10 Things I Missed Out On By Quitting Booze For A Year

Everyone writes about all the life life changing and affirming stuff that giving up the “demon drink”, brings.  The internet is full of positive, uplifting, fluffy cloud, I achieved my life goals stuff.  So here’s some of the stuff that no one tells you you’ll miss out on doing when you quit drinking.  I’ve not done any of the below in the last 12 months…

  1. I never didn’t put the bins out
  2. I haven’t forgotten to put the  leftover dinner “cooling” in the microwave in the fridge instead of finding it the next morning when it’s ruined.
  3. I’ve not been to bed unsure of why I’m mad at Crazy Cat Boy.  Sure, I still went to be mad at him, we’ve been together over 20 years, but I’ve known why.  He might not have, but I was across it!  😉
  4. I’ve not cleaned the toilet to make sure it was less disgusting to throw up into later that night (That’s not weird at all right???)
  5. I’ve not bulk purchased vitamin B pills (my go to hangover prevention method)
  6. I’ve not woken up to a disaster zone kitchen as I’ve been capable of cleaning it the night before going to bed.
  7. I’ve not had to plan advanced logistics to get to and from any event.  I’ve just jumped in the car and gone wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted.
  8. I’ve not looked at an email and been incapable of responding because I was hungover and unable to “deal”.  Any inability/desire to not respond was purely based on the inconceivable stupidity of what I was reading and my clear decision not to exacerbate the situation.
  9. I’ve never forgotten to water the garden
  10. I’ve not woken up thinking “This has to stop”

Yeah, ok, this wasn’t the post you thought it was going to be was it?  But, kudos to you, you made it through.  So, if you want to know the truth and give booze a rest, it can only bring good things, even if it’s the “stuff” you miss out on.  😉

One Year No Booze!

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Photo by Posawee Suwannaphati on Pexels.com

Well, who’d have thunk it, I actually did the whole of 2019 with no wine!

Was it hard? Sometimes.

Was it worth it? Yes!

What did I learn? Lots, but mostly that I have way more time than I thought.

Was I treated differently? Sometimes, by surprising people.

Will I continue? Possibly.

That’s a pretty succinct wrap up of 365 long days LOL, so let me expand on this a little….

Was it hard?

Sometimes, yes absolutely.  The first 6 weeks were the toughest though.  Once I was through that it was more about just saying no and waiting out any desire.  The most challenging times… Friday nights, but probably more from a lack of anything else to do than really missing booze.  Mind you there were a couple of days where I’d have killed for  drink when work was driving me nuts.

Interestingly towards the end of the year (Christmas mostly) I was being ask this exact question by a lot of people who seemed genuinely interested and slightly terrified of the answer.

The reality is that not drinking itself is pretty simple.  All you need to do is not drink, it’s one thing.  It’s not like learning a new skill like driving or cooking where you need to master multiple things.

Was It Worth It?

Yep, no question.  I’m lighter mentally, richer financially, calmer, more focused and my eyes are damn white!  LOL.  My bins get put out, I’ve not killed anyone and I’ve made some decisions that will impact the rest of my life this year.  Oh, and Crazy Cat Boy has had major life improvements over the year as well.

What Did I Learn

I drink when I’m bored.  Hands down, no question.  Because I wasn’t doing anything productive with my time I was filling it with drinking instead. And as a kicker, drinking because I was bored only made me boring, a vicious cycle of poor me, I have no life.  Fun stuff hey, what a way to live – NOT! 😉

So, to combat that in 2020 (and freaking beyond), because I’m clearly an all or nuthin’ kind of girl, I finally signed up to start my Masters (note the life changing impact from above para). I’ve been whining about it for close to 10 years and how it’s expensive and I probably won’t get the monetary ROI from it given my age, but stuff it, I want to do it, I’ll enjoy it, it’ll terrify me, and it’ll keep me from pointless drinking – I won’t have time to waste!

Was I Treated Differently?

