Being Intentional

I was in the middle of Saturday housework. Literally half-way through vacuuming when it hit me. I need to be more intentional. My goal to “Change Course Now” needs to be more than counting the days of sobriety. More than blogging and commenting and attending meetings and being all proud of myself. It’s more than filling my newly acquired sober time with piano and acrylics and new knitting stitches. Even more than deciding what fruit to put in my Pellegrino water. All of that is important, but now at 251 days, I need to know what my next step is.

It was a result of a phone call from my daughters on Valentine’s Day.  My two daughters could not be more different from each other. The oldest is 32, divorced from a difficult ex-husband, mother of a ten year-old girl and six year-old boy, working very long hours and living in a newly purchased home near Detroit, Michigan. My youngest daughter is a 30 year-old, newly married to a darling husband, living in Atlanta, both with great jobs, no children, traveling whenever they want, having the time of their lives. She is a 7 year cancer survivor and loves every day of her life.

But she called her older sister on Thursday night and poured out her heart for an hour and a half, apologizing for not being more present in her life, for not being a good auntie, and being selfish with her time. Detroit sister was stunned and immediately called me to tell me the whole wonderful story.

So…that’s probably more than you needed to know, but it is the background to my epiphany while vacuuming this morning. I am just as selfish with my time as Atlanta daughter. I don’t put myself out for anyone. It’s just all about me. And that has to stop right here.

I remember year after year asking God to help me to quit drinking. Well, He directed me to the blogs that directed me to sobriety. I’m sure He’s just sitting up there waiting to see if I’m going to come through with all of those promises I made to Him. Was I going to come back to church on Sunday mornings? Was I going to find ways to help others in the community? Was I going to be a better wife, mother, daughter, grandmother, friend, neighbor? ( I’m sure I promised all of those things in my stupor). Or was I going to sit on my butt and check my phone app to see how many days I’ve acquired (251 today by the way).

He gave me a nudge while I was pushing my Dyson around. I felt it. I’m listening. I need to fill this new sober time with constructive activities that will touch others. I need to make some scones for the neighbor who is home with sick children this week. I need to do some “Facetime” with my grandchildren and ask them to read me a book. I need write to the friends I’ve made around the country on real stationery. I need to be more intentional. God gave me this opportunity.

But first I have to go finish vacuuming.



7 thoughts on “Being Intentional

  1. Beautiful post but don’t forget to have some me time. I’m so consumed with grandchildren running my life that I stop now and then and say it’s ME time. But, I figure that’s my calling, to help out by caring for grandchildren or he wouldn’t have kept us all in the same area. But I do love that ME time with a tub and a book.

  2. Great post! What a wonderful realization. I’m starting to see that the sober life is all about balance. Putting yourself out there and reaching out/ doing things for others is a fantastic idea. It’s also important to remember that it is only really possible because you are sober. If you forget about that and spend too much time on others and not yourself things could get messy.

    I’ve found that out the hard way in the last few months, replacing recovery (meetings, phone calls, etc) with a third job and volunteer projects, and I’m starting to feel “sick.”

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. You sound so much like me. I am a 55year empty nester. one and a half years sober, thanks to Unpickled. I have just retired and have now become a caring loving grandmother, mother, wife, daughter (to a father with dementia) and am now ultra reliable. I am the one who can get in the car day or night to help out. I am loving the self control more than anything. I managed to build up to one bottle a night of red wine. I started drinking aged 14 and apart from pregnancies have been a daily drinker since my thirties. I have paper work that I found recently that was covered in spilt red wine.I will no throw it out as a reminder of the dark days. I would hide a big mug of red wine behind the computer as I tried to manage the finances. So many stained mugs under desks, behind sofas etc. Hearing my husband drive in to the garage the mug would be hidden and my husband would give me that look of disgust as I slurred my words. He was fed up, I was embarrassed and I knew it was becoming a downward spiral. I gave up early January 2013. I haven’t touched a drop. I can do it. It is for life no matter what happens.

    • Thanks for your comment. Such a similar story. I was a hider as well. Always terrified that my husband would catch me. Felt so ridiculous – in my late 50’s – hiding wine from my husband. Whew…glad that’s over! I also began this journey with Unpickled. So happy for you and your new life. Congratulations!

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