I’m Surrounded

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I’m surrounded by booze at every turn!  It’s wine o clock Facebook tells me, emails show up from frequent flyer loyalty programs offering me award winning reds, updates from sober blogs come in from Twitter, colleagues telling me to relax with a glass after a stressful day.  I don’t event have to leave my desk to be bombarded by triggers telling me to have a drink!

When did our society become so obsessed with alcohol… hmm is it society, or just me obsessing?  Perhaps that’s a mirror better not looked in LOL!

Anyway, that’s my whinge (whine??!) for the day.  Have a healthy, happy day wherever you are.

Disappear?

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Ever get the urge to run away, disappear and start over again?

It sneaks up on  me from time to time. Don’t get me wrong I’m happy enough with my life but occasionally my tiny mind prompts me to just run away.  That little voice whispers “It wasn’t supposed to be like this, it was supposed to be glamorous and fun, not normal and dull.  Let’s just jump on a plane and go, tell no one.”

I fantasise about being the exotic mysterious person swanning about NYC or Europe freelancing in whatever it is I’m doing in this made up life, never being pinned down to reality and responsibility.

I even think about how I’d let the people I care about know that I was still alive without giving my whereabouts* away .  I don’t let the mundane issues of having a husband, cats, friends, bank accounts and earning actual money get in the way of these plans; glamorous people just have stuff come to them and they get invited to interesting exclusive events every night of the week right???  😉

I generally shut that little voice up with something expensive or with booze.  Neither of these are a great option, I get that.  I do know that I can spice up my life, but I also wonder how stopping off at a new shopping centre or trying a new way home from work became an exciting thing to do, I’m sure I’m not that person.

So is it just me that wonders how life got dull and normal that has this urge to run or do we all suffer from slight delusions of interestingness occasionally?

*Super Sammie, you ever get an unsigned post card from Guggenheim, I’ve gone rouge, tell the others I’m fine!

Where Will Your Road Lead?

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I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about where my road is leading me and I’ve decided that I won’t get old without a fight.  I won’t let my road lead to nowhere.

I’m watching people that were passionate and impulsive and full of energy let their lives slip away and I don’t want to go that way.

Please understand I’m not talking about aging, that happens and quite frankly I’m debating the whole botox issue* with myself at the moment. Crazy Cat Boy has taken to calling me “Angry Bird” and having just seen myself on screen, I’m inclined to agree with him.  It’s that gradual loss of a sense that anything is possible and doing interesting things with life that scares me.

So even though I’m in the second half of my life I’ve decided that I wont get old without a fight, I won’t give up on seeking out new opportunities and I sure as hell won’t allow taking a different way home from the shops to become an exciting thing in my world.  I’ve been as guilty of this as the next person, life gets busy and somehow we forget to live it along the way as the days and then months slip by.

I want to have an answer that is more than “oh, you know, just busy” when someone asks me what I’ve been doing.

I wont be scared, I refuse!  I’m issuing the challenge to anyone who wants to play along – What will you be able to say when someone asks “What have you been up to?”?

Where will your road lead you?


*There is a post coming on this.

There’s Cat Vomit In My Shoe…

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Sometimes life is like that, your day is cruising along, nothing special and then bam,  something as innocuous as entering the walk in robe and recoiling in horror from the smell that assaults your senses can change your outlook from sunny to “it’s all to hard”.  That was my Saturday….

Dry retching, I investigate the horrifying odour only to discover that in retaliation for feeding him the tablet he needs to control his Thyroid problem, darling Monty Cat has thrown up in my sneaker, across the carpet and up one wall of the walk in.

While only a small vomit, the minced beef must have been “marinating” overnight (it didn’t get below 25 inside that night and the walk in holds all the AV for the home theatre room adding to the heat factor in there, so the smell was unearthly.   Can deal with visual ick, but smells, especially inside my house I don’t cope with.

(Thank god I didn’t get up at 4 am and dress in the dark to go for a ride like I was considering doing!!)

This “delightful” find brought on a dummy spit of spectacular proportions, irrational thoughts of torching the shoes and everything the disgusting mess had touched and topping it off with booze.   “I’ll never be able to go for a long walk again, that’s it, I’ll be an unfit, tubby woman, so I may as well have a drink”.  Yep, that’s where my brain took me.   Aren’t you glad you weren’t there?  😉

A cup of tea and a slighted saner train of thought saw me try to clean everything and think through my though process.  A drink wouldn’t solve anything, and seriously, the lack of one pair of shoes is going to put up such a barrier that it will derail my entire fitness program?  Bloody hell Crazy Cat Lady, get a grip!

