Sunday, December 31, 2017

Day 590

New Year’s Eve.

Last night I couldn’t get to sleep and tonight I’m having trouble staying awake. If I hadn’t told the family - including my MiL - that I’d call at midnight I swear I’d just go to sleep now.

My audiobook started wearing thin last night and I started getting sick of it but was still curious whodunnit. Found a plot summary online and was glad I did because if I’d patiently listened to all that I would have been pissed. Turned it in early and now have s couple other things for listening instead.

Tried a couple new recipes today and put out the usual snacks. One of the recipes called for orange zest, orange juice and maraschino cherries so I made myself a Virgin Sunrise complete with fancy glass and everything. It was nice since I never ever drink juice.

Two more hours. Considering a nap. Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin’ Eve isn’t doing much for me. But hey Happy New Year everyone! Live long and prosper.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Day 589

Woke up just as cranky as I went to bed last night but I managed to turn it around. Feel pretty good about that. I mean yeah sure maybe I would have been all done with angry anyhow but I’d like to think taking extra time and patience with myself helped more. I made the new recipe I wanted to try and for once something from FaceBook was downright -good- so that was a boost. The ratio of “hey this one’s a keeper” to “ugh, forget this” is at least 1 to 5 if not smaller which makes catching a good one all the better. Then I wanted to be -outside- cold weather or not so I bundled up with my new audiobook from the library thinking I’d go for a little walk but ended up shoveling  - well, more like scraping as there wasn’t quite a whole inch - the driveway and it was -so- cold that turned out to be a wiser plan as I could stop and go in when I got too chilled.

The book is _Girl On A Train_ which I knew had a lot of hype a year or two ago but what I didn’t know was that the female protagonist was an overdrinker. That made it interesting all by itself but the plot is good too. By the time I was done with the shoveling I was back to baseline again - the exercise and accomplishment did the trick.

In the afternoon Youngest and I made cookies -and- I finally finished the body of that sweater I’ve been knitting. Now I’m getting ready for bed with more audiobook till I fall asleep. I listened to my body and mind, treated myself as well as I could and felt better in the process.

All that and some laundry too. I think I’m ready for it to be the new year after all. Tomorrow morning grocery, tomorrow evening snack-y party-type foods and maybe a New Year’s Eve show of some kind...or flipping through several as they usually get annoying if I don’t. But it’s all good again finally.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Day 588

Another disgruntled kind of day...and when the temperature is as low as it has been the house gets drafty and my usual spot in the family room is uncomfortably chilly.

So I just went the hell to bed at eight-thirty. One kid is gone and the other is hiding out upstairs and it’s not like we ever hang out as a family anyhow so I might as well at least be -warm-. Also I probably need the sleep as I’ve been waking up a lot in the night. I’m so cranky I can hardly stand myself and sleep might help that too.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Day 587

Another viciously cold day - cold enough to give me bronchospasm just walking from my car to the building- so it will soon be another early night.

Oh but I finally got the new sheets I said were going to be my treat a month or two ago - got 'em washed and on the bed for tonight and I'm looking forward to being all snuggled under them.

Otherwise it was a good day, all things considered. Better than many recent ones, apart from the weather that is. Tried another saw-it-on-social-media recipe and it turned out okay plus the box of Christmas cookies from Eldest down in the other house arrived so we're once again set for sweets...and until this bitterly cold weather breaks I'm not even all that upset about it.

The new year is coming and although I like sobriety all the time I particularly enjoy sober new year's eve. Even before I finally stayed quit for real I did the occasional sober new year (often because of guilt and remorse about Christmas drinking, sadly) and it was always a wonderful feeling to wake up on January 1 not the least bit hung over. I'm looking forward to it again this year.

Six hundred days is also coming up and then a week after that the 20-month soberversary.  Looking forward to that too. Digging into the second year of sobriety I've noticed that it's been different - not such an emphasis on the not-drinking part of it and more an emphasis on me-as-a-person. I suppose it's not that unlike a baby growing from newborn concerned only about eating and sleeping to a toddler starting to interact with the world in a more give-and-take manner.

But right now I'm going to go interact with my pillows; it's drafty where the computer sits.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Day 586

Another bed-by-nine kind of day.

Nothing bad happened but I was irritable all day. Maybe the suddenly -very- cold weather is part of it.  In any case it was one of those days where nothing felt good or right. Intellectually I knew things were as they should be but emotionally it mostly sucked.

Took the younger two kids out to dinner - that helped a bit...though I also had a big breakfast and regular lunch so I ended up eating more and moving less today than I have in a very long time. Am having to work hard not to get all down on myself for it, too. Yet another reason to go to bed - can’t hop on the train of self-loathing if I’m asleep. One of my big ongoing projects is to think of myself as well as I think of everyone else which is turning out to be much harder than I thought.

But hey, I’m one step farther along the sober path and that’s always a win.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Day 585

A bed-at-nine night.

Back to work and that was fine; family drama lessened and that was fine; easy dinner was fine and knitting with Netflix was fine...till it wasn’t. Got a big case of irritable for no reason I can fathom so I made tomorrow’s lunch and went to bed. If cranky = needs rest for a toddler it’s a good place to start for me sobriety still -is- a toddler.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Day 584

Survived Christmas.

Yeah, that’s how it feels. Woke up early as usual - shoveled the scant bit of snow we got more to have something to do than out of real need. The whole split-family thing was particularly stressful today. Dinner with mother-in-law and her sister wasn’t great. Yeah, sure, everything could have been just -way- worse than it was and I -am- grateful it wasn’t worse...but it sure wasn’t any great winner of a day either. Yesterday was far better and I’m already looking forward to tomorrow even though it’s back to work.

But I didn’t drink and didn’t even want to that’s all good. Gonna be an early bedtime I’m sure as I’m sitting g here kind of stunned it’s only 8:30. Feels like it ought to be ten at least. But...sober. Yay for that.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Day 583

A good day.

Made the best hummus ever - secret is to use dried, not canned, beans and process them still hot. Also made that good Thai curry for lunch again and some roasted rutabaga because the grocery had them in pre-cubed packages so I impulse-bought.

Listened to a comedian a friend of mine recommended - Russell Howard - and I had some good laugh out loud moments which was nice.

Stayed in my pajamas till it was time to go caroling at the hospital - that’s always a really good time and this year was no different. Came home, made dinner, lounged about -it was all just lovely. I may start doing the groceries on Saturday night as a regular thing.

It’s possible - unlikely but possible - the weather will keep us from going to MiL’s for dinner tomorrow.  Unexpected snowstorm with gusty winds - the warning is from 9 tonight till 7 tomorrow night. Not getting my hopes up but it’s not impossible.

This Christmas is so much better than last year. Partly because I didn’t just get a cast off my leg but mostly because I’m so much healthier. Emotionally as much as physically I think...and it all started with sobriety. Amazing what starts happening when you stop thinking alcohol can -help- anything.

If you celebrate - Merry Christmas. If you don’t, then enjoy the long weekend with all best wishes.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Day 582

Today was all about the shoveling. Yesterday’s weather was snow followed by sleet followed by rain so there was a crust like breading covering the driveway with more rain falling. Water on top of ice equals zero friction but the plow guy only comes if there are at least two inches of I was scraping and pushing slush around intermittently all day. It was satisfying work.

Did the weekly shopping this evening as we are getting more snow in the night. That’s fine: I intend to make all kinds of food for myself during the day tomorrow so I will have it for next week. If I can move, that is...muscles all achy already.

Bedtime, I think.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Day 581

Finally a calm day.

Mailing the box turned out to be the most exciting thing all day long and I was fine with that. Work was so quiet there wasn’t even any new email past about 10:30 or 11.

While I was websurfing I saw someone’s Twitter request for “the best thing that happened to you in 2017.”  I immediately thought “May 21. My one-year sobriety date.” So yeah, even though I don’t actively think about it as much any more it’s still a huge deal.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Day 580

19 months today.

Never thought I'd be here and it's definitely a good feeling but today was all about other stuff.

Had an unpleasant work thing first thing - this week has been a string of those. This one had a component of trust-breaching too, just like the thing last week.

But that paled in comparison to lunch with OML.  It wasn't as unpleasant as it could have been but it wasn't entirely easy either...and had a peculiar component. (It's late and I don't feel like going back through old posts so if I blogged this already please forgive the repeat.) I extended the invitation to lunch on November 26 and on the 28th we settled on Dec 21. That conversation ended with me offering her the choice of two places and completely open-ended timing. 

Didn't hear one thing from her for weeks. Figured that this Monday night or Tuesday morning I would message to see if we were still on and finalize a time. Meanwhile over this past weekend Middle had made some vague and somewhat hyperbolic noises about driving down to the other house for Christmas as his last final was on Tuesday afternoon. None of us, including himself, took it very seriously. But Monday noonish I got the following message:

OML: Afternoon, are we still on for Thursday? We can meet at Place Two. I scheduled an extra hour so I will not be rushed for time. SiL stated that your son was traveling to Other House for Christmas. Can I send SiL and Eldest gifts down with him? I can have them with me on Thursday.

After I was done having feelings about it I replied that I was glad she had messaged because I was planning to touch bases, that of course we were still on but that Middle's trip was FAR from a sure thing but  (here's the no-good-deed-goes-unpunished part) I'd be happy to take the gifts and if he didn't go I'd send them myself so she would be set either way. She made no further comments about the gifts but picked a time. That night I confirmed that Middle's trip -was- mostly just hot air and that he was -not- going to really go.  But hey, she might've picked up on the "not definite" piece and even if she didn't the post office was on the way back from the venue so how hard could it be to stop after lunch?