Not by anyone who matters to me.  However from casual acquaintances and business associates I’ve encountered everything from confusion, slight awe, poorly disguised disdain (screw ’em, they don’t count) and convenience.

The last one is odd, everything from “great you can drive, here’s my keys” to “oh, as you aren’t drinking we’ve decided to put you in the dangerous seat because you are less likely to fall off the platform and hurt yourself”!   The last one was really weird and actually pretty insulting given that it came from one of the event hosts who set up the dangerous situation… almost a we’ve done a risk assessment and decided that you’re the guest who can be most inconvenienced by this!

Will I Continue?

Maybe, I’m still tossing up.  The year has been over for 6 days now and I’ve only once had the urge and that was Saturday afternoon…. the cricket was on TV, Crazy Cat Boy was playing video games and I was…. yep, you guessed it – Bored!  The reality is I’ll continue at least until the end of February as I’ve got a couple of really busy months, including starting my Masters.  Crazy Cat Boy is also toying with the idea of staying permanently on the wagon, which is unexpected, but great for him if he decides to do it.

So, that’s it, my year without wine wrap up.  It’s been a great experience and I’m very pleased I’ve done it.  I’ll do a separate post with the things I didn’t do because I wasn’t drinking in a day or so.

Stay healthy and happy good internet people.

Why Can’t My Grout Be As Dry As I Am?

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Sigh, damp grout in that damn ensuite shower AGAIN!   Mind you, if that’s my biggest  problem I’m doing ok  😉

So work’s still crazy, life here is trollying along, the girl cat is being adorable and very much in the way as I type this (typical, haven’t seen a cat all day, go to do something and there one is!) and my year booze free is coming to an end.  I’m seriously considering keeping life alcohol free.  I’ve gotten so much done this year, and come to understand a few truths (hard and otherwise) about myself and my life.  I must admit, never waking up feeling “off” or down right wishing I was dead has been very nice – think our household has used one pack of Panadol all year and we are wildly overstocked with my go to hangover prevention Vitamin B tablets (usually bought in bulk from Costco).

In a nutshell, I miss a good sparkling but I don’t miss the killer hangover (which I understand menopause will make worse)!   Not to mention the bucket load of money saved, or, rather spent on more productive things like the house and garden.

Regardless of where I land drinking wise, I’ve come along  way from that wildly hungover, irrational* morning last year where I threatened to sell the house and move over the leaking suite!  LOL

Right, I’m back off to move the hairdryer to another grout line. Wish me luck in getting and staying dry! Stay happy and healthy good internet peeps.

*And I don’t want to return to that state either.

 

 

It’s Days like Today…

… that make me eternally thankful that I’m not dealing with it all hungover and foggy!

Nothing earth shattering, the world will continue to turn, but my work life is conspiring against me today. But instead of throwing all my toys out of the cot, I can simply respond calmly (well, I calmed down after a cup of tea if I’m honest), and effectively to fix the issues.

So, how’s things in everyone’s world?  Happy and healthy I hope!

PS: Is anyone else loving the mocktail game being brought by bars and restaurants ATM?  Standards are pretty high here in Melbourne.  Mind you we are the hipster capital of the world (are hipsters still a “thing?”, I’m way old LOL), so I’m not surprised.

 

OMG is it really nearly September?

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How has this happened good Internet people?  Not only is it nearly September I’ve not written since July!  See, this is what happens when work gets all logistics based instead of creative for me, I lose my drive to write.  Truth be told, I’m losing my drive around a lot of things ATM.

I’m not excersising, I’m eating badly and damn, did I want a drink over the past however many weeks it’s been.  I didn’t of course, but talk about some white knuckling. I’m pretty sure that comes down to the whole not practicing self care thing.  Work is getting at me with massive responsibilities and in my personal life ATM it seems that I’m the only one who can get things done (I’m not, and no one is expecting me to solve all their problems, I’m just having a pity party, so feel free to ignore me LOL).  Top it all off I came home from 3 days away to a mountain of bills, no cat food (which he casually mentioned AFTER the shops had shut and like he was sure I’d solve it – WTF?) and promptly developed a massive cold sore. So I’ve got cranky cats, I’m a cranky wife, I feel like the elephant woman, and I’ve got a dodgy bank balance and it’s only Monday… LOL, what else does the week hold for me I wonder?

