These blog posts document my journey of abstaining from alcohol for a year with the help of the One Year No Beer program. Please feel free to comment because I know there are others that could benefit from hearing your voice as well. I would be thrilled if we could be on this journey together. I started this blog about 60 days in the challenge, so there’s plenty of time for us to be goal friends.
Sprints 10-14: February 25, 2022- May 5, 2022
If you’ve been following this blog series, you may be shocked to see the massive chunk of time that will be covered by this blog. Although I have continued to abstain from alcohol and have been doing the daily reflections, I fell off on blogging daily about my reflections. The mixture of work, home-life, pregnancy, and fatigue got the best of me. I had time to reflect personally, but was way too spent to blog. Thus, this is a collection of the entries I was able to complete. I have decided that I would take a break from blogging in Sprint 15 and come back strong for Sprint 16. I have thought of some benefits to this gap. First, my blogs will now be more aligned with current events instead of reflections made 60 or more days ago. Next, I hope this makes you more hungry to look into the program yourself since some of the content is missing. I assure you that there were many good topics and suggestions in the inspirations that weren’t blogged; some that have made differences in my journey and prospective.
Today’s inspiration was about reflecting on what I’ve overcome while on this journey. Mentally, I’ve overcome temptation, negative thoughts about myself, negatives thoughts about how this would turn out, and doubts about whether this was worth pushing through. In terms of events, I’ve overcome weddings, chef’s tables, dinners with friends, theme park festivals, and vacations. I totally impressed myself with my ability to stay strong during those events that were synonymous with drinking alcohol. In terms of life events, I’ve overcome health issues, health issues in my loved ones, deaths of family friends, loss of friends, and the deaths of family members. Yet again, these are events that would have caused me to drink to de-stress. Nevertheless, I’ve been so blessed and grateful to have been able to cope without numbing. I’ve been through a lot and I’m thankful that this program opened my eyes to the fact that I am an overcomer.
Today’s inspiration was about separating my goals list into a wish list and project list. I did a lot of this work during the Mastermind program. Currently, my goals list is in a state of disarray from my pregnancy. I found out I was pregnant at day 88 of this program and I’m currently 11 weeks. Given that I still need to figure out my new goals, I want to share a conversation I had today. A friend asked me how this program was going and wondered if it mattered while I was pregnant. It absolutely matters. For all our my previous pregnancies I spent so much time thinking about the next time I’d get to enjoy a drink. It was to the point that I brewed a beer in honor of each baby. I would even have a few sips, literally 1-2. However, no part of my pregnancies felt sober. My mindset was that I was on a temporary break with the intentions of letting it all loose once it was safe for me and the baby. Now, I don’t think that way. This may tie into today’s inspiration. My goal is no longer to have a party when I am able to drink again. My goal is to do what I can to have a healthy pregnancy. That was the goal before, but it feels great not having the background noise of planning drinks to “celebrate” when the baby is delivered and weaned.
Today’s inspiration was about mindfulness on the go. The inspiration encouraged me to be mindful in the moment throughout the day by examining how times my belly rises and falls as I breath. This made me think about how I wasn’t giving myself credit for the mindfulness activities that I do most days. I’ve totally dismissed the sleepcasts that I do on Headspace. Before each sleepcasts story, there’s a winddown and those winddowns implement some mindfulness technique. So, in theory, I have a regular practice of mindfulness. Saying this feels much better and encouraging than me affirming that I’m bad at meditation or will never catch on. I think a lot of things in life are like this. Recognizing the small gains and the ways in which I am changing will be invaluable to me growing into a better version of myself. So from now on, I will think of myself as a meditator and act accordingly.
Today’s inspiration was about not being the person that says , “I could have made it.” “Making it” is relative, but I feel fortunate to have come this far. I’m thankful for making the life change I needed to be a better version of myself. My clarity of mind makes me confident that I can and will do the things I want to do in life. I feel empowered. Even if something doesn’t pan out, I have the strength and knowledge to know that it was something I chose. It’s freeing to not live in should haves, could haves, and would haves. I’m not a super hero all of a sudden, but I have peace with knowing that I’m tapping into my potential more than ever before.
Today’s inspiration paralleled being alcohol free to being limitless. They referenced the movie “Limitless” and how a pill gave Bradley Cooper’s character immense attributes for success. The inspiration wanted me to reflect on how being alcohol free was similar to taking that pill. Since going on this journey, I have felt more healthy, had a clearer mind, and had more time and perspective to get things done. With my limitless drive, I am going to catch up on blogging. The Academy Awards are coming up this weekend and I’ve been working on a piece about “Encanto,” an animated movie that was nominated for Best Animated Movie. Finishing this post would be timely and fun. It would also give me the boost I need to catch up on other things.
Today’s inspiration was about getting a glimpse into paradise through mindfulness. I read the blog attached to the inspiration and it highlighted how it’s important to slow down and live in the present. The writer told how he found mindfulness invaluable during walks. I’m not commuting anymore, but it would be interested exercising this type of mindfulness while in the passenger seat of cars. It could be a cool exercise to devote 10 minutes of being a car passenger to mindfulness. The writer said he saw all types of birds. I wondered how much I could learn about my community. I scheduled a chiropractor appointment today and they mentioned being next door to a popular restaurant. I had no idea they were there. Maybe mindfulness can be the key to opening my eyes to my new stomping grounds. Time to wake up and smell the roses.