All during the lunch there was no talk of gifts at all so I thought maybe she'd played it the way I would have done, namely "oh if it's not for sure then no big deal I'll send them myself - better safe than sorry." Yeah, well, not so much. She had brought the gifts and when she found out I'd walked the 5 blocks from work to restaurant she immediately said she'd drive me back. "The gifts" turned out to be one really large tote bag stuffed full of wrapped items...and heavy. Surprisingly heavy. Heavy enough she was right about not walking back...which was fine since I'd have to find a shipping box anyhow. I made small talk while having a whole bunch of feelings on the way back to work.

Turns out the tote weighed 21.6 pounds on our bathroom scale...but I had a box just the right size. Well, if I took the two on-end clothing boxes out and put them flat on top, that is. When I did that I noticed a brand-new faux-needlepoint stocking stuffed just as snug as a sausage which would travel better turned on its side...and in the turning I noticed it was one of those pre-personalized ones with "SiL" on it. Not "SiL and Eldest" just SiL and there was nothing even remotely resembling another stocking anywhere in the tote bag - just wrapped things packed tightly together. Yet another opportunity for feelings.

Just as I'd returned from putting the sealed and labeled box in the car (I've already warned Eldest it isn't going to be there before Christmas) I got a call from MiL about ABL - she was supposed to pick him up for the holiday visit tomorrow but the weather is going to be lousy tomorrow so was there any way to get him early? I needed some things from the grocery so I volunteered to run him over to her place and she was appropriately grateful. We even had a "me and my brother against my family/me and my family against my tribe/me and my tribe against my country/me and my country against the world" kind of moment when I shared the whole Presents Event with her.

When I started putting my items on the belt at the supermarket I realized I had left home in my lounging-around clothes which meant my cards, money and such were still on the dresser. More feelings! One of those feelings was a sliver of gratitude that the cashier hadn't rung anything up yet.

Once I got back from the grocery the -second- time I finally ate dinner which unfortunately included too many sweet chili garlic pretzel bites. I've since thrown the rest away, bag and all: they aren't that good but are strangely addictive and trigger the eating of more non-pretzel-bites stuff (probably the dextrose and maltodextrin; I've learned over the years I'm sensitive to both of those that way) and also the garlic part lingers for Just Hours.

I was so busy having that feelings-filled day I didn't have any time at all to think of the new milestone I've just achieved...but it will still be there tomorrow. For now it's definitely bedtime.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Day 579

Good heavens tomorrow, in addition to being the solstice, is also my 19-month Soberversary. How ‘bout that?

I’m having lunch with the Other Mother-in-Law (my daughter’s husband’s mother hereafter OML)  tomorrow and even though it was my idea I have rather mixed feelings about it. The biggest reason driving my invitation was guilt and I’m thinking that’s not a terribly strong foundation for a relationship, even a fairly superficial one. Back when Eldest and SiL were moving, I ran into OML and in chatting about the kids moving she said something about “and we should let each other know when we’re going down to visit because we could maybe carpool or something.”  I thought she was just making polite social noises, I really did. I mean why on earth would two people who barely knew one another want to spend four and a half hours on the road together? And why would either of us want to spend what little vacation time we had sharing “the kids” with the other? So I made some sort of “yeah sure we’re both on FaceBook” kind of noise and never gave it another thought.

Till about 5 or 6 months later when I heard from Eldest that OML was kind of mad because she could telll from my FB posts I had been to the other house (where the kids had moved) twice and not invited her along either time. I found that to be, in the words of the late Carl Sagan, reasonably stunning information. Had some feelings about it too.

The truth of the matter is that I’m not -ever- going to invite her along on one of my vacations. I can, however, invite her to lunch which I did. Offered her the choice of two places and to pick the time which has resulted in a lunch far later than I usually eat at the place I like less. Such is the nature of the universe.

A good thing from today: my site visit was much shorter than usual so I had plenty of time to buy printer cartridges which we desperately needed. A bad thing from today: ABL is deliberately limit-testing again.

Still eating too much sweet and/or starchy stuff. Given all else of late I’m mostly just rolling with long as I don’t lapse into the things I consider seriously disturbed. So I don’t hit the MyFitnessPal goals for a week or two - there are worse things.

That said, I’m damned well not making fudge again as having a whole batch right in the house meant that even though it was a piece or two at a time I ended up eating the vast majority of the half-batch left over after gifting. I had forgotten just how much I like fudge.

This is a sobriety blog not a food-issues blog so I’m done with eating-talk...other than to notice how eerily parallel a lot of the overeating is to overdrinking.

At least work is finally back to normal. That’s a help.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Day 578

Maybe things are starting to simmer down?  Had big unexpected surprise work issue which killed half the morning but got mostly caught up anyhow. Family stuff getting resolved. Had a big wave glum but got out in the unexpectedly sunny and warm day at lunch which helped a bit.

Not as crazy with the food tonight either...and gave the dog a bath. So go me. Now I’m all comfy on the couch so even though I was thinking of an early bedtime I might just doze here instead as the whole getting up, flight of stairs te-situate thing sounds like way too much work.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Day 577

Work was all about digging out from the backlog of stuff that didn’t get done last week.

Of course there was some family drama too - isn’t there always? 

Totally got fast food dinner - there was just No. Way. I was cooking; even something as easy as the chili on the menu. Fortunately the family thinks that’s a treat.

Good news: no urges or ideas or passing thoughts about booze or benzos either.

Bad news: had to go to bed a little before nine as a way of getting away from the kitchen where all the food is kept. Slid back into stress eating as if it were a comfortable pair of shoes. Can’t imagine why as holidays, work inspection, professional deceit if not outright betrayal, family conflict and issues related to keeping two households aren’t stress-inducing at all. I haven’t reached the super-dysfunctional point of standing in front of fridge or pantry needing to taste everything but I can see it looming through the mist not as far away as I would like. 

But hey, bed is safe. Nice clean sheets, Cody blankets, dog curled up next to me—a good place to be. 

Maybe tomorrow I will get caught up. 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Day 576

Today was a hard day.  Not from a not-drinking perspective but from an emotional perspective.

Well, okay, a little bit from the not-drinking perspective: I found myself thinking in passing "ghAWD I wish I had access to benzos" and although I don't and never will that's still part of that whole slippery not-wanting-to-feel-feelings slope. Or at least -looking- at the slope. Which I suppose makes sense: I've got all the post-inspection work feelings, all the family-apart feelings all the two-households feelings and now there's this Christmas thing coming up and Middle had plenty of his own feelings today....sigh.

But I got through the day and didn't even massively overeat or anything.  Today when I did the shopping I -chose- the self-serve line over a real cashier so that I wouldn't have to stand behind someone I know from work and make small talk since I really don't like that person. Made a nice Thai curry for lunch today and two other days next week because it's way too cold for salad now. Used the excuse of getting gas (necessary) to poke around the Dollar General store for a very watered-down version of retail therapy: not so much the buying but the getting-out-and-away for a bit. Distracted myself with computer games. Did -not- eat every last holiday cookie or even -much- sugary stuff.  No more than any other day this week, anyhow.

Earlier I took a 23&Me questionnaire about stress and it became stunningly obvious that I feel like a lot of my life is totally beyond my control but also feel that I can still handle it. Don’t know whether that’s optimism or just stupidity!

DO know that I'm thinking early bedtime is a good thing for this day. Lunch is portioned and packed, dinner is done and stowed away in the fridge, nothing really appeals and I just discovered a brand-new patch of psoriasis so I'm thinking it's time to call it a night.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Day 575

This day started off kinda lousy but ended okay.

Doggo threw up on the foot my bed in the night so I had two loads of laundry before I could start the clothing laundry I’d planned to do. Took forever to get air in the tire which was low because the sensors are hooked up wrong: the car was telling me passenger rear needed air but that turned out to be driver front. Filling passenger rear made the sensor for passenger front register overinflated so I had to then deflate it back to get the idea. Frustrating but now all four tires are properly pressurized.

Grocery, breakfast and shoveling felt accomplished but just left me glum: Spouse, Eldest and SiL won’t be coming up for Christmas and probably not New Year’s either and although intellectually I’m fine with that decision it got to me emotionally today. Distracted myself with another grocery trip  (out of milk) and then computer games....and eventually the mood passed. Moods always do but it never seems like it at the time.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Day 574

And finally this day is winding down. Soon I will be in bed with the covers pulled way up and a good book on my phone's Kindle app.

So many little frustrations along the way and then the big one: missing one deadline in January of 2016 led to -so- many citations in the survey...fully half. All fixed now, of course, but that doesn't make it feel any better.

Started the day with a low-tire-pressure warning from the car. First gas station's air hose broken. Second worked but every time the tires are either rotated or replaced they somehow manage to re-attach the sensors in a different wrong way. I filled the supposedly-low tire, broke a nail in the process, nearly froze my fingers in the 3-degree weather (three isn't enough degrees) and got back in the car only to realize the sensor was still saying that tire was low. Okay, fine, deal with it after work.

Work, in addition to the inspection, included too much regular work-work. Plus some family drama because after all when it rains it pours. Trip to post office at lunchtime. More work. A bit more drama. It crossed my mind that getting good and drunk didn't sound like a half-bad idea which was immediately followed by "better get some sober supports in place as soon as you get home - like maybe blog first thing?"

By the time I got home the urge had totally passed. I didn't want to drink any more. I wanted to have a tantrum just like a toddler but I settled for a cookie instead. Tried to print something only to discover the printer was - surprise! - out of ink. Well, fine. Added "stop by the new drugstore" to the list of errands ending in "pick up pizza for dinner."  Ordered the pizza - free this time due to frequent-patron "points" - and set out.

Gas station from this morning now had -broken- air pump. Swell. Drugstore had a place for my kind of printer cartridge but it was empty so I asked the nice clerk to look in back: nope, nothing. Went to a different gas station where the air was $1.00 for 3 minutes and filled what I thought was the correct tire...nope, wrong again! They didn't swap left for right this time so they must've swapped front for back but by then my three minutes were up. Have now driven something like -twenty- miles on the improperly inflated tire. Swell.

