Sober Stress Relief and Friends

Stress relief is the major concern I have with my coming year of testing sober living. I think I use wine to escape my responsibilities. This is not a good thing, I know. It gives me a break from work and home responsibilities and lets my mind go free for an hour or two.

Those are the excuses I use, anyway.

So I’m trying to come up with other healthy ways to get to that same place. I know I would like to replace wine and use some of these for stress relief:

  • Exercise
  • Yoga
  • Stretching
  • Weight lifting
  • Saunas
  • Massages
  • Epsom salt baths
  • Pedicure
  • Bike rides
  • Walks on the beach
  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • Cooking
  • Reading
  • Writing

The second concern is my friends. Most of them drink and drink often like I do. So, those relationships may be changing. I don’t know that I will want to hang around for the drunk talk and silly redundant talk that happens when we sit at a bar or at my pool bar and drink.

I’m curious what others have done to overcome “wine-o-clock”… and the circle of drinking buddies… what did you do to break this habit? Please share any successes in the comments. I look forward to any suggestions or comments!



We acquire and store so much clutter. In our drawers and closets I have so much crap! I mean crap I think I will use someday, will need later; crap I don’t ever use!

I am on a mission to simplify this stuff. I started last weekend and did all the kitchen drawers. That felt great! The next step this weekend is my master bath cabinets and then my closet.

I clean out my closet several times a year and I continue to impulsively purchase more and more clothes and shoes and I am just over it!

If I would chose to use and be happy with what I have and live more frugally I could retire sooner and work less now!

When I started this blog in 2015 I wanted to quit drinking and get in great shape. Over the past 5 years I’ve done neither of those things but I did manage to create a very successful real estate business.

Now it’s time to reach that feeling of “I love my new life” in 2020. This includes quitting drinking, lots of exercise, painting daily and simplifying/frugal living.

I’m excited to see how it will look in a few months. How will I feel?

It’s time to give myself a true chance to reach my best potential.

What are you doing different in 2020? Please share in the comments below!

Simple Living Intrigues Me

For the past 25 years I’ve been intrigued by simple living. I certainly have not created that lifestyle, but I’ve read and planned about it. Now that I’m considering changing my whole life around in just 15 days, I’m contemplating what a simple life could look like for me.

When I think of simple living I think of low stress, low spending, less demands, being outdoors a lot for gardening, art, relaxation and exercise, and no or very minimal debt.

The biggest obstacle I have in my life right now to attaining this goal is my business. My business is very expensive to run. It yields great money; however it costs a lot between paying staff, providing leads for my team, and marketing. This constant stress of making sure we are being profitable, excessive spending to produce excellent results, and constant monitoring goes against my personal goal of simplifying. I have also developed a habit of buying anything I want lately. With the income we’ve been fortunate to make, I have become more flamboyant in my spending. I want to stop this because it’s something I can easily control. I want to think of a penny saved as a penny earned and to stop spending and be more thrifty with my groceries and clothes.

The year 2020 will be my year to decide if simple living is truly my passion. I will ponder it snd once the first three months of the new lifestyle and no alcohol have passed I think I will either be drawn toward it or I will be more focused on growing my business. I am passionate about my business and the two seem to contradict each other but maybe they can work synergistically to get me to where I think I want to go!

I can’t wait to see how I feel about this at the end of March. I will update this blog in early April…. stay tuned!

Hind sight 2020

The year 2020 is approaching and I’m so excited for my journey (as a just turned 50 year old woman) and explorations into new territory this year.

The hardest part to start will be to stop my work brain and allow others to handle the work. I will have to give more to the team and step back and let them handle things. I know they can do this, and I know I can trust them.

The second challenge will be the no drinking. I’ve made it a habit and I will want to replace that witching hour habit (between 4-8pm) with other healthy habits. I think cooking with the kids or with Tim, yoga at sunset, taking the boys to the gym or a spin class, and art/music as a family will work well during this time period.

