A Slight Wobble

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Alright, if I’m honest it was more of a stumble than a wobble…

At 103 days we had international visitors descend on us and proudly present us with a bottle that “we brought all this way just to share with you.  We went specifically to the cellar door to pick it up!”.

Oh crapsicles was my first thought, I didn’t warn them that I wasn’t drinking.  My second thought was, what can it hurt? I did my 100 days, I’m not breaking that commitment.

What can it hurt?… well, even though not my worse enemy could have accused me of being drunk or even a bit tipsy, the following day after 4 people sharing a bottle of bubbles and then another over dinner, I felt like CRAP!  I was slightly “off” all day, even a bit irritable.  Crazy Cat Boy said he was the same.

I did the rest of the four day weekend as the designated driver out here in wine country, having a polite glass with dinner.  We merrily waved our guests goodbye,  hid all the wine they’d generously bought us over the extended cellar door tour we’d been on in the wine fridge out in the garage, and put ourselves firmly back on the wagon.

Lesson learnt, don’t let others sway your thinking.  Honestly if I’d known them better I’d have told them straight out that I wasn’t drinking, but I don’t, so I didn’t want to make them uncomfortable – they are quite big drinkers who we met on a winery tour.

(If I’m being honest, I let almost complete strangers influence my thinking here, something that 20 years ago I would never have let happen… something I need to have a closer look at I think.)

I can truly say that life is way better without booze, a bit of me is very sad about that, but most of me hasn’t even realised that I’ve been going without, it’s become a new kind of normal here, and I’m ok with that.

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101 Days Sober

101 Days, that’s how long it’s been since I’ve had a drink!  Thanks to Belle’s 100 Day Challenge that gave me a target to aim for.

I feel fantastic.  I could do a 101 reasons why to lay off the booze, even for a while, but work is getting in the way of a long blog today, but I didn’t want to miss this milestone.

So, what’s next?  I’m definitely off the wine until the end of the year.  My stint in hospital last week opened my eyes to what a compromised immune system can do to you, can you imagine what shape I’d have been in if I’d had a cold AND an extra three months of wine in me?!  Doesn’t bare thinking about!

Right, I’m in the middle of a stack of work and I’m 13,000 th in the queue to buy advanced Harry Potter and the Cursed Child tickets… I’ve got a big day ahead of me!

Stay healthy peeps.

 

How did I get F%^&*ing old?

Ok, its’ been a weird week good internet peeps.  I should have been launching a couple of promotions, putting the finishing touches on my next quarter campaign and looking the very picture of health as I get ready for my first 100 days booze free to end.  But am I? Nope, I’m writing this from bed, my bed, which is a nice change as last week a Cold, that’s right, a Cold put me in hospital!

What The Actual Fuck?!

I thought I was at least experiencing something sexy and serious like stroke, but no, simply the mundane. I couldn’t see properly, which turns out is an issue as you cruise down the freeway at 100 km and then try and negotiate city traffic on a week day.  To say I made a strategic error going to work on Thursday is an understatement.

The lovely emergency department Dr (who was quite cute and well dressed for a 12 year old…. god he looked  young!) ran through all the tests, CT, MRI, bloods, you name it, they did them all (they came back negative for anything serious) and then announced that they were keeping me in for observation overnight. The head Neuro guy came in with his prep class (more well dressed 12 year old’s who’s name tags all inexplicably read “Dr”) the next day… I’d started to make very strong “my preference would be” type statements about them letting me go home, so I think they decided to call in the big guns to exert some authority over me.  LOL.  He proclaimed that I was free to go home and that as we age our eyes tend to turn and this coupled with my “compromised immune system”, eg, case of the sniffles (FFS!), can manifest in blurred vision and it should sort itself out.

So that’s my life now is it? A couple of sneezes and I become some sort of house bound invalid?  Bloody hell, this is a bit shit right?  I’m supposed to be celebrating 100 days booze free tomorrow and instead I’ll be trying to muster up the energy to shower!