Shopping for odds and ends went okay and the pizza was ready so that was good. Came home, put on pajamas, ate pizza, ate sweets, called it a night. Except for the wind-down very minor family drama; can't go without that,

But hey, now I can transfer laundry from washer to dryer, go to bed...and sleep as late as I feel like tomorrow. Huzzah.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Day 573

Praise be for Christmas cookies. I packed some for breakfast today and it was like having s little bit of stockpiled love in every bite. On a day which really needed it.

First thing this morning our 4 citations has sprouted 5 friends for a total of 9 which in the grand scheme of things is probably a fine number but which feels like a lot since we are usually in the 4-6 range.

Then I had that big drive and of course my head was full of nothing but that “everyone’s invited” thing from yesterday and I was still just undone. Si when I got back I fixed it by getting it canceled and the relief was stunning in its degree and physicality. I hadn’t realized just how overcome I had been; I don’t do rage well. I suppose none of us do.

Came home and did as close to nothing as possible. Except for eating way too many more cookies and fudge, that is. I had been doing really really well with the emotional eating but tonight I kept having one more of those tasty treats I had made over the past ten days. Plus a handful of almonds. Had to stop myself and leave the kitchen entirely when I realized I was standing in front of the open pantry nibbling a saltine straight from its sleeve.

I’ve since moved from couch to bed but am amazingly bone-achingly tired...this much angst drains a person.

Throughout it all, though, I didn’t want a drink at all so that’s full of win.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Day 572

What a day.

Three new inspection citations this morning bringing the total to four. Then too much work including several interruptions for -different- work.

Was pleased with myself for doing the lunchtime tasks exactly as planned even though it was bitter cold. Went back, did more work and then at 3:30 the rug was yanked hard out from under me. Email announcing the closing conference of the inspection was now open to -everyone- not just my department. My. Department. The one of which I am boss.

My head exploded, I scraped it all back into my cranial vault, tried to find my administrative-director-and-dyad-partner but of course he wasn’t around. Sent private email to the meeting organizers (COO & VP) saying I would have liked advance warning of the decision or better still to have been part of the decision making process. I’m sure if I had gone to the emergency room and asked for a blood pressure check I would have been admitted - never been that angry at work before and was lightheaded from it. Never thought about quitting before but did that too.

VP wrote back he had been surprised too. I vented a bit to him then had two back-to-back meetings and wasn’t back to my office till 6:15 when I learned it was -my-director’s- idea to do this open-the-summation-to-everyone bullshit. I was so stunned. I’m still stunned. He apologized profusely and said he realizes now he should have discussed it with me first and so on...but damn, just damn.

Got home and there was family drama too. Mild in the grand scheme of things yet One More Thing.

Despite all that though, I did indeed box up tasty baked treats to send out tomorrow. I rock.

I am also -really- happy to be a sober person too. If I were still a drinker this is the sort of thing over which I would have given myself permission to have “more than the usual weeknight amount” for sure-sure...and then I would have started the morning feeling like shit on top of everything else. SO happy not to be -there- any more.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Day 571

The inspection continues; it's going as well as such things go.

Came home totally tired, cranky and all-round pissy over all the things on my mental To-Do list but before doing any of it I had myself some fudge for dinner which helped immensely.  It isn't grainy at all. Taking time to get oneself in a better headspace is always well worth it because then everything afterwards goes better - slogging along "because I gotta get it done" is just throwing -handfuls- of pebbles into the bag of resentment.

Once the sugar kicked in I made dinner for tonight, a meatloaf for Youngest to bake tomorrow night and - best of all - the last of the holiday baking. Tomorrow I have to go to the bank so I'm going to combine that with getting those Express Mail boxes from the post office so I can send a nice chunk of all the goodies down to the family in the other house and another nice chunk to my dear friend in Hawaii which is why I've kind of been rushing because the cutoff to get something there by Christmas is the 15th. It's a surprise and would be just as good a surprise during actual Christmastide as opposed to Technically Still Advent but still.

The other thing I'm doing between the bank and the post office is taking myself to lunch again. This feels particularly indulgent since I took myself to lunch last week and on Monday I went to my monthly work-colleague trio lunch. However I'm not going to be able to have a nice lunch out or a bit of shopping on Thursday after my Big Loop as I'd planned because of the inspection so I figure doing it tomorrow, which is ahead of time, is a nice way to prevent resentment on the day itself when I end up swinging through a drive-thru and eating in the car on the way back up.

I'm still kind of in denial about Christmas itself though.  It's my turn to be on-call and since I'm already on regular call I also said I'd be willing to do special administrative call so I am required to stay local from 12/22 to 1/2. I don't really mind this as I've been to the other house in August, September, October and November. Plus the weather is always a variable. However SiL works retail and is thus likewise tied to -that- area so Eldest will definitely be staying down there with him. Me here and SiL there are the two fixed points in this constellation of emotional work; everything else is mutable. There have been many proposals.  Some are more appealing than others but given cars and weather and dispositions and such, what I actually -expect- to happen is that Spouse, Eldest and SiL will all stay there while Middle, Youngest, ABL and I all stay here...and "stay here" in this case will mean spending a good chunk of the day itself at MiL's apartment opening presents and having a bad meal with her and Auntie. Hence my denial. I'm not particularly looking forward to that and don't expect to enjoy it very much so I'm trying, over the next two weeks, to become more resigned to and accepting of it.

Who knows? Maybe something totally unexpected will happen.

Some year - not any time soon, I'm sure - I'll get to do what I -really- want over the Christmas holiday: Take a nice long vacation to a non-Christian country or two. Just skip the whole thing completely.

And so it goes.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Day 570

Today was a lesson in shifting priorities. All that stuff from last Friday which had me so upset flew clear off the radar because our every-two-years surprise inspection started first thing this morning.

Had a bunch of errands after work too but after those and dinner I made fudge for the first time in at least a decade...and it turned out! A combination of worry it wouldn’t set, too-small glass of ice water (couldn’t reach in) and inaccurate thermometer meant it got a bit overdone so I fear it may be grainy but the sliver I cut off one edge was not as bad as I feared. So maybe once it cools the magic of chemistry will make it nice.

Candy-making is definitely something happening because of sobriety. Booze and boiling sugar solutions just don’t mix.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Day 569

The day started poorly but ended better.

Woke up out of sorts and the shopping was horrible: I waited till I knew they'd have non-self-serve checkout lines but it was crowded and there was a lot of restocking going on so the aisles were very clogged. Also I was dragging around a lot of pebbles in my bag of resentment over having to do the menus and the shopping and the meal prep in the first place.

When I got home I made the decision that I wasn't doing anything else at all today apart from dinner - and I was in such a bad mood immediately post-grocery that "dinner" might have been the family sized Stouffer's mac-n-cheese I had in the freezer as backup and not the chicken fajitas I planned. No Christmas baking or fudge-making either...I was way too Grinch-y to even think about holiday festivities.  Other than to set them on fire, that is.

NOT powering through all the stuff on my hypothetical it-would-be-nice-to-do list and giving myself permission to do nothing at all was very helpful.  Self-care means "don't pile on." After a nice lie-down I was able to at least wash the peppers for the fajitas, thinking all the while "I still don't have to make it. See what I feel like when it's time. They'll keep in the fridge." I also told myself that if I didn't want to EVER do any more Christmas baking than what I'd already done that was fine too. It wasn't an obligation, just an idea.  That helped too: instead of letting the resentment build I let it dissipate.

After an afternoon of computer games I felt quite a bit better - amazing how much permission to goof off helps. I considered going ahead with the fudge but thought it was wiser to stick with just dinner instead. Moving away from Grinch Who Incinerated Everything was good enough; no need to jump right back into Suzie Homemaker. So that's what I did.

It seems ridiculously easy in retrospect to respond to "Waah!  The important thing was icky and hard and yucky!" with "Aw, that's too needed done though so to show thanks and appreciation let's just have you take the rest of the day off." In practice, though, it's all too easy to ignore or "power through" the voice saying "hey, wait a minute!" That's not a good idea though because resentment is a big ol' alarm clock for the Drink Now voice. Pro-active self-care, on the other hand, keeps it asleep the way it ought to be.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Day 568

One of the nice things about not drinking in response to a really lousy day is that you don't end up carrying the lousy into another day.  When I got up this morning - half hour later than usual - I was able to just put aside all of yesterday's nonsense and move into cookie-baking mode.

I did lemon bars, pecan tassies (miniature pecan pies made in a mini-muffin tin; it's a Southern US recipe and I have no idea why they are "tassies.") and sugar cookies then decided I'd had enough and had a nice lie-down then a walk in town with my audiobook. It started snowing during my walk so I put the car in the garage when I got home. That's relevant because I'd planned to make fudge tonight then realized the fudge needed butter, of which I had none having used it all on the earlier baking. Didn't feel like going back out in the snow so I put the fudge on hold.

One thing I notice though: even with using freshly-squeezed lemon juice which has sat around marinating with the lemon zest for a while the lemon bars just aren't really all that lemon-y. This is a bonus to Youngest, who doesn't much like lemon, but it is an annoyance to me because the recipe doesn't call for lemon extract but clearly that's what is needed.  Doesn't call for yellow food coloring either but that would be how to get them looking all pretty. The sugar cookie recipe has an excellent texture (uses oil and powdered sugar in addition to butter and granulated sugar) but even with vanilla extract it doesn't have the same intense Sugar! Cookie! flavor of the kind you buy in a tube in the dairy aisle.  It's both interesting and somewhat annoying that all the artificial flavors and colors have changed our collective palates.

Tomorrow will be the grocery shopping as usual, of course. Have the menus planned and the list already written. Need to remember to stall and head out a little later so they have a real cashier line open.

