A series of irritating events can add up over the course of my day and I can find myself staggering a little under the load wondering how I will survive the day without my old standby – a BIG bottle of cheap red wine. That was my day, yesterday.
First of all it was Friday – the day when it feels like the rest of the world finds it okay to do what I used to do on a daily basis. There is an unspoken “green light” in my mind to get loaded to celebrate the end of a work week and the beginning of a weekend full of possibilities and excitement. Fridays are days that I sometimes loathe and find myself discontented by them. Used to love ’em – not so much anymore. Discontent.
Following the “it’s Friday” realization, I knew I needed to get to my morning meeting. As soon as I walked through the door I recognized the mom of a friend of my daughters’. And even though I am daily trying to operate from a place of courage rather than a place of fear and insecurity – these kinds of breaches of my anonymity still rattle me in the moment. Left me with an “icky” feeling for the day that I just couldn’t seem to shake. Irritable.
The power went out and it irritated the hell out of me.
It was a pro-d day and I had a teenager lazing around the entire morning. More irritation.
Went to work and talked with colleagues about an exciting pilot project we are about to embark on. At the close of the meeting it was suggested that we meet at various wineries over the course of this project. Huh? Our project has NOTHING to do with wine/grapes/hospitality but this “let’s drink wine” permeates every damn thing in my life. And then one of my colleagues upped the ante by mentioning that she owns a vineyard. “Wahoos” were heard all the way around the table as it was decided then and there that we would commute to her place to do some serious planning and research whilst drinking wine made from the fruits of her very own vineyard. Yippee – Left out and super discontent.
Called my husband on the way home from that meeting only to be invited to the office lunch over at the nearby pub. Because, oh right, it’s bloody Friday. More discontent.
Arrive home and help my middle daughter prepare mashed potatoes in the crock pot to bring to a dinner party with her friends later that evening. My older daughter shows up for a surprise visit – which never happens – and I realize that she is there to bootleg for her younger sister. Really irritable.
I decided that a walk with the dog and a listen to the Bubble Hour was the only solution to the feelings of being left out of the world at this point. So armed with my golden retriever and my i-pod, off I go only to be confronted by an angry on-leash but pretty out of control dog and two *somewhat* friendly off-leash but annoying dogs. By the time I return home from my “walk to feel better” all I want to do is crawl into bed and pull the covers up over my head. Super irritable.
We (my husband and I) had plans to go out for dinner and a movie. As I looked over the views of our town as we drove to the restaurant, my mind wondered how many people were sipping wine and having a great Friday night. That is when it occurred to me that I had not shot up a prayer for some help down here. I love Anne Lamott’s writing and perspective where she says all prayer can be simplified to three words: WOW! Thanks. Help! In this case I shot up a prayer asking for help with my thoughts and attitudes. I recognized that this feeling of being left out and not part of things and irritated and discontented was exactly when my mind would start to work on me in the past- “…one glass will be just fine. You can quit again if it doesn’t work but I bet it will. Everyone is drinking wine and they have no problem with it – get over yourself… Fuck it – who cares?”
After I sent up my short prayer for help there was no lightening bolt or parting of the sea or clap of thunder. But looking back last night as I closed my eyes to go to sleep, I realized that I made it alcohol free and the night ended quite peacefully with WAY less irritability and WAY less discontentedness – in fact it turned out to be quite a lovely evening with my awesome husband. A power greater than myself is always willing to give me strength on this sobriety journey when needed – I just need to remember to ask. As I realized how well my irritable day ended, I shot up a “thanks” as I drifted off to sober dreams.