Boundaries

The sunset was incredibly beautiful last night after Wednesday night racing on a new to town J111. The breeze was steady, not too much and not too little. Jenny was at the helm and the other three of us were all over the boat getting sails up and down, letting sails in & out and trying to sail faster. It had been awhile since I’ve been racing and it took me a bit to remember all the moves. Especially after being sick for over a week and barely recovered. Nonetheless it felt great to be out on the water harnessing the power of the wind. On a boat it’s pretty clear where the boundaries are. You go beyond the lifelines and end up in the water where the boundaries are harder to define.
Life is more like the water than the boat, contantly changing and flowing without a clear sense of boundaries. With language it’s a challenge to describe exactly what I’m talking about because words can have so many different meanings. The kind of boundary I’m talking about has to do with  the invisible guidelines for creating our reality. There’s a huge amount of freedom or wiggle room for creating the life that we want but it’s not limitless like I once thought. There are boundaries and I’m trying to learn and define what they are and what purpose they serve. On a boat the lifelines are the boundary and you can step beyond them but generally it’s not a good idea unless you’re at the dock. It’s beneficial to have boundaries and to know what they are. They help clarify otherwise abstract notions and redirect us when we feel lost. I guess my point is here that it pays to learn where our boundaries are in every sense that you can make of that sentence. 

Everything in interconnected so ultimately boundaries are an illusion but it is the illusion that helps us to learn what we came here to learn. The illusion of separateness that is. The boundary I’m trying to define is something that prevents us from stepping off a ledge before we are ready to fly. Forgive me, I am still learning and trying to assimilate this concept that I’ve been chewing on. Time to give it a rest and go do some laundry. Thanks for listening.

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Wide Awake

  
 It’s 3am and I’m wide awake. Thoughts of the past, present and future are racing through my head after my bladder raised me out of bed. The chilly walk to the bathroom stimulated the mental process and I wish there was an easy way to quiet the mind. Flashes of dream recall are interspersed with a longing to go back to sleep and anxiety about random unrelated thoughts. I feel as if I almost had something figured out while dreaming yet I can not put my finger on it. 
Life is like a dream and when I’m dreaming I sense that there’s more to the stories I find myself vividly engaged in. Impossible scenarios play out like a movie with an unlimited budget and crazy special effects. Then I wake up and this reality is so tangible, physical needs like getting up to pee are very grounding and a good reminder for why this life experience is so special. The contrast between the many realms of awareness and all the facets to being human are limited yet limitless. The ideas we have, our capacity for bringing concepts into existence is brilliant yet we waste so much time.

Time is moving as a constant reminder like waves on the water created by the winds of change. Storms roll through the waters of my internal environment and I know that it does not last. Shifting back to stillness after the wild moments of wondering I hope to fall back asleep. I wander slowly back toward the cozy cocoon of rest with visions of potentiality and hope that the insightful parts of dreamland re-occur….

5 Months

Today is the last day in the 5th month since I stopped drinking Alcohol. These last few hours of the 31st day of March have my mind wandering. Just 5 months ago alcohol was my go-to companion every single day, every evening (and even some mornings) I spent drinking some form of the intoxicating liquid. For several years before it was even legal for me to drink, I drank. I loved it. Beer, wine, booze, all the different flavors, colors and stages of inebriation. For the last 10 years before these 5 months my life and my perspective of alcohol was very different.

I knew there was always the potential for it to be a problem. I was clinically diagnosed as an alcoholic at the age of 13 after getting caught a few too many times with booze on my breath. As Ani DiFranco sings in her song Fuel- “They say that alcoholics are always alcoholics even when they’re dry…” and I was far from dry but figured I had a handle on it. I was fully functional, healthy & successful in very obvious ways. I was spending over $300 a month just on alcohol and still had enough to money to pay the bills, buy organic foods, have nice clothes, cars and toys. From the outside it appeared I had it all- life was good and it was one hell of a party. I could drink almost anyone under the table and still drive home. (Thank God I didn’t get caught or worse, hurt someone in those moments of poor decision to take the wheel.) I even liked to drink at home- I didn’t need to go out to get hammered, I didn’t even need a drinking buddy. And sometimes I’d wake up in the middle of the night after passing out drunk only to look at myself in the bathroom mirror after emptying my bladder wondering… Why the hell was I doing this?

Was it really all fun and games? Sometimes it was really fun but then sometimes the hangovers were really horrible too. Hair of the dog only works so well after a few hours of restless sleep after torturing ones liver. I tried to cut back after the bad days, limiting myself to one cocktail for an evening, only to find myself doing it all over again a week later. I craved it, some days I couldn’t wait until 5 O’clock to get my drink on. I’d go to the grocery store and tell myself I wasn’t going to buy any more alcohol only to find myself with 4 bottles of red wine in the shopping cart. It was especially bad when Washington changed the liquor laws and booze moved into the grocery stores. A bottle of bourbon was just too easy to grab while picking up a few items for dinner. Now I don’t even look twice at that section of the store.

These 5 months have gone by really fast actually and some days have been harder than others to stay on track. I’ve come a long way for being sober only this long and it’s amazing how different my whole world appears. The future looks bright and I’m ready for April 1st tomorrow. One day at a time, one foot in front of the other, I’m finding better ways to cope with the twists and turns of life. I know I have the power to control my destiny and it all begins with each choice in each moment. I hope to continue to choose not to drink that intoxicating liquid that was distracting me from becoming who I really want to be. Life is so beautiful and I’m extremely Thankful to be where I am today- happy, healthy and sober. 🙂