Goodbye Old Frenemy

“Buddhism is a path of supreme optimism, for one of its basic tenets is that no human life or experience is to be wasted or forgotten, but all should be transformed into a source of wisdom and compassionate living.”

– Taitetsu Unno, “Number One Fool”

Where to begin? Some awesome synchronicity going on here again. When you pay attention. Good things happen. Henry and I share a Kindle account. He sees my books. I see his. He recently downloaded the book, The Power of Habit. So I thought I’d check it out.

It is a godsend at just the right moment. For ages I have had a nasty habit that I hate. That I am finally ready to say goodbye to.

For a very, very, very long time. Ok. My entire adult life. I’ve thought that I drink too much. And I’m tired of thinking that. I’m tired of feeling that. I’m tired of fearing that.

But I would like to continue to enjoy our lovely wine collection. And champagne at celebrations. And beer with nachos.

Can I? Can I finally enjoy drinking without that nagging shame of You drink too much? Can I not drink too much?

I hope there a few readers out there who appreciate the irony that I am typing this during my very favorite 5pm Friday night Happy hour.

Goodbye old friend. You’ve made me feel like shit for so many years. I don’t need you anymore. And I don’t need you right now. Just because it’s Friday at 5pm.

Oh my. Indeed.

And so.

The book explains that the process of forming a habit is a three-step loop: Cue, Routine, Reward. Most simply put, to change the habit you keep the cue and the reward, but must change the routine.

With any ingrained habit, there is a great deal of soul-searching, reflecting, understanding your cues and rewards. Happily, I’ve been doing that quite rigorously since I started this blog in October. I understand my cues. I know what my rewards are. I want to permanently change my routine.

And here’s the very cool part for me. All the synchronicity that has been happening since October. Is that I finally know I am really ready. I have the method.  I have the belief.  But the key for me. I have the support of  a community who believes in that as well.

“There’s something really powerful about groups and shared experiences. People might be skeptical about their ability to change if they’re by themselves, but a group will convince them to suspend disbelief. A community creates belief.”

You know. I like to say. Shift happens.

I come to The Carrot Seed just about every day. It has become such an integral part of my life. To share. To listen. To feel connected. To belong to a community.

It is with this support, this shared reflection that I feel like I’m finally able to let go of my beloved frenemy known by so many names. We’ll just call her “overindulgence.” Because that’s comfortable for me.

When I drink too much I feel like I am wasting this precious human life that I have been given. My greatest regrets come from that. How grateful I am to have the good fortune and support to transform this behavior. And to know that from this will come wisdom and greater compassion.

To everyone who stops by The Carrot Seed. I am grateful.

Friday Happy Hour Transformed.

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4 thoughts on “Goodbye Old Frenemy

  1. We’ve seen the many phases of our children as we’ve watched them grow. Different kids at different times. So, too, for us as adults. How many different people have we been during our lives? Sometimes we don’t even realize we’re different until that other phase is way back in the rear-view mirror. At other times, the shift happens in a mere moment. Anne, it looks like you can mark yours on a calendar: “On this day, it happened.”

  2. My frenemy was different than yours, or maybe it’s really not. Mine was an reminder of my own habit to dwell on my past, fill myself with self-doubt, and worry about things that I don’t have control over. Your blog gave me the courage to wash it down the garbage disposal. It’s gone forever. Time to start over. I can’t believe how freeing it felt to do that. Thank you for the push. And congratulations in your own shift.

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