Got to tell you, I didn’t see this coming.  I’m grateful that I live in a country where I could pull up at the hospital emergency department and within a few hours find myself having undergone a battery of expensive tests and tucked up in bed for the night and it won’t cost me a thing*.  We are very lucky here in Australia to have such a fabulous system of public healthcare.

 

*It does cost via tax, but I’m ok with that, I think we should have a system where we can offer the very best healthcare to all, especially people who can’t afford it.  Not that I’ve used our public medical system like this before, I’ve never been admitted as a public patient. In fact the last time I was in hospital I was 22 and having wisdom teeth out.  I must point out that I’m kidding around, the 12 year old Drs, while looking like mini hipsters, knew their stuff and were very thorough and professional.

 

The Booze Filter

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I had a good friend come and stay with me for a fun girls weekend, naturally there was lots of Instaing, discussion of different filters to apply and which photos could make the social channels.  This got me thinking about the variety of filters that we put on our lives.

I know I filter myself at work… good corporate worker drone, always the sensible one (ok, read the kill joy one, it’s probably closer to the mark! I’m the Terms and Conditions department LOL).

I absolutely filter my social media presence, well, us marketing types call it “curating content for audience”, coz we’re fancy like that 😉  Usually only the best thoughts, never a negative comment, keep the religion and politics out of it, checking in at the “right” spots.  You all know the drill, we all do it, even if subconsciously, we want people to think we are more glamorous than we are (well I am, I know some of you have awesomely interesting lives and jobs).

Then there is the filter that alcohol puts on your life, stops you seeing and feeling the real you.  It all goes a bit soft and fuzzy, like someone put an old school layer of vasoline over the lens.

I’ve got 7 days left on Belles 100 Day Challenge and I feel like the filter is off of my life for the first time in a long time.  The reality of where I am is confronting and a bit unsettling if I’m honest.  I’m worried that I’m also a bit dull. I don’t seem to have much to say of interest anymore IRL.  What happened to the girl that went out and found life wherever it was?  Now life just seems to be something that happens to me.

So, my next challenge is to turn my IRL into something that I don’t have to run a filter over, and I’m pretty sure that I’m going to continue this no booze challenge into the new year.

What will you be taking the filter off of?

Where’s all this cash come from?

money

I stared at the computer screen for a while confused, scrolled though the bill pay list on the bank app, looked even more confused, checked that mortgage payments were clearing, nope, no answer there either.

So,where has all this extra cash in the account come from?

We must have missed paying a credit card bill, we are so about to be hit with an interest payment and overdue fee, Doh!  But the thing is, I can’t see where it’s happened.  Everything appears to be paid up and on time.

That was last Friday and it puzzled me all weekend. We lost incoming cash in January due to a job amendment in Crazy Cat Boy’s world, we’ve been going out to dinner and the movies regularly over the past few months, something we don’t normally do… apparently leaving the house gets in the way of slumping on the lounge in front of bad TV chugging back a couple of $25 bottles of wine, so going out wasn’t really on our agenda at all.

Now, we aren’t talking about a retire tomorrow sized amount, just more than enough to make me sit up and look for a problem.  The only thing I can think of is we are seeing the cumulative effect of 6 months of very little (and now no) booze, more organised food planning, me spitting the dummy at my car insurance renewal* and finding a better deal and some other $20 here, $10 there changes.

Now I know we were spending at least $100 on wine a week… Crazy Cat Boy god love him had it pegged at “about” $40 pw for some reason!  But this, coupled with these other small changes have put us in the position to put some more cash into our Vanguard EFT this week.  That’s our long term retirement income stream plan.

So not only will I live longer by laying off the booze I’ll also have the money to!  LOL

*I swear, Insurance is the only service that you buy where you are penalised for long term loyalty! What’s with that?  “Oh, you paid us on time for a service you haven’t used for 6 years, here’s a hefty increase in your premium for the next 12 months” Well I’m not taking it anymore!  Now, if I’d been drinking at the time I’d have ranted and raved and NOT done anything about changing service provider.  I’ve saved $30 per month with a quick Google and online quote.  Not bad for 10 minutes work on a sober Tuesday night.

Friends + Booze = Help?

