As some of you may have gleaned from my post the other day I was feeling quite sorry for myself over Christmas. I set myself up for it really, I put myself in the “poor me” mindset even before I finished my last hour of work on the 23rd. I was sad about not being able to go home and kick off the holidays with a bottle of wine, disgruntled that there would be no baileys and coffee on Christmas morning. Christmas breakfast without mimosas? Really?! And what about the visiting and company and wonderful holiday food?! What was I supposed to pair with that? 7-up?! I continued to feel sorry for myself as we went to visit other couples and I stayed sober as they merrily drank, and drank…. and drank. We ran into a very rough looking friend in Boxing Day who said that he was still feeling hungover from Christmas Eve and that Christmas Day had been a write off for them (they have kids at home too). Story after story, and in person get togethers where I REALLY paid attention to what I was missing out on. Waking up each morning that I felt great, I reflected on how I felt in the mornings last year. Going out snowshoeing with lots of energy and taking in natures beauty, thinking about Christmas holidays past, there’s no way I would have had the energy. The days that we had planned company over for dinners, I had everything prepped, house clean and even had time to relax before company got there. I truly enjoyed the company and remembered conversations! I didn’t wake up the next morning wondering how and when I went to bed. There hasn’t been a single cringeworthy moment (other than a few jokes that fell completely flat! Haha!) yesterday I laughed at myself and thought “what exactly is it that you think you’re missing out on?!” Last night we met a group of friends at the pub, and I caught the waitress aside and said “if your bartender is feeling adventurous, could you get them to make me a fun drink with no alcohol? If not, I’ll have an orange juice and 7-up”. Well she came back with this big fancy looking drink of pineapple juice, grenadine and orange juice over ice with maraschino cherries on top! Hahahaha, the whole table gave out hoots and hollers and “wooo, do you think you’re in Hawaii or something?!”. I laughed and told them that I’d be pretending I was while I drank it! They of course assumed it had rum and I didn’t say anything otherwise. I had a GREAT evening out with lots of laughs and a few more of those drinks 😁 And the icing on the top is that my bill was a LOT less than everyone else’s so maybe next year I will be sipping a n/a drink in Hawaii! Woot woot!
(This morning I did a 1/2 hr Boxing workout and 15 minute run on the treadmill followed by 15 minutes of yoga. I think the exercising is definitely helping out with the improved mood)
WOTY-word of the year
Over the past few weeks I have seen a lot of bloggers posting about their 2017 “word of the year” – a meaningful word that will be their focus for the year ahead. Hopefully someone will be kind enough to post a link in the comments section to a blog that explains it in more detail. Unfortunately my laptop is out of commission and and navigating around WordPress on my phone and then trying to figure out how to copy, paste, link etc is a little frustrating for this clumsy fingered girl lol.
As soon as I started reading about WOTY, I knew what I wanted mine to be, although I did waver a bit back and forth between it and Serendipity.
My 2017 Word of the Year will be family.
Over the past few years, when my drinking got really bad, I hid behind the glass when it came to a lot of things family related. My dad passed away unexpectedly 2 years ago and I was NOT there for my sisters. I blamed it on how far away I live, but that was a lie. I was hiding in a sad drunken haze. I was also FURIOUS with my mother for over a year (related to the death of my dad), and several months after losing my dad I lost an uncle and my two remaining grandparents. Again I hid. I am ashamed to admit that I didn’t fly out for funerals. A few months after that my neice was diagnosed with leukaemia and again… not there for my sisters. The guilt I feel over all of this combined has been tremendous since I quit drinking. I felt guilty before, and struggled with a whole myriad of feelings that I drank to hide from. Being so far away from family made it easy to hide away and completely scam out on being there for the people who needed me. Now let’s add to that the fact that I was also a single mom with two kids still at home, and no financial support from my ex husband which meant me also working 2 full time jobs. (In addition to quitting smoking and drinking I’ve also quit the 2nd job in order to spend time with the youngest one who is still living at home but is already almost 18). I’m not sure what the year ahead will hold as I navigate this new territory and try to repair and strengthen all of these relationships but I do know that family means a lot to me and I am so, so, SO thankful for the family that I have. My hope is that they will also be thankful for me and that the year ahead will hold some fun adventures and memories with them all (and the new little one on the way!)
Day 62, officially 2 months, and the day after my first sober Christmas. I’m (unexpectedly) home alone and I’ve had a mental roller coaster of a few days with some pretty lowly lows in there. I have the rest of the week off work. The bottle of wine in the hallway closet and the bottle of vodka in the liquor cupboard aren’t just whispering to me today, they’re full on screaming my name. Why is it that we crave alcohol or drugs or food or whatever during times of stress or duress? I’ve played the “how are you feeling and why are you feeling that way” game hundreds of times over the past few days in an attempt to work things through mentally in an attempt to shush the voice. My mind is just not being kind to me lately. How do non addictive personality types deal with stress and bad days? Do they feel it differently? Do they just acknowledge it and ride it out because they know it will end and things will turn around?
