The best thing about constantly looking for positive things in your life, is that more positive things tend to appear.
It’s not a coincidence, it’s science.
A fantastic book by Shawn Achor, The Happiness Advantage, says that we can train our brains to scan the world for positive stuff. And the happier we are, the happier we become. And as our happiness increases, the world and all it’s opportunities open up.
It happened as I wrote these posts.
The more positive things I listed about sobriety – the more I thought of.
Here are my next twenty:
#61 I am a Sober Foodie
I always loved food, but mainly because it gave me an excuse to drink. All that “wine pairing”. Now I love food because of food – and I can remember eating it!
#62 Self Care not Self Indulgence
Self care is essential. It means far more than spas and “me” time. Sometimes, it can mean discipline, and steeling myself to do things that I don’t want to do – for the greater good.
#63 I pay Bills on time
i used to let this slide. I would lose bills in piles of paperwork, and pay them late, or when the final demand arrived. So some reason, it was always easier to open a bottle of wine, than spend a few minutes sorting out payments
#64 I am in Less Debt
A consequence of not spending thousands of dollars on wine, and not paying late fees, has meant that I am (slowly) digging myself out of a debt hole.
#65. I set small Daily Goals
Forward progress! i set small goals to kept my momentum going forward. I now know that I am prone to letting the small stuff slide, which then snowballs into big stuff, which then results in a big pile of (preventable) stress. So my daily goals always include something that I don’t particularly want to do.
#66 I am less Fearful
Procrastination is often a symptom of fear. Pushing myself to deal with stuff head-on has been a revelation. Things are NEVER as bad as my imagination suggests. Knowing this mean that I less with less fear and worry. Which means that “taking the edge off” is not necessary!
#67 I am More Productive
In every area of my life, I am more productive. This is related to the reduction in fear, because I now am working in areas that I always want to explore, but was always too afraid to try. I ended up feeling like a square peg in a round hole for many years, and that (partly) lead to drinking to numb out that feeling of…”is this it?”
#68 My life has more colour
Literally! I used to wear a lot of beige and black. And I used to decorate my home in the same non colours. I was always trying to not attract attention. Now I wear colour! I splash colour over my home!
#69 I own up to mistakes.
I used to think that making mistakes meant that I was a bad person. So I would try to cover them up, or blame someone else. If I screw up, I own it and more on. And now my mental load is a lot lighter..which means…you guessed it..
#70 I am not satisfied to “settle”
I deserve not to settle. Life is too short to settle. I am not settling for a life of chardonnay on the couch. And I didn’t quit to NOT make the most of every day of my life.
#71 I am less cynical
Jaded cynicism was a “blanket” I wore at all times. It conveniently “protected” me from any kind of self-awareness. Rejecting all overtures of friendship, help and love with cynicism, meant that no-one could get near me or my secret self loathing.
#72 I love to Learn
If I’m curious about something – i learn about it! I always thought that learning something required a purpose. Either you HAD to learn it, or there was some financial gain from acquiring new knowledge. Turns out that the process itself, is reason enough to learn new stuff.
#73 I write everyday.
Blogging and journaling has become my therapy. Blogging connects me with people, my “tribe” and my private journal is my release. I’ve also started writing fiction. It’s my “flow and focus” in the same ways as gardening. It started as a sober strategy, now it’s a LIFE strategy.
#74 I am more Enthusiastic.
My life used to revolve around drinking. I was either already drinking or waiting to drink. Any suggestion to do an activity that interfered with drinking…well, I was less than enthused. Now, I am enthusiastic. Going for a hike? Why not? A road trip to the beach? let’s go!
#75 I Speak up on behalf of Other People.
I was the kind of person who “didn’t want to get involved”. I would try not to make eye contact, or cross over the other side of the street (literally and metaphorically) rather than stand up for someone in a vulnerable situation. I am braver now. I speak my mind.
#76 I am more in control while simultaneously understanding that most things are out of my control
I am in control of myself. I have stopped trying to control over people and situations. I know that it is futile, a waste of energy, and I do best when I stay in “my lane”
#77. I have stopped striving for Perfection
I am not perfect. FAR from perfect. Like everyone else I am flawed. And that’s OK. I don’t have to be thinner, smarter, richer or more “important” to do good, or contribute or achieve. I am enough.
#78. I have stopped comparing myself to other people
I am enough. That’s one reason for less “comparison-itis”. The other reason is that I don’t know what’s going on in other people’s lives. After all, I spent many years trying to float like a calm duck on the surface of life, while my legs were frantically kicking to keep my afloat.
#79 I finish stuff.
My house used to be a shrine to started projects. It was overwhelming, and I spend hours trying to avoid the half decorated bedroom, or pile of fabric that some day would be curtains – and finally finished stuff.
#80 I have a better understanding of addiction.
Because I used to be addicted, right? But even when I was pounding back the wine, I still felt the flutter of disgust when it can to people who were addicted to drugs, or even booze.
Nobody starts their life intending to be addicted to anything. It happens in a variety of ways. I hate addiction and what it can do to people. But It should not define people. People are NOT their addictions.
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