Spent the weekend in the big smoke with friends we don’t see often.  Drinking has always been a big part of our time together so I’d warned them ahead of time that I was on the wagon via text so the shock wouldn’t be too much.  I knew I’d be “enthusiastically encouraged” to drink as Kate* is a very big drinker, as is her husband William*.  Mind you, I’m not about to crack on day 80 something for people I don’t see that often, so I wasn’t too concerned about any pressure.

Kate greeted us at the door, glass of red in hand and “Here are the teetotallers”.  Hmmm, might be a long couple of days I thought to myself.  Our not drinking was the topic du jour for almost the entire time we were together. Kate seemed keen to know the ins and outs (I kept it at “It’s an internet challenge”, while I love her dearly, she does love to share  juicy information with others and I don’t need my reasons out IRL!).

Around midnight Saturday after a couple of bottles of bubbles, the best part of a bottle of red** and sharing some very unsound taxation advice, Kate came out with “I just can’t face not drinking forever”.  She seemed genuinely sad and worried about her drinking and I’m now worried for her.  I didn’t judge, hell, who I am I to anyway? Three months ago I’d probably been having the same conversation, the only difference is that I’d be two bottles of bubbles in myself!  Instead I shared some of the blogs and the benefits that I was seeing from the time off and encouraged her gently to go for it if she wanted to.

I’ve come away from the experience wondering if I could do more to help.  I’ve sent the links I said I would and offered to do the 100 days with her – no issue for me, I’m going to do them anyway. I’ll wait and see if she decides to go that way and I’ll help in anyway I can.

FYI, I’ve all but decided that I’ll continue through until at least 1st Jan 2019 and really, if I can do that, then it’s only another 4 months to the year… got to be worth it right?

Oh, and 85 days of Belles 100 Day Challenge today… should be working, blogging here instead, somethings haven’t changed! LOL

 

*Not Kate’s or Williams real names.

** Kate had consumed, not me, I was good I promise! 

80 Days!

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Busy with work and not much to share but I’ve hit 80 days of Belle’s 100 Day Challenge today…….

(sorry for the delay in this post, just had to go and shoo a bird out of the back yard – the cats are out at the moment – the photo above should be captioned, “But why can’t we chase the bird?”)

……. Actually, I take that back, I do have something to share.  Work isn’t just busy, it’s Insane, yep, with a capital “I”.  I should feel like I’m drowning but I don’t, I feel calm.  I’m still not getting much done, so perhaps I’m not calm, perhaps I’ve gone into shock!  LOL.  In all reality though, it has to be down to not drinking, I’m also sleeping through the night and in these circumstances that’s just about unheard of for me.  Normally I’d either by laying awake worrying or at my laptop at 3 am trying to wade through it all. Something’s definitely changed.

I’ve also started the ground work for “the chat” with Crazy Cat Boy.  You know, the one where you gently break that this 100 day thing is probably going to become a 365 day thing.  Don’t want to scare him too badly all at once, I’ve got another 20 days to soften the eventual decision delivery.  😉

Have a happy and healthy day all!

 

10 “Amazing” Things That Happen When You Stop Drinking

 

20171101_105123Not much time to play today but wanted to celebrate yesterday’s milestone – 70 days of Belles 100 Day Challenge done and dusted!

Everyone talks about the obvious benefits of not drinking, health, self worth, better relationships, hope, etc, etc… Ok so they are pretty big etc’s LOL!  But, I’ve noticed some other more everyday “amazing things” that I thought I’d share, and before you ask, yes, my life really is that exciting that I’ve noticed these  😉 …

  1. My bins are mostly empty (we are generating at least 1/2 as much recycling, no bottles, but  weirdly only about 1/3 of the hard rubbish we were prior)
  2. I put the bins out and bring them in without whinging about it (or feeling hard done by)
  3. Washing gets put away (often on the same day it dries!)
  4. I know if I’m being lazy but don’t care (because it’s my choice, not my hangover)
  5. I remember to take bags with me to the shops (so I don’t have to stuff 3 days worth of food into my Furla tote at the cash register and suffer the odd looks from the checkout girls)
  6. I’m calmer at Bunnings (normally the place makes me lose the will to live (it’s a hardware store here in Australia if you are wondering))
  7. I’m more assertive with the remote control at home
  8. If the dirty microwave bothers me, I clean it!  (I know, right??)
  9. I’ve been composting more diligently
  10. I’ve been using all of my social media feeds, yes, even SnapChat (I still don’t really understand how it works – all my “stories” consist of one image and a random filter #SocialMediaMarketingGuru  #Not LOL)

