Wednesday, November 26, 2014
It's Thanksgiving time, and although I thank God daily for all my blessings, this is a special time to remember what we are grateful for. I am immeasurable grateful to God for my wonderful LIFE, because:
"I'm on a perpetual vacation" !
I'm retired from the medical field and live ON the Gulf of Mexico in Florida with the love of my life, Johnny.
I frequently walk the 3/4 mile down to the beach and sit on the two-person wooden swing and watch the sun sink down into the water. One time a nice middle aged lady sat down with me and we began to chat. She was here on business for a week, setting up the computers at a new local bank in our little town on a big highway. She exclaimed at how beautiful the sunset was. She remarked that people come from all over the world to vacation here in Florida and asked where "I" was from. I said, "I live HERE, right down the street. I've been in Florida for over 30 years."
And I don't have a job. Yes, it's true. I'm on a Perpetual Vacation in Florida. Life doesn't get better than that.
Recently a friend asked if I had a "bucket list". No, I really don't. I'm living my dream right now. My favorite thing to do in the entire world is "hang-out" with my sweetheart, listening to music and talking for hours. It's always like we're on a "date", getting to know each other, sharing our lives, talking about our kids, remembering happy times we've spent together over the past 8 years. We love each other so much. We have a beautiful life together.
We love to decorate our apartment. I picked out the colors; the landlords paid for the paint; and Johnny repainted the entire apartment. We have loads of "trim" and he taped EVERYTHING and made perfectly straight lines. He did an excellent job. We're constantly acquiring new (used) furniture and rearranging. We both like a clean, neat environment and I actually enjoy straightening up and cleaning.
We have 4 pets that keep us entertained. Jasmine our 1/2 Sheltie keeps me quite busy as I need to take her out 3 times a day on a leash. Zeppelin our tiger-striped kitty cat (named after Johnny's favorite band) never grew up, as he was neutered young, and loves to play "fetch" with his little stuffed mouse. I never knew cats would actually play "fetch" (better than a dog). Metallica, our bright blue parakeet, really starts singing when Johnny plays his Metallica CD's. And then there's MUSE, my blue Siamese Fighting Fish (Beta). My son bought him for me, and I've managed to keep him swimming for almost 2 years now.
My two grown-up sons and my daughter-in-law visit me once a month when I prepare a special dinner (at lunchtime). I really love to cook - my favorite hobby. And they love to EAT. So we always have a great time.
Over the past 2 years with SparkPeople, I lost 40 pounds. Unfortunately I regained 15 and I'm now working on losing it again. I have to avoid alcohol in order to lose weight, and today I'm on day 26 alcohol-free. I was AF 107 days over the holidays last year. This time I feel there is no END. This needs to be a life-changing decision, for the rest of my life. But that scares me, so I try not to dwell on it, and just take "one day at a time": no alcohol for TODAY. As Jesus said in Matthew 6: 34 "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
So I lead a quiet simple life. Our patio is on a canal than leads directly to the Gulf. You can see the Gulf at the end of it. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else in the entire world. When we win the lottery (not IF but WHEN), we're going to buy a house on the water right here in this area.
I have my sweetheart, my terrific sons, our pets, my wonderful mother, a beautiful apartment on the water, and we're on a perpetual vacation. Life doesn't get better than that.
I am SO GRATEFUL TO GOD for my life ! THANK YOU, FATHER !
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Take time to pray . . . it helps to bring God near and washes the dust of earth from your eyes.
Take time for friends . . . they are the source of happiness.
Take time for work . . . it is the price of success.
Take time to think . . . it is the source of power.
Take time to read . . . it is the foundation of knowledge.
Take time to laugh . . . it is the singing that helps with life's loads.
Take time to love . . . it is the one sacrament of life.
Take time to dream . . . it hitches the soul to the stars.
Take time to play . . . it is the secret of youth.
Take time to worship . . . it is the highway to reverence .
Friday, November 14, 2014
I've heard for many years of the acronym, HALT, when you're tempted to have a drink.
It stands for Hungry - Angry - Loneliness - Tired
When you want a drink, you're supposed to stop and ask yourself if that urge is really one of these things, and then satisfy that need in a healthier way. It works for some people. But for me - these things aren't what tempt me to have a drink. I've come up with a few other words that I can relate to better:
l. "H" for me is for "Happy"
I'm a very happy person. I always want to celebrate something. Not only all the holidays, and birthdays, but paydays, and "date nights" with my sweetie, and visits with friends, or a meal at a restaurant, or a special purchase delivered to my door. You name it. I want to mark the occasion and enjoy the "good times". And I've come to believe that every occasion needs to have an alcoholic beverage.
