And so it begins… With an apology

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The new year has begun, out with the old, in with the new as they say. In my time of peace and solitude during Julia’s absence through the holiday, first with her father and then off to spend time with her friends, I was able to look ahead at what I hope to accomplish to continue this journey of finding who I am as an individual. I made it through my Whole 30 and feeling wonderful, continuing with eating Paleo, with a few allowances on days off, continuing with exercise and mediation, now left to wonder can I do this forever? Or am I capable of only powering through the 30 days alone. The diet and exercise are in check, I would like to continue further with the meditation to gain more self awareness.  And as of last week I had successfully been able to have a glass of wine socially, and not let it get too far out of hand.  Unfortunately, I was not able to do so this week, a beautiful dinner, then ended up moving to the bar, and for me the exact same thing happened as it always does. I simply cannot have one cocktail, and ultimately my sadness, and feeling of out of control take over and culminates into an anger that pushes all who care for me, away.  Thus, I am not able to have just one, not be in that atmosphere, I am kidding myself if I thought that I would be able to.  So an entire day of regret, dissapointment and sadness consumed me, not allowing me to be productive, nor enjoy the gift of waking up to a beautiful world.  Including some mending of relationships, apologies necessary.  The thing with apologies, is that unless there is change, or progress without a repeat of the behavior, the apology is meaningless.  I must make this apology count, for if I do not I will forever be living in this cycle of regret and sadness, never to live a happy life.

My my most happy place, is my bed and bedroom, it is peaceful, it is serene and holds me in as if I were on a cloud. Here I am myself, here I feel safe and see all my own beauty and abilities., unlike when I step outside my bedroom door.

Julia was tired from such a long socially packed calendar to start the day off, I was regrettably hung over, it was a chilly Sunday, and I cannot think of a time of day that breakfast in bed wouldn’t sound amazing.   So we laid  in bed, having breakfast in the afternoon watching a movie and just relaxing.   Peaceful, not too much in the way of conversation, just being close and next to one another.  Sometimes simply being in the presence of the ones we love, in absolute silence can be just as a beautiful connection,  and on this Sunday it was all that We needed.  So now I will push on, not looking at my faults and allowing them to take me back to self loathing, but to know I learned something about myself, accepting my own apology.

Iron skies

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“But no one, No nobody, Can give you the power…” This lyric alone from the beautiful song Iron Sky of Paolo Nutini speaks to me, as I continue on my journey of self-reliance, self discovery, and path to loving myself.  All that is necessary to allow my ability to become a strong independent woman who can inspire my daughter to be all that she desires to be in life.  The song itself is political with a message of independence, hearing the speech from Charlie Chaplin’s THE GREAT DICTATOR, a movie I was introduced to in a philosophy class.  Hearing “we are not machines” reminds me that my life does not need to reflect any other.

In Life we cross paths with so many individuals, some who give and some who take, as we do the same.  I truly believe that whomever we encounter is for a reason, in the end to teach us who we can be.  This song was introduced to me by someone who I may never actually meet in person, someone who has been a great support through this choice to become sober.  This chance introduction is what can be so powerful about how small our world has become.

As  tomorrow is already another Sunday, the days pass so quickly it seems one day it will just pass me by.  I honestly do not know how the day will play out.  We had made specific plans, and as life goes… obstacles arise, only to throw us off, this is when I truly need that flexibility in order to roll with the punches.  I am learning to not invest too much into looking forward to far, so I do not feel disappointment.  That may not be the best way to exist, but for now it is a protection from feeling as though I have failed in some way, a major trigger for my need to get lost.

My reason not to get lost… Julia, and her need for me.