My goals will be to stop working 60-80 hours a week in my real estate business and work about 30, max 40. My husband is my partner and I would like him to also work about 30. Putting limits on those hours (at least for me) is imperative to my success to change this year. So, a schedule will be needed. The real estate business is very demanding. So, this will be the biggest challenge.

Once I nail down our schedules, next will be the self care schedule which must include time daily for me to:

  • Journal and/or blog
  • Meditate
  • Walk
  • Read
  • Cook and meal plan
  • Stretch or do yoga
  • Spend fun time with hubby
  • Spend quality time with each son
  • Cook all meals at home
  • Create in my studio a minimum of one hour daily – I would prefer two hours daily.

I would like to dedicate 5 hours a day to these things. Between food prep/cooking, exercise and health, and creative endeavors a minimum of 5 hours a day. I would like to actually spend more, but we will start with that goal.

If you think about the typical worker, you won’t get my situation. Real estate takes a ton of planning and a lot of flexibility to work around the schedules of your clients. So I will need to set some boundaries by blocking this sacred time first.

I am up by 7am at the latest and like to spend my mornings reading, writing and meditating. This is at least one hour.

Following this hour I like to go on a long walk and then do a yoga session. This can be 45 minutes to 1.5 hours.

7-10am is for gentle exercise and stretching and writing, reading and meditation.

In a perfect world I will fast until noon so from 10-12 I would be in my art loft. At noon I would make a delicious whole food lunch and share it with my husband. By 1 I would be dressed and ready to work in my real estate business and I would work 1-5 daily, Monday – Friday, which would be 20 hours a week.

At 4pm the boys get home from school and they like to go to the neighborhood gym and hang out and play basketball with their friends. I would like to food prep and cook anything needed to be cooked from 5-530 and then go to the gym or a class sometime around that time with the kids and maybe with Tim.

By the time we return it would be time to finish dinner and clean up and at that point I’d like to be back in the studio (would love the kids to be involved in the art or music at this time), and also practicing self care in the form of epsom salt baths and skin care.

Bed time would be by 10.

On the weekends the schedule would be more flexible and would include church on Sunday and a hike in nature as a family.

Now it’s written. This is my goal. The additional work hours will be on weekends and at night, only as needed.

I will begin this schedule January 5, 2020! The only exception I can think of is Wednesday’s and team meetings 11-1. On that day I will review the schedule to be there by 11. So, Wednesday I will work 11-3 and pick up the art in the afternoon.

I want to love my new life! I can’t wait to see what happens during this experiment!

50 years in the Making!

The person I am today is a direct result of the 50 years I’ve been alive making choices.

I love who I am. Who I am is a great mom and wife and an amazing successful entrepreneur. I’ve worked very hard to be successful and I am also a good friend to many. I have managed to put us in a good financial situation through hard work and dedicated savings. I live in a beautiful house on a lake and I have almost no debt. So, people from the outside see my life and lifestyle which includes traveling several times a year and they think I have it all.

However there is this tiny voice in the back of my head all the time telling me I may be missing the boat. I may be missing my true calling. My true authentic self. My true passion.

I think one of the reasons I have always drank so much wine (over the past 20 plus years) is to stop my mind. My mind goes and goes and goes. I’ve always been like that.

ln high school I had straight A’s and graduated with well over a 4.0 gpa. I played volleyball and basketball and was the star on both teams. High scorer in basketball averaging 26 points a game. I worked hard to get to that point because I was not quick nor could I out jump my competition. I learned to use what I had to succeed which was a great brain for plays and amazing shot and ball handling skills.

I stayed in good shape through my mid twenties. In fact at 25 I thought I was in the best shape of my life. I had started real estate just after getting my BA to teach special education. At that time I was married to my first husband. I met one of my dearest friends, Anna, and we soon became real estate and work our partners. I was so happy to weigh about 139 and have abs. I felt so good! If I can get myself back to that point of feeling so amazing and proud of my body this year I will be so happy.

With the new friendship began my entrepreneurial quests. Anna and I would go on to purchase and hold over a million dollars in real estate in the Tampa area and open our own real estate brokerage. We were successful in our mid 20’s through our late 30’s together.