Today’s inspiration was about the metaphor of the blue sky. When we meditate we may have clouds of emotion, but behind it there is clarity, the blue sky. I love the song “Mr. Blue Sky.” This inspiration challenges that song in that it reminds me that the blue sky is always here.
On a different note, I had alcohol last night. I always wondered how you could drink alcohol by mistake. Yesterday, that very thing happened. I ordered a mocktail version of a drink and got the alcoholic version. I took one sip and knew something was wrong. It was frustrating because I’m on the challenge and pregnant. They later brought me the drink I requested and it was better. It was better for me. Even after one sip of the previous cocktail, I felt my stomach bubbling and slightly off. Recently, I’ve thought about going back to drinking after the challenge was over. I’ve had thoughts that I would prefer moderation. I’ve also meet more people that took a year or more from alcohol and felt the break helped them drink the way the wanted. After the sip, I’m on the fence again. There wasn’t a great benefit to the alcoholic cocktail. Alcohol had a specific taste, but it didn’t seem worth it. I didn’t take another sip. I didn’t feel like I missed anything. There’s a course I received with the Mastermind program about moderation. This might be a good program to start given recent events and my thoughts about what I’d do at the end of this challenge.
Today’s inspiration was about how vitality makes a difference. Earlier in the alcohol free journey, I could definitely appreciate this as I started to feel more alive. Now, months pregnant, I feel like the vitality has been sucked out of me. Nevertheless, is see this as a challenge to build habits and mindsets that will body my vitality during this physically, mentally, and emotionally draining time. If these habits carry through beyond the pregnancy, I’ll likely be unstoppable and have a new kind of glow.
P.S I’m also halfway through this challenge!!! Woo hoo!!! Time to celebrate. Who am I kidding? It’s always time to celebrate.
Today’s inspiration was about the maxim, ” Don’t wait, meditate.” Ironically, they meant this literally. The charge was to use time of waiting into time of meditation. For example, instead of playing games on my phone or scrolling social media, I could meditate instead. Part of me wonders how this looks in public. I think I still put up unnecessary stipulations to mindfulness and meditation. This turns into avoidance and meditation not happening. My go-to meditation is the body scan because I done it enough that I don’t need a guide. It would be interested to incorporate a body scan while I’m waiting; especially since in don’t like waiting.
Today’s inspiration was about the early morning hours making a difference. I can attest that I am much more able to wake up earlier now that I don’t drink alcohol. It does make a difference. However, I can’t say that I’ve taken more advantage of the extra time. I wake up early for work, but I wouldn’t say I have a healthy morning routine. The inspiration encouraged me to read “The Morning Miracle.” Like with most recent reading assignments, I’ve turned to Blinkist to get the highlights. I was first confronted with my habit of hitting the snooze button. I have it so engrained that I set multiple alarms 5 minutes apart so I have default snoozes. Apparently, hitting the snooze button sets the tone. It’s time to set the alarm and place it across the room. I was also confronted with my attitude about sleep. I have constant fear about not getting enough sleep. Who knew I was mentally setting myself up for a wack morning. I should start looking forward to the new day! I also like that the book and inspiration gave suggestions for when I don’t have time to wake up early. I can wake up at least 7 minutes ahead of time to set aside time for meditation, prayer, positive affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading or writing. I’ve decided that I’ll wake up at least 7 minutes earlier tomorrow will the mindset that it’s going to be a great day. Being tired today doesn’t equal being tired tomorrow!
Today’s inspiration was about listing three things that I’m thankful for.
1. A Home
3. No acute or life threatening medical issues
Today’s inspiration was about the importance of focusing on one thing at a time. Essentially, multitasking is a farce. Doing more things at once ends up being doing more things sub-optimally. This makes me think about my journey to being a Polygot. Yes, it’s still a goal. I believe speaking to someone in their language and embracing another person’s culture is so amazing. I originally had these dreams of grandeur where I would learn 5 languages at once. I had a review app and would do a little each day. Not only was I not getting anywhere in any one language, but my passion for learning each language dwindled. Recently, I’ve been concentrating on Spanish. I’ve found it to be much more enjoyable to learn about the culture and get excited about learning the language as opposed to shoving random language nuggets down my throat. It’s important to give certain things your undivided attention for mastery. It puts in perspective that you can have everything, just not at the same time.
Today’s inspiration was about uncovering my optimal amount of sleep. Most people are between 7 and 9 hours. Ironically, I did this exercise last night. I had the day off and set my alarm 10 hours later. I had a meeting I needed to make, but I also wanted to see what it would be like to get all the sleep I wanted or needed. I woke up 7 hours later. I can’t say I felt great, but I felt like I couldn’t sleep anymore and it was time to start my day. I wonder if better sleep hygiene helps for people that have the right amount of sleep, but don’t feel like the sleep was life-changing.
If you want more information about the One Year No Beer program. Check out this LINK. I strongly recommend this program if you question your relationship with beer. Even if you’re doing a “dry” month, it could be helpful for you to meet your goal.