TGIF becomes OSIFA (Oh Shit It’s Friday Again) in early sobriety. For me, I dreaded how the weekend loomed fearfully ahead and taunted me with boozy opportunities for failure. I am not exactly sure when that changed for me, but I like weekends again.
I credit this monumental shift to new practices and habits. Here are some of my tips and tricks for enjoying the weekend:
1. Check the calendar. Do you have events to attend? Do you wish to attend them? The most important thing about going out in early sobriety is planning transportation. Do not allow yourself to be “stuck” somewhere that doesn’t feel good. You need to empower yourself to leave whenever you feel like you need a change of scene. Do it politely, discreetly,and safely. If you arrived with someone else, be sure to communicate the plan so that they don’t have to leave with you. My husband and I would agree before we went out that I would leave if I wanted, and he could take a cab home later – no questions asked and no guilt trips either way. Oh and bring along your own AF beverage – that is your new rule, right?
2. No parties or events on the calendar? Super – it is all about you then. Whereas I used to stop by the liquor store for myself, now I go to the mall and stock up on tea, ice cream, coffee, reading material, fancy lotions, whatever might make my weekend a little more enjoyable. Hello sofa. Hello Netflix. Hello toe separators and purple polish. Let’s all spend some time together. Once you are nesting there, text a few friends and plan short daytime outings for Saturday and Sunday: coffee, a walk, FaceTime. It is important to have a few things to look forward to so you don’t stay on the couch the entire weekend.
3. Map out your weekend. List out the must-dos and the like-to-dos: cleaning, groceries, errands, pampering, coffee with friends, walking the dogs, exercise, phoning your mother. Now plan to do all of it at odd hours: clean house in the evening, meet friends at Starbucks in the sunshine instead of the wine bar at night, move the coffee table and try standing on your head during Saturday morning cartoons, pull out your stove and clean that gunk back there — basically shake up your routine and keep busy. I found that if I broke out the weekend into chunks of time and put an activity or two into each spot, then it gave me something to look forward to and something to do and something to feel proud of at the end of the day. I am someone who needs to actually write down “sit and relax” “read book” in order for it to get done, so even that goes on the list.
4. Drinking caused me to grow blinders for any event that didn’t involve alcohol. Now I am amazed by how much there is to DO in this world! Farmers’ Markets, art galleries, museums, walking tours, lectures, concerts. Stop walking past those event posters at the coffee shop and read them. Go into the library and look at the events listing. Check out the web page for your local schools and see what games, plays, and events they are hosting. Go to some random sporting event where you don’t know any players or teams and just soak up the energy and spirit of youth! When is the last time you watched pre-schoolers playing soccer? It is the most adorable thing in the world.
5. Organize your home. You probably hate me for saying this but trust me, you will feel better. Here is a great link to get you started: http://www.flylady.net/d/br/2012/07/07/how-do-i-declutter-2/ (I love the suggestion of choosing 27 things to throw away while singing “Please Release Me”.)
Readers, what can you add? How about those of you with younger kids – what are your secrets for a great weekend? Let’s get through the next 48 hours together. I know I plan to enjoy myself.