And so it goes.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Day 567

I never write in the morning but I am so angry right now that I need to vent everywhere I can.

Got to work very early this morning because Youngest had 7am jazz-choir practice. As I mentioned yesterday, today is the first day of Bet doing all of the office work usually done by three people (and till recently shared among two.) Bet was off Monday and Tuesday of this week to take her mother for eye surgery at BigCenter 1.5 hours away from here.

Just now Bet told me she would be off all day this coming Monday to take her mother to a follow-up appointment at BigCenter.  I probably wasn't as tactful as I could have been when I said "Oh!" in tones of surprise and asked "so who will be answering the phones?"  Turns out Manager will be answering the phones.  I don't know who, if anyone, will be doing any of the other administrative work. That was startling enough but Bet then went on to explain that she will be off one day a week for the next eight weeks because her mother needs weekly follow-up at BigCenter.  She will be working four 10-hour days instead of five 8-hour days because she “has no time left.” 

I do understand that people’s families come first and I understand that we don’t always get the timing we like but I am pissed as hell that I am only finding this out NOW after it’s a done deal as opposed to earlier when I could maybe have used my political capital to ask for some locums help or at least someone to sit at the front desk.  I am FURIOUS that not only will there not be anyone at the front desk one day a week for the next eight weeks but also I didn’t find out until today. I can only assume Manager didn’t know about this extensive follow-up either until Bet came back...but the piece which is angering me the most and has me typing so my head won't explode is the fact that Manager, without getting clearance from anyone, decided it was okay to let Bet work the four 10-hour days so that these appoinments won't affect her pay.  Yeah sure, it's nice to be nice, but the generally-worked hours are 8:30 to 4:30 and the common rule is that when someone is out of vacation and sick time they take any further time as UNPAID time.  We do not HELP the employee screw over the department...and although I may be mean-spirited in thinking this, I suspect that if the time were going to be unpaid, Bet might have been more likely to work out other options like getting other family members to help and/or finding transportation services. I'm even more furious with Manager than I am with Bet.

But I'm doing the self-care thing: walked to the far cafeteria to get tea, vented here, vented in email to my "Administrative Dyad Partner" (the lab director who is Manager's boss) to ask for possible solutions, vented to a friend in email....and now to all of you fine people. A couple years ago this would have been, at not even eight-thirty, the trigger for THIS Friday night to be an extra-big drinking night but no longer...and that feels good.  I'm going to take that good feeling into the rest of the day with me and see how it goes.

MUCH later:

Dyad Partner/Director talked to Manager and the story he got was that Bet -did- in fact have sick time and/or vacation time but Manager -asked- her to do the four tens instead of unpaid time so as to not lose eight hours a week of work. I sat right there and said "Oh well that's better" and also "I'm glad to be wrong, then."  However about a half-hour later I realized both that he had never followed up on the other thing I wanted to know which was "did Manager know about all these extra days off ahead of time or did she find out today just like I did?"and also "wait a minute...'has no time left' is pretty specific."  So unfortunately even though I tend to think the best about everyone and don't -like- being untrusting, my suspicions have been raised. It is quite possible that Manager lied to Director about the four tens being her idea and the more I reflect on it the more I feel like I was "handled" as in "calmed down/mollified/pacified" by Director rather than having my concerns addressed. He was awfully quick to point blame back at the HR department and the hiring freeze not letting us post/interview/fill the position sooner as the bigger issue rather than talking about my issues too.

But in any case I can put it out of my mind till Monday. I also took myself out to lunch, cold though it was, as a reward for dealing with all this shit. The grilled cheese wasn't anything to write home about but the tater tots were absolutely perfect which was as it should be--the place I chose is known specifically -for- tater tots as a side dish instead of fries.  It was way more than I'm used to eating at lunchtime so I took a walk afterwards but was still bloated all afternoon...which is okay.

Self-care included the usual Friday night pizza and more lying around on the couch. Also a small ice cream sundae after dinner even though I'd had a huge lunch.  Now it's time for a nice early bedtime and since it's Friday night I can sleep in as late as I like tomorrow which will be nice....and I plan to make tomorrow a big cookie-baking-and-freezing day. Just looked over my recipes and I think the order will be lemon bars, sugar cookies, pecan tassies.  Then possibly fudge if I haven't totally worn myself out. Speaking of cookies...I decided those sesame cookies I deemed lousy yesterday aren't so bad after all. Had some with breakfast today and another one with my sundae.  Although I wouldn't try to pass them off to anyone else and expect them to be liked, I think I'll be keeping the frozen dough after all.

Self-care is way better and far more productive than sloshed.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Day 566

Better day. Sleep -did- help and I think I’ve finally beaten back whatever stupid sickness was trying to take root as I had more energy than the whole rest of the week combined.

On the other hand today was the good admin assisstant’s last day. My office is usually staffed by three office people - let’s call them Alef,  Bet and Gimel. Bet started out as a transcriptionist but grew into a more general admin assistant over the years especially once the electronic system with voice recognition became widespread. She is capable but easily stressed and a big-time complainer. Alef was the personal admin to the previous boss who also grew into a more general admin assistant over the years. Gimel was the front-desk person who replaced Vav - how I miss Vav; she was the best admin assistant I’ve ever had so of course she moved on to bigger and better things which is excellent and I don’t begrudge her...but boy do I miss her.

Anyhow, Gimel gave notice and quit. Bet was her backup so it made sense for her to apply for and get Gimel’s position although the duties were a bit of a reach and the public-facing part was a big reach. Bet has been in the new position a couple months and is struggling but mostly getting it done. Had to be coached about not complaining so much and especially not to people in the visitor chairs. Alef was picking up slack and things were going okay though everyone wanted to hurry up and get the backfill of Bet’s old position posted and hired because there was a little too much work for two especially as Alef and Bet don’t like each other much. But...hiring freeze. Then Alef announced she was going out on medical leave for a knee replacement, coming back for one week in early March and then retiring. Panic ensued. After much pushing we got approval to post and hire -one- of the two open positions but that approval came on Tuesday.

So now the whole department, which usually runs with three admins, is going to be doing it with just one, the easily stressed often-whiny Bet, for the foreseeable future. Color me thrilled.

Came home and tried a new-to-me sesame cookie recipe. Flop. Picked the recipe because it also had pistachios in it. I love both so what’s not to like? Plenty. Probably screwed up the metric to English conversions as dough was ridiculously oily. Baked up okay but not flavorful and not sweet enough to be something readily identifiable as “cookie” either. I should not have made a double batch - stopped baking after first 2 dozen but couldn’t bring myself to pitch that much dough (yet, anyhow) so it is now languishing in the back of my freezer. I will make something else instead...which is probably just as well as suspect I am the only one who would have eaten them even if they were “tasty” by objective standards anyhow. was kind of demoralizing. Good excuse to crash on the couch and message with a friend of mine though and that was nice. Once again it will be time for bed very soon and tomorrow is a pretty light day. Gotta sober is way more efficient than cooking with a drink in hand despite all the cultural/societal cues to be doing the latter. Tipsy cooking may seem more fun at the time but it is - well, was for me anyhow - way messier and always leaves the dishes for the next day. Tonight I had the washing up done before the non-cookies had even come out of the oven.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Day 565

Trying to keep a balanced perspective but right now sad is winning.

The universe threw all sorts of little kindnesses my way today: co-worker bought my tea this morning, another co-worker brought gifts from her trip abroad and the drive-thru worker was beyond the usual level of nice. Yet still various family dramas weigh heavily and suck the joy right out of me again. Wish that I could let it all roll off me but feelings just -are-; they can’t be logic-ed away.

No urge to -drink- over any of this and I’ve managed not to succumb to the overeating All The Carbs urges either and those two facts alone should give me some satisfaction and maybe increased self worth...but what I mostly am is tired.

So after doing nothing but lie on the couch after dinner - wait, that’s not true because I did two loads of laundry and also cleaned up after dinner. After -mostly- lying around on the couch after dinner I’ve moved to bed. Whether it’s physical or emotional or a combination of both, sleep will help.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Day 564

Busy day.

Had to take ABL to the doctor (med refills) at 8 then reward him with drive-thru breakfast, get him settled at home and take the car to -its- appointment at the shop for sluggish starting.  As I was sitting there eating my own breakfast between appointments I thought to myself "mustn't forget to lay out his lunch before I go" and what did I end up doing? Forgetting to lay out his lunch before I went...and didn't realize it till 1:30 when I was hungry and getting ready to go buy my own lunch from the cafeteria. Fortunately home is only about seven minutes from work. No harm done.

But that makes the third bit of serious forgetfulness in a week and that worries me.  Last Tuesday I completely mixed up "quesadilla" with "chimichanga" even though I've had both many times....ordered the former thinking I would be getting the latter and only after the food came did I realize my mistake. Sunday night into yesterday morning I thought I was having lunch with my friends even though I knew lunch was set for the 11th and the appointments were on the 5th...for some reason there was this curious blank spot making me think that yesterday was the lunch. Also for some reason I've been having a really hard time remembering today is Tuesday, not Wednesday.

Spouse says it's stress and he's probably right but I'm still uneasy.  I've never been a forgetful person, never mixed up days and only once in my entire life lost track of an assignment because it was due the day after the calendar page flipped. That was my freshman year of undergrad and I've always kept a continuous six-weeks-at-a-glance calendar somewhere easily seen to avoid that ever happening again. So this is definitely unusual.  I'm keeping track now, though, and if they keep happening with the same frequency into the new year I'll figure out what kind of professional I should go see. Neurology probably.

But now I'm going to bed - still with this intermittent headache and scratchy throat and sleep is always a good answer for whatever the question might be.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Day 563

Another night of crazy dreams, waking up twice and then sleeping past usual time only to wake with a headache. Thought today was my colleague lunch so didn’t pack any only to realize when I got to work that no, the lunch is -next- Monday. Then realized I had a headache getting worse not better and could have fallen asleep standing right there in my office with my coat still on. Youngest was extra-tired this morning too - must be some illness afoot.

