Day 30 of The Alcohol Experiment: appreciating this present and pondering the future.
Day 30 on April 30 and Day 50 alcohol-free for me. Seems like a good time to finish up this Experiment!
[But wait! Spoiler alert: Annie offers five bonus days of content! Woohoo!]
Nevertheless, let’s raise a glass of passionfruit seltzer and take a moment to absorb the awesomeness that TAE has been. What a gift. What a gift of health and awareness I have given myself. What a gift for all of us on Connect to have shown each other such support, compassion, and grace. These last 50 days have been illuminating, challenging, and inspiring beyond words or measure.
But the journey is not over yet!
It’s Day 30. And now we really need to think seriously about where we go from here. Annie gives a few ideas to those of us who want to keep this momentum going but are not 100% comfortable with “forever.” Of these, I definitely plan to invest in my non-negotiables. Keep ‘em handy and stick to ‘em. And if I don’t, I’ll deploy the “lengthening strategy” and take a longer booze break than my last. I have definitely noticed a difference between the 30 days I did in January and the 50 (of 60) I’ve achieved as of today. Alcohol is becoming even less of a thing that holds any importance in my life. If I cross a non-negotiable line, I’ll do 90 days. With no guilt or shame, but with gratitude and grace. And on we go.
Annie asked us to take a final selfie today. You can find mine, along with my selfie from Day 1, on my Instagram: @maintaining_mama. I’d say there is a bit of a difference!
She also asked us to write one more letter – this one to our future selves. Yikes! I’m going to have so much more gray hair in ten years! But putting that aside…
Dear 2028 Me,
First and foremost, I hope that this letter finds you and your family healthy and happy. I hope your marriage (19 years now!!) has continued to thrive on its strong foundation of love, trust, and communication. I hope the kids are torturing you less in their teens than they did as toddlers, but I won’t be surprised if that’s not the case! Just remember that they are still the greatest human beings to ever grace this planet, and they can probably wipe their own butts now. So that’s good.
Now let’s talk about you. And me. Let’s talk about us.
You may recall that the years of having babies who grew into toddlers who grew into kids were HARD. There were times where I disappeared completely into a run-ragged mom with little sense or value of self. I found comfort and solace in wine, among other things. The other things (husband, friends, exercise, Nutella) were good for me – ok, except maybe the Nutella. The wine, not so much, as it turns out.
So I have spent the beginning of 2018 laying the groundwork for a better, brighter, healthier, happier future. And I hope by now you have long been thriving in the new normal I have worked so hard to create. As cliche as it may sound, I hope you are living your best life – whatever that may mean to you. A lot happens in ten years! Ten years ago – heck, even two years ago! – I never would have imagined I’d be obsessed with a snazzy spin bike, or that our whole family would be turning into a bunch of ninjas with our MMA training. I never would have imagined that Weight Watchers and Connect would become so ingrained in the fabric of this wonderful existence I am weaving for myself. I remember my creative self feeling shut down, and now that sassy gal feels reawakened and limitless. And I never would have guessed that removing alcohol from my life would be the key to it all.
Not that I know what “it all” means. And that’s ok. I don’t know exactly where I’m headed. I don’t know what I will do professionally once both kids are in school full time. I don’t know how far I will go with writing. Or even kickboxing. But right now I am existing in a state of contentment, hope, confidence, gratitude, empowerment, and love that I have never experienced in my life. And it feels amazing.
I hope you look back on 2018 as a turning point. The time when your life went from good to extraordinary. The time when you went from happy to content, from distracted to present, from hazy to crystal clear. The time when alcohol dwindled from near-daily dependence to insignificance and the rest of your awesome life opened up to you.
I’m sure the last decade has not been all rainbows and narwhals. But I hope that you have learned from your setbacks and used them as stepping stones. Because that’s what they are.
You are beautiful. You are an amazing mom and wife and citizen of the world. 47 is the new 37. Keep after it! The world is a better place because you have been a part of it for 47 years.
I love you.
Me in 2018
[The Alcohol Experiment is a free, interactive 30-day program designed by Annie Grace, author of This Naked Mind.]