Weekend Wonders

Sometimes it is just nice to hear what a sober weekend involves for other people. I could hardly imagine it when I was drinking – I remember peeking out my window at the homes in my neighbourhood, wondering what happens in the living rooms of the non-drinkers of the world. Even now, with 5 sober years (totalling 265 weekends!) under my belt, I still catch myself thinking, “Hey, look at me not drinking and still having fun!”

I recently wrote about a super-exciting weekend – a meetup of sober friends in Portland that was SO FUN! – but let me tell you about this utterly normal (alcohol-free) weekend. Then, if you wouldn’t mind, please comment and share your weekend highlights.

Friday Night – My husband messaged me to say we’d been invited out for pizza with friends. I was wearing sweaty yoga clothes and was planning to read in the back yard but I’ve been a little anti-social lately so decided it would be nice to get dressed and get out. I was worried that everyone would be super drink-y (Friday night after all) but the weird-o’s ordered tea and water. (I’m kidding. They’re not weird, they’re lovely.) We had a great visit and ate too much and were home by 9 pm negotiating what movie to download. I was up a few “wife points” for all of the tv golf I’ve suffered through lately, so my husband kindly offered to watch “Brooklyn” (which, by the way, was quietly enjoyable; rather like this post and the rest of my life).

Saturday – I was going to spend the day writing but an early morning text from my daughter-in-law arrived, inviting me to a children’s festival. Petting zoos and bouncy castles with my little grandson? Yes please! (Hurray for life without hangovers!)  I quickly made a pile of sandwiches – packing some for my husband’s lunch since he couldn’t join us and some for us at the festival since I correctly assumed that healthy food would not be available. (Sidebar: a home made sandwich is a joyous thing. My mother-in-law has often made us sandwiches for various adventures and it makes us feel so cared for and loved. If you want to make someone’s day, make them an unexpected sandwich.) (Second sidebar: Recovery is all about gratitude and service. Sandwiches are about gratitude and service. Coincidence?)

The festival was all kinds of fun. I took 50 or so (blurry) photos of the little dude like a good Grandma should.

By mid-afternoon I was back at my desk with a Tim’s (that’s Canadian for take-out coffee, except mine is a medium-steeped-tea-one-milk-two-sugar) (they often make it wrong) (I persist hopefully with the one-milk-two-sugar-tea order because when it’s right it’s worth it). I got busy packing and labelling prizes to mail to readers while simultaneously arranging dinner out tonight with my kids via text. The international customs forms were a pain in the butt! I took some extra time to write a personal note of thanks to each winner – once again gratitude and service make mundane tasks a sincere pleasure.

Here is a bundle of goodies ready to leave my desk for various lucky readers:



*****Three-hour pause in blogging efforts while I meet my family for dinner at Boston Pizza. I had shrimp tacos and Diet Pepsi. My little grandson ate an entire pizza and 7 lemon slices. Neither of us drank any wine, nor did anyone else at our table, and our large noisy group had a wonderful time*****

Saturday Night – Buckle up. When I finish this post, it’s just me and Sleepytime Tea (made correctly my me) and whatever I decide to do next. The remote control is all mine as hubby is away overnight so I am thinking something super girly like the Tina Fey / Amy Poehler movie that we can’t ever agree to watch together. I’ve gone a little bead-crazy since the girls weekend – we made bracelets for each other as an activity and now I can’t stop – so maybe I could make a few bracelets while watching/not watching the movie. Maybe I’ll crack the “Venus” catalogue that is (inexplicably) mailed to me and play the “Find One Thing On This Page You Would Actually Wear” game – you know, where you randomly open the catalogue and pretend you HAVE TO buy something on that page, which is super amusing and challenging considering the cougar-ish nature of all things Venus.

I’m not really selling the sober life here, or am I? The point is, I am all alone on a Saturday night, doing things I enjoy and feeling no urge to drink. I don’t miss it (love me some Vanilla Sleepytime, truly), don’t need it (no stress in this day!), and don’t think about it (except when I am writing to you good people!).