On the other hand my stupid noon meeting was less stupid than usual because it confirmed the more positive (to me, anyhow) interpretation of recent work-politics events. Plus I got to leave at four which is always nice.

Saw a social media video which gave me mixed feelings: “virgin” holiday drinks like mulled “wine” and hot buttered “rum.” Although I think it’s nice to have an alternative, any alternative, to all the extra over-and-above-usual boozing I thought the drinks themselves looked kinda icky and that fake versions of real booze were sort of lame compared to something original that wasn’t trying to be something else. Don’t want to rain on anyone else’s parade but it’s definitely not my thing. Of course I don’t like fake flowers, either.

And on that note I’m going to bed as I have both an ABL appointment and a car appointment tomorrow. The Great Cookie Caper continues...did the. 7-layer bars while the chili simmered as those aren’t real cooking and also ground the pistachios for sesame cookies. Got out first Christmas card today which reminds me I gotta do those too - forgot an obligation. Fortunately there are very few to do - less than ten for sure.

I was sober last Christmas too but this year it seems to be overall happier. I’m all for that.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Day 562

A good day. There was early morning family drama which annoyed me because I wanted to get to the grocery before it got crowded but it worked out to my advantage: after nine there still aren’t many people but they open up a non-express real-cashier checkout line. I had been fully prepared to do the whole self-serve thing again but praise be I didn’t have to.

Decided not to get lemons yet as I’m not at all sure whether lemon bars will freeze but I did order myself a 9x9 pan. Plus started planning a line of attack: tomorrow will be 7-layer bars because they are ridiculously easy and will totally freeze well since they’re basically just candy. Or not, depending on my mood. The beautiful thing is that there is no rush and I only have to do as much as I want. I could get fed up and ditch the whole project and it wouldn’t hurt a thing.

More family drama later in the day but I didn’t let it get to me. Progress!

And now sleep.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Days 560 and 561

Wow I totally spaced writing a post yesterday. That’s because I came home so out of sorts I ended up going to bed way early and then falling asleep right away. Wasn’t a bad day or anything just one of those evenings where nothing appeals: not my computer toys, not my yarn toys, not my book toys...nine of it. Didn’t want to drink but didn’t want to do anything else either.

Today, however, has been much better. Spouse had a big EBay box which I needed to re-label and send down to the other house (EBay only lets you ship to billing address) and I was feeling some resentment about it so I took myself for breakfast afterwards and that was a really smart choice. Food made by someone else always tastes better and I can’t remember the last time I had a -hot- breakfast. Was very nice. The cafe was pushing the booze though: in addition to Mimosas, Bloody Marys and Screwdrivers all being listed on the breakfast menu they also had a breakfast -drink- special which today was Bailey’s in coffee. I suppose if you are a tourist it isn’t unreasonable but damn, even decades ago when I didn’t think I had a drinking problem I would never have started that early because it could only lead to disaster. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

After breakfast I was brave enough to stroll over to the sidewalk I mentioned and they -did- fix it. Was surprised to find, in among the relief, a bit of disappointment that my feet were -not- forever memorialized in front of the Presbyterian Church.

When I got home I put butter out to soften. You know that saying “be the change you want to see in the world”? Well for the past week or so I was thinking maybe I should be the Christmas I wanted to see in the world. The one thing I -do- like about the holiday is the cookie trays - you know, where there are a bunch of different kinds and often fudge or that stuff with colored mini marshmallows in white chocolate. (Upon reflection, the cookie tray was something -no- body in my family did...of course -that- isn’t significant hahaha...) Well since I had all the obligatory gift-stuff done and had already decided I wasn’t doing any decorating I felt positive enough about everything to say “y’know what? Let’s do it. Make a batch here and there and freeze it all and then won’t you be all set?!?”

Plus there was a vegan gluten free recipe for peanut butter chocolate chip bars I had to try because curiosity was killing me. It was first on the list. My own feeling was “meh” and Youngest was “not a fan” so I will see what the people in my office think on Monday. Belle’s shortbread, on the other hand, was a huge hit. Most of it is already in the freezer for safekeeping as it would have gone very quickly otherwise.

While I was doing the baking Youngest decorated - how cool is that?! I was really happy to see lights and a tree go up so I guess there is a difference between being Scroogey McGrinchface and just not wanting to add onto one’s To-Do list. Things could change, of course, but right now I’m feeling better  and more excited about Christmas than I have in several years.

Also I made sure to get the bulky/heavy stuff (beverages, cat litter) at the grocery this evening so that when I go tomorrow morning I can use the self-check out. And now I’m taking time out to have a nice lie-down and appreciate my fine forethought.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Day 559

Peculiar day. Woke up a half hour late after the most unsettling bizarre dream - not a nightmare but weirdly unpleasant in its own way. Car acting up a little - enough to make me worry disproportionately even after making an appointment for service. Must be stress.

Took a walk at lunchtime and stepped on a sidewalk I didn’t realize was still wet till after I left two footprints - and then the village works truck drive by. I alternated between horrified with fear of reprisal and annoyed that no barricade or warning sign was in place. I hope someone from the works truck actually fixed it otherwise my feet are going to be forever in front of a local church.

Got a nasty headache in the late afternoon which might explain why I hit “self clean” instead of “start” on the oven...didn’t realize that till I wondered why it smelled odd and hadn’t beeped to let me know the preheating was done. So dinner was delayed by the half hour it took to cool down enough do the auto-lock would unlock. Once again I gave myself dementia (TWO fuckups the same WEEK! said the Inner Critic) but this time because of the headache I threw in brain tumor, multiple sclerosis and impending TIA or stroke.

Family was difficult because ABL acted up and I’m pretty sure my overdrinking relative has abandoned the most recent quit attempt. But hey at least it is early to bed tonight which will definitely not make things any worse and has a good chance of making them better.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Day 558

The first truly easy day at work I’ve had in a long time. Took a walk at lunch which was kind of amazing. Even so I realized after the fact that every single day this week had two separate instances of...of...oh yes: “providing clarification.”  Not nice to say “fixing stupid.”

The big thing, though, is that all my Christmas shopping is done. Praise be for mail order. This is definitely a new personal best as it isn’t even December yet but it feels like a huge weight off my back. Now I wouldn’t -have- to do any other thing and I’ve met the societal obligations. Well...except for having a meal with MiL on the day itself but I’m still in denial about that since it’s practically a whole month away.

Can you tell I don’t do well with holidays? Thanksgiving is by far the worst but Christmas runs a close second place. I’m going that by making everything from this point out an optional thing I might be able to enjoy it more. (I’ll spare you all my “women are the keepers of Christmas” platform.)

Spent too much time on the computer again tonight but it’s not as bad as two nights ago - I think I can still get a decent amount of sleep. Which I should start doing.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Day 557

Early to bed tonight - can’t even think of doing another way-too-late night like yesterday. Didn’t get to sleep till something like 1:30.

Which is probably a big part of why today was sad with a side order of angry - no particular reason so I’m thinking it was the overtired toddler factor at work. Ended up having Mexican for lunch because I got too hungry and the immediate warm chips/cold salsa sounded really good and it was...but I had forgotten their iced tea is undrinkable. Also I had planned on an enchilada but once there I obstinately didn’t want to pay dinner-menu price so ended up ordering off the lunch menu...and for some reason had quesadilla and chimichanga mixed up in my head - ordered the former thinking I was getting the latter and only after the food came did I realize my mistake. Every time something like that happens I instantly panic “ohmahghawd is it the Alzheimer’s ?!” even though I’m only barely 51...that’s the downside of 23&Me. I have two copies of the gene associated with _late_ onset Alzheimer’s which means I have a 40-something chance of having it by age 75 and a 60% chance by 85. This is not thrilling to me but on the other hand I wouldn’t dream of trying to win with 60/40 odds so I don’t really worry about it...except for the odd bit of forgetfulness like today.

Anyhow the food, although a little unexpected, was fine and I particularly like their black beans. However between that, all the vacation food and the iced coffee with sugar-free hazelnut syrup I got on the way home to prevent afternoon crash I was bloated like the Willy Wonka blueberry girl all evening.

Even a mere five hours of sober sleep is still way better than the whole routine of crashing hard at 11 only to wake up sometime past three with thirst, palpitations and sweat...which now seems so far removed and alien that I am more puzzled by than disapproving of having lived that way for so many years. It’s insidious, that’s for sure.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Day 556

Work started off badly and ended badly - sometimes it is like that. Oh, and there was a rather wretched meeting in the middle.

Got home an hour late which pushed everything else back an hour so I’m just now trying to go to sleep at half past midnight. Stayed up far too late goofing off with a computer game: unlike last night I just didn’t get sleepy. Not really sleepy now but gotta start doing the relaxation stuff as I will still have to get up in the morning.

Ah but tomorrow I’m taking myself out to lunch so there’s that. Gonna save the sheets for a different day though; don’t feel like shopping for anything anywhere this week.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Day 555

Home again.  Long drive. Saying goodbye gets harder every time; I don't know how I'm going to do another two and a half years of this. It is what it is, though.

Made things as easy on myself as possible once we got here though: frozen pizza after the shopping and sent Middle to the gas station so I wouldn't have to go out again. Shower, jammies...and early bedtime for sure. Laundry can wait till tomorrow or later in the week or something. Speaking of later in the week: I have to do my "big loop" of driving for work on Tuesday so I'm going to treat myself to lunch -and- finally pick up those sheets that were going to be last month's sober treat.  Changing the sheets once I got home this afternoon reminded me.

