Good morrow Sober Truth Seekers! Three headlines from The Sober Garden:
- I haven’t drank alcohol for a year and nearly three whole months;
- I’m still scrabbling around trying to find time to Do It All;
- the daffodils are out and smelling sweet.
Striving to Do It All. It’s futile, I know. Why, oh why, does one persist with it? A couple of days ago I was poolside waiting for my daughter to finish her swimming class. Strategically placed next to a vending machine selling flourescent energy drinks and over-priced chocolate was an advertising stand flaunting a ‘join our gym’ banner. The words on it read,
” There are 1,440 minutes in every day. You only need 30 for a great work out.”
These words struck me. So much so, that I put my Sudoku book down and jotted them down. (Sudoku is my new addiction and proof that I am middle-aged.) I announce to whomever’s in earshot at least twice a day that I don’t have enough time or that there are not enough hours in the day. But there are 1, 440 minutes in every day and you only need 30 for a great work out; the banner told me so it must be true. Two things seem relevant here. Firstly, if you want to do something, you have to be willing to do it. As Primrose from Taking A New Path so succinctly put it in a recent post, we’re talking about doing and doing all that it takes to do what you want you to do. Willingness with action; willing and able. Blood, sweat, tears and tantrums – if you need to do something badly enough you will find a way. (A nod here to those of you reading this who are, or want to be, sober. Sobriety takes a whole load of willingness so you know exactly what I’m talking about.) I want to get fit. But actually, I don’t want it enough because the banner tells me all I need to find is 30 minutes out of a daily 1,440 to workout – and I don’t find them because truth be told I’m not willing enough to find them.
Secondly, when setting out to do something, whatever it may be – decorating the kitchen, running a marathon, writing a book, tidying the house, quitting booze – the goal is not achieved in one gigantic step. Every second, every stumbling step counts. Staying in the moment with focus and purpose is what matters. Thinking of an end result, the huge finished, glossy picture is too overwhelming and too much to stomach. I want us to have a family holiday. Cut to me sobbing over the fact that we don’t earn enough to pay for one out right, we can’t afford time off work to go away, we can’t do it right this instant, this summer, this year. But if we ‘put away’ £5 a week specifically for a holiday, then in time, however long it took (and yes, it would be years of saving), we could do it. I wanted to get sober. The only way to do it without freaking the hell out (and it took me a loooooong time to figure this out), was to take it minute by minute, choosing not to drink at that moment. And now I’m sober, it doesn’t finish there. It’s not a case of , ‘goal achieved, end of’. Recovery is ongoing. Staying sober takes willingness and focus, not in the white-knuckled, pacing the floor, second by second way that early sobriety demands but real committment all the same.
Whatever it is we want to do, we can do it. With willingness anything is possible, it has to be the key.
Meanwhile…the daffodils are out and smell of Spring. That, my friends, is good news.
Love from The Sober Garden x.