I will not drink tonight. I refuse. I will go snowshoeing in the dark, or have a hot shower or bath, or walk on the treadmill or do yoga or wrap myself up like a mummy and watch a movie or read a book. Or maybe all of the above if doing just one doesn’t work. Anything to re-focus. Anything to make it through another night where I’m aching for escape.
To celebrate (and since it’s Christmas Eve day for me) I will share my favourite butter tart recipe – it’s made with maple syrup for a nice little Canadian touch!! They’re very smooth and not overly sweet. Use the pre-made tart shells you can find in the frozen food section to save time, and splurge on real maple syrup and real butter. When beating all the ingredients together, beat until creamy looking. It will make 24 tarts, not 12 like the recipe calls for so be prepared for that! It’s a really easy and quick recipe to make!
Who watches the New York ball drop on New Years Eve? Did you know that the confetti is actually hundreds of thousands of wishes? And that you can add your wish in there too? I love watching the ball drop (I love watching celebrations from all over the world actually), and knowing that my little wish is there floating around on a magical night filled with thousands of other wishes, hopes and dreams just kind of makes it like wishing on a super sparkly falling star. If you want to add your wish, you can do it via their website (up until dec 28!) for free!
My drive to work this morning was a quiet one, with barely another soul on the highway. I think that most people are taking the day off in order to have an extra long weekend. I was listening to my favourite radio station when they started talking about Christmas shots that they had invented (gravy with whisky and cranberry juice was the one that I heard before I changed the channel). The next channel was playing a remake of the song “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” to “It’s the most wonderful time for beeerrr” Fffttt. Radio off. Once I turned the radio off I started really looking around and paying attention to what I was driving by instead of just driving on autopilot while listening to the radio. Boy it was beautiful out! Gorgeous sunrise, stillness of winter, peace and quiet and calm. I wanted to pull over to the side and take it all in but as usual I was already late to work. Because I was driving in silence, I started thinking… this drive this morning was a lot like the lonely road into sobriety. Going from being surrounded by people excited about new “holiday themed shots!”, singing songs but changing the verses, constant… noise. When you turn that off, what happens? You’re forced to take a good look around. If you’re lucky, you can find the peace and calm and beauty. (or you can be a grumpy pants and look at your new scenery negatively “stupid snow, short little trees with no leaves! No one around to wave at or flip off!”) I flip between the two, but I’m really trying so hard to take the time to notice and appreciate what’s going on around me lately. There’s a lot of beauty out there just waiting for us to notice it.
Day 59 today, and YAYYYY my skin is finally clearing up!!
Well the weather outside is going to be frightful from Christmas day on, is what we’re hearing where I live. Snowstorms, blizzards, more snow and probably some nasty cold weather following it. What am I doing to prepare for it? Looking up yummy NA hot chocolate drink recipes! Thought I’d share a few for any fellow hot chocolate lovers.
Spicy Maple Cinnamon Hot Chocolate
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 6 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa
- 2 – 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
- pinch sea salt
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (optional)
- cinnamon sticks for garnish (optional)
- Pour the milk into a medium-sized sauce pan and set over medium-low heat. Whisk in the chocolate, maple syrup, and spices. Continue whisking occasionally until milk is hot and steamy.
- Meanwhile, whisk the heavy whipping cream to soft peaks.
- Pour steaming hot chocolate into mugs, add a dollop of whipped cream and a cinnamon stick, and finish with a pinch of chili powder.
- Note: This recipe makes for a very chocolaty drink, dilute with more milk if it’s too much. It’s also pretty easy on the sweet stuff, so add a few more glugs of maple syrup for a sweeter drink.
Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate
(The pictures on her site make it look even more delicious! – http://www.eatliverun.com/peanut-butter-hot-chocolate/)
1 cup milk
1 T peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
1 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 T sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Whisk together milk, cocoa powder, vanilla and sugar in a small pot on the stove. Bring to a simmer and then add the peanut butter, stirring well to get rid of any clumps.
Pour into your favorite mug and serve with whipped cream and salted peanuts!
Slow Cooker Candy Cane White Hot Chocolate
- 1/2 gallon whole milk (8 cups)
- 2 (4-oz.) pkgs Ghiridelli white chocolate baking bars, broken up into small pieces
- 1/2 cup crushed candy canes or starlight candies
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- whipped cream for serving (I use Reddi-Whip)
- more crushed candy canes for garnish
- Add the milk, broken up white chocolate, crushed candy canes, and vanilla to a 5-quart or larger slow cooker.
- Cover, and cook on HIGH for 1.5 hours (stirring every 15 minutes).
- Serve topped with whipped cream and topped with crushed candy canes for garnish.