I'm hoping that in a couple days I'll bounce back because right now I feel like at least half my energy and life-force has been sucked right out of me. Combination of missing Spouse and Eldest, long drive and 15 degree drop in temperature between the two houses I think, but it's no fun whatever it is. Work should be easier than it's been these past couple months (notice I qualify it with "should") which will help.


Saturday, November 25, 2017

Day 554

Now that all the holiday pressure is over it was a really lovely day. Of course it was also the last day - life is like that. Took a walk with Eldest, ate good food ... it was all just so nice.

I’m really sad to be getting in the car and driving 4.5 hours back to the regular house but that’s where the good job and the kids’ schools are. It sucks to live apart from Spouse and Eldest but it’s the best of the options so that’s what we are doing. Although all five of us felt and commented on how nice it was to all be together under the same roof: parents, kids and dogs. No ABL, no MiL and no Aunt, just nuclear family and SiL when he wasn’t working.

Really happy to be sober though - it makes everything else, even sad stuff, easier.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Day 553

Today was easier.

Eldest acknowledged my efforts yesterday with a pair of fuzzy socks which was sweet. I had two and a half hours all to myself at the car dealership waiting for service so I got to enjoy knitting and my audiobook which normally I save just for walks...but I decided on Wednesday that my ongoing treat for this whole trip was to listen to my audiobook whenever I wanted.

Oh there was still some annoyance...but it was fairly easily dealt with.

Holidays are stressful enough: I’m so glad to be doing them sober now.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Day 552 US Thanksgiving

Eight fifteen in the morning and I am writing lest I start breaking things.

I am, of course, the only one of this six-person household awake. I slept in an hour past my usual time for which I was grateful so the day didn’t start off -immediately- lousy. So fine, snapped the leash on boy-beagle to go do his business since he didn’t have his bedtime pee because there are far too many New! Different! Exciting! smells in the backyard down here.

Twenty minutes: nothing.
Fine, I did -my- business but kept him on his leash because I didn’t  want him peeing on the carpet. I poured some tea and tried again. Another 20 minutes: nothing. I decided to come in and actually drink my tea and maybe have something to eat and feed him while I was at it. Kept him on his leash.

He wasn’t interested in breakfast. While I ate mine I started thinking about the day’s cooking and realized I had no idea when to actually -serve- the dinner because despite asking multiple times I never found out whether SiL works today at all and if so, when. But that’s when I realized that the pie had to go in regardless...and that’s also when boy-beagle managed to wriggle out of -another- (this makes three) harness to go climb on Youngest who was sleeping on the couch. Given the recent escapes and how much trouble I’ve had getting and fitting harnesses you can imagine this was more than a little upsetting but I had a frozen pie in my other hand so I didn’t do anything other than put the leash with harness still attached aside, take a small moment to be grateful it happened -inside- for a change and put the pie in the oven.

Turned around to find him peeing on the carpeting. A lot. Dead center. Of course.

I poured hydrogen peroxide on it and got out the carpet cleaner (on a whole different floor of the house, naturally) and have now dealt with the whole mess and am sitting quietly with my tea typing into my phone but for a while there the rage and resentment were pretty overwhelming along with the simultaneous desires of “anything -not- to feel this way” and “I deserve more recognition than anyone is ever gonna give.” Those are feeling which on other holidays in years past would have started me drinking by noon. Probably lots of people - mostly women - are having mimosas and Bloody Marys and wine spritzers and plain ol’ white wine from the bottle open for cooking right this very minute...because they too are up and about making the holiday happen while a whole lot of other people do other things around them.

Blogging was the right choice: my resentment has mostly abated and —-

—-and that was where I was when Eldest arrived on the scene. I told her my story and when I got to the part with the harness she interrupted to start in about “yeah but that’s the same -kind- of harness you got last time and thats probably your problem. There are different -kinds- of harnesses you know..” I was, thanks to blogging, composed enough to say in a conversational tone  “yes I know but that was the only kind they sold and if you interrupt my story to be all knowledgeable I’m going to get my feelings hurt.”  She was clearly taken aback but rolled with it and said “um...okay, moving on...” so that was progress.

==much later===

Survived the day. As Thanksgivings in my family go, it was a good one. No big ugly fights, no weirdness just food on the table at a set time. I think that was because we had 1) no extended family and 2) no booze.

I had a few other big chunks of resentment but they eventually went away. Definitely ready for bed though.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Day 551

Better day.

Not great but at least better. Got all the stuff we need for the meal tomorrow, had a walk and also got the car’s oil changed and new wiper blades at the while-you-wait place near here. Normally I would make an appointment at my usual place back home but the wipers drove me nuts on the drive down. Given cost of high end wipers (and I know it wasn’t a huge markup since the old pair had come from the parts store and been self-installed) I ended up spending what I would at home but got free inside&out car wash AND they reset the oil life button which the local place never ever does. Less time, too - very pleasing retail experience.

So I was grateful for that. Also grateful I finally got a harness for the dog which fits.
My treats today were the onion dip I like and the seasonal cherry cookies I used to really like but which now seem a smidge too artificial.

Was glad of the treats as I’m still fighting resentment a lot.

Was also glad nobody drank today.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Day 550: 18 months.

Finally in bed and that’s a good feeling.

Drove 4.5 hours with practically no conversation from two kids only to get know-it-all from the third so I had worked up a good case of resentment by 12:30. Hubby suggested I take my walk which turned out to be a really smart idea as I traded my resentment for hunger which was more easily fixed.

By then overdrinking was occurring among other family members so the whole rest of the evening was about that in one way or another. On the one hand it made those earlier thoughts about “GhAWD I wish there were -something- I could do to get rid of these feelings but I don’t freaking drink any more so I’m stuck like this” seem silly. On the other it means nobody but y’all out in the blogosphere know what a milestone today was for me. I mentioned it briefly to two of the kids but I doubt either will remember.

Doesn’t make it any less a milestone though. Not sure what I’ll do for a treat as I still haven’t bought my last-month’snew sheet set treat but there definitely needs to be something. Can’t think of -what- yet but I’m hoping it will come to me.

So glad to be a sober person. So very glad and grateful.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Day 549

I think it’s all catching up to me. The dog chasing. The family stuff. The work stuff. I’ve had a good full meal with the kids at our new favorite restaurant and I’m just exhausted. Emotionally even more than physically.

But hey, I’m on vacation again so that’s good. Tomorrow we drive down to the other house - with the dog for the first time ever. Of course this upsets MiL who thinks having her son and sister isn’t enough and has expected at least one kid to stay behind - presumably to watch the dog - so she could inflict Thanksgiving upon them. Yeah, well, not so much.

I don’t want to drink but I feel out of sorts and generally blah in a way not unlike early sobriety. I think bedtime is the answer.

Eighteen months tomorrow. That ought to have exclamation points but I’m just not feeling it right now.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Day 548

Drove all the way to an actual pet store for a dog harness and damned if I didn’t put it on badly/wrong the first time so he had -another- Great Escape today. Into the woods behind our house. In the sleet. He eventually came back but boy did that 90-120 minutes seem like forever. Got my shoes soaked; glad I’ve got another pair for tomorrow.

Otherwise it was a reasonable day - finished enough of the sweater I’m knitting to try on and it will fit for sure...though it’s shorter than I’d prefer. If I have yarn left after it’s all done I might add to the bottom but more likely I’ll learn to love the length it is.

Tomorrow is my last working day before my Thanksgiving vacation and I have more work than expected — need to stay on top of things all day. At least I know I will be able to start the day full-speed....I can -always- start the day full speed now that I don’t drink.

Also tomorrow a treat I’ve planned for a good half, perhaps whole, week: kids and I are going out to dinner. ABL is with MiL for the holiday so we -can- go to a restaurant easily which means we will. All of us are pretty excited about that.

Not so excited about the fact that MiL has already told Spouse about the leftovers she plans to give me after the holiday. She has ABL but the rest of us (including the escape-artist beagle) are driving down to Chaos South as Eldest has law school and SiL works. Probably at least part of the actual day itself as his job is in a bar/liquor store combo. Anyhow MiL bought a 16-lb turkey for three people. Sigh.I’m only doing a breast for six especially as one of them - me - doesn’t eat meat in the first place.

Thanksgiving is my least favorite holiday. In fact I pretty much hate it. I’ve had too many really awful ones over the years, especially growing up. If it were up to me I’d either order Asian carry out or vacation outside the country. Unfortunately those aren’t options; the whole rest of the family likes the holiday. Sigh.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Day 547

Tired.  Had enough energy and motivation to go for a walk - first time in a week- then got a bag of de-ice and replacement bulbs for the outside lights so we would be ready for the first real snow of the season due tomorrow night into Monday. Six trips up and down the ladder. All was well and good...till the dog popped his collar and took off across the neighbors’ yards. Middle finally got him just inside the woods which border all the houses...and I went back to the hardware store for a harness. I need to go another size up as this one only barely fits at full extension of the buckles which is okay for a quick walk as it doesn’t bind him but I want to get a nicer/looser one tomorrow.

On the other hand I got a surprise no-reason package in the mail from my dear friend...on a day I really really needed it.

Exhausted. The dog is too.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Day 546

Hey I just realized: Monday will be 18 months. Pretty cool.

Glad the day is ending with that bright note. Had way-cray (crazy) dreams last night, woke up angry and stayed that way pretty much all day. Got plenty of things to be angry about and anger is at least more productive than sadness or despair but I’m hoping I’ll wake up better tomorrow. Angry isn’t a very good emotional neighborhood.

Early bedtime always helps though, so that’s what I’m doing. Plus some extra sweets throughout the day. If I’m already angry it wouldn’t do to be hungry or tired or lonely. Time to see whether I get better dreams tonight.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Day 545

Bah. Woke up sneezing again. Foul mood all day and even now in bed still angry at the world both on  a macro and micro level. Hoping tomorrow will be better.

