When my husband first quit drinking, it was a difficult first few months. He would wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat because he was getting hammered in his dreams. He has asked me several times if I experience these kinds of dreams and the answer is not really.
I have had a few dreams that make me feel shame and anxiety and definitely pissed me off to no end, but constant dreams of me drinking way too much hasn’t been an issue for me. Daymares on the other had, those have been insufferable for a long time.
Worry is an emotion that lingers way too long around me, like a fog that comes and goes as it pleases. Even as a child I worried about leaving my homework at home, forgetting to study for a spelling test, and not making the volleyball team. To this day, I still worry about minuscule things that don’t really have a lot of impact on my actual life. But when it comes to drinking, I worry about everyone.
I worry that my brother will have one too many beers and get pulled over right as his breath hits that limitation and he’ll go to jail, never seeing his daughter again. I worry that the strangers at the restaurant downing margaritas will forget that the streets downtown are all one-ways and they may head into traffic going the opposite direction. I worry that the man who seems too uptight when he’s sober will strike his wife when he falls under the influence of intoxication.
Worry. Worry. Worry.
But at the end of the day, I have no control over any of it. So what do I do? I have to let go and let God…otherwise I will drive myself crazy…all of the time!
There are, I’m completely positive, a gazillion posts on the internet about motivation. I’m sure there are so many out there that you couldn’t read possibly read them all in one lifetime. But, with that being said, here is another one.
Motivation comes easy to some people. Motivation feels like a pipe dream for others. Some people can wake up spiffy and “ready to go!” Some people have to drag themselves out of bed just to take a shower and make an attempt to live their life.
It’s not easy, for anyone. Not just the people who struggle with motivation, but also the people who are trying to conquer the world – one good attitude at a time.
We all need that push, that drive, to keep us going. Otherwise, what is the point? What is the reason for any of it? Why are we still showing up every day? Why are you still showing up every day?
There is a reason.
I’m not here to give you that reason because I’m still working on figuring out that exact thing out for myself. I’m here to remind you to find your motivation. Find your reason to stay in the thick of the muck instead of escaping to an easier alternative.
Motivation. Motivation. Motivation.
Imagine being a young child. You can barely see over the counter tops, maybe not even at all. You see a commotion going on just right over the edge of the formica counter-tops and your little brain gets curious. What’s going on up there? Why is all of that clear smoke coming up from that big silver thing sitting on that hot thing? Maybe I should reach up and touch it.
If you have had any experiences with keeping kids away from hot stoves and counter-tops with sharp objects, then you understand that one of two things is about to happen. Either a poor decision will be made by the child resulting in a harmful trip to the emergency room with either burns or a cut, hopefully none of which turn out to be fatal. Or another bystander will see the entire situation and warn the child (probably in an obnoxiously loud tone) that they are about to hurt themselves. (Plus, if they react anything like me instinctively, they will probably lunge forward and yell instead of being all calm-cool-and-collected.)
Get hurt or receive a blessed warning.
Those are the only two choices in this scenario. Those may be the only two options period when it comes to certain situations in our lives. When we make bad decisions we usually are only given too options: get hurt or make this a valuable learning lesson.
Learn from your mistakes and observe the warning signs along the way. They aren’t always obvious, but they can save you a whole lot of pain if you can see them coming!
The words perfect and perfection used to haunt me. Daily I would remind myself how inadequate I was and how I wasn’t living up to my own expectations. Comparative living and constantly having that “grass is always greener” attitude was really dragging me down.
I’m not sure when the pivotal revelation happened and I decided to stop giving a shit about perfection, but I can tell you how much I’ve changed from that momentous shift in perspective.
I no longer tell myself I’m not good enough. I simply use encouraging words like, “Try harder.” I don’t feel inadequate when looking at someone else’s life compared to my own. I think to myself, “They are on a different path than I am.” I also try, as often as I can, to praise and encourage people I know who are welcoming lots of success in their lives. It’s pretty hard to be bitter when you’re generally happy for someone else.
By no means am I perfect at not being perfect (see what I did there), but I am much more aware that perfection itself does not exist.
So in this stage of my life, I no longer strive to be spontaneous anymore. Yes, every once in a while I’ll get a wild hair to order pizza for the kids on a Friday night (I know, CALM DOWN!), but that’s about as zany as we get these days.
I feel as though “spontaneous = reckless” in this season of my life. I don’t believe that’s 100% true, but I find myself being less and less spontaneous the older I get. Maybe routine is to blame. Maybe my need to be responsible is to blame. Maybe it’s because I’ve grown so comfortable in our little cocoon at home that venturing off to anything new kinda scares the crap out of me.
Yesterday, I took my kids to audition for a movie…3 hours away! We never do anything on a whim like this. If something requires us to travel on the weekend (especially 3 hours away), I’ve had it planned out for weeks with the well-stocked snack bag and drinks needed for the entire trip ready to go before we ever load up the car.
No such thing happened yesterday. I had a friend who was excited about taking her own kids (granted they were only 30 minutes down the road from the audition) and her excitement about it got the best of me. I thought, “What the hell? Why not? All I was going to do today was laundry!”
We have no idea if anything will come out of going to this audition, but I did learn one important thing yesterday…try new things even if they scare you. My kids did it. They actually had fun too!
You can be spontaneous and responsible at the same time. My kids didn’t miss school. Nobody missed work for us to go. And we made it home just in time for our nightly routines. Don’t lose your ability to be spontaneous!
There was a pop-up notification that I have been writing this blog for a year. A whole year, people! That may not seem like a big deal to you, but man oh man…that’s huge for me! The reason why it’s such a big deal is because in the past year I have let go of so many issues that have been lingering around forever, and it’s all thanks to this community.
Before, I would walk around holding in my resentments about the past, complaints about the present, and worries about the future. That is until they started becoming too big of a burden to carry.
Now, I get to come here everyday and talk to y’all before any of the chaos of my life (that comes with having a husband, 3 kids, and a dog) takes over. I get to sit down with my cup of coffee and contemplate life with you fine people each and every day.
So yes, a whole year is a big deal for me! Hopefully, there will be many more to come!
I don’t know about you, but I thank God every day that my life is drastically different than it was in the past. I’m not saying that this is something self-promoting and I’m awesome for realizing what a disaster my life used to be. Just simply stating how grateful I am to not have to live that kind of lifestyle any more.
“What kind of lifestyle?” you ask. Let me paint you a little picture.
Several years ago, almost 4 to be exact, I was living a life of total chaos, only I didn’t realize it until the ticking time bomb was ready to detonate right in front of my face. My marriage was collapsing right in front of me, I was binge drinking on the weekends to drown my sorrows, I wasn’t getting where I wanted to be with my career, I was dying inside emotionally from the passive-aggressive/co-dependent relationship I had created and encouraged with my husband, and I was just downright unhappy with where my future was headed.
Needless to say, I wasn’t happy with myself or where my future was headed. I needed to make a change. I had spent so long trying to change everyone else around me – my husband, my parents pending separation and divorce, and even the uncontrollable situations at work – that I forgot I’m only in control of myself. Realizing only I can make changes in my life, I finally felt that time had come.
I’m happy to report that today our marriage is solid and strong with a foundation we tore down and rebuilt ourselves from the ground up. We are different people today than we would have been had we not decided to drastically change our lives. I quit my job that was ultimately toxic and very hazardous to my life and my marriage. We made a fresh start in a new community and continue to keep growing and improving ourselves.
What’s your story? How are you different today than you were 5 years ago? 10 years ago?