Mommy Doesn’t Need a Cocktail

I had a really rough last month. I was completely underwater with a work project, and I think I went at least three weeks with only one day off. It was hideous, but it is done now. I’m so relieved, and I can now take it a little easy going into the holidays.

I’m still sober, but I will tell you that I was pretty tempted to have a fishbowl-sized glass of wine after I finished my project. I didn’t do it, but, wow, was I was tempted! For like 5 minutes. The thing is that, generally, I am really not thinking much about drinking these days. Just a little bit, here and there. It is pretty comfortable for me right now, and I’m eyeing that one-year goal. So, even though I was all of a sudden feeling tempted, it wasn’t that hard to say “no.” And, of course, I’m glad I did. I may someday decide to experiment with booze again, or I may not. But right now, sobriety feels good, and I’m going with it. And, at 128 days, this is the longest I have ever gone without a drink as an adult outside of pregnancy.

One of the nicest things about not drinking is how I know I can be there for my daughter if she needs me. Another blogger posted the other day on this topic, and it made me start thinking about my own mom. My mom was a big wine drinker who considers herself an alcoholic and got sober (with AA) when I was around my daughter’s age. Like me, she wasn’t a black-out drunk, and she always went to work and paid the bills on time. And, she was actually always there for me when I needed her. BUT there were some choices she made (mostly around relationships) that weren’t great for me. And I ended up choosing to live with my dad and my stepmom after one particularly unstable year.

I think she controlled her drinking around me most of the time because I don’t have many memories of her drunk, but there is one incident that I remember from my early childhood where she was enraged and ended up spanking me, the only time she ever did. She must have been drunk that night. It is the only thing that makes sense to me to explain why she behaved that way that night. This incident was completely out of character for her, and obviously it made a big impression on me since I remember it all of these years later.

I have never hit my daughter in anger, but there were many nights when I was very drunk in front of her. She was always fed, always in bed on time, always read to, but I can’t help but think that she must have, on some deep level, known that I wasn’t 100% capable of taking care of her during those times. I feel a lot of regret about that. Obviously, I’m glad I’m not doing that any more. Even more than that, though, sobriety leads to being fully present with her much more often. Which is amazing.

I’m really looking forward to my sober Christmas this year, with a cozy mug of something yummy, snuggly in pajamas, and lots of love.

With much love and support to all of you!


Ms. New Leaf (AKA Leafy)

Day 100 (Again)

I don’t have a lot of time today, so this will be quick. I did, however, want to celebrate making it to day 100 in this second adventure in sobriety. I’m feeling really good about it. This time was much easier than the first time, although there were some challenging days for sure. But fewer and farther between. I think it may be because it has been nearly a year now that I have been focusing on not drinking. Even during those roughly 150 days in between when I did decide to drink sometimes, I still didn’t go back to daily drinking (even though I still drank too much on most of the days when I did drink). And I think that helped make it easier for me this time around. I know some people don’t have this experience. And the conventional wisdom is that we are back to square one when we “fall off the wagon.” Personally, I felt like I still had some sobriety momentum going and that I had learned some things the first go around. In any event, I’m happy to be sober. It’s working for me. And I’m going to keep going this time.

❤️ & 🤗


Sugar Hangover Today

I can’t seem to get it together to post more than every couple of weeks these days. I’ve been a bit overwhelmed by work and life lately, and that always makes it harder. I’m struggling through a massive sugar hangover today so this will be a short post.

I ate a ridiculous amount of Halloween candy last night, and I ALSO made a pumpkin pie (from a real pumpkin!) for the first time with real cream from the good dairy, whipped to pillowy goodness. It was delicious, but today, I feel like dog doo. When I woke up this morning, I was exhausted and my head ached like I had one too many glasses of wine last night. Ugh.

But tomorrow is a new day! And I’ve spent today trying to catch up on what all of my beautiful WordPress friends are up to. I will try to post more frequently (and with more substance) in the coming weeks. Now, though, I think I need to go eat my weight in kale and broccoli. 🙂

Sending love!



(Day 86 today!)

I’ve Been in the House Too Long (Again)

It’s been 71 days since I last drank wine now, and things are going well on that front. I have been in the house too long again, though. First, it was the return of the wildfire smoke for a few days, then work, then some stuff that meant taking medication that made me sleep all day, then more work, and I’m getting out for a long walk in nature this morning no matter what! It’s going to be great. I’m drinking coffee now, planing it out in my head. 😊

Oh, and we have a visit scheduled today to see my mom in person for the first time since March! We had one scheduled about a month ago, and then they canceled it because a staff member tested positive and closed down the visits. But we are back on now!

There have been a few nights where I’ve really wanted to escape my feelings with booze, but I resisted. And I’m glad I did.

