So, the parade is over. Confetti’s been tossed, marching band is back on the bus. Clowns have piled back into their teeny tiny car and driven off. And life goes on.
The night before my one year anniversary, my husband took me out for dinner at one of our city’s finest restaurants. The waitress approaches to take our drink orders and excitedly announces that, since it’s the restaurant’s 40th anniversary, the first glass of wine is only 40 cents! I just smile and order my club soda with cranberry and lime – and the two of us notice how the waitress’s face falls momentarily. Whatevs. We had a delicious, special dinner on a lovely summer evening. So we get the bill and his eleven dollar glass of chianti costs 40 cents and my two mocktails come to six dollars. But, interestingly enough, most of the nice restaurants we’ve been to in the last year don’t even charge for club, cran, and lime. When we called it to one waiter’s attention, he said, “It’s just water.”
Yesterday, which was the actual one-year mark, we babysat two of our granddaughters during the day. They’re 5 and 2 and super active so I didn’t have too much time to reflect on what I was doing on this day last year. Last night, we watched our youngest little sweetheart because it was her mommy’s birthday and we offered to take her so her parents could have some time to themselves.
She is just beginning to walk and loves nothing more than to practice her new skill, toddling from one end of the family room to her Grandpa, then pivoting and making her way across the room to me. Lather, rinse, repeat.
As I’m watching her, I just can’t get enough of her energy: eyes alight with glee, her little tongue sticking out of the corner of her mouth with concentration, huge grin, babbling with delight…. And I have that moment – when time freezes and you step outside yourself – and I remember EXACTLY where I was and how I felt one year ago.
And the contrast just floors me. I was in the same room, holding this same precious baby, who was 2 1/2 months old, feeling so shaky and teary and scared shitless. Terrified of the thought of never drinking again. So, so sad to have to say goodbye to alcohol. Too scared to to even try to imagine what my life would be like, post-booze. Feeling like I was teetering on the edge of a precipice, taking a heart-stopping free fall into an alien world.
And I had this moment of realization – I feel JUST like this sweet little toddler! Thrilled and proud and so friggin’ EXCITED about life! Like I’m steady on my feet and confidently striding into the future! Getting stronger and more sure of myself and more confident with every step – I can’t WAIT to see what the coming year holds!
I hope you’ll come with me as I embark on the next phase of my journey – let’s go!!!