Sunday – Tomorrow I am going to dig up three rosebushes outside my office that I have HATED for years. I have spent the last several summers trying to trim, shape, and control them, but these are ALBERTA WILD ROSES – stubborn little buggers with an iron will and no common sense. I was scouring the internet for information on how to win this War of the Roses when it dawned on me: replace them with something more manageable!

I know tomorrow will not be pleasant. I know I will have scrapes and scratches and possibly a broken shovel by the end of the day. I’ve been planning my attack for weeks. First I’ll cut off all the branches, then I’ll dig out the roots, then go in after all the suckers. Let me at ’em!!!

It might get messy, but I am excited to take action on a problem that’s been bothering me for years. Sound familiar?

Now…let’s hear about your weekend.




  1. I just wanted to say that your comment about the Venus catalog made me laugh. My Venus package recently arrived and I am loving the blouse and jeans I got! Thanks for sharing a peek into your happy life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great reminder of the fun and interesting things we can do sober. I had a lot of fun using, I won’t deny it. Of course, I was also miserable. However, I’ve done some pretty incredible things sober too! Just a month or so ago, my wife and I decided to go see the rare wildflower superbloom in Death Valley at the last minute. We heard it was happening, decided to go, and left within 24 hours to drive 7 hours away. These are things that I simply could not do without sobriety (like driving that far haha).


  3. I had to comment lol sorry if it sounds mean but hahaha You guys have to download movies? Have to ask you in what age are u? You know they already have invented higher net speed then dsl….


  4. I am not sober yet, struggling, hung over and crying as I read this. I feel desperately alone in this.. can’t seem to take that step.. feels like I will fall off a cliff. And yet these posts sound so comforting.
    I’ve been trying to stop, fail every time.
    I don’t know how to do this.


    • Hi Beth, you’re not alone. It’s really hard to quit at first but it gets easier and connecting with other people really helps. What have you been trying so far to make a change?


    • Hi Beth
      I gave up on a day just like the one you are having. I said enough – then phoned an alcohol counselling service. That was it – once I had made that step it all became easier. I had just 3 sessions with the counsellor. And I believe in one day at a time – just for today do not drink, see how that makes you feel tomorrow, and if you feel proud, do it again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree that taking one day at a time is super important. Thinking any further ahead is overwhelming,..for me at least! In fact, I wear a sliver bracelet stamped with “Not today” on the inside. Meaning: I won’t drink today. There is no way to sugarcoat the process. It’s just plain not easy, but, to borrow from one of my favorite children’s books/songs, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt: “You can’t go over it, you can’t go under it, you have to go THROUGH it” one day at a time.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. 3 1/2 years sober and I still can’t get over how many useful hours there are in a weekend! My husband golfs so I’m often on my own which is quite all right by me. I love the ability to be spontaneous, none of that fear that I couldn’t drive or would have already ‘had a few’. But, if nothing exciting comes looking for me, I’m quite happy finding doing my own thing like finding a girlie movie – last weekend was Must Love Dogs. Probably saw it before but thankfully, or not really thankfully, there are quite a few films I don’t recall seeing. Lol. On Sunday, I went for a run (have a 5K coming up… On a Sunday!! How would I have done that hungover?), then I popped to Homegoods to find some pots, went & bought some pansies for said pots, planted them and then if that wasn’t quite enough, I made banana bread. Did I mention there was a lot of time to fill on weekends? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I came upon this post a little late, but I am 590+ days sober, and your weekend sounds a lot like mine on a normal basis. One comment I would like to leave is about the sandwiches. My hubby and I both agree, having someone else make your sandwich is a blessed thing!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Well, I am only 19 days sober. However, after trying for 3 years to get to this place, I finally feel fully capable of making it for the long haul. My weekends have been incredibly normal. My husband still drinks, so I still find myself around alcohol, but it hasn’t been a problem. We had a backyard fire and I drank sparkling water and belted out the lyrics to every song on the radio having one heck of a sober blast. My husband was tipsy from drinking too much, but I have come to terms with that. I thoroughly enjoy waking up hangover free that it doesn’t matter if I am not drinking. I can still have fun and do the things I would normally do. Like sing like a mad person around a fire. LOL.


