Protect Your Sobriety

Every morning I open my eyes, my first thought and words spoken are, “Thank you God for waking me up sober.”

I’ve been thinking about sobriety, which is normal for me this time of year. On November 10th, I’ll be 22 years sober. There’s a twinge of embarrassment when I say that to someone newly sober. They usually ask, “How’d you do it Barb?” I respond with, “With God one day at a time.”

When I was newly sober, my then husband flew me to Canada with him for business. We were to meet his clients at a French restaurant for dinner. I recall walking into our private dining room and seeing the table set with what seemed like a million wine glasses. I was 2 weeks sober.

Photo by Fabio Sangregorio on Unsplash

It broke my heart to take a seat at that table.

My then husband didn’t understand the alcoholic. He thought maybe I’d have a glass of wine and be a part of the evening’s festivities, but when the waiter came to my glass with the bottle, I laid my hand over the top so he wouldn’t pour. He felt my trepidation and took the glass away.

Then I just got angry. Being the lady I am, I sat quietly at the table holding my composure, but wanted to scream. That was the last time I sat at a table like that.

Back then, I looked at drinking as something I couldn’t have and it felt like I was missing out. What I didn’t realize it was actually the beginning of a whole new life.

Almost 22 years later, I’m still thinking about sobriety. It’s not that I can’t drink. I could and the life I have today would quickly dissipate. I’m not willing to let that go. When it comes to one more day sober, here’s your permission slip to choose your table wisely, and protect your sobriety.

Trust Your Crazy

I do some crazy looking stuff.

Like molding butter to fit the butter dish.

Yes, I have a Pioneer Woman Butter Dish, and it’s a little wide for one stick of butter to fill, so I buy a slab of butter. Let it get room temperature, and mold it with my hands to fit the dish. It’s crazy, I know! It takes a bit to get all of the butter off my hands, but it’s worth it.

When I left my marriage, everyone I knew gave me a look, or told me, ‘That’s crazy!” Well, we see how that turned out. I’ve had the most fulfilling years of my life to date. When people heard I moved to a tiny house on 40 acres, with my teenage daughter in tow, it sounded crazy, but there again… Best experience ever!

I have friends who own local shoppes that I love to visit when time permits. It’s a no rush type thing, where we catch up, as I look around. I saw this sign a couple of weeks ago, and it made me smile. I told myself, “Barb. Like, you really need one more sign.” So, I left the shoppe without it, but couldn’t forget about it.

I told myself I’d go back the following weekend, and if it was still there, I’d buy it. Well…

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It makes me smile every time I see it.

Sitting here on this dreary, rainy day, looking back over the last several years, it’s been crazy. It would seem some of the best paths are. That first step is always scary, and some may call it crazy, but from where I sit, it’s an extraordinary life.

I’ll continue to trust my crazy.

It Took Years

I started pondering my front yard after Christmas. Taking the Christmas wreath off the front door, I wondered about having a year round wreath.

Everything is so pretty on Etsy.

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Brickhouse Design Co. made this.

My daughter and I have a french theme sprinkled through the house. The front door is the entryway to our home, and that french theme, so it makes sense.

That door is where this all began.

Today, I’ve been playing in the yard.

This journey with this front yard began with, A Simpler Life. An update to that post is, I found the perfect bird-feeder. It didn’t take much time.

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Vintage Scrolled Birdfeeder.

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About two years ago, I grew Boston Ferns on our front porch per my daughter’s request. That was the first time I had messed with plants in years, beside growing some Canna lilies while living on 40 acres.

You see, my ex husband and I owned a landscape company during the most trying part of our marriage. We designed, planted and built outdoor living spaces in people’s backyards. We installed some magnificent yards, but he practiced on ours.

Toward the end of our marriage we no longer spoke to one another. The yard was his safe haven and he created such beautiful yards, but the well manicured yard left a sore spot in my heart.

When we moved into this house, I completely ignored the yard and let it go. It was an interesting experiment to see what would happen. I’m pretty sure UPS was scared to walk through the yard to the front porch to leave a package. It was a jungle.

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But remember darling…2019 is the year to bloom!

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Vintage Flower Cart

A friend had this lovely flower cart for sale.

It adds to the french theme don’t you think?

Time has passed and my yard heart has healed. I look forward to planning and planting again. A yard that will bring joy to people as they stroll by.

It will look quite different from last year and they will see this transformation after only one year.

You know the whole story my darlings.

For me to love a yard again. It took years.

Single Mom Syndrome

Money is a huge factor for a single Mom.

We often stay in an unhealthy relationship for financial security. That is highly overrated. When you become unhappy enough, you will find a way out. Be ready to walk through some fire though.

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You let go of what you have, to get what you want.

My daughter and I had each other, and that was enough.

Since moving into our new home, people said, “You need to download the Nextdoor app.” I took a look at it, but didn’t like how it showed your address. You can take your house number off, and it reveals only your street. Being a single Mom, try to protect our exact location. The app is a fun way to connect with neighbors, and buy/sell things.

We haven’t bought a piece of furniture in years, but I spent the weekend rearranging our living room. I read articles on ‘How to make the most of small spaces.” Oh yes lovely. The houses we’ve shared since, are less than 1,000 square feet.

