Last Night I Almost Sipped and Sassed…
It Was A Close One!
How I Applied The Slight Edge to Remain a Sober Sister
It was a close one. I was soooo tempted. I almost Sipped and Sassed last night.
That wonderful ritual of wine-o’clock. You know it…time to relax, to watch the next episode of “Bridgerton.” To “check-out” for the evening. Kim Crawford and some ice cubes for background noise.
Part of the allure of drinking wine is the ceremony of holding the glass…by the stem. But – after the first glass, all bets are off. Then pick up the phone and – oops! – where did all that wine go? Yup, you did it. You Sipped and Sassed.
Oh Yeah! You forgot that you gave up drinking for your New Year’s resolution. Hey, you know it would be the best idea to give up drinking altogether…One day at a time. It makes you “mushy” and gets in the way of your work.
The challenge of being sober is to disassociate the liquid with the ritual. I am a sober wonder woman when I have three bottles in the cabinet – and don’t open them.
It’s only liquid, right? I am strong…I can do this!
Your life is much better when you are sober. Your intentions are clearer, You sleep better and work out harder every morning. You are happier and thinner and in control.
You are a super hero when you are sober.
Willpower is strength. The strength that sets you free. The strength you achieve a little bit at a time. Your most valuable asset.
It is not given to you…you must work for it!
Roy Baumeister, PhD, a psychologist at The Florida State University researches willpower. He points out three components for achieving your goals.
Establish the motivation for change and set a clear goal.
Track your behavior toward that goal.
Develop the willpower of a super hero.
Willpower keeps you out of the rabbit hole of sloth. Sure, it felt so good when you Sipped and Sassed with your friends. You might even remember what happened in “Bridgerton” before you fell asleep – or passed out. (I was sooo tired!)
Alcohol is a depressant. First you feel relaxed. It binds to the receptors in your brain for GABA, gamma-aminobutyric acid. This neurotransmitter produces calm feelings and depresses the central nervous system. Alcohol inhibits glutamate which causes memory loss. Drinking alcohol releases dopamine, the neurotransmitter chemical that produces pleasure and reward.
Until the hangover sets in. Then anxiety and depression rear their ugly heads.
I know, this kind of ruins the allure of wine o’clock. Sometimes the hankering for a sip gets pretty strong. You can fake it with soda stream and lemon in a wine glass. Or a mocktail in a martini glass. It seems that the classier the vessel, the less you need the alcohol.
I recently read “The Slight Edge,” by Jeff Olsen. This is a book I will read over and over again in my life. The Slight Edge is a life style philosophy. If you develop the discipline to work toward your goals – a little bit every day – you will change your life.
Know your goals. Practice a consistent daily ritual of little steps along that path. Be accountable to yourself. Strengthen your willpower to make good things happen in your life.
Applying the Slight Edge has changed my life. I revisit my goals every morning. I journal and write three things I am grateful for every morning. I exercise every morning and have gotten strong enough to push myself further. I write and draw and paint daily. And I learn something new every day.
So I still get that hankering to sip and sass sometimes. I channel that urge to “check out” into painting. Paint therapy is my greatest daily escape. No one can hurt me when I am painting. I am at peace with a brush in my hand.
As one of my artist friends used to say, “you’ve got to get on the bus…everyday. Now, what neighborhood that bus goes to is up to you…but get on the bus!”
My therapy resides in a paint brush. You might find yours somewhere else. The point is that you can make positive changes. Everyday. If you know your goal, and develop the willpower to keep at it. A little at a time.
These are a few of my small paintings a day. They are fun funky things I inherited from my eclectic family. And they are so for sale! Click on the image for more info.