  8. Hi, I am now 9 1/2 months sober and yours was one of the blogs I used to read whilst hungover as hell, desperately wanting not to feel the way I did and declaring the next week coming would be different. This went on for quite some time before I actually quit.

    I have just had an amazing weekend and went to bed on Sunday night full of gratitude. It included a couple of meetings, good food with family, a bit of chill out time on the beach, swimming (in the pool, not the sea – too cold!) and running, which I have only taken up in the last couple of months, a good film and meeting up with friends and my boyfriend. I can’t believe how long the weekends are now compared to what they were before, and are no longer riddled with fear and anxiety.

    To those who are newly sober, or back on the wagon, or even just thinking about it, well done! And what a fantastic post to inspire us all!


  9. Your weekend sounds wonderful and the oddest thing is your grandson can eat seven lemon slices!
    Friday after work my husband and I did a 15 mile bike ride, he went to bed early because he was up super early and I watched taped Cobert Report alone and loved it.
    Saturday all day we made raise vegetable bed planters and painted them fun colors, getting ready to plant now. Hubby had two beers, thats the most he drinks and only on a weekend (and he has always been like that–complete normie)
    Sunday was yardwork, I did yoga and took my sons dog for a nice walk, had so much fun outside since it is finally nice, made a quick veggie stirfy for dinner and got ready for the work week ahead.
    I love-love-love living free of the oppressive grip of alcohol addiction –free-free-free just like your song!


  10. I had alone time this weekend as well!! On Friday I watched movies with my kids then put them to bed and watched some TV and went to bed early. Saturday I did some cleaning, worked out and hung out at home with my kids until my boyfriend got home from out of town. We watched a movie together then I read some of my book on opiate addiction (I’m a drug counselor). Woke up early for church on Sunday (great sermon) then went to the little amusement park here for my kids’ birthday party. Came home and we all took a nap then woke up and packed to do training out of town this week. Put the kids to bed then read a few more chapters of my book and went to bed. Amazingly uneventful!

    Today, however, I am currently in a hotel room hiding from the “Manager’s reception” downstairs that features complimentary beer and wine. :-\ Being out of town is still a pretty fresh trigger and free booze certainly does not help the situation. I’m considering taking a nap until it’s over so I can go downstairs and hit up the fitness center!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Do you find that when you start enjoying those everyday things, like cleaning or a nice nap, that excitement isn’t so necessary? Hotel rooms are hard, for sure. I was travelling a lot in early sobriety and I always took a little care kit along for myself with a mug, tea, snacks, and also nice morning treats too (delayed gratification!). Smart move to avoid the gathering entirely, treating self to a workout instead. You’re doing great!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. My weekend: Friday night we had a big gala in NYC. The waiters were at your table ready to fill your class with wine as soon as you had your last sip! I was really great thru it, until the gal next to me said “I am so cold..I need a glass of red wine to warm up.” That was my drink. I thought about how I felt when I had my first sip each night. It made me sad…but I got a cup of hot tea and I warmed up!!! Saturday morning was activities for my daughter, then do the accountant! Many more reasons to drink! hahaha Saturday night my sister and her 1 yr old came over and nobody drank. It was nice. Sunday morning was Special Olympics swim meet for my daughter. So much fun! After that it was hard. Sunday night was always a big drinking night for me. I made dinner, watched TV, made it though. Today is day 71 for me. Writing this was cathartic! I am proud of myself for making it through! Thank you for this activity!!!