So why was this tiny “problem” such a big thing in my head.  Perhaps it’s all the stuff I have going on at work, perhaps it’s because I didn’t sleep well last night, perhaps I’m seriously messed up and destined to burn my house down because of a bit of eww on the carpet!  Who knows?   LOL

What I do know, and I guess where this post is going is, don’t let the cat vomit in your shoe distract you from what you want to achieve.  These small things are sent to try us and we can’t let them derail our focus on what is truly important.

PS: The carpet is now, thanks to the loan of a carpet cleaner from our next door neighbour, but my shoe smells like a wet dog – nothing worse than a sneaker that has to be soaked!  I’m pretty sure it’ll have to go, but I’m holding out hope and investing in Glen 20 shares.

PSS: 20 days no wine today and feeling great

Pop, Fizz, Glug, Glug….Crash!

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Yep, that was me falling off the wagon in spectacular style.  Coming into my third Friday night sober with 15 days under my belt, the wheels came off.

We’ll just have a quick drink before dinner, like responsible adults.  Yeah, right, we all know how that ended don’t we?

I don’t remember going to bed.  I do know that three bottles were involved; the evidence was there for all to see the next morning.

Speaking of morning, that wasn’t pretty.  We were looking after the neighbours animals and the dogs are inside overnight and must be let out early (6.00 am early!) so they don’t make a mess IYKWIM.

So, feeling dreadful, I dragged my sorry, bloated arse out of bed pulled on my walking gear (if I had to get up, I may as well exercise) and set off to see if I couldn’t walk off the stupid.  It was lovely day in wine country, kangaroos, kookaburras, the odd lorikeet, hot air balloons floated serenely through the dawn sky.  I appreciated NONE of it as I just tried to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  Talk about enjoying life, not!

I managed my usual 8km and decided that bacon and eggs would sort me out.  Crazy Cat Boy had made it from snoring in bed when I left to sitting vacantly on the lounge watching TV.  “I don’t drink any more” he announced to me as I flopped down beside him.   “Yep, me neither” I replied.  Mind you, we’ve both said this before, numerous times.   Talk about slow learners.

Breakfast was duly consumed.  I lasted until around 10 am and then went back to bed.  I thought a lay down with a book would help, nope.  In my hungover state the poison in my body meant that trying to focus on words actually made me feel nauseous.  Great.  I’ve done so much damage to myself with one decision that I’ve lost the ability to read.  God help me if there was an emergency and I had to drive – well, I couldn’t anyway; I’d be over the limit still by my calculations.

Three days later my one consolation is that while I threw away 15 days of feeling on top of the world I know that I must have been doing something right if my body* reacted that acutely to something that only a few weeks ago it simply would have shrugged its shoulders at and gotten on with the day.  I’m lucky; I’ve clearly come to my senses in time that my body will heal itself relatively quickly.

So, if you are still thinking about stopping/cutting back, learn from my mistakes and give it a red hot go, you won’t regret it.

* Physically my hair felt like straw, my face was blotch and yuck. Mentally I’ve been sad and kind of listless, only just starting to feel happy again now on day three.

This not drinking thing…

 

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For anyone wondering what a short period of not drinking is like here’s my short story…

Waking up not hungover for a second Saturday in a row has its merits. We are on day 14* of 2017 and we’ve only drunk once, on the 4th.  I’d like to say that we had a civilised glass over dinner and that was it, but of course we drank two bottles and were cranky the next day.

So what does ten days sober look like for this Crazy Cat Lady? Glad you asked…

  • I feel better, both physically and mentally
  • My skin looks clearer, less red.  I have Rosacea and not drinking is absolutely helping
  • I’ve lost some weight. I’ve been exercising more, but not drinking 3 or 4 bottles a week has to help.
  • I’m calmer
  • I kind of feel like I used to before I drank a lot – it’s a weird hopefulness or happiness that I can’t explain I like myself better
  • At the risk of sharing TMI, I feel sexier
  • I’ve got a stack of time on my hands – we painted the house over the break in the time we would have spent drinking
  • My hair has stopped falling out (OMG, what the hell is booze doing to me exactly??)