But with that came stress of being an entrepreneur and that’s where the fitness slipped off and the wine took over as stress relief.

The fitness level and health levels have not been a major focus for me from ages 25-50. I’ve focused on business and family. Not on myself.

It’s time for that to change!

I am going to plan this year 2020 to be my year to put it all together. I’ve heard from some of my friends who are a bit older that 50 is the best year. I think I see it now more clearly. I feel clear on my requirements. My own demands on myself to live my life for me. Authentically.

So, quitting drinking has been an ongoing theme and I’ve done several dry months and felt wonderful, only to slip back to bad habits eventually and never to make lasting change.

I will quit. I will put exercise, health, fitness, firmness (!), flexibility and self care in top priority position this coming year. I will also put creative expression through art as a daily practice. So, I will plan how to transition from a 60-80 hour work week to a 30 hour work week and focus the rest of the time on me and my personal goals!

I’ve got the team of agents ready to go. I’ve got a staff of 3 ready to go. I can focus on me because I’ve built this business and worked very hard to make it to this point. I deserve this.

Now it’s time for me. And I can’t wait to see what comes of it! Hindsight is 2020. That’s gonna be my year to put it all together and become my authentic self! I can’t wait to see how it all goes.

This time Is It!

Reading blog posts with recurring themes for the past 5 years is very unsettling. And yes, I’m still in the same boat mentally with alcohol. Yes, my drinking is less than it was then, not as excessive. But yes, I still drink almost daily and have been smoking too. I am ready to make the official change.

I just turned 50 and I think I can see a theme in my life – even when I go back to journals from my 20’s that I’ve longed to see what an alcohol free life would do for me.

I wonder what I would do with all the time. I wonder what my health and physical body would do. I wonder how I would look and feel.

I’ve been writing about this for many many years. Many more than are documented here.

So I am planning my journey into sobriety starting in January. My wonderful hubby is on board, which helps tremendously. Friends we have will likely be disappointed, but they can drink! We just won’t.

I want to live out the rest of my life more purposefully, more simply, more in tune to myself.

I run a successful real estate team and I love what I do, but I want to explore my artistic side as well. I think with a clear head, I can manage to find the time to transition into the life I’ve always dreamed of:

  • I will stretch and do yoga
  • I will exercise outside daily
  • I will do saunas
  • I will lift weights
  • I will enjoy epsom salt baths with essential oils
  • I will get massages
  • I will practice self care daily
  • I will grow some veggies
  • I will cook healthy Whole Foods daily
  • I will rise early and happily greet the day
  • I will establish time rules for limiting how much I work weekly
  • I will determine when I will paint and create daily and work in my art loft daily
  • I will have a loving and sexy relationship with my hubby
  • I will spend time with my sons daily doing household daily chores such as cooking

I can’t wait to get started. Of course with our New Year’s Eve party plans and Christmas Eve party plans with our “party” friends I know better than to start this now. But as of January 4 I am done with alcohol. I just want to be done. No more 30 days and back to it. Just be done.

I know there are special events next year like taking the team to Miami and Kristine’s wedding in October! But there are always excuses. And I can attend those events just fine! I do not need to associate alcohol with having fun, but it’s hard because of 25 years of doing just that.

I’m excited and want this year to be a life changer for me. I will meet new people and inspire new people. I think my life will really transform. I’m also nervous about it. I’m nervous to look back at this in a year and have failed. I’m nervous as to what my friends will think. But I’m way more excited than I am nervous. Like way way more.

God- please lift me up to accomplish this goal I have to remove alcohol completely from my life and to focus on those things I’ve always wanted such as wonderful health, a fit body, meditation and peace, creating artistically daily, simplifying my life and eventually by the end of 2020 planning my exit from the rat race and into a life of art, wellness, nature and simplicity. Help me find my way to this goal and stay strong in your hands as I navigate the first sober year of the rest of my amazing gift of a life! In Jesus’ name, Amen!!!

Proud of us!  One week report

We made it through Friday night alcohol free!  Talk about a proud moment!  