But hey, didn’t drink and didn’t take my emotions out on anyone else so it’s another winning day. Go me. Just wish the overall positive/negative balance - or at least my perception of it - would improve. Oh well...they can’t all be gems.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Day 544

I thought I was All Better today so I tried doing spinny-bike (what Youngest calls the stationary bicycle) but got awfully exhausted awfully fast - spent rest of night on couch without even energy to knit. Also my throat started hurting. I suppose I’m not all that surprised given my baseline stress level what with at least minor family drama on a pretty much daily basis and at least minor work headaches every darned day.

But I’m 1) staying sober and 2) not taking my emotions out on others and those two things are enough to call the day a win. Not overeating, either, which is just icing on the cake...though that’s probably a poor metaphor to use.

I wish I did have more energy for walking or spinny-bike as I was enjoying my new audiobook before I got sick. I had also kind of hoped to not have to renew at least one book once...but no matter as they go right back to “available” as I don’t get anything so new as to be a hot commodity. All the same, Overdrive (the app most libraries use) has changed my fitness world.

There’s a whole lot of stuff in my life completely beyond my control and I’ve found enough serenity to acknowledge and accept that so I’m not still trying to push the river - I know it flows by itself - but I’m getting awfully tired of many things on this particular boat ride. Yeah I realize how well I have it in many ways and am grateful for lots of things...and I know life will ease up as it always does...but tonight is one of those glass-not-only-half-empty-but-cracked nights. Time to walk the dog and call it bedtime.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Day 543

Healthier. Not so much in the morning but now that it’s bedtime I seem to be back to baseline — which makes sense. Got all the way sick Saturday night so that makes 3 days which is about how long a cold ever lasts for me.

Normally I blog - as I am now - from my phone while in bed: makes a nice ritual to close out the day.  However I didn’t start out that way: I started blogging from my computer where I read many other sober blogs - it was the push I needed to stay focused as I had just lapsed after a little over six months of sobriety. So I had a whole slew of blogs on my Favorites bar. Many were those I considered my cohort: people who were sober roughly the same amount of time I was. This evening I web surfed from that computer for the first time in ages...and it was stunning how many blogs had closed up shop. I should probably check my own blog roll for broken links but not tonight - still too somber a thing. I always wonder what happened. Even Mr. Sponsorpants hasn’t posted since January and although I’ve noticed that fact since February there’s no way I could ever delete him from the list ... or Mrs S, either, even though it’s been more than a year.

This is a hard thing we are all trying to do.

Totally worthwhile, of I was telling Eldest the other day on a completely different topic, anything worth doing is gonna be at least a little hard...but definitely no cake walk.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Day 542

Not as sick. Still plenty of room for improvement but hugely better than yesterday.

Did my Big Loop double site visit day and neither of the people I was supposed to see were there because my secretary hadn’t scheduled the visits with them. Was on my calendar but not theirs. Sigh.

Had crazy dreams all last night the most vivid being of my mother trying to get me to drink various kinds of alcohol. Didn’t but got tired of arguing in the dream and woke up annoyed. Weird way to start the day.

Hoping for a more peaceful week.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Day 541

Head cold. Yuck.

This week, though, I was prepared for and not taken aback by the self serve checkout. Made all the difference getting the big items early. It’s always something though: the frozen rolls my family really likes were in the “discontinued items” freezer case. Sigh.

After the groceries I spent all day on the couch with brief interruptions for a load of laundry and an oven dinner: roast with baby potatoes and carrots. Youngest just got home so now it’s bedtime and I wisely made -her- take the dog tonight. I like him but I will sleep better without his constant pressing up against me and my resultant scooching closed and closer to the edge.

Boy I hope I sleep this off.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Day 540

Wow five hundred and forty is a lot of days.

Phone woke me up this morning and unfortunately the irritation stuck around. Now that it’s bedtume I suspect at least some of it was/is impending illness: fell asleep on the couch right after dinner and woke up all sneezy and with watery eyes. On the one hand it’s good to have an explanation for why I’ve been so down and draggy - I’m always willing to think it’s entirely emotional - but on the other who wants to be sick? I’ve taken Zicam, that zinc thing, which I’m not sure works or not but at least it makes me feel like I’m doing -something-

I did get quite a bit of knitting done today which felt nice. Also, remembering last week’s self checkout fiasco I planned ahead and got all the bulky beverages for the week tonight before picking up the pizza. And I cleaned the bathroom so that’s two productive things which is totally enough. I no longer have to do everything I can think of and then some to “earn” the right to get drunk on Saturday night.

Don’t have to get drunk on Saturday night either.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Day 539

Better today but there’s still room for improvement. Did the work stuff I had to do but left way too much for Monday - mental state was largely “sick of all this” so I spent far too much of the day websurfing. Didn’t walk, either - it was freakishly bitter cold and I couldn’t force myself to do the treadmill - even with a decent audiobook it’s still pretty dull.

Middle fetched dinner for everyone though so that was nice and I had a new book which was also nice. No plans at all for tomorrow so I’m hoping to sleep in and maybe get back to baseline. I got a box of donuts so breakfast is already set.

Wish I had something wisecorcwitty or at least silly to offer but I’m still kinda tapped out and barely getting by emotionally. Well I do have one thing: in the long run, self care works way better than booze. May not feel like it in the short term but it totally does.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Day 538

A “close down the mountain” day. Haven’t had one of those in a long time.

Woke up 20 min early after not-great sleep and was completely exhausted both physically and emotionally. Like put my head down on my folded arms at the kitchen table while the dog ate his breakfast exhausted which isn’t me at all.

Knew I had a big pile of work and opening night of Youngest’s musical so I cut everything to the bare minimum. No trying to squeeze in a walk, no trying to get a little cleaning done, microwaved leftovers for family dinner...and I had chocolate cheesecake for dinner. Wasn’t as good as I had hoped but it felt indulgent all the same which was the point.

I’m hoping tomorrow is better.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Day 537

Another really long mostly unpleasant day. Too much work at the office and too much emotional support to give at home. Lost my cool detachment and got frustrated with my drinking family member...which, predictably, didn’t go well. We all know from personal experience how poorly someone who overdrinks reacts to anyone not on board the good ship ethanol. I wish I could have expressed my worry and concern in a more effective way but I had just run flat out of compassion at that point.

It’s better (the verbal tension and arguing; no clue what will happen with the drinking) now but I realized that I am still trying way too hard not to have negative emotions and apologizing for them when I do. I might be getting better at the more tangible aspects of living life but there’s still a lot of mountain to climb on the emotional side of things.

But hey: didn’t drink and didn’t -want- to drink so the day was still a success.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Day 536

Another long hard day

Tonight I skipped my walk in favor if doing some housework and it made me feel a lot better psychologically.

Good thing too because afterwards I had a really draining family phone call.

Something which has occurred to me a few times this past week: sober living means never waking up with new regrets. That’s a big thing.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Day 535

Really lousy Monday at work.

But I took care of myself by not getting too caught up in the chaos and by making nachos as soon as I got home because, as I told Youngest, melted cheese makes everything better.

Then I got a big ol’ belated birthday present from the woman I call my sister - Mac nuts from a Big Island Farm not 20 miles from where she lives. That helped.

Lying around on the couch all night helped too. I’d be in bed already if it weren’t for Youngest still being out at rehearsal.

Tonight I’m specifically glad not to be still drinking because this is the kind of night where, because of the lousy day, I would have started the second d I got home, been resentful of having to do dinner and been up too late and that’s not even taking the effects of the alcohol itself into account.  This is better.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Day 534

I think Daylight Savings Time is categorically silly but in the fall it is kind of nice that getting up at what my body thinks is the usual time turns out to be an hour earlier. I was at the grocery a smidge before eight which was astounding. Practically nobody was there, either...which cut both ways. I like self serve checkouts: they are efficient and usually have no line. However this morning I had to run the week’s groceries for a family of four through one because there was no _non_ express-lane cashier. That -really- sucked a lot. Balancing All The Things on the bag area, even with shelf and turntable, was nigh impossible...and I got the “please wait for an attendant” warning a good 8 or 10 Times. The attendant was very quick to punch whatever buttons at the control station fixed things but I was still just about ready to have a breakdown by the time I got everything rung up. Then I had to reload the cart, unload it into the car then bring everything least Youngest was awake to help put it all away. Such an ordeal.

Treated myself right away to an easy tasty breakfast though - that helped.

Otherwise it was just another pleasant valley Sunday. I cooked - “Five pounds” sounds like a lot of mashed potatoes but it turned out to be 11 medium-sized spuds which became one big serving bowlful. Since I needed more than half for the dinner shepherds pie and I wanted extras to have both plain (I don’t eat shepherd’s pie) and for leftovers,  I was glad I did the whole bag after all.

And now to bed...on fresh sheets. Still not up to changing them weekly and still haven’t bought the new set of sheets I was planning a while back but every other weekend is progress nonetheless.

A whole new week awaits.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Day 533

Dog woke me early but after doing the Critter Stuff I went back to sleep on the couch for another hour - always pleasant. Once I was up for the day I realized sleep had largely fixed the loneliness of yesterday.

Not nearly as ambitious this Saturday as last but I did all the stuff I needed to do. Also a lot of knitting which had to be ripped out and re-done because I didn’t read the pattern carefully enough - live and learn. I fixed the problem and recovered about half of what I lost before I realized that Daylight Savings starting night or not, it’s bedtime. 

Friday, November 3, 2017

Day 532

Today was all about the “L” in HALT. This whole living-apart thing really hit me hard today. Yeah yeah, we decided this was the way to go and theoretically it’s only for a total of three years but today it just really got to me.

And of course this was the evening Middle went out early to spend the night with friends and Youngest had a rehearsal which will run way late. Given how hard it’s been not to overeat I’m really glad there’s no booze in the house. I don’t think I would have any but I wouldn’t want to have the struggle.

