Dark coffee alone with the windows open and the chilly autumn air breezing in.
Reflection in quiet, feeling content, at peace.
Satisfied and full.
Not desperate or seeking.
A last minute decision to do a hot flow yoga class on Sunday.
A new instructor.
Never been done before on this day and time.
A long term gym member and yogi, and yet something completely new to me.
Immediate pride for my choice and swift decision.
Letting myself be spontaneous.
Not agonizing or doing mental gymnastics, which is so familiar to me.
Trusting my instinct and going with the flow of my life.
The feeling of wanting to move my body in a joyful way.
The absence of needing to punish my body for bad behavior and choices.
My favorite yoga outfit.
A decision to look my best, not my worst for no reason on a Sunday morning.
Thinking “not bad” as I suck in and get a quick glance at myself in the mirror.
My middle aged body wearing matching bright yoga gear, made for a gal half my age.
My perfect color; a bright green, looking amazing on me anyway.
Thankful for my decision to invest in new attire.
A choice to like what I see in the mirror looking back at me.
The decades of self hatred, feeling worlds away.
A new light in my eyes, a spring in my step, and the bold ability to like myself.
To choose myself.
A practice learned through yoga and sobriety.
At first a comforting child’s pose in the hot room.
An easing into it.
An acceptance to stay here for the entire hour if this is what feels best to me.
An inner journey, not about performance.
A relief from what others are thinking that fills so many other areas of my life.
Eyes closed for my entire practice.
Eventually, pushing myself farther than expected.
Nailing a new pose.
My balance being spot on today, a rare occurrence, a treasure.
A hard earned yoga pose paying off with the pleasure of side plank, one leg high in the air.
Holding longer than expected.
Impressed with myself.
A secret smile in class to me, from me, with love.
A dip in the hot tub afterward.
A steam room sweat session.
A hot sauna and deep breaths.
A full shower, ending with an invigorating cold splash.
Taking my time.
Not being in a rush.
Using lotion on my entire body.
Thanking my sore middle aged body.
Taking up space in the locker room.
A full hair blow out.
Feeling fresh, alive, and renewed.
I ordered a protein shake as a surprise for my oldest daughter.
Vanilla for me, chocolate for her.
Smiling on the way to her, knowing she will love it.
A trip to Costco with my girl.
Windows down on an unexpected sunny and warm fall day.
Our new car, a zippy little thing.
Country music blasting.
Singing together, adding volume for the lyrics,
“Get drunk on you NO alcohol.”
A knowing between us.
A celebration of no alcohol.
It almost ruined us years ago.
A mother daughter relationship healed.
Pointing out the most glorious trees in their full fall expression.
Some are already letting go and falling to the ground in sweet surrender.
She knows I love this season best.
She celebrates it with me.
I know she’ll keep this forever.
Memories of our fall hikes and leaf peeping.
My heart is bursting.
A busy Costco warehouse.
Maneuvering the people.
Getting distracted by holiday deals and gifts for our loved ones.
Filling our cart with the best things.
Veggies, books, and cozy pants.
Frozen treats, fancy water, and ingredients for new recipes on our horizon.
Skipping and laughing and loving each other right down the aisles.
Talk about college for her.
Our special togetherness, as we know these days, are fleeting.
An early evening craft party with volleyball moms to cheer our kids on to playoffs.
Acquaintances becoming friends.
Calling ourselves The Mom Squad.
Our top job is supporting our players.
Letting myself be myself, even in this new situation.
Bringing flowers for the host, even though I think she might prefer wine.
Arranging them in a plastic cup vase as we craft in a garage.
A bottle of alcohol free sauvignon blanc for me.
My most anxious social situation eased by setting myself up for success.
Sharing my ideas, knowing they could be shot down.
They are not.
They are praised and immediately turned into action.
Allowing myself to be part, letting myself belong, in a group that I don’t know very well.
Not standing on the edges of life or social circle, but engaging.
Opening up in small and big ways.
Letting people know me, not pretending or wearing a mask of who I think people want me to be.
It starts with letting myself be myself to myself.
The kind of person who brings flowers instead of wine.
The kind of person who arranges them too.
Appreciating the eventual feedback, but enjoying the process even before affirmation.
A recovering people pleaser.
I am growing comfortable with myself.
Something I never felt while drinking.
Coming home to excited kids.
Spending time cuddling with my youngest.
Still tucking her in at age 14 and hoping to do it for as long as I can.
Ending the night reading books in bed with my oldest.
Looking forward to Monday and the week ahead.
So much goodness ahead for us.
A meal plan.
A job that I love and created myself.
Playoff volleyball games.
The last of fall's warm weather.
Yoga scheduled and on the calendar.
Things in place.
The ebb and flow of life and the ordinary.
Loving every minute of this grand life.
Indulging in the presence of being here and now.
A nice little Sunday
Nothing special and everything extraordinary.
Long gone are the hangover Sundays of the past.
Exhaustion for a weekend that had been overdone.
A boring and predictable cycle.
A dread for Monday.
A slow slip into opening another bottle of wine.
Fear filling my body and mind.
Anger and resentment running through my veins most of the time.
Chasing something that could never be caught.
Always wanting to be in a different place than where I was.
Stuck without answers.
Avoiding what I knew to be true.
Sure you can see people all over social media having Sunday Funday, but for me, nothing beats singing alcohol free lyrics, a fridge full of good food, drawers filled with clean clothes, and ending the night reading in bed with my teenagers.
For this is the contentment I was seeking and never finding in the bottom of the Apothic Red.