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Learning balance, even in moments of challenge

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As the nights come too soon in these winter months, the days do not last long enough, this is when my strength is most challenged.  I have always found the five o’clock hour to be the time that all of my stresses of the day need to be calmed, the way I had always fulfilled the much needed moment of ahhhh, has always been a drink.  I am on a program called the Whole 30, where alcohol is prohibited, as are many dietary restrictions, I have chosen this plan, because it is a challenge, and for me to just say that I wasn’t going to drink was not an option, I know I would never make the changes necessary for my future or health.  As the holiday season is upon us, I thought this is a telling time, because it is a season of eating, drinking and being merry!  The perfect time for a true challenge.  This is the second round for me, the first I completed 36 days, feeling amazing at the end.  I have kept up with the eating plan, a Paleo way of eating, with a bit of cheating on my days off, for this my body has thanked me, energy and weight wise.  Unfortunately I had brought alcohol back in, and for me I didn’t waste time with a few leisurely cocktails with friends on an occasional basis, instead diving right into a bottle of vodka.  A mostly functioning working single mother, with a not so secret habit for some of my friends and neighbors, and definitely not my children.  For most that I encounter on a daily basis, I really don’t know if they could recognize what has been my existence since March, with that small exception of 36 days.  And so again I am on the Whole 30, day seventeen, still the most difficult restriction is having no alcohol, yet I am doing it, and this time around I am learning to cope in new ways with, jogging, yoga, meditation, reading, writing, so much cooking, are all challenges for me, yet the kind that are fulfilling, as well as good for my body and mind.

As we look toward this coming Sunday, the weather shall be our guide, so many beautiful places to visit and enjoy in our area, though a picnic in the rain doesn’t sound like the most fun way to spend the day.  So we will keep it open, awake hoping for sunny weather, if it is not, the challenge of finding the perfect spot for a Sunday in the park will be one I can conquer.

Catching the sun…

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It started out as a gloomy morning, I went for a walk with a friend before preparing for our weekly picnic.  Julia had stayed overnight with her friend, so she wasn’t able to help with preparation, though she gave me her input of what she craved.  I am doing what is called the Whole 30, for a multitude of reasons, as well as I have been eating Paleo-ish since summertime, so the way I eat has become mostly the way of the household.  All except for Julia’s beloved lavash wraps, she is not able to let go, nor should she feel the need to comply to what I have found works best for me.  I made a salad, vegetables and fruit to round out a light satisfying picnic. I found my actual picnic basket as I cleaned in the garage, in it I found some linen that had belonged to beautiful grandmother who initiated my love for cooking.  We used them as our tablecloths, for me those linens made me feel her presence bringing me a warmth, with her memory.

Julia’s friend joined us for the day, to see them interact and be content with the simplicity I offer of just a picnic lunch filled with what was a very telling conversation made me pleased with who my daughter is becoming, and her choice of company.  As we enjoyed lunch we were fortunate to catch the sunlight of the day, as if it was just meant to be.  We chose Nojoqui Falls Park, a beautiful local park that I have spent so many days over the years, yet haven’t been there for so long.  Unfortunately the falls were closed because from our last rain, though we were able to walk around the park and be silly, producing many funny pictures.

From the park we took the lovely drive to Solvang to gather some small gifts for exchange at Julia’s dance studio.  As we window shopped and the girls tasted fudge, the weather changed and the clouds moved in, signaling an end to the day.

To finish off our Sunday we had a wonderful supper at home, just the two of us.  And here is where a conversation of heft came to the forefront, my sobriety.  My concerns, and more importantly Julia’s concerns that weigh heavily on her mind.  This is a difficult topic, especially for me to even acknowledge, but for a truly open and honest relationship with my daughter it is a must.  She told me she feels that there is nothing she cannot share with me, this was golden, and because of her, because of just that we were able to have a frank conversation of what sobriety means to our life together, and with my older children as well. It is not that I won’t ever enjoy a glass of wine with friends, but no longer can I hide my depression with solitary cocktails in my room at night, or foolish times out at the bars, I need to, for her sake and my health re-establish an appropriate relationship with alcohol.  These reasons and conversations are all part of why I have begun this journey, and commitment for Sundays in the park.