I’ve not had any withdrawal issues that I’ve noticed. I deliberately reduced the amount I drank over Christmas and new year. It helped me deal with the stress of dealing with family and all the attendant fun stuff that comes with the holiday season (Christmas day is a post on its own!), so perhaps that helped.

I’ve read a lot about people replacing wine with deserts etc when first giving up but I’ve not experienced that. It could be (Crazy Cat Boy has been mainlining sweet stuff like there is no tomorrow, so perhaps he is) that I’m not really a sweet tooth, I’m more a salt and fats kind of girl.

I even went to bed sober NYE and it’s been years since I’ve done that.  It used to be in my party days I didn’t drink NYE as I thought waking up hungover to start a new year was a bad idea. What changed is still an unanswered question that I’ll have to look at later on.

So, where to from here? CCB wants a new TV ( we don’t need one, he just “wants” one- boys and gadgets, sigh), so I’ve struck a deal whereby we don’t buy wine for four months so the money saved can go to pay for it.

This means for the next four months at least I’ll not be drinking.  I’ve got some usually heavy drinking work events in February  however a change in management is also changing our culture in that area so I’ll have an “out” so to speak.

My thoughts so far on not drinking are give it a whirl, what’s the worst that happens?  You might feel better and save some cash.  That sounds like a win to me.

 

*In case you think I can’t count, I wrote this Saturday but was too lazy to fire up the PC and post it. Somethings not drinking hasn’t changed!  LOL

Do WE Have A Problem?

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I’ve been thinking a lot about my drinking and have “casually” discussed the need to cut back our drinking with Crazy Cat Boy, something he’s agreed with.

I thought that I was the one with the problem, but now I’m not so sure it’s just me.   I arrived home from a trip away last weekend to a lovely dinner and a waiting glass of bubbles.  This is all very romantic and I appreciate it.  However that glass turned into three bottles and a lost Sunday. That’s pretty crap, and that is precisely how I felt as well.

Last night would have been five days straight alcohol free, I even took myself off for a massage to reward myself.  When I got home CCB immediately suggested bubbles, he’d done it the night before too but I’d declined as I had to be up early to pick my boss up from the airport.  I didn’t even say yes before he was out the door to get some (to be fair, I didn’t say no either).  Now I knew I didn’t want it, I didn’t enjoy it, but drank two bottles.  That’s right inside the space of five days we’ve drunk five bottles between us.

This has to stop and now I’m worried that I’ll have not only my own potential problem to deal with but to gently find out if he is concerned about his own drinking.  I’m a bit confused and not sure how to deal with it all.

On a positive note last Friday, completely sober I had dinner with an old school friend that I hadn’t seen in 28 years.  We accidently picked a dry restaurant and it didn’t matter at all.  I can be chatty and fun without booze!  We are going to pick up where we left off with another old school friend in a next month in my home town and I can’t wait.

Do I Have A Problem?

wine-glassI’ve been worried about this for a while…

Alcoholism runs deep on both sides of my family.  A maternal aunt spent most of her adult life in an assisted living facility due to brain damage from alcohol and dad is a functioning alcoholic.

I’ve always known that I had the capacity to develop a serious problem with alcohol.  I develop patterns and habits quickly. This is great when it comes to work, I’m one of those people who employers talk about when they ask for someone who can “hit the ground running”, however it also means that sharing a couple of bottles of wine a night with Crazy Cat Boy also becomes a pattern fast.

It scares me that I can easily drink a bottle of wine and not feel any real ill effects the next day.  That isn’t normal drinking, is it?  No, don’t bother answering that, it isn’t, I know that.

Am I a drunk? I don’t drink every night, but when I do I get drunk and I’ve started falling asleep in front of the TV (or is that passing out?), I don’t drink on my own, but I’ve got a build in drinking buddy in CCB, I don’t fall down drunk in public, I don’t skip work due to hangovers, but I am less productive and tend to waste time on those days.

Today’s post is inspired by the fact that I knew I had a big day, one where I need to be creative and also hold my own with my boss on a new product that we disagree on. So the sensible course of action would have been to have one glass with the neighbour when she brought over a thank you bottle and then gone to be early.  Did that happen, hell no.  She went home; we finished the bottle and then went and got another!  As a result of that I had a bad sleep and have a mild hangover on top of bad hay fever and I’m feeling crap.

