many little falls, and they make delicious sounds. I stand in awe of nature. I love the gnarly oak trees, the snow, the sun, and the clouds. I love them all.
Nine Mile Creek, On Our Hike
They connect me to life.

We walked along the creek and then took the high path, which goes above the park, and gives us another view of the world. It was there I saw a snow eagle! 

Today I am giving thanks to my yoga teacher, my life coach, a Ceremoni.
She was the one of the first people I reached out to when I wanted to finally get sober. She put me firmly on the path of starting my sobriety, helping me work through my loss of hearing, retirement, and all my other issues.
(Of which there are many! So she'll have a job for life!)

She has been one of my living angels.
I have been struggling with retirement, which might seem odd to some people, but has been hard for me, almost harder than getting sober. 
As I lament over things I "should" be doing, that I should be busier, or doing something more,  and that I can't seem to find my way, she told me this:

I have two types of needs and wants; quiet and connections. 
My quiet times include writing, alone, home, stillness, tv, reading books, and the internet.
My connection needs include social times, group gatherings, yoga, walks in nature, photos of nature, shopping, sober blogs.

I need and want both.
I can stop the war between the needs.

She is right.
I do need both. Too much quiet time can sometimes be connected to boredom, loneliness, sadness, and depression. Too much social time can sometimes make me anxious, or lonely when I can't hear.

My Snow Eagle
I used to think I was such a social person, and I am.
But as a child, I was also happy to be reading, or playing by myself.

I know not both of these needs will be balanced every day, and in retirement I find myself needing a few more social times. However, I have been isolating myself a little bit this fall and winter. It's not just the snow and cold, because I am used to that.
I know that in order for me to make more connections, I need some better habits and some courage. I need to give myself a gentle push on some days.

But today, right now, as the sun is now gone, and dusk is arriving, and I am STILL in my pj's, I am content.
(Although hubs is coming soon and we are going for a walk, and so I'd better get into action!)

With Love and Much Gratitude,
Wendy
On Day 457