  12. I had a three day weekend…on Friday it was a nice day out so I mowed the back lawn, cleaned out the shed, raked and bagged leaves, and cleaned the downstairs of my home. After all that work, I went to the spa for a mani/pedi/deep tissue massage…so relaxing! Lately I’ve been gravitating toward a plant based diet which is different from the meat & potatoes I grew up on…so this long weekend was a good time to learn a few new recipes, and I even had fun experimenting in my kitchen. I made this roasted butternut squash & apple soup that is to-die-for good! Sunday was a very stormy and rainy day…luckily I got up early and got the grocery shopping and errands out of the way before the storms hit. Then I spent a lazy afternoon watching a Netflix series with my daughter cozy on the couch with homemade soup while it stormed outside. I’m so much more awake and aware now and I enjoy the little things and the moments in my life.
    Thanks for this post Jean :


  13. Jean!
    Awesome weekend!
    Friday – taught yoga at 9 am to a group of lovely people, followed by a massage and my weekly hair blow out (self care at its finest)
    For the evening we watched Hockey and I read a book on ashtanga yoga as I taught Saturday morning.

    Saturday – I taught yoga at 10, followed by a trip with my daughter to the SPCA to pet cats and dogs. The a stop at Rona to get some things to finish my bathroom makeover and a stop a Coles.
    More hockey!

    Today – went to yoga ( trend?) now watching Hockey. It’s on all day!!

    Happy, joyous and very content.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I love reading your posts and delving into my own sober life from your perspective. This weekend my parents and niece drove from Missouri to Wyoming to help me pack up my house. I lost pretty much everything that every meant anything to me through my actions with addiction and alcoholism over thirteen years ago. Through this long journey of imperfect recovery, I have slowly regained my family, my career, and my self-esteem. I am headed back into the profession of my calling that I thought I would never be able to practice again. As I pack up my things, I am also leaving behind memories of self-destruction and fear. This weekend is another affirmation that life goes on, and we can recover. The most amazing thing is that it is a reflection of most of my days living happy, joyous, and free!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Hey! Thanks for pointing me in the direction of “The Bubble Hour” podcasts. Just listened to the one with Dr.John Kelly about the science of addiction. Interesting and enlightening. (It isn’t me, it’s my brain) and the one about “what we do now that we don’t drink”. Boy, that one resonated. Really good stuff, and I encourage everyone to, as they say on CNN, “take a listen”. (That cracks me up, don’t know why) Peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Today is day 12 for me. We were invited to our friends’ house for dinner last night and right before we left I felt anxious about being able to stick to my sobriety guns. Thankfully, my friend isn’t a big drinker and since I declined wine, so did she. No biggie; no questions asked about why I wasn’t drinking.The guys drank beer, but it didn’t bother me at all. We had a great time. The thing I’m finding frustrating is that I seem to be waking up with *more* headaches now that I’m not drinking! It’s so weird and disappointing. The headaches usually fade as the day goes on, but I want to wake up feeling great! I keep telling myself that I must be detoxing and eventually, one fine morning, I will wake up feeling healthy and refreshed. Thanks for sharing your weekend; I personally love to read about what sober people do – being newly sober often feels like visiting a different culture!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Great job not drinking this weekend! In the past being invited to friends houses who drink was the hardest and one of the reasons why i am trying again. On day 8 today. Turned down two invitations this sat and im very glad i did. Every weekend is a new challenge for me. We are usually very social and it is hard to say no when my social hubs says lets do it.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Will take your body some time to adjust to function without alcohol. Took me about 9 months for my body, mind and soul to come together. Make sure you hydrate……stay away from fruity drinks, and soda. You are recovering, physically, mentally and spiritually, you are making great progress! xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Amy – I am on day 63 and like you had expectations not met and others I did not expect that happened. Start for instance today – I’m up, dressed and off to the gym and it is 6.59am! I don’t feel amazing or refreshed but I am up and not feeling like crap. I also thought the weight would drop off – it hasn’t – probably because I am sugar replacing – or hopefully gaining muscle. I have noticed my face is no longer bloated, my black eye rings have lessened, I don’t have to plan around hangovers, my partner and daughter are so happy, I’m saving money and on and on…….Keep it up, count the good, the benefits. You can do this.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I had headaches in the morning for the first few months – good news, it passes! Lots of water, magnesium, and patience. You will wake up feeling great soon, I promise!