Normally I’m just fine keeping my own company but it has been s long and often frustrating week which seems to make it all worse. None of my usual activities had any appeal - didn’t want to knit or do computer gaming or even read...but wasn’t sleepy enough to nap either. Mostly just crashed on the couch and played freecell solitaire on my phone. Which is okay, I suppose, but not how I had envisioned spending my Friday night. I had thought there would be more phone time with the Away Team family, more knitting, maybe something on TV...but it is what it is.

And now it’s late enough to be bedtime. Sleep never hurts and often helps.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Day 531

Better day. Still room for improvement but not as draggy or moody. Got off work an hour early which helped a lot: had a nice leisurely showerbath (shower to get clean then fill tub for a soak) before dinner.  Youngest got her driver’s license on Monday so I didn’t have to worry about taking her to/from rehearsal which also helped.

Now to sleep. Quiet self-care is starting to feel normal and reflexive.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Day 530

Another very out of sorts day. No motivation, no drive...just hungry and tired all day long. Moody too.

Cut myself a lot of slack - microwaveable dinner, skipped my walk (first time in 6 weeks,) had an extra snack. Early bedtime. I think I might finally be getting the hang of not pushing myself or mentally scolding myself when I get tired and cranky and recalcitrant.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Day 529

Spent too much of the day emotionally out of sorts. Cranky, melancholy, no motivation...some days are just like that, I guess.

But the treatment is bed, not cocktail hour-which-becomes-all-evening.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Day 528

A day which started off poorly but ended well: bad HR decisions at work but Youngest passed her driving test.

Joy is more joyful without booze. My drinking self would have never believed that but it’s true.

Steadily pushing along toward 18 months. It’s good.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Day 527

Day was ... okay I guess. Pretty much forgot that Sunday was my birthday on Friday and Saturday so I ended up planning menus not taking anything special into account. Then got up and did grocery like any other Sunday morning. If the grocery is any harbinger of my upcoming year I’m asking for witness protection program though!  Just since last night they had rearranged/restocked in ways which included no longer selling any kind of jarred pimentos, the Santitas corn chips we like or plain ol’boring Red Hawaiian Punch. (I mean seriously how could they be out of -the- Hawaiian Punch flavor?) Had to take whole order through the 15-or-less cashier because no other lanes were open (how I hate that) and they redirected me when I tried to use the self checkout which is designed for smaller/less heavy orders. Then I got home and discovered the milk had a leak.

But instead of using all the above as an excuse to start drinking closer to noon than dark I used some coping skills. Made a nice grilled cheese sammich for brunch and calmed myself before venturing out again. I went to Dollar General for the jar candles I like thinking it would be a stop on the way to the other grocery but surprisingly they had all the stuff I needed and the local-dairy milk had better outdates than the leaky one.

So I suppose all’s well that ends well. Spent big chunk of time error-correcting my knitting pattern - someone did not carefully proofread it before posting to Ravelry but since is free cannot complain. Had good FB Messenger chat with a friend from high school with whom I had fallen out for a while but we made up a couple months back.

Quiet but good.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Day 526

Oh blogfriends I got so -much- done today! The most important was troubleshooting the dishwasher door, which wasn’t closing properly. The most satisfying, though, was fixing the flapping weatherstripping on the front door. That stupid thing had been annoying us for probably a year now which sounds shocking when I type it up. I guess it is an example of living with something so long you don’t even think about it - oh some months ago I had tried fixing it with a hot glue gun but that glue didn’t last through the first serious temperature change and somehow it just became one of those live-with things...till Youngest asked, one morning we were leaving together this week, either why it was like that or what it would take to fix it or some other words which brought the whole thing into focus. When I said something about “I need to go to the hardware store and get some special kind of glue” the first voice in my head was “so whyintbehell didn’t you do that already?” but the second was a much nicer “I don’t know but I can go this weekend.”

I also did more cleaning than usual, a -lot- more laundry than usual and finally attacked - and completed - a bunch of small sewing jobs which had been piling up - mostly replacing safety pins with stitching.

“Accomplishment” is a really good feeling. Rewarded myself with some books instead of some booze and the fact that it was such a normal built-in kind of response felt pretty good too.

Tomorrow I turn 51. Had to remind myself; it feels like any other Sunday and I’m not planning anything special. Used to care a lot more about birthdays but this year not so much. Got a list of other stuff I want to get done tomorrow though.

Being able to wake up -functional- without a delayed re-entry into the affairs of living is another one of those not-to-be-underestimated sobriety benefits.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Day 525

A very long day with many ups and downs of mood. It is ending well though, and a big part of that is because I’m sober. I’m up an hour later than usual but things are just as in-focus as they were six hours ago, I haven’t had any big sloppy emotional issues with the family, I haven’t done any of that crazy late night eating and the sleep, when it comes, will be restful. Best of all, though, is having absolutely nothing to regret in the morning. One of the quietly massive things about long term sobriety that I didn’t even consider would be as life changing as it has been is losing all that morning after regret and the self-recrimination which accompanied it. It’s like a glacier: quiet but huge and most of it is hidden.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Day 524

Long day. Too many extra add-on tasks at work and too many errands at home...but it all goes so much better without the added complication of alcohol. So glad to be off that roller coaster.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Day 523

Another long day. Once I did have free time I was too tired to do much other than lie on the couch. Which is fine, I suppose.

Got really lousy sleep last night; I’m sure that’s part of it. Stayed up a little too late then the dog acted  up just as I was getting into bed which got me all awake again...and then I woke up at 4:30 for no reason at all. Got back to sleep but still.

At least the sleep I -did- get was restful...and the waking up was just awake - no dry mouth, no sweating, no heart pounding, no self loathing. So much better than the old days.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Day 522

Long day.

Work hard, home hard, found out a co-worker is having elective surgery tomorrow and a friend had bypass surgery today which I -hope- wasn’t emergent.

Then just as I was calling it a night the dog pooped on my bed.

But hey, still sober so there’s -something- positive.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Day 521

Back to work and bad news: boss stepping down after all plus poor financial performance overall (not my department, praise be.)

Despite that my emotions seem to have evened our a bit and I feel like I’m getting back into a good routine. Haven’t bought my new sheets yet but I’m not letting them fall off the radar either.

I really like not being around drinkers. Like my personal sobriety it’s just so much easier.

And now bed. Even seventeen months in, the pleasure and power of -good- sleep is never to be underestimated and always gratitude-inducing.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Day 520

Long day but ended well.

Drove home in the morning - sad and put out the first half or two thirds but by the time I arrived I was doing better with further improvement every time I knocked something else off the To-Do list. Groceries, walk, gas, fresh sheets (I have got to get into the habit of changing the bedding every weekend— it is just -so- much nicer) mail sorted, critters fed - then we tried the newest restaurant in town and were stunned at how good both food and atmosphere were.

Anyhow I’m not all that keen on going back to work in the morning but being home worked out well so maybe the work thing will be good too.

Five hundred and twenty consecutive days. Way cool.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Day 519

17 months. Huzzah!

It got lost in the shuffle though. The Afghani place closed ages ago so that was out and nothing else particularly appealed. Ordered myself a new pair of pants one size down; that will be a nice reminder.  Planning on getting myself a new set of sheets, too.

But mostly the day was about other stuff and by “other stuff” I mean parts of the family bent out of shape over what other parts were doing. I would have liked to talk about other stuff but that didn’t happen.

This week off was markedly better than the week off I took last month but I’m still ready to go back. I suppose that’s good because I was really sad about it for much of the early part of the day. In any case, much driving tomorrow.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Day 518

Today has been hard.

She’s been dead four years this past April and I dreamed about my mother for the first time last night. She’d be turning 76 tomorrow if she’d lived. She came to me with this big 3-ring binder of stuff in page protectors that she had been doing as a school assignment and wanted me to review even though I didn’t really want to. I leafed through it and it was weird and had a hard time, in the dream, figuring out what to say about it. I could tell she wanted some sort of support but I wasn’t sure I could give any.

As if that weren’t disconcerting enough it then morphed into my first drinking dream in many months. I wanted a big martini half Ketel One half gin. Had to repeat the order twice then after I finally got it realized “wait a minute I don’t drink.” In the dream I ended up not drinking even though I wanted to do so pretty badly.

That was a lousy way to start the day. My walk didn’t help as much as I had thought it would, either, and then I went shopping for a new bathroom mirror and the whole experience wasn’t particularly pleasant. Also I had - heck, still have, the overwhelming thought “tomorrow is my last day of vacation.” The brightest point of the whole day was restaurant leftovers for lunch.

Family drama and drinking became that afternoon/evening double feature and I found not drinking to be harder than it’s been since the very start of this whole enterprise. Eldest was having too-shelf vodka with San Pellegrino water - she switched from gin to the drink which used to be mine. I have a lot of complicated feelings about that but for many minutes at a time the biggest feeling was a bizarre urge to drink a huge swig from her glass. I didn’t but it was far more a struggle than I had expected and I was hugely grateful to have this blog as part of my armor.

It changed me from sad to glad I only have one more day of vacation. Being around all this drinking is taking more of a toll than I thought - especially now that my mother - whose death certificate flat out says “gastrointestinal hemorrhage due to or as a result of alcohol abuse” is so much on my mind.

Winning my battle against the bottle tonight was worth it though as not 30 minutes later all the drinkers were asleep where they sat. Reduced the appeal greatly. I was even able to take Eldest’s full glass away from the precarious place near her sleeping self and put it in the fridge without furth—well, without -much- further temptation.

Tomorrow I will finish my current good audiobook on the morning walk. Tomorrow is also my 17 month Soberversary. I’m trying to think of what I could do to make it special - I’ve been giving serious thought to trying the Afghani restaurant near the local office supply store. If it’s still there, that is. This would be in addition to, not instead of, a purchased sober treat of some kind.

Oh and the new tile floor looks fantastic.