 

So, that’s my benign 70 day sober challenge update.  Small things but they can make quite a difference in my everyday slightly mundane life.  Big things have changed as well, however they’ve been well documented by more eloquent bloggers than this Crazy Cat Lady.  I’d love to hear your “small thing”, so feel free to play along below!

Sugar Made Me Do It

lemon cake

I’ve talked about how Crazy Cat Boy is helping me with my 100 Day Challenge but what I’ve not talked about is how I’m helping him achieve some goals of his own.  His goals are DELICIOUS!

We were given Poh Ling Yeow’s 100 Great Bakes cookbook last year for Christmas and he’s picked out a number of fabulous (and rich items) that he’d like to make.  First it was the decedent vanilla slice, which looked nothing like the vanilla slices of my school canteen days!  Mmm, the cream patisserie, for a woman who doesn’t like custardy things was divine.   Then this weekend gone it was the Lemon Curd Meringue Sponge cake… light, fluffy cake, zingy lemon curd all encased in the lightest chewiest meringue you’ve ever encountered.  Tonight will be puff pastry with leftover curd, Chantilly cream and meringue, coz, you know, food waste is such a crime against the environment (and my jeans it’s turning out).   Next weekend it’s the cinnamon scrolls, can’t wait!

Now here’s the kicker it’s been cold out here in wine country and it’s bloody dark in the mornings and I’ve been particularly slack around getting on the bike in these conditions.  This combined with the intense amount of sugar that I’ve been inhaling (I had lemon sponge for breakfast yesterday – don’t judge me, lemon is fruit and cream is just not runny milk!) and not only are my clothes feeling a bit tight but the wonderful head hits pillow out like a light sleep that I’ve been experiencing since not drinking has GONE.

I had forgotten how ordinary I feel when I don’t sleep and can’t believe that I normally operated like this.   I blame the sugar.  The only other option is that we’ve been going to bed a ridiculously early time since I’ve been on the challenge, perhaps I’ve caught up on all the sleep I’ve missed over the years in the past 60 odd days.  Yeah, I know, it’s unlikely.  LOL

As addictions go I think sugar is right up there, just writing this after my second day of no sleep has my mind is wandering through the contents of the pantry to see what in there that is sweet is readily available to sooth my craving.  I might have to address this one at some point.  But until then I’ll continue to support CCB in his endeavours… the sugar and love made me do it!

PS: In case anyone is wondering at nearly 70 days in I feel more “awake” now than I have in years regardless of the sleep issue. I’m thinking this 100 days might need to be extended.

60 Days

Well good Internet peeps today is  officially 60 days of Belles 100 Day Challenge for me!

It’s probably the longest I’ve gone since my (very) early twenties without a drink.  I have to say that I feel pretty good, “lighter” mentally, more focused and way less inclined to commit professional suicide by telling my uptight, upstart colleagues what they can do with their uninformed, scaredy arsed opinions… it’s been a long few weeks with some significant challenges, including me deciding that this marketing gig is for idiots and that I’d be happier as a Sheppard (sheep do as you tell them, why won’t everyone else? Control freak much? Who, moi?  LOL) and that’ll be my new career.

I’ve tackled what should have been private boozy dinners, some very long Friday nights, and most recently a professional dinner in this booze soaked industry.  I copped some good natured ribbing and “what the hell for’s” but no actual grief.  Like my friend from a few weekends ago there was disbelief that anyone would be able to do 1 week let alone 100 days.  Crazy Cat Boy was asked if I was torturing him, but he also didn’t drink at the function – he’s doing the challenge by default and I think he’s privately ok with it now.

Hmm, I had more to say but my pesky boss sent an email and I’ve lost my train of thought, so I’ll leave it here… bring on the next 40 days!