  17. What everyone has posted is the description of freedom! Free from the grip of alcohol and its aftermath. Free to drop everything and go, free to be lazy instead of forced to retreat because of a monster hangover. I am currently road tripping through the mountains……loving my freedom !

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Hi Jean,

    Sober 20 months tomorrow. And like you, I wondered what all the weirdo non-drinkers did for fun. Now we know their secret!

    Friday afternoon we babysat darling grandgirl #3 for a few hours, fed her dinner and dropped her off to her parents. Then we went our for dinner ourselves, to our favorite neighborhood place. I totally forgot that this was also the location of Friday “Happy Hour” for the teachers at our school. We got there at about 7; I could see several of them in the bar chatting and drinking. I sat and sipped my huge mug of decaf without a twinge of “poor me.”
    Home for some “couple time” (wink wink nudge nudge) and we settled down to watch Sisters. Well, I watched it but hubs dozed.

    Up early Saturday to grocery shop, bake a carrot cake, and clean. Had younger daughter and son in law over for his birthday dinner. Darling boy requested take out pizza for dinner – so easy on me! So we sat out on the deck and visited and laughed. Had a fun evening and carrot cake for dessert. And then we watched Outlander. Well, I watched. Hubs dozed.

    Today is food prep for the week in the morning, a day spent with darling grandgirl #3 again – which will include a walk up to the neighborhood playground with her, and hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill for dinner.

    Decaf, a slice of carrot cake for dessert, and an early bedtime – crawling into our cozy bed made with fresh, clean sheets.

    Life is so good.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Hey Jean I am still here.
    Ok so my weekend was great. It is now 39 months (three years, three months) since I have had came clean and stopped my heavy drinking habit of consuming over a bottle of wine every night for many years.
    My weekends are always good now. I work hard all week and then use the weekends to totally relax.
    Something I have done this weekend is that I have taken a break from Facebook and I have found even more peace and quiet in my days. Facebook had become a habit and had become very distracting. I am not really that interested in the day to day lives of hundreds of people I don’t really know. (This UP blog is much more interesting than FB) I am hoping that at the end of the week I will actually be happy to close the FB page down completely.

    To all of those newbies to sobriety the best thing about weekends is that you will find the desire to drink eventually disappears all together. You will become quite ritualistic in other ways. The nights are now your safe zone where the things you do before you go to sleep can be done with a clear head in a lovely space. After washing up the dinner dishes and cleaning the kitchen I love having a shower, putting on lovely fresh cotton PJs and getting into fresh sheets and turning on netflix or opening a book. I love that time more than any other time of the day. Is that because I am becoming a hermit, a recluse? Probably, but as I am now a grandmother of a toddler and one on the way, a daughter of an elderly mother, a mother of four, a mother-in law of one, a wife of thirty plus years, in my late fifties who cares? I need “me” time to keep this show on the road.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Typo sorry first para should have read…..
      Ok so my weekend was great. It is now 39 months (three years, three months) since I “came clean” and stopped my heavy drinking habit of consuming over a bottle of wine every night for many years.


