One Year Alcohol Free

Last week, I celebrated 365 days since I quit drinking- one entire year of being alcohol free! Yay me! I also started my new job that same day of my first “soberthday” so very distracted with new yoga job, I made little fanfare the actual day of. Got a cake. Lit a candle. Applauded myself. Ate said cake. It was glorious.

It is important to note I did not eat the entire cake, I cut it into 4 pieces and delivered a slice to each family member. When I told them what the cake was for they responded, “Aw, that’s awesome! Good job!” and went right back to doing what their previously cake-less selves were doing. And all that was perfectly okay with me.

This one year of not drinking, in the grand scheme of things, is truly no big deal to anyone but me and that’s just the way I like it. I am happy that this date was just that, a date, and only important insofar that I crossed a calendar finish line that means… nothing. I did it and I will keep on doing it and that one year mark was a typical day-in-the-life, only made special with a slice of chocolate cake and not some random date on the calendar.

Just as it should be. My sobriety is now the norm and it feels fantastic.

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Little by Little

“Little by little,” an acorn said,
As it slowly sank in its mossy bed,
“I am improving every day,
Hidden deep in the earth away.”

Little by little, each day it grew;
Little by little, it sipped the dew;
Downward it sent out a thread-like root;
Up in the air sprung a tiny shoot.

Day after day, and year after year,
Little by little the leaves appear;
And the slender branches spread far and wide,
Till the mighty oak is the forest’s pride.

“Little by little,” said a thoughtful child,
“Moment by moment, I’ll well employ,
And still this rule in my mind shall dwell:
Whatever I do, I will do it well.
“Little by little, I’ll learn to know
The treasured wisdom of long ago;
And one of these days, perhaps, we’ll see
That the world will be the better for me”.

-Author Unknown

Funemployment: The End (and The Beginning)

Me with my Yoga Teacher Training fam; our guru, leader and goddess SC front and center.

I am elated to state: I FINALLY GOT A JOB!!! Not in the industry I spent the past 30 years in, but in the industry I began last April when I started the Yoga Teacher Training certification path. I am now the proud Studio Manager at a bustling, pedigreed, super awesome yoga studio here in Oakland AND I accepted a role teaching gentle yoga to seniors! Everything is coming up yoga!

Can you believe it?! I am so happy I could cry. Actually, I have cried a few times, this is such an incredible turn of events I cannot stop smiling, even through these joyful tears!

The past 6 months I have gone on umpteen interviews for food/beverage/hospitality senior management roles and along the way, was offered a handful of jobs- declined 5, accepted 3- but then something always happened right after I said yes to a role, never in my favor. Last month, I was offered a Catering Manager position at a location I absolutely loved, I accepted enthusiastically, my new boss said, “Welcome to the team!” and then I heard nothing back. Nothing. It’s been 5 weeks and there has still been zero return to my phone calls, zero response to my follow-up emails. I could relay more of my horror hiring stories but I won’t waste our time, on to better things…

And guess what? Now I am done with that industry! Shove it, Hospitality! I gave you three decades of dedication, had some fun along the way, produced so many amazing events, ate lots of incredible food, met some great people, and learned an unbelievable amount. I gave hours upon hours, worked myself to the bone, put up with a lot of challenging people and situations, and was treated horribly all to earn a pay check.

But now I am leading with my heart and it feels oh so good to finally be rewarded.

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Bloganuary: Why I Write

WordPress hosts a Bloganuary challenge wherein they email a daily prompt and you’re supposed to write, as the title implies, daily for the entirety of January. As you can see, it is January 11th and this is my first (last?) Bloganuary post.

I am not a fan of these one-month long challenges. I like the idea of them, but for me it’s too much pressure. I am not a once-a-day blogger nor do I aim to be. I also do not do yoga once a day every day or drink a green juice once a day every day nor any other of the other once a day every day challenges that are out there other than eat, sleep, breathe, and be. That alone is a daily challenge in and of itself.

Then why do I sign up for these things, you may be asking and that’s a legit question- I sign up because I enjoy the inspiration! I know myself well enough to know that I cannot commit to 31 days straight of writing/ yoga/ juicing yet I enjoy the daily prompts and the motivation to create they provide.

Of the eleven prompts WordPress has sent thus far, I have kept four. Some of the prompts just don’t do it for me, a couple I have already written enough about, and those few I found compelling enough to save because they get my mind churning even if I choose not to put those thoughts to paper.

My blog, my choice and today, I choose to write! And writing about writing is a topic I certainly enjoy…

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Today’s Reason: Relief

Today was the first morning in 63 long days I woke up without pain. Wow. I’ve been down this pain path many, many times before; I knew yesterday’s epidural would provide immediate relief but I had forgotten just how much constant pain altered my demeanor. I feel like myself again. I feel weightless. I feel free. (Cue the applause!)

Nevertheless, this is a condition I must continue to manage, a second spine surgery is likely. When faced with chronic pain, I will do anything for relief- I will take the slew of prescriptions that turn me into an extra from the Walking Dead, I will take a big ass needle shoved into my spinal column, and yes I will take another major surgery. Anything that promises even a sliver of relief from 24/7 pain, I’ll take- I think you would too.

Relief comes in many forms, just as many as there are types of pain. Aching, excruciating, shooting, stabbing, tortuous, heavy, harrowing, burning. Whatever the flavor, be it physical or emotional, finding relief therein has been the most challenging things I continue to combat all these 48 years of life. Currently, it is physical pain: the pain I can acknowledge with a simple, “It hurts here.” That emotional pain, however, isn’t nearly as easy to pinpoint.

