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Staying on Schedule with Sobriety

Updated: Jan 26

How sobriety helps you to be more organized...


My two boys have started school and I am currently on a mission to streamline my schedule and have been incorporating several new habits and tactics to keep me on track with my schedule for my work that I do for Sunrise Today and my Art business. With the first full week of school in session, I am not perfect by any means, however, I am about a million times better with organizing my day than I was in my drinking days. It's a work in progress with habits for everyone, however, cultivating habits in sobriety is especially important.


Nurturing new and beneficial habits keeps us on track with our sobriety, and makes us feel secure, and accomplished. I'd say this is one of the best things about sobriety- the reward of a well-lived day and greeting the morning early with a beautiful sunrise.


My number ONE 'why' for getting sober actually was to be more productive with my life plan and I knew drinking was keeping me from at least exploring how successful I could be with my creative career path.


As I approach the 2 year mark on my Sober date, I have come to realize that I am actually able to anticipate triggering moments and situations many days in advance and I noticed this has become something I've done twice in the past month.


My fathers birthday was this past Monday, and my dad had asked if we would come over to their house over the weekend, (on Saturday) for his birthday. Since my mom had made several comments about how we hadn't been over to their condominium complex to swim much over the summer, I felt we needed to go visit~ it was my dads birthday after all.


I stewed about going over to my parents condo from the time he invited us which was Friday during the day, until Saturday. As with many of us who have gone through sobriety, or are attempting to abstain from drinking, family moments can be triggering for an assortment of reasons, and my situation with my parents and their home is no different. Obviously, I don't want to lay out the specifics in a blog post for everyone to read, however, one can just assume that a visit to their place is stressful.


In sobriety however, one good thing that has happened is that I have been able to discuss the stressful atmosphere of my parents home with my brothers as I did last Saturday. My son and I were driving back from our biking practice and I called both of my brothers and we discussed bringing food over to my parents house so that they didn't have to make anything for us. We decided to divide up food assignments and declared a specific time to visit, which made me feel better about visiting since we had a designated time of arrival and there was a specific plan for a meal and a meal time.


Everything was all set up, however, when I got home from a morning errand my dad called me and told me that they weren't ready to have us over to their house. He said that they didn't feel like entertaining, which I found confusing since he had invited us only 24 hours prior. I wondered what had changed. This is the first of many times my dad has cancelled a visit saying that he wanted to postpone until the following weekend, which he has done many times. My family postpones birthday celebrations, and this isn't something that has just happened in their older years.


While relieved that we didn't have to go to my parents, I started anticipating the following weekend, pondered the schedule, and discussed the details with my husband. We had been totally free last Saturday afternoon, when we said we cold come, however, this upcoming Saturday was a different story. We have a full day of volunteering to set up a course for my sons race with NICA (which is the National Interscholastic Cycling Association), and my younger son has a Scouting activity during the day. On Sunday is my older sons first race for NICA, with a bright and early start and we need to be there with plenty of time to spare. This is a tight schedule.


By canceling, my dad actually made things more complicated for the upcoming weekend. After discussing what was realistic with my husband, I called my dad and set up the guidelines for this weekend. I told him that we couldn't come over to their house until after we set things up on Saturday for the race until 3:00 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. and that we couldn't stay long - maybe two hours as we needed to get to the race early and on time, all of this considering that we live about 35 minutes away from my parents.


The important thing to me, as I progress with sobriety, is that I am anticipating and planning with so much more mindfulness than I had pre-sobriety.


I am happy I laid out boundaries with my father. I feel empowered that I can say 'no' and protect not only my schedule, but also the schedule for my family. In my drinking days, I would have been frustrated at the situation, and would have probably gone along with a visit to my parents, and would have complained that we were squeezing too much in on what is sure to be a busy and hot day.


Now, I respect my sanity more and can see 'recipes for disaster' a little easier. I usually know the direction I am moving towards, and move to that direction with purpose. Getting swept away by people and events that aren't well planned is simply something I don't take part in anymore, and there is no guilt involved, especially when the plan was modified on the other end. You find in sobriety that you respect your time so much more, and are selective with where you place your attention versus drinking through situations that cause stress.


If you have discovered more awareness in sobriety, and are more organized with your schedule, and productivity, let me know... I'd love to hear about your success!


You can find my journal I created for YOUR sober inquiry, which focuses on helping YOU to become more aware of your habits and triggers and gets you going on your first 38 days as the observer. The Sunrise Today Journal can be found here:

With love from the Midwest,

Jennifer

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