I’m going to go get more coffee now, roust the family up, and go climb a tall, tall hill to a beautiful spot overlooking the city. Should be lovely!

Much love and support to all of you today!



Day 55 and Other Updates

Well, it has now been 55 days since the last time I decided to drink wine, and I’m feeling pretty good. The goal of quitting for an entire year is sounding better and better these days.

I have had more energy and motivation in the last couple of weeks than I’ve had in many months now. Last weekend, we started a pledge to go for a short hike every Saturday and Sunday morning (air quality permitting) and then do some cleaning and organizing projects that we have been putting off. I had been feeling especially trapped and stressed out since the wildfire smoke descended on our area. Then, after we made the decision to continue with remote school for our daughter until at least the winter break, I was really feeling crappy (our school gave us a choice to return in person, but I’m just too worried about the virus still to do that). I had one night where I was very seriously considering getting a bottle of wine, but somehow, I got through it. So, we made an effort to do some positive things to counteract those feelings, and it really made a difference. We were able to do short nature hikes both Saturday and Sunday, and I hope we can do it again this weekend. We will see. There are new wildfires burning now bringing more smoke. 😦

I’ve also started losing weight again after a long plateau at the same weight. I’m not really focused on losing weight right now, but I have been overweight for years so it is pretty exciting that the changes I am making in other areas seem to be slowly making a change in that, too. I’m exercising a tiny bit more, yes, and eating less sugar these days, but I’m pretty sure the weight loss is mostly due to not putting a bottle of wine in my belly nearly every day. Since November (when I seriously started to try not drinking, although I’ve had a few jumps of the wagon since then), I’ve lost somewhere in the neighborhood of 16-18 pounds without dieting or counting calories. I still have another 10 pounds to go until I am back in the “normal” rather than “overweight” category on the BMI chart, but it is serious progress!

I’m also feeling significantly less achy in my joints. This could be due to correcting my vitamin D deficiency (I think my hair has stopped falling out – hooray!), doing a little bit of yoga here and there, losing weight, or something else, but whatever it is, I’m grateful!

Things aren’t all rosy, of course, but I’m choosing to focus on these things today.

Much love and support to all of you!


Leafy (AKA Ms. New Leaf)

I did it!

So, I did it! I celebrated my 50th birthday sober. We rented a fantastic older house in Carmel, California, full of nooks and hidden rooms and right across the street from the most lovely beach. Yes, the smoke from the fires was bad, but it was still beautiful there. We spent lots of time playing in the waves with the kids (mine and my neighbors’) or snuggled in the house, and it was great.

My neighbor didn’t complain even once about not drinking on the trip. We just had a fun, sober time together.

That’s my big news. Just a quick post today. Sending much love!



Red Sky in the Morning …

I woke up this morning to a reddish/orange hellscape of a sky. Right now, it is 8:13 in the morning, and I am sitting here in my unusually darkened room looking out at a thick blanket of orange clouds outside my window. We have had red sunrises for many days recently, but this orange sky is new.

It is the fires, of course, burning all over my state and, now, neighboring states. Apparently, smoke particles in the air can make the sky appear reddish or orange. The air quality isn’t even that terrible right now, but it really looks like the end of the world out there.

Except for the smoky air, we are OK in my city. It is unlikely that wildfires will burn my house down. My parents, however, live in the woods in a neighboring state, and they are not so lucky. They are sitting in a hotel with their two cats right now, waiting to hear if their house is still standing. Crazy stuff.

Anyway … I have been insanely busy with work lately so I haven’t been able to get on WordPress as much as I would like. I have to get back to it as I have a project due (end of the world or not!) today, but I wanted to hop on and say that I’m still sober. I told my friend that I am really NOT drinking on my birthday weekend. She did her complaining, disappointed thing, but I think she heard me. Regardless, I am resolved. So, I will enter my 50s with a clear head, looking positively toward the future, and sober. Hopefully, fire will not upend our beach getaway plans.

Sending much love and support to all of you.



Argh! There’s beer in my house!

But I didn’t drink it. Yesterday, I came out of my room after finishing work for the day, and my neighbor had brought over a six pack of beer. So, here’s the thing. I have been off-again with the booze much more often than not for the past 9 1/2 months, and she knows that. My first reaction was to feel a bit put out that she didn’t ask me first before she brought it over. I felt like she should have known I might not be drinking. And then, I told her, “no, thanks, I’m not drinking now,” and she proceeded to leave the remainder of the six pack on our counter when she left. Hmmm. I suppose that’s why she didn’t realize she shouldn’t bring it over – she had no problem stopping at just one! On the other hand, I’m sure she knows that I won’t stop at one. So, there’s that.