So, should I quit all together?  I know what when I don’t drink I’m calmer, more focused and I look better.  I’m also scared that I’m more concerned about what wine is doing to my hair and skin than my liver and brain, seriously what kind of mess up thinking is that?

Can I quit? That might be the even scarier question.

Me, neurotic, who said?

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5 am is a weird time.  It’s too early to get up and do something but too late to go back to sleep before the alarm goes off.  So I lay there and think of all the little ways my life is not what I thought it would be.  Everyone does this right?  Oh, just me, hmmm.

I’ve got this overwhelming feeling that I’m a fraud, that I’m not good at my job and something about 5 am amplifies every little mistake to huge proportions and I worry that I’m about to be found out and will have to go back to selling shoes.  Does anyone else get this?

I wonder what happened to that girl who used to float through life with no worries, money sure as hell never bothered me – if you don’t have something it can’t be a problem right?  My biggest problem in the late 80’s was which club to go to first and if I could snag a free car park so I’d have $6 left to buy a Coke while I was out.  Now I’m staring at the ceiling worrying if Crazy Cat Boy will like the sandwich I’ve planned for his lunch tomorrow and how much the replacement vacuum cleaner head is going to cost* and if the Greenback will go up against the Aussie dollar. WTF!  I know it’s an odd collection of things to worry about, but it’s very noisy inside my head sometimes.

So this morning as I’m lying in the dark having my very own pity party Monty cat discovered that I was awake (he was on one of his periodic stomp bys that he carries out during the night hours).

I was so, he happily snuggled down for a pat. While he was making his little happy whistle purrs in my ear I wondered what I’d been worried about.  What right did I have to feel sorry for myself when I was in my warm comfortable bed with food in the fridge, a safe place to sleep and some furry creature who clearly thinks I’m ok.  So many people around the world don’t have that option for whatever reason.

Now in the cold (and boy do I mean cold today) light of day all the problems I was stressing over have melted away… kind of like the point of this blog post; sorry about that it was super clear what I wanted to say around 5.15 am.

I won’t take up any more of your time, except to say embrace the little things in your life that are positive and ignore the negative, for the most part I’m willing to bet that the former outweigh the latter.

 

*Almost  as much as a brand new vacuum it turns out, damn it!

A line in the sand and a new robe

line twoI’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, that’s why I’ve not been blogging, it’s hard for me to write when I’m not happy.  So I’ve made some decisions…

#1, I set a deadline in my head about a situation that I want resolved at work and emailed off what I need done and by when to the two people who can make it happen.

I got an email back from my boss telling me that one aspect won’t happen until XYZ takes place which is a problem on a couple of fronts;

  1. I’m not sure I want to be involved in XYZ and
  2. There is no time frame around it happening

Unfortunately I know what will happen and I’ll be forced to take action and that will involve giving up my nice comfy telecommuting, cats on desk, sloppy clothes wearing life to get a “real” job which will suck just a bit, however I’ll get better pay as a trade off and that means retiring earlier.  I know, first world problems right?

This lead to decision #2 at some ungodly hour this morning: I got up, turned on the iPad and typed “marketing recruitment my city” into the search bar.  I scrolled through a couple and registered for job alerts with the one that looked like a good fit.

Part of me is secretly hoping that their CRM is so good that they’ll call me to see what I’m looking for. The other part is kind of terrified that they will!  LOL, I’m bad at saying no, and I’m worried that I’ll wind up in a new job before I’m sure I want to leave the old one.

After that I realised that I have another problem.  Who do I get as a referee?  I’ve been eight years in this job, everyone in my old job (which is too long ago for a proper reference anyway) has scattered to the four winds after they dismantled the newsroom. I can really ask my boss*, my colleagues for the most part are his family and it doesn’t seem right to ask my clients.  Sigh, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Now I think about it referees come after the resume part!  Aw man, I haven’t had a resume in over ten years, I don’t even have an old copy kicking around.  Do I even need one these days?  Isn’t that what LinkedIn is for?  Sigh (I’m doing a bit of that today).

So while feeling thoroughly depressed about all that I decided to cheer myself up with a spot of online shopping and I’m pleased to say that after some serious web browsing my new long satin robe is winging its way from Neiman Marcus in the USA to wine country in little old Australia.

Happy days, mostly!

* I will tell him of course, once the deadline (March 30) is past. As long as I walk in with a transition plan he’ll be ok, upset, but ok.