So that’s my whinge for the day, thanks for listening everyone.  This weekend is my last “event” for the year, so at least the majority of my travel is over.  I’m leaving you with the image above… If this little toy can attempt such an ambitious job, I’m sure I’ll be fine as well. 😉

Stay healthy and happy all.

 

 

Appreciation & 6 Months

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Last week I was fortunate to travel to the Northern Territory for work and stayed on to catch up with Cousin Wendy who is running a business in the middle of no where.  I had no idea what type of pressure she was working under in her small business.  Times are tough in the NT, staff are hard to get and tourist numbers are down.  Cousin Wendy is living her life in 30 minute increments, constantly juggling staff and stock issues all while trying to have  whirlwind 3 day roadtrip* with me  – we covered 1600 km in 3 days! It really made me appreciate the slower pace that my life runs at, allowing me to experience things, rather than just ticking a box and moving on to the next thing to be done without stopping to breathe.

I’m not sure if it’s because I was born there, or because I was with one of my oldest friends, or if it was the amazing landscape and complete lack of phone coverage, but I felt a peace while I was on this trip.   I’ve come to appreciate my life more than ever before.  I have an AWESOME life and there is even more to be lived.

Along with this amazing roadtrip experience I also learnt more about a subject that most white Australian’s never hear about… how many Aboriginal Australian’s experience life in remote communities.  Cousin Wendy has daily interactions with her local community.  While alcohol, drugs and boredom create huge social and health issues within these townships, one thing I did take away is how important family is to the Aboriginal people, and the loyalty that these communities feel for family and those that support them. I don’t know what can be done to solve the issues that exist in these communities, certainly smarter, more culturally aware people that me have tried over the years, but I do hope that a solution is found.

Yesterday I celebrated** 6 months with no wine, and I have to say I’m feeling pretty damn happy and healthy.

*I would like to acknowledge the Bininj and Mungguy peoples of Kakadu and the Jawoyn people, traditional owners of Katherine Gorge.

** I had a chocolate quik to celebrate  🙂

Longest Ever Booze Free

Well, it’s official, at 107 days today that’s 3 days longer than I’ve been booze free since my early 20s!

That’s pretty darn good, over 25% of my year off is completed and I’ve saved a bucket load of cash, my calm demeanor means I’ve not killed anyone at work*, my skin is good and I’m way fitter than I’ve been in a while.  All in all a pretty solid result.

No booze means that I know my experience last night was probably menopause related, not my body burning off toxins…  I spent the early hours of last night laying on the cool tiles in the lounge room trying to bring my core body temp down to a comfortable sleeping level while making up hot flush related words to the song “Summer Nights” from Grease as the girl cat circled wondering what the hell I was up to… perhaps I’ll record them one night while I’m being kept awake by my body turning on itself.  LOL

So, I’m a week out from turning 48, my second sober birthday in two years (I know, who’d have thunk it!) and while I’m clearly getting older, I’m feeling better than I have in years and know that I can face anything that comes at me.

Stay healthy and happy good peeps.

* Yet!  😉

I’ve Got To Stop Dreaming About Poultry!

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Wow, weird, fast, long few days good Internet peeps.  A Day has been and gone and not all went to plan.  Apparently, according to the Internet, this is why I’ve been dreaming about poultry; baby poultry to be exact!