I had a few moments of doubt between the hours of 4-7pm but my husband and I did it, despite the fact that all the odds were stacked against us (our normal triggers): 

  • A stressful meeting earlier in the day
  • A busy successful work week
  • It being Friday!
  • Gorgeous day/sunset
  • The kids were gone for the night
  • We had to go to a bar to get a check
  • We could go out anywhere kid free!
  • Dinner out!
  • Celebrating life

Lol!  These are our normal reasons to drink, and often to drink to excess.  We did not have a drop!  I feel so good :). Instead we enjoyed a healthy dinnner of spring rolls and pho! 

These are the things I’ve noticed the first week in as far as changes from not drinking:

  • Much more energy
  • Clear head
  • No hangovers!
  • Awake and fresh early
  • Sleeping great!
  • Bloating is going way down
  • I’ve lost several pounds
  • Energy for workouts
  • My face is not bloated and red
  • My skin texture is improving
  • I take time for more self care
  • I want to be closer to my hubby
  • I feel more positive 
  • No self loathing feelings

That’s the report for week one!  If you have any thoughts or want to share where you are in your journey to self improvement please comment!  

And I’m ready for round two!   Week number two here I come! 

Let’s try this again, take 3!

Yep, it’s that time of year again. I’ve spent the last year drinking as heavily as ever!  It was a “better” year because we spent All of January sober and subsequently lost about 12-15 pounds.   We started back to drinking in February and didn’t stop again until January 31, 2016!  I was able to have better “control” and no puking/falling etc and I also managed to get to my heaviest weight of 190! This weight is just terrible for me and the highest ever besides when I was pregnant!   We didn’t work out much and our business skyrocketed.  We run a very successful business and it took over our time and efforts and our health and weight suffered.  

I wasn’t a good role model to my kids last year with respect to allowing them to see my daily drinking habits and sometimes the crazy drunk with a potty mouth.  Sad. Really sad.   

But I’m changing it this year. I will not go back.   

Sent all the alcohol to a friend today.  None in the house at all and I’m super excited about it. Tim is totally on board and ready too. We’ve hired a trainer.  I am not drinking again until I reach my goal weight of 140 pounds.  IF I EVER DRINK AGAIN.  

I spent all day in bed nursing a terrible hangover yesterday.  We threw a New Year’s Eve bash for a bunch of our friends and I managed to drink 12 plus glasses of wine and stayed up till 6am.  Not too smart!   Goodbye to those crazy nights.  I’ve had more than my fair share of booze, parties and late nights.  I’m ready for a new life.  And I’m ready to be a better role model.  

  • What will happen in all areas of my life from this major lifestyle change?  
  • How quickly can I drop this weight and will I decide to drink again?

It’s a new year, and I’m feeling good!

  That songs been ringing in my head since my drunk ass New Year’s Eve party I attended.  But the truth is I wasn’t feeling good.  


Decided to go January with no booze. Me and the hubby. Long overdue and possibly a forever change.  

We’ve both had more than our fair share of booze. Both of us started as young teens and kept the party going until December 31, 2015. That’s 33 years for me and 48 years for hubby of heavy rock star drinking. 

Luckily neither of us drank hard liquor, only wine and beer with an occasional vodka… But we’re talking massive quantities, and on a daily basis.  

We are lucky we are not obese or ill with all the alcohol we’ve consumed. And not to mention the other things that often came with it over the years, including lots of cigarettes and other bad choices. 

With two boys, 12 and 9, it was time for a major change. A major lifestyle overhaul, to say the least. 

The past few months have been extremely bad. We’ve each gained over 10 pounds, making us the heaviest yet. I’m at 181. I’m guessing hubby is at 199. He didn’t want to tell me and I certainly didn’t tell him. Each with a goal weight loss of approx 30-40 pounds. I know 140 and 160 are our ideal weights as that’s what we weighed when we met 20 years ago.  