My sweetie and I are going on a picnic at the beach - I want to bring along a bottle of wine and two wine glasses. We're having a Bar-B-Que on our patio - I want to have cold beer in a bottle. It's Cinco de Mayo - let's have margaritas. It's New Year's Eve - got to have champagne or Asti Spumante. What is Christmas Eve without Egg Nog ? You get the idea.
A new friend, BEECEE39, turned me on to a great "mocktail": Seltzer water or Club Soda with a splash of Cranberry Juice in a tall tumbler. I added a wedge of lime. It looks so festive and pretty and it's not "too sweet", but cold and refreshing. I love it. It's going to be my new "go to" beverage. I don't need alcohol. I can celebrate anything with my new "Cranberry Fizz".
2. "A" is for - "ANXIETY"
Dr Phil says that "anger" is usually really "hurt" or "frustration". That is so true for me. I don't think that I experience "anger" very often. But "anxiety" - I have that all the time, so I'm going to use the "A" for that.
I have an over-active adrenal gland, and frequently have way too much adrenaline surging through my body. I can feel it. If someone says something upsetting to me - I feel a wave of adrenaline through my stomach as if I just headed down on a roller coaster. Often for no apparent reason, I have "heart palpitations" or a pounding heart that feels like anxiety. I want to have a drink to "calm down" my racing heart. I've been on a 24 hours heart monitor and my heart is healthy. It's just that darn adrenaline which I interpret as "anxiety".
So if my urge to drink is really "anxiety" (heart palpitations), I'm going to take a nap, take a bubble bath, or take a walk. One of those three should relax me and slow down my heart rate. (Caffeine has a lot to do with it as well, so I really need to eliminate that.)
3. "L" is for "Lounging Around"
I have a wonderful sweetheart and we're together almost 24/7 (which we love) so I'm rarely "lonely". But since we are retired, I have tons of free time, and spend a lot of time just "lounging around". A nice beverage with a good movie is a nice way to pass the time. Or when one of our favorite TV shows comes on, I'd love to mix a drink to enjoy while we watch it. And then there's all the time I spend on the computer, especially late at night if my sweetie goes to bed early. I love to have a drink to relax me and make me sleepy enough to go to bed. Sometimes we play music on YouTube for hours, and Johnny is always drinking. I want one too, of course.
Lately I've been getting in the habit of having just ice water to sip while we "lounge around". Now I'm going to try the "Cranberry Fizz". I can have just as good of a time WITHOUT the alcohol, (and remember it).
"T" is for "Triggers"
There are also other times and things, that especially "trigger" the urge to have a drink. One of those is after making love. I've never smoked, but I understand a lot of smokers really want to "light up" after sex. Well, during "after-glow", I usually have an urge to have a drink. I've tried drinking a large glass of cold water afterwards - and that has usually done the trick to get past the urge. I think I'm really just thirsty.
Another time is when friends have dropped by to hang out and visit. They bring along alcohol to share, and not only are they drinking in front of me, but the alcohol is FREE. We've told one couple that they definitely cannot bring hard liquor over to our place ever again. If they visit - they can only bring beer. One time a neighbor offered us a free bottle of tequila. It was just a gift. I really had to be strong to say "No, thanks" to her. I can resist going to the liquor store to buy something, but when it's delivered free to our door, it is REALLY difficult to resist.
So that's HALT for me: HAPPY, ANXIOUS, LOUNGING AROUND, or TRIGGERED
When I get an urge to have a drink, I'm going to ask myself if it is really one of these occasions. And then I'll take steps to act accordingly. Alcohol can no longer be the "answer" for me. I can't stop after "one" or "two" - so don't even get started. No more.
Tuesday, November 04, 2014
Here it is: My New Vision Board which reads "ALCOHOL - FREE"
I want to remain "positive" about my new status in life. I've got lots of positive words to reminds me of the benefits of being alcohol-free which include:
I love the photo of the girl - she looks so healthy and happy.
I have lots of pink hearts and sparkles.
This new vision board just makes me SMILE when I look at it.
The KEY phrase is "Stay Positive - See Results"
That's so true isn't it ! ?
ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING
Every day that I remain "Alcohol-free" I get healthier and therefore, happier.
I'm feeling good.
I'm gettier healthier.
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