For the last few night’s I’ve been dreaming about chicks, ducklings and their eggs.  The fact that I’m dreaming (don’t often), coupled by this very weird pattern sent me off searching for meaning…

Dreaming of:

  • Birds – Hopes, goals and aspirations or a sunny disposition and that a weight has been lifted off of me
  • Chickens – Cowardice and lack of willpower and possible gossip about me
  • Ducks – Represent spiritual freedom, that I’m flexible,  I may also feel like a sitting duck or target.
  • Hatching Eggs  –  financial gain.   In my dream they turned into chicks, that doesn’t add up if we look above.  Unless I’m scared of more money… nah, doesn’t seem right, but send cash anyway, I’m happy to find out, all in the name of science you understand  😉  .

So taking into account all the above  I’m happily, optimistically, running from something scary, being talked about (hopefully about my adaptability, see “duck” LOL), afraid I’m about to be picked off, but apparently coming into some cash so I don’t care because I’m also spiritually free.  That’s quite a mix to wade* through.

Mind you, perhaps I’m just craving a good roast chicken or peking duck!  It’s possible, I’m partial to both.

The reality is that while there are some questions about where I’ll wind up professionally in the near future, I’m actually very excited about the changes being made, there’s a lot of opportunity for me to do new things and grow, and I can’t wait.

I’m very pleased that I’m tackling this without booze**, can you imagine the size of the birds I might be dreaming about if I was wine soaked as well!   I have to say that being trapped at a table of colleagues who had the advantage of taking the boredom edge off a 4 hr awards banquet with copious amounts of one of my favourite wines was tough, but I hung in there and consequently didn’t fall into the trap of the dreaded after party!  Perhaps I’m learning…

 

*duck pun unintended

**100 days yesterday, feeling very good physically and mentally

 

 

 

 

A Day Approacheth!

It’s going to be a big week good internet peeps.  “A Day” or Announcement Day for some big changes in my professional world is about to arrive!

I think the stress might have been gradually creeping up on me as Friday night I had the strongest cravings for a drink that I’ve experienced in a really long time… I’m not sure how I’d have held up if someone had put a crisp flute of sparkling in my hand while I was sitting on the veranda watching the world go by!  But, I distracted myself with domestic tasks and struggled through, only to be tortured by a drinking dream that night.  I must have been struggling, not only was that the first ever drinking dream I’ve had, I was clearly desperate in it… I was drinking red wine out of a plastic glass!  Now, I’m no wine snob, but I am a glassware snob!  Anyone who knows me well knows that I’d go without than use plastic.

I’m that person, you know the one who has the right glass for every occasion.  Man, I must have thousands of dollars tied up in fancy glasses that we NEVER use… brandy balloon anyone?  Need tiny liqueur glasses, whisky tumblers, martini glasses or perhaps pilsner glasses for your beer*?  I’m your gal!  No idea why, I just love them all. Never used 80% of them, probably never will.  LOL

Glassware issues aside (no, I won’t be seeking help, I love them all), the dream quite rattled me.  However I played the craving through to the end – why in the world when this week is probably going to be one of the most important in my professional life until the “when to retire” one, would I decide to drink?  What possible good could come from it?  Nuthin’ at all!  And that’s the truth.

So I’m pushing on into this week clear headed and focused on what I want and what will be good for me and Crazy Cat boy long term.   I’m terrified and excited at the same time about all the unknowns that A Day will bring  and I can’t wait to find out. 

I promise to fill you in when I can.  Stay healthy and happy all!

*I don’t drink beer or spirits, or even cocktails at home, but I have full sets of each of these different glasses, you know, just in case  In case of what I don’t know, some are at least 15 yrs old and still have the stickers on them from the shop!  LOL

My app tells me it’s been 90 days since I drank, that’s 25% of my stated goal completed.  Once the dust is settled on A Day I’ll be close to 100 days – 104 days is my longest without a drink, I’m looking forward to beating that.

Could This Be The Start?

Hmm, woke up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat, I know it wasn’t alcohol related so I hope it was just the massive amounts of roast lamb I ate for dinner, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it wasn’t.  Not sure I like where this is going… surely I’m too young for menopause??!

Anything else I should be on the watch for?