2019 was my best year yet.
At the beginning of 2018, I made a decision to stop drinking alcohol for good. This was the best decision of my life. I spent 2018 learning how to do everything over again, without alcohol.
My growth was incredible. I learned so much about myself. I spent much of the year however, not drinking. A lot of energy was going towards not drinking. This is exactly where I needed to be at the time. I successfully accomplished a year alcohol free.
I didn’t want to stay in the “just not drinking” zone. I knew my energy was ready to move on. Getting sober was the bravest thing I have ever done. By the end of 2018 I was much more comfortable with my new sober identity.
The act of getting sober fueled my courage in so many other ways and 2019 was my year.
This year I learned who I was without alcohol.
This year I had the courage to make my dreams come true.
This was all possible because I was sober.
I was believing in myself.
I had already done the bravest thing, by ditching the drink.
I earned my confidence and was ready to start reaching other goals.
I started 2019 with an announcement about my new alcohol free life on social media. This was something that terrified me. I was quietly and privately getting sober and afraid to live this alcohol free life out loud. It felt like admitting a fault and a failure when I had tried so hard to keep up appearances. I was afraid of what people might think. To my delight, the support has been overwhelming. More importantly, however, my own perspective changed. Quitting drinking is not an admission of failure It is a huge accomplishment. I started to celebrate myself and my discovery in this way.
So many more doors opened after I got comfortable being sober out loud. I got the spiritual call to help others. I started my own Ditched the Drink program, sharing all the resources and insight I gathered in my own quest to get sober on my own.
I had my first students take my first class. Then more signed up for my second class! Now the class is running so smoothly and the results so incredible that students can sign up and get support whenever they are ready.
I found another niche in the corporate world, using all those years of HR experience. I started connected with partners from all over the world.
Ditched the Drink 30 Day Alcohol Free Corporate Challenge starts January 2020.
You can preview the class here, Ditched the Drink Intro
My Ditched the Drink following has increased every single day since I started.
This tells me people are hungry for support in evaluating their relationship with alcohol, just like I was.
I know I am on to something here and Ditched the Drink will continue to grow.
How could it not?
I was recently reminded about a “company” I started from my closet when I was 8 years old called “Dare to Dream” I still have my journal with the business plans.
My new course for 2020 is called Dare to Dream, DTD, like Ditched the Drink. You see how it was always meant to be? Dare to Dream is about finding your purpose and living it.
Ditched the Drink shares my lessons about going alcohol free from 2018.
Dare to Dream is about living in alignment with your highest self to do your greatest good. Essentially, my lessons from 2019.
My bonus room/closet has turned into Ditched the Drink Headquarters so life really does come full circle, doesn’t it? I am living the life of my 8 year old dreams, by running a business from my closet once again
In addition to starting a business, I ran a ½ marathon for the first time in a decade. 13 miles at my age is an incredible accomplishment at any speed, if I do say so myself. I am learning to take that and own it and not downplay it, so I am not going to apologize for this humble brag.
The determination necessary to train for 13 miles and the hours spent alone on an open trail in the heat of the summer, solidified my commitment to me. I am proud of my body, but even more proud of my mental game for the accomplishment.
My family and home life is thriving. I am grateful every day for my family and our home. My girls are thriving. Watching them grow is the greatest gift. I am so glad I am present for the moments. Time seems to pick up speed, the older they get.
My self awareness has increased 100%. I am truly able to be there for others now, that I am no longer caught up in my own addiction.
Its a practice, but through a million small decisions, I am showing myself and my family how to listen, respond vs react, pay attention, be intentional, mindful, present, grateful, and kind.
This has made all the difference this year.
The biggest thing to happen this year was my Dream Trip of a Lifetime to Africa. I had to push through a lot of fear to get there.Read this blog about the Leap of Faith in Getting to Africa
I still struggle to put into words how Africa changed me,
It is the saddest, happiest place I have ever been.
I left Africa, but Africa didn’t leave me.
In my wildest dreams, I didn’t know if I would ever actually get there.
If I did ever make it to Africa, I thought it might be when I was given a diagnosis and a limited amount of time to live. I know that is really morbid, but that is how my anxious mind works sometimes.
I am happy to report, I made it there and back alive. I have no diagnosis, and even if I did, I would find peace within, because I know I am capable of that now.
The craziest thing I learned, is that I could go back to Africa. I could have more than one Dream Trip of a Lifetime. My mind is blown. My Dreams just got bigger. There is room for more.
This is what 2019 did for me.
2019 showed me how peeling the layers of fear and insecurity gets to even better stuff at the core.
I was so lonely and so bored when I was drinking.
Isn’t this ironic when wine is sold as something meant to entertain and connect us with others?
It kept me to myself and it had me dreaming very, very small.
Now that I am sober, there is not enough time in a day to do all the things I want to do.
I look forward to everything.
I even look forward to my fears, and smashing the things that scare me.
I have presented on stage in tears this year, and I just applied for more opportunities to do that, hopefully with less tears each time. I don’t think there’s anything more vulnerable than speaking on a stage in front of an audience.
Shame lives in dark, hidden places so I will bring it onto the stage and add lights and a microphone.
As Mr. Rogers says, “anything mentionable is manageable.”
2019 has been the best year of my life.
Thanks to the work I did by getting sober in 2018.
2018 illuminated my path, and planted the seed. In 2019 I enjoyed the fruit.
The day you plant the seed is not the same day you eat the fruit, remember that as you are working towards your goals.