It just occurred to me that being a Pain Expert isn’t something one aspires to be! What a bummer/ blessing that I can say with 100% certainty that when it comes to pain- physical as well as emotional- I am an authority on the topic. “Write what you know”, as the cliché goes… pain is unfortunately exactly what I know.

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Dear Laura: I’m Sorry

Dear Laura:
I owe you more apologies and even more applause for the things we’ve gone through over the bumpy course of these 48 years. We’ve done a lot and we’ve seen a lot and I have held you back at nearly every turn. Often I’ve ignored the truth and lied to you more times than I care to admit and for this, I confess my fault in it all.

I am sorry for allowing toxic relationships to abuse you and for destructive environments to punish you. You were always right from the start- every time you said things were too stressful and too dramatic and too threatening I didn’t listen, I only told you to take it all with a smile and go back for more the next day. When you recognized these harmful situations, I was wrong in telling you to accept things for what they are. You always knew better.

I am sorry for the mistreatment you suffered at the hands of your parents. You had nothing to do with their inability to love and show kindness, it was not your fault that they physically and mentally abused you, at least we can both agree about that. But all those times I said you deserved it, again I was wrong. You never deserved abuse. I am regretful for ever putting that on you. Look at how much you’ve accomplished despite that lack of unconditional parental love. I am sorry that continues to haunt you and I promise to remind you of how much you shine, how much love and comfort you provide for your own family even though you were never taught how- you always had it in you.

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The Last Drink

December 18, 2021: hubby’s birthday party. I’m holding 2 Santa shots here, each a different type of bourbon. I do not drink bourbon but I drank both of these that night… along with much, much more…

Given the festivity pictured, you would think that that was my last drink. It was not. It was actually the fourth to last but the events that occurred the night of 12/18/21 certainly propelled my decision to quit.

I love a good theme and this Christmas explosion of a bar was a perfect backdrop to don our merriest apparel in celebration of hubby’s birthday. Once the drinking buddies arrived, our drunken antics began. The menu included an array of Xmas-crafted cocktails at $15 a pop. Not kidding. $15. Each. And when you’ve got an open tab plus “friends” who take advantage of said open tab plus you’re at this freaking place for 8 hours straight, that tab adds up. And add up this night it certainly did- in more ways than one…

Of course, my goal was to try them all!
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Writing on Writing

I’ve always loved writing. I started a daily practice of journaling in junior high (around 12 years old) and kept that up all the way through college. In high school, English was my favorite subject and I learned the basics from Mr. Mehle, story analysis and structure with Mrs. Holmes, and then in my senior year I was lucky to be placed with Ms. Casey- one of The Best teachers I have ever had. As it was an Advanced Placement course, we had piles of reading to complete plus essay after essay after essay. Ms. Casey gave us so much work, I recall many all nighters, reading and writing tirelessly just to attain a “5/5” score. Which I only got once- countless 4+++++ grades yet only one victorious 5 for an essay on William Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury”. (Can’t believe I actually remember that after 30 years! That’s just how important getting that 5 was!)

Upon transferring to USC my junior year of college, I was accepted to the School of Cinema-Television Critical Studies program which was my first true academic challenge- as one of the top film schools in the country the workload was immense. I had to make movies as well as watch hundreds of films and TV shows, go to lectures, read and write nearly constantly, all the while working full time at a fine dining restaurant. I wouldn’t have changed that experience for the world- studying critical writing was an honor, I loved the output, my bylines were my pride.

After college, I landed in Public Relations mainly because I can write the heck out of a press release be it semiconductors, robotics, artificial intelligence or antivirus software- even when I know nothing about the topic, I easily learned about it and made it sound oh so good on paper. Once I left the tech PR industry for hospitality, where writing skills are not expected, cover letters and polishing my resume were my sole writing outlet for about 5 years until Running4theReason was born in 2010.

Each and every medal has a story!
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Today’s Reason: You

If no one has told you lately, let me be the first: you are awesome and perfect just the way you are. Your journey is unique and no one else can inform your path. Others we choose to bring along our journey become our teachers, even if temporary, and guide us when enduring the hardest of times. The times where we struggle, the periods when the world is just too much and everything is a battle, the days when not one thing goes right. I’ve been there too. We all have. Yet, you are the answer. The power is within you, as it is within all of us, to grab the reigns, bear down, and ride those rocky paths of life with grace and triumph.

It’s taken me a lot of work over several years to finally love myself and have true compassion for others. For way too long, I ruminated on all the things I wasn’t: not kind enough, not smart enough, not accomplished enough, not skinny enough- yet, surprise surprise, that did absolutely nothing for my motivation. All the negative thinking did was hold me in place; stewing in those comparison juices got me nowhere. The moment I started telling myself, “I want to do this, I can do this, I will do this, and I do not care what other people may think!” is when the real action began.

Where ever you are in your journey is the exact right place to be. Remember that! Once life takes you down a difficult road know that you have the ability and skill to choose how that difficulty dictates your life. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Breathe in the good, breathe out the bad.” and I am here to tell you that’s stupid. In times of strife, especially, one must take the good along with the bad as they are a package set. It is 100% okay, even necessary, to see and feel every inch of the bad, every little nook and cranny of it, in order to truly understand it. The good is you, the bad is you and both hold the answers you seek.

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