A whole new level of togetherness.

When you move into a new home, you sit things where you think they belong. As you settle in, you make it a home. We have been here since January, so it’s time to fine tune it.

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Our new addition, and I’ve been staring at it for days.

I learned the hard way, don’t buy things to add to your life because you like it. It’s no longer just you, it’s all about us.

This piece already had some things going for it.

  1. It is my daughters favorite brand. (Threshold)
  2. It’s a good combination of both of us. She leans toward modern, and sleek. I enjoy wood for warmth.
  3. The price was $40, and it looks brand new.
  4. Finding it on Nextdoor, the local was nearby.

We went to go look at it together. I can tell by her face, if she likes something, or not. She liked it and said, “If it makes you happy, then get it!”

We Always Do

Today is one of those days you just go with the flow of the day itself. My daughter came home yesterday, and will leave tomorrow. She has a busy couple of weeks ahead, thanks to her father, but the last thing I told her lastnight was…

We will get through it. We always do.

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One of my faves taken 9/19/2015.

Hopes and Dreams

Hopes and dreams. Otherwise, our lives merely exist.

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This photo popped up on my Facebook news-feed.

My heart ran as fast as it could into that photo! My life is simple, so skip the fancy couch. A Yoga mat, or pillow will do just fine. The view is what made filled my heart and soul.

To live by the sea is a ‘hope and dream’ of mine.

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God gives revelation in yearly increments.

Once 30 years had passed, I knew my life would change. At the age of 35, my daughter was born, and by 40, my marriage was an unhealthy space for everyone involved. After trying to make it work for 8 more years, God opened a door for us to leave. At 48, my daughter and I began our new life together, with God.

Seeing this quote by Jung stirred up memories. My life continues to change, but is it my life changing, or my soul?  My soul is awake as well. ‘Hope’, is what keeps us here, but ‘Dreams’ are where the soul roams.

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Please Pay Attention

I am guessing when you live in a 1940’s farmhouse, you need to leave the water running with more force so it doesn’t freeze. I left it running slowly lastnight, but awoke to frozen pipes again.

This is really testing my character. Like so many things in life, I know patience and waiting will resolve the issue. The sun is out, and it’s going to be warm today, so we wait. It’s the patience part I’m having to work on this morning. I’m finding gratitude even without water.

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My then husband was very hurt when I left. I refused to live in mediocrity, and I took our daughter with me, so he had a right. After almost four years you would think the hurt would have healed for him, but it hasn’t.

Hurt people will hurt people. Just like the thawing of these frozen pipes, it will take time and patience.

I pray for my ex husbands heart. That God will heal the hurt he carries inside, but it is up to him to receive my prayer, and allow healing to take place. When the time is right, he will heal.

He did something rather sneaky last year, that will effect my new year. Somehow he got ahead paying child support without my realizing it. He bundled some of the payments, where instead of one monthly, he did three at once. Going through breast cancer treatment, I wasn’t paying attention.

In November of 2016, he sent me a text informing me that he was ahead on payments, so I would be without child support for a while in 2017. I didn’t respond. I just sat still until I found peace. He knows this action has the ability to make my life difficult, but I know I’m going to grow through it. God has never let me down, and He’s not going to start with this.

It’s how we react to other people’s pain that fuels the fire, or extinguishes it. I also believe when people do things out of hurt, those things have a way of coming back to bite them.

I am guessing it’s not just me; he does hurtful things in other areas of his life. My daughter has a good heart, and she enjoys doing things that bring people joy.

Our holiday schedule per the divorce allowed me to have her home for Christmas Day. My daughter made a decision to split the day between him and me. She knew it would cause disruption in the plans we had for that day, but everyone was willing to make adjustments.

We knew what she chose to do was good, and from her heart. So, she spent half of Christmas day with me, and drove to her Father’s house that afternoon. He was unaware of her decision, because she wanted it to be a surprise. Well, it was a surprise alright.

She got to his home, and rang the doorbell, and he was completely shocked when he opened the door and saw her standing there. She said, “Merry Christmas Daddy!” He sent me a text that evening, thanking me for allowing her to come. I had nothing to do with it. She makes her own decisions.

I am grateful she makes them from the heart, and they are good. His text went on to say, “It was the nicest thing that has happened to him in a very long while.” I believe we know why.

Keep your side of the street clean, your heart pure, but please pay attention.

Light the Fuses

I woke up this morning pondering how different my life is today, compared to a few years ago.

I believe we all have a beautiful life, filled with God’s goodness. Now, whether or not we can see it, is the question. I couldn’t see mine. The marriage I was in for 25 years, had taken a sharp turn after 15 years. I was sober. By taking the drink away, I was the real me.

Staying for 10 more years was a struggle between where I was, and where I knew I could be.

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Change your thinking and change your life.

I’ve listened to a lot of motivational CD’s over my lifetime. One day, some things I had heard over the years came to the forefront of my mind. Tony Robbins was one of them.

Tony said, “Get disturbed. You’re not going to stand it any longer. What disturbs you in your life? What are you going to do about it today?”