Certainly I haven’t been a good role model. Especially the past year. My drinking has gotten out of control. I cannot say I remember the end to many days over the past months due to blacking out. Before that when I was dieting and still drinking (now that makes sense doesn’t it?) I was blacking out, passing out, puking on myself in the car with the kids watching, falling down drunk, and being downright mean and nasty to my hubby. I’d wake up many times wondering what I’d done. Hubby would tell me stories, of which, I had no recollection. The kids would do the same. What a shame. I am very ashamed. But that shame didn’t stop me! I just kept on drinking as much as I could on a daily basis. 

I was a controlled drunk. I wouldn’t start until 4 most days. And between 4-9 I’d consume 6-8 wines. And my business was in control. I’d wake up foggy and groggy but I kept it together, most days nursing a hangover and just getting thru till 4 so I could “relax” again. The workouts rarely got done due to feeling like a pile of shit. I didn’t spend quality time with my kids or hubby either. But I did with my drinking buddies who would stop by once a week. Or spend a whole weekend. We’d sit up out by the pool bar drinking, smoking and all sorts of bad stuff until 4 am. What the hell was I thinking? What am I, 21?  

No! I’m 46! I’m a business owner, run our household, have a hubby, 2 wonderful sons, and my mother here with us to take care of. 

My goodness was I stupid. Careless. Risk taker. Dumb ass. Alcoholic. Addicted. Sad. 

Luckily for me when I do quit I don’t suffer any withdrawal symptoms. In fact, quite the opposite. I immediately feel wonderful, calm, happy and fulfilled. When I have quit in the past years, attempting 30 days sober, i feel so amazing that by day 15 or 12 or 17 I say “I’ve got this! I can drink again! I can relax again! I can have FUN again!” Well guess what? Within a week I’m right back to where I was, if not worse. 

Oh it’s progressed rapidly this past year.  

Seems like everyone (darn near everyone) I know is a drinker. Some big drinkers like me. There’s no shortage. But then I see others that have only 1-2 drinks he whole night. I wish I could be them, but I don’t think it’s in me. Don’t think it’s possible. 

The thought of giving up wine forever makes me nervous. Like id be losing my best friend. Losing friends I drink with. What will they think of me as a non drunk? Will I still like them? Who will I be friends with? What will I do?

What will I do with ALL THAT TIME I WASTED Daily??? Omg I’ve wasted countless hours drinking alone, with hubby, with friends. Countless hours hungover in bed or up but not truly present.  

I don’t think I’ve been truly present for a few years. I’ve been detached. Extremely self absorbed. Extremely drunk and toxic. 

Funny how alcohol does that. Gives you a false sense that you’re doing the right thing. That you are living the life – the world is your oyster. It’s a crock of shit. It’s addiction talking. I don’t like what it’s done to me and I refuse to be that person any longer. 

I know for some of my friends it’s gonna be very difficult. They won’t understand. My hubby may not understand either. He should. He’s been abused for years due to my alcoholism. He’s the one that saw the real me. The real drunk. The bitch. I’m a lucky girl that he still loves me. He’s a wonderfully forgiving soul.  

So here I am sober on January 3. Day 3. And we are committed to January with no alcohol. Our best friends are also going alcohol free. They don’t have drinking problems like we do. But I’d say they do still have party problems that are not healthy either. It’s good they are with us on this leg of the journey, but I’m uncertain of their response to me if I say I’m never drinking again. That scares me. They may never want to vacation with us again. I may become a boring old lady. What will I become?

That’s a great question. I know one thing for sure. I had lots of dreams as a younger person to be fit and gorgeous. Well, I was, then I started really heavy drinking around age 25. Wonder if I can get back to that body I was so proud of.  

So down this road I go. Alone. But I hope hubby will continue to support and understand. This may need to be a forever thing.  

I know there is a small group that can go 90 days alcohol free and then moderate. I don’t think that’s me. But I may be willing to give it a try. I would love it to work for me/us. I guess time will tell. 2-3 wines a week sounds like a joke to me right now. What would be the point? I wouldn’t get to fall down and puke on myself and wake up feeling like shit. That wouldn’t be any fun at all.