Anyway, this is really my fault for not setting a clear-enough boundary. I need to tell her I’m not drinking for the foreseeable future. I’ve been toying with the one-year thing in my head, but it is a big commitment! Sadly, I am still having issues with committing because, despite the ugly parts of drinking, there ARE fun parts, too. I think the ugly outweighs the fun, for me, though. At least right now. And, I don’t think I gave sobriety a long-enough chance. One hundred days isn’t long enough for me.

If I am really honest, I haven’t set a clear boundary with her because I know she will be disappointed and try to talk me out of not drinking on my birthday beach getaway. She has convinced me on two other vacations to drink even though I told her I didn’t want to at first. I think she thinks I’m more fun when I’m drinking. 😦 And, in my secret heart of hearts, I want to be able to drink wine on my birthday. I can feel the wheels turning in my head already, and I know I’m setting this up so that I have an excuse to drink wine that weekend. I guess I have to face that one, and think hard about it.

I hid the beer out of sight last night, and I will return it to her today. I am just not someone that can have alcohol in the house if I don’t want to drink. In a moment of weakness, I will drink it and/or my alcoholic (but on the wagon) partner will break down and drink it.

But I’m not going to drink today! Love and support to all of you.


Ms. New Leaf

Feeling Trapped (and Grateful) II

I’m feeling stuck. Trapped. Wanting to spread my wings, but knowing I can’t really get out of the nest. Not yet.

Trapped by COVID, trapped by the massive wildfires which sprung from my lovely lightning, stuck in the house, stuck in a mask, stalled in my relationship, bored and frustrated with my pandemic bubble friends, paralyzed by the thought of distance learning (which starts tomorrow), and most importantly, trapped by my own brain.

All of this is making me fantasize about the future. Do I want change? Drastic change? Pull up stakes, sell the house, quit my job, ditch my long-term relationship, move to a new state, pursue my passion career, buy a house with space for a big garden, sort-of retire and travel the world, become nomads and home school my kid, settle in a small town, give my kid the suburban life she thinks she wants, rent out my house, move near my aging dad and stepmom, find a new doctor … Am I running out of time? Will I die early? What the hell is on my bucket list?

As you can see, my mind is a chaotic place right now. Restless. Oh, so restless!

On the other hand, I can do nothing about any of these things right now. My daughter is committed to her school for the coming year, my mom is happy and settled in her assisted living apartment, I’m too scared of the virus to get on an airplane, I need my job, real estate prices are falling here so it is a bad time to sell, my partner and I are committed to raising our daughter together and get along pretty well most of the time (even if I’m not always sure this is the best partnership for me).

I’m also still grateful for all of the things I have: my trusted pandemic friends, my home, a school for my daughter that is really trying to make it all work, the wind blowing the right way (for my city, at least), my partner helping out, stable blood tests, health insurance, a flexible job, the positive changes sobriety is bringing …

Sigh. Still sober. Tomorrow is a new day.

With love and support to all of you.



Silver Linings

Historically, the summers are not reliably hot (or even warm) where I live. With climate change, we have had much warmer summers for the last ten to fifteen years, but it still usually doesn’t get “hot” here. This week, it has been miserably hot. Unless I have air conditioning, ample outside shade, and (ideally) a pool, I hate really hot weather. I grew up mostly in the inland part of the Los Angeles area in California, so I am familiar with hot weather. Having escaped it as an adult, however, it is hard to go back.

But, like with so many things, there’s a silver lining. The hot weather plus some unusual weather patterns have created another freak occurrence here: crazy thunder and lightning storms! Now, I LOVE thunder and lightning, and we rarely have it. The other night, I was suddenly awakened at 3:15 a.m. (no, I have not been boozing!) by the craziest lightning show I have ever seen. Lightning was striking every few seconds sometimes, and I could see it clearly through the windows and skylight in my bedroom. It was amazing! And, it sounds like it might happen again.

This isn’t a new thought, but sometimes I forget that silver linings are all around us if we look for them. For example, if I hadn’t stopped regular, heavy drinking last November, I would be more afraid for my health during the pandemic, spending ridiculous amounts of money on booze, and trying to home school and work from home tired and a little hungover most days. As it is, I’m getting some meditation and yoga in, staying more present for my daughter, and having less conflict with family and friends. Obviously, there are some situations where it is healthy to just let yourself feel sad or to embrace your anger, and I’m not suggesting that we ignore/suppress those feelings. For me, though, I think when it is possible (and reasonable) to focus more on the positive than the negative, it helps. Our minds are such tricky things.

To a certain degree, I think I am predisposed to look for the positive in things, and I am grateful for that gift. At the same time, I have more baseline anxiety than most people, and this obviously can get in the way. I know now that drinking can leave me mired in anxiety, and I feel better when I avoid it. Although I have drank alcohol sometimes over the last several months, I am proud of myself for not falling back into my old ways. I won’t go back there, and I am happy to be on stable, sober ground again. It feels great.


Ms. New Leaf