Life on the Wagon: the Quest for Peace

Hello, friends. Last weekend, my husband and I attended a fundraiser ball. The entrance fee included two drink tickets. Guess what? Non-alcoholic drinks don't count! So, my husband could have had four drinks for "free", using my two tickets. Of course, one and a half was enough for him, for the whole night, but that's just him!

There is actually no real problem at these kinds of events, because you saddle right up to the bar and watch the bartenders make your drink! Much better than at a restaurant, where you must trust the bartender to make the drink you want (see my earlier post - Rage: I Drank Alcohol!).

I looked at the options set out before me and picked a sugary drink to start: tonic water with grapefruit juice. "You sure you don't mean seltzer or soda water with grapefruit juice," the bartender asked. Yup, I said. It was delicious. I switched to seltzer and lime later in the evening.

Later, as I surveyed the dance floor, I did think that perhaps …

Rage: I drank alcohol!

Ah well, only hours after my peaceful post about Lent, I found myself fighting rage. Why? Because some other human made a mistake, and I felt vulnerable.

I took my husband out to a fine, upscale Afghan restaurant for his birthday. So far so good. This place is wonderful.

We had a young, white, female waitress. She arrived with a huge wine and bar list. I asked for a mocktail list. She said they didn't have one, but that the bartender was very good at making alcohol free cocktails, such as cosmos and dacquiri's. I said ok, but let him know it would be great if they created a mocktail list. (This is my "campaign" and I ask for it at every restaurant I go to...)

She returned to the table and I asked for a fruity drink with lots of seltzer in a tall glass that I could enjoy all evening. J(ust like what I have at home.)

She brought it to me. The glass was not tall at all, but at least it had ice and didn't look like a martini.

I had three sips. I noticed it tasted med…


Lent is such a beautiful time of year. To me, it involves making extra time for prayer and contemplation, and seeking out new spiritual guidance, and returning to old spiritual friends (like favorite spiritual authors). I enjoy finding the extra peace in each day. I have set up two places in my house for prayer and contemplation. I have developed new meditations to enjoy throughout the day.

God is the life force that flows through my being and gives me my being. Everything I am that is good comes from nurturing, cultivating and paying attention to the source of goodness within me: God. I am good when I remember  that God dwells within each of my fellow humans, and when I look for Him there. Yes, within each of us.

It is so easy to feel as if I can see the imperfections and emotional struggles of others perfectly. At times like this (Lent), I remember that my calling is to see the beauty and the soul of others around me. God dwells in each of us.

God is present in our struggles.  God i…

A visit to a Muslim country

Hello - I am back from a two week vacation in a warm Muslim/Arab country. It was fascinating and husband and I visited a 9th century mosque and the imam took my hands into his, and holding me close, he said: "There is one God; Christian, Jewish, Muslim; there is one God, and God is love."

It was beautiful and deeply touching. I felt he wanted me to take his message back to America. So here I have....

Muslims often abstain from alcohol. This was great. They have so many wonderful alcohol free drinks. Fabulous! The lemons were almost like limes and there was a drink made with lemons, fresh mint, sugar and ice that was out of this world! And hibiscus tea is so divine, hot or cold. Cold, it is mixed with sparkling water and lime.

Being "off line" and away from it all, and immersed in a new culture and new people for two weeks was energizing and inspiring.  I do know how very lucky I am to have been able to make this trip.  A trip of a lifetime.

I just re…

Choose your words

Those of us who are parents know all about teaching our children to "choose your words." Words are so powerful. Words really do hurt. Or heal. Send us down, or send us up. How are you talking to yourself?  Do you catch yourself hurting yourself? I do. How do you respond?

I try to respond to myself as a loving parent would (for me, that is a loving God; but a loving parent image works). If I need it, I console myself. And I redirect myself.

Goodness, that is just plain old fashioned good parenting, isn't it? I continue to be amazed at how many skills we already have to help us with our alcohol free life. It is true isn't it?

I am changing the words I use. I am really working on this. I am working at substitution: for example, if I think to myself that I am having a wine craving, I tell myself that in fact it is just a sugar craving.

Here at day 96, I am moving ahead...and I have sugar cravings. I meet the sugar craving -- increasingly in a healthy way and forget about…

Are you a giver?

So many of us are "givers" -- we are moms, we are generous, we go out on a limb for others, we are givers...For me, sometimes when I feel as if I have completely depleted myself, I think: I deserve a drink!

Today I was at an event all afternoon and I found myself working hard to help a younger person in my field to find his way, make the connections that he needs to succeed. Why? Because this is what I do. I love my work: i feel fully alive when I can forget about myself and just throw myself into helping others.

I recently read that extroverts feel energized by interacting with others, while introverts feel drained. By that measure, I am an introvert. It drains me. But I certainly appear as a dynamic, engaged professional. 

At the end of this event today, I was drained. Empty. Nothing left to give.

In the past, I would have gotten home at "wine o"clock" and had a glass of wine on an empty stomach.

Just think about that for a minute. I am empty: tired, hungry,…

Coping: Wine O'Clock, Parties and Family

I am very grateful to all the bloggers and writers who wrote articles and blogs about how to get through the party season. Those articles really helped me.

I realized that three-quarters of the reason why I reached for a glass of wine every night when I got home from work was because I was hungry and tired. So when I quit drinking, I substituted white grape juice or other sugary drinks for the wine. I also allowed myself to have cheese and crackers. Just no wine. Bingo: I had my answer.

I no longer am feeding the same compulsion every night (it is day 90!), but I do think about my "state" and I do take care of myself with food and non-alcoholic drinks more mindfully than before.

So for parties: the same mind set applies.  For my family holiday parties, I just made sure I had sugary drinks on hand, that matched calorie for calorie the wine (sparkling cider, etc.). Actually, at one dinner, I had a wine glass of unsweetened pomegranate juice (or cherry juice, I forget) -- it lo…