I’m a creature of habit in many ways. I get up early, walk my dogs, go to work, lunch is always a sandwich, usually a ham salad one on brown that I rustle up as soon as I get in from work. Then I do a really long walk with my dog beasts, prep a late dinner which is usually kale salad with chicken. Lastly I either read, have a bath or very occasionally watch Netflix.
That makes me sound incredibly boring, which I really like to think I’m not. I have interests, quite a few of them actually and I’m not sure when I fit them in to my rather fixed schedule, but I do. For the past 6 months it’s been yoga which I squeeze in most days. I also love to cook and a couple of times a week I will surprise Ed with a restaurant worthy concoction of some kind. It just zaps my mind to think what to cook on a daily basis so I’m happy to ‘do the usual’ if inspiration doesn’t come knocking and I no longer feel guilty for it I be bit!
I also get rather obsessed with certain things. I call them my challenges. My latest one is that I need to learn to play the saxophone. We have a couple of them in the house being rather neglected. The kids used to play them at school. I think it would be fun to learn enough basics to play a little version of Summertime or the Girl from Ipanema. So challenge accepted. Play the sax? Why yes, I can do that!
But here’s my problem. I lied earlier, I don’t get a little obsessed with such things. They become a compulsion. I think about them night and day. I have a desperate need to challenge myself to become the best that I can be.
I’m sure that has contributed to my sobriety journey. Most people might attempt Dry January to give their bodies a rest or prove to themselves that they don’t have a problem…., but not me. If I’m going to do something, anything, I’m going to hit it full on with all my might and determination. And if I stumble or hit a hurdle, that’s ok. It does not mean I’m defeated. Heck no! It makes me want it even more.
You might think that this sets myself up for failure. And yes, occasionally that bright guiding light has faded quickly, or even been rudely blown out almost immediately. I still can’t play the guitar. The sewing machine is hidden in the back of the closet. I haven’t booked on to that ceramic course that I found and spent hours reading every review written about it. Those are my non starters. And I’m learning that that’s ok. If the passion isn’t there, I can’t really fake it.
Life is too busy and short to spend time on half hearted things when we can channel all our energy in to what ignites our minds and needs. Having my challenges gives me a focus to each day. A reason to wake up and get going. Something to run home from work for. Something to reflect on at the end of the day and know that I have learned or achieved something that I wasn’t able to do before.
I’m trying to be the best version of me. I’m tired of looking back with regret. I can dwell on my mistakes and beat myself with shame for my past failures and obnoxious drunken antics or I can focus on being a proud, shiny, happy me. Right here, right now.
Right, off to practice my splits now.