Catching Up

family_chickensHey friends! Here we are at the end of 2017 and I’m already making ANOTHER new year resolution to write more here in 2018. Really, I’m going to try hard to make that happen.

I’m not sure where 2017 went, but it flew by! As I write this, I just took my first shower in two days, my face is breaking out (probably too much sugar) and I’m attempting to remain calm and collected in the midst of holiday chaos – easier said than done! However, with all that being said, I’m happy – really, truly happy. Not just, “I’m saying that because that’s what you want to hear.” No, I’m saying that because it’s the honest to goodness truth.

After being on our little farm for over two years now, I can say without a doubt that moving to the country was the best decision we’ve ever made. Not only was it good for our family, but it was good for my sobriety. I feel free here; free to be the person I was meant to be. When people ask me what I’ve gained through sobriety, I will often tell them I gained myself. I’ve discovered what I like and what I don’t like, and I suppose, most importantly, I’ve given myself permission to be honest about those likes and dislikes.

I’ve discovered that I don’t particularly like being in large groups of people or being forced into casual conversation. I don’t like spending time with negative people who leave me emotionally drained. This one’s hard because I really wanted to like it, but I’ve realized that I don’t like entertaining and hosting large groups of people at my home. My home is my sanctuary; it’s my safe place to escape from all the craziness of the world and having other people here often feels suffocating to me. I’ve accepted that I’m more of a one-on-one type of person. I want people in my life who will sit down and have real and honest conversations.

And, what do I like? I like routine. I like my morning coffee with my husband. I like working in my yard and garden while the kids play and laugh in the background. I like the thrill of chasing my chickens around the garden until I’m able to catch one (I know, weird!). I like binge watching historical dramas on Netflix. I like trying out new canning recipes, especially jams and jellies. I like the anticipation of planning my garden for the next spring. And, at the end of a long day, I like sitting around the table with my family, giving thanks and hearing them talk excitedly about their day.

For so many years, I feared living my life based on my real likes and dislikes because I was scared of disappointing or offending someone. These days I don’t feel the need to have everyone agree with me or even like me – they won’t and that’s okay. There is an incredible sense of freedom in letting go of the pretenses and being honest with yourself and others.

Comparatively, my life now might sound boring and uneventful, but I will be the first to lift up my arms and say, “Amen!” Boring? I’ll take it! Uneventful? Even better! Through hell and high water, I have learned that in boring and uneventful we often find the greatest peace and contentment.

Tomorrow, we celebrate my son’s ninth birthday. He was three when I got sober and with every passing birthday, I’m so incredibly grateful that he will never have any memories of me drinking. Sometimes, I try to imagine what my life would be like now if I had never stopped drinking and, honestly, it makes me physically sick to my stomach because I know that I wouldn’t have any of it – this beautiful, flawed, painful yet grace-filled life.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a blessed new year!


Why Is Acceptance So Hard?


I’ve been struggling with acceptance lately. I’ve never been one of those people who can just say “Whatever!” to a situation or person and walk away. I want to understand the situation, or understand why someone is feeling or acting a certain way. I suppose I’ve always been sensitive to others reactions to me. And, of course, I always tend to think it’s my fault if they’re angry or upset.

The idea of acceptance was and continues to be a huge part of my recovery. Mainly, because the reaction I had to situations and my perceived notions about others often caused me to drink. In early recovery, I learned (and accepted) that my behavior had been totally self-centered.  Well, surprise! Your character defects (as we refer to them in recovery) don’t just go away once you get sober – you actually have to deal with them!

The truth is, I can be very self-centered at times. I obsess about how others react to me (or don’t react) and am positive I must be the main source of their discontentment or anger. And, as much as I want someone to change, to be a different person and act a different way, I have a very hard time accepting them as they are.

I’ve gotten better – way better since getting sober. But, I still struggle. I still want some people close to me to be a certain way – a way I know in my heart they will never be. I want them to say certain things, do certain things, ask certain things – things that will make ME feel better. Again, it usually comes back to me and how THEY are making ME feel.

For me, acceptance means accepting people and situations as they are right now – as God intends them to be. The only person I have power over is myself, and even that is very limited. As much as I would like to at times, I do not control the universe (which would be very scary!). Each day, I pray that I can be the best person God wants me to be. Nothing more, nothing less – just me.

Acceptance is hard – it’s really hard. But, through acceptance I have experienced a sense of peace and contentment that I have never known before. When I truly give it up to God, and say “Okay, this is not about me,” it gives me room to be the kind, loving and encouraging person I want to be.

And, most of all I accept this journey I’m on – this imperfect journey of acceptance.