  20. This is my first sober weekend. There have been a couple first sober weekends over the last six months, a couple second sober weekends, but no third or fourth.
    Friday night, I worked late, until about 7pm. I didn’t have to stay that late, I just knew I would feel less anxious over the weekend if I got more done. And it’s not like I was rushing to happy hour or home for wine like I normally would be. When I got home my fiancĂ© and I decided to go to dinner at an Italian spot about 2 miles away. Normally we’d have a glass or two at home before dinner, call an uber, and have a couple more at dinner. This time, because it was still light outside and I’m not drinking, we decided to walk there and just take an uber home. It felt nice to take the time to do something active instead of sit on the couch drinking.
    Dinner made me a bit anxious, and I was definitely a bit testy with my fiancĂ©. The food was good, but it wasn’t fun being in a loud, busy restaurant on a Friday night when all I can think about is how I can’t drink.
    We came home, I poured myself my favorite non-alcoholic drink (2 parts sparkling water, 1 part trader joe’s lemon ginger echinacea juice), and headed upstairs to have some alone time. I took a shower, did a face mask, lit a candle, and watched a couple episodes of the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt while enjoying my refreshing beverage. It was awesome.
    Saturday morning, we got up and got dressed right away and went for a hike in a nearby park. Then we walked to breakfast. I had a greasy (but delicious) breakfast sandwich that made me think “this would be great for a hangover… But I’m so glad I’m not hungover”
    I spent the rest of the day by myself. The fiancĂ© went to a friends house to watch the NBA playoff game, to which I was invited to, but I decided I would rather go shopping and get a mani/pedi. I hadn’t had a mani/pedi in several months, mainly because I never want to spend the money. But I figured I probably saved more than $50 this week by not drinking, so it felt extra good to not feel guilty about spending the money.
    Tomorrow will be a challenge. I’m going on a day trip to wine country for a bachelorette party. I do think it will be very mellow for a bachelorette party, the bride and most of her family are not huge drinkers, and as far as I know we are only going to one winery. My plan is to just say I have a big deadline at work on Monday, and I don’t like to drink when I have work the next day. I honestly don’t think it will be a big deal, and I don’t think I’ll be the only one not drinking. It will definitely be hard though. But, I am trying to be optimistic about it, and I even think it will still be fun without drinking.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Unlush Me,
      I hope your bachelorette party went well & you navigated successfully through that challenge. I also just finished my first weekend sober and, like you, I’ve had others. Some second sober weekends, but no third or fourth. I stayed busy this weekend, but it was on my mind the whole time. Tonight I drove to the liquor store, tempted but trying not to be. I pulled into the parking lot, but drive right out the other side without stopping. That’s a first for me! Day 3 & feeling ok. Hope you are doing well.

      Liked by 2 people

  21. Hi
    Great wine free weekend in which I have completed some overdue work, cut 2 teenage girls hair – big trims – very stressful – they looked fab. Been on a motorbike road with my love – getting to the point where ai can relax, met some Ulysses bike club member for coffee, wonderful to be making new local friends. Dinner NZ lamb one night – I’m in New Zealand – and nachos the other. Visited an open home and while both kids out some afternoon delight with my love. A bit of reading and tv. It is lovely to not be planning around drinking and hangovers.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Greetings from MN! Thanks for sharing your weekend with your readers! My husband and I are both in recovery. Last night, since we had a long work week, we felt too lazy to cook so we went to our favorite Mexican restaurant near our house. It was busy so we bellied up to the bar so we wouldn’t have to wait for a table. We drank sodas and gorged on chips and salsa and my favorite blackened fish tacos. Came home and we watched ‘Sisters’ from the redbox, I enjoyed a bath in my jacuzzi tub and off to sleep we went with our 3 4 legged furr kids cozied up in bed.
    Saturday… I woke up tired but still went to my barre class. After a hot shower we then headed to lunch with another couple. The over husband was going to have a blue moon, they didn’t have it and offered shock top, but he declined and had a tea. I was thinking if I still drank, and they didn’t have a specific something I wanted I most certainly wound’ve ordered a different alcohol concoction. Those normies baffle me.
    We then headed over to prokarts for some indoor go-cart racing! Good adrenaline fun!
    After the races we came home, took our dogs on a walk and then I headed to Caribou and met with my sponsor. From there we headed at an AA meeting which was very intense tonight. There was five new comers there, a couple of them were very broken and struggling. To help reiterate how deadly alcoholism is I showed everyone a picture of me and my mom from a couple months ago. The picture was taken at the hosptial, where she was yellow, and dying. She died March 6th of alcohol induced cirrhosis of the liver, she was 55.
    I came home after the meeting. Snacked and painted my nails with my gel kit.
    Tomrorw we are taking a short motorcycle ride. My cat has an appt at the vet at 2. I’m going to a cardio dance class at 4:30, then at 8 I am getting a massage!!!!

    Ask me my weekend description 21 months ago… It would’ve been… Got home from work. Mixed a vodka drink, watched TV, repeat, repeat repeat. Like is much more fun and fulfilling now!!!

    Liked by 3 people

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