I wasn’t disturbed anymore, even though my life was very disturbing! We become complacent, like it’s okay to live with the hand we are dealt. Well, I’m here to tell you, it’s not okay. I pondered if this was the very best God had planned for me. Where was God?

He was there, watching and waiting.

This was not the life He had planned. This was the life I had created. Then Joyce Meyer’s words came to mind, right after Tony’s. I had heard on one of her CD’s, “Make a decision, so God can get in line and help you.” That was all I needed to hear. I needed to let my disturbing life actually disturb me, and make a decision.

Get disturbed, and make a decision.

I had stopped getting angry. My husband was so angry about everything, you could feel it a mile away. So, I stayed calm because anger fuels more anger. He was miserable too, but didn’t know how to fix it.

I did us both a favor the day I left even though he didn’t see it at first. Sometimes things fall apart completely, so they can fall back together.

I believe we both have a beautiful life today, even though we’re apart. When Tony asked, “What disturbs you in your life?”, it was my whole life. I had to blow it up, and start all over again. It felt like I had lost everything that made life worth living, but I was still standing there, so, what was it time to do?

Get disturbed, make a decision, and light the fuses.

You’re Not Alone

My daughter went to visit a girlfriend Friday evening, and she’s coming home today. I was all alone, but I wasn’t lonely. There is nothing wrong with alone time, and sometimes it’s much needed. We are the only person we actually have in this world, so we need to like us.

I read a comment earlier by a lady on Facebook, and it took me back in time. She has been in an unhappy marriage, for 30 years, and just couldn’t take it anymore. I remember that feeling. Once I made the decision to leave, it was like everything lined up in the Universe, and it all fell into place.

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I believe this Meme to be true.

I couldn’t see any way out of that marriage. All I saw were roadblocks, and impossibilities. I had no money to speak of, and no family to help, but God had a way. The first thing on my list, was to find a place to live. My daughter found a house for rent an hour away from where we lived. It was like the owners were just waiting for us.

We moved in 30 days later, and my daughter and I relearned how to relax, and enjoy life.

That became part of my mission. To show people they can have a beautiful life after 50. I believe some think 50 years old is too late to start over, but it’s not. If anything it’s rather sweet to have all this life experience, and start your life over. I’ve done less stupid things.

Doing what I see possible, hands the baton to God to do the impossible.

Stress is worrying God can’t do His job .

When we depend on Him, and trust His plan, there is no stress. Unless we decide to stress ourselves out with the unknowing of it all. As I was sitting alone yesterday, I reminded myself, everything I need comes from God, not man. He promises to never leaves us, or forsake us, and I believe our part is to never leave Him.

Something else I thought of as I sat alone, was a song by Phillips, Craig and Dean. “You Are God Alone“, is the name of the song. I love the lyrics, and will share some of the with you.

You are not a god
Created by human hands
You are not a god
Dependent on any mortal man
You are not a god
In need of anything we can give
By Your plan, that’s just the way it is

[Chorus]
You are God alone
From before time began
You were on Your throne
Your are God alone
And right now
In the good times and bad
You are on Your throne
You are God alone

From before time began, God was God alone.

He is not in need of anything from us, because He is God. I love the way it says, “That’s just the way it is.” No explanation needed. Even in my alone time, I am not alone.

Fight Against Cancer

In 1999, I joined a liquid nutritional company.

I realized even then, we were not getting everything we need from food, and I was no longer in my invincible 20’s. I was with that company, and enjoyed their products for many years.

When it was time to leave my marriage, I gave up this business to leave. I let it go, but did not enjoy running out of product. This product brought my body up to it’s optimum health, and gave me a feeling of well-being.

Striking out on my own with God, my daughter, and going through an stressful divorce, I really missed that product.

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In March of 2016, a dear friend of mine that I met through this company, contacted me. (God works through people.) My position in the company had expired, but she was offering me to join her, and bring me back in. I had a lump growing in my breast, so it was time for this friendship, and product.

God knew I would need it too, and I rejoined the company in March.

March was when I went to the doctor to confirm the lump. My doctor lined up a series of other doctors for me to meet to receive the medical attention we thought necessary.

It all happened so fast that March was a complete blur to me. Everyone was recommending Chemo, and I was looking at them like they were an alien. I remember telling one doctor, “I have spent half my life pouring health, and good things into my body, and you want to shoot me full of poison?”

It was not pretty, but the cancer was aggressive, so Chemo it was.

This product has been a Godsend. I know it has played a huge part in my well being during Chemo. With my body taking in relative poison, to kill the lump, Body Balance poured in goodness. My energy level, and clarity of mind have improved immensely.

My doctor even told me, “I don’t know what you’re doing, but your blood cell count looks better at the end of Chemo, than at the beginning.” That is not the norm. I give the glory to God and Body Balance.

My friend that reached out to me to rejoin, knows I’m a single Mama, and she can relate to that. She helped educate me about Cancer, and Chemo, and been a huge support.

If you, or someone you love, would like to try a bottle, connect with me at Letitgocoach@gmail.com. It will make a huge difference in their fight against Cancer.

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