Day 3224 – How To Celebrate When You’re A Recovered Alcoholic

I have been sober for 3.61 years, 1318 days, but I still have struggles about some aspects of sobriety. One thing that I loved about drinking was celebrating. Having a cold beer on a warm day, enjoying wine on a porch, or champagne for big celebrations. There is a feeling of “missing out” on these things. I definitely have “I wish I didn’t have a problem with this, because I would love to drink this or that in this moment.”

I understand this is my choice to not drink. I understand I miss out on things because of it. I understand I’m in the minority. So when there are companies that put out quality non-alcoholic drinks, I feel seen, cared for, and appreciated.

Last week, I made a big commitment to myself and a new project. I am so proud of myself and wanted to celebrate. I went to a local grocery store, and happened upon their non-alcoholic drinks. I have to say, the Fre company is really on point with their drinks. They happened to have a Brut Sparkling alcohol removed wine/champagne.

Because someone, somewhere, thought of a person like me, in a unique situation, I was able to pop the cork, and drink the bubbly. What’s even better is that it’s lasted a few days, so even now, it’s fizzy….as I drink it out of the bottle.

Sober friends, have you ever had any of these drinks?

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Day 3142 – 11 Years With This Goofball

I love celebrating the day I met Bret. It was a crazy night…which was really the best way to start our crazy journey. It’s been a very awesome, very fun 11 years.

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Day 3136 – Having Goals And Meeting Them – or – James Joyce Celebration

One thing Bret and I have been doing is setting rewards for different successes. One of Bret’s was to go to James Joyce when he closed a deal. He has a wall of photos of things he’s working towards. Things like Disney World, trips, a new home, etc. A few weeks back, we were able to fulfill the goal of James Joyce! It is such a fun restaurant with delicious food. I’m going to print out the photo of us there so Bret can replace it on his wall as something he HAS done.

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Day 3116 – How We Celebrate

When we want to celebrate, there’s only one way to do it in style….Taco Bell!

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Day 3000 – 3000 Days Of Marriage And What Makes Our Marriage Great

I’ve been looking forward to this day for a while! It’s been on our calendar to celebrate for a few months. And I’ve mentally drafted this post a few times.

Yesterday, I drove past Ellicott Mills Brewing Company, and noticed they had a pumpkin beer on tap. Bret is all about the pumpkin beers and all things fall. It’s our favorite time of year. It just so happened that last night was also lobster night. $12.99 for a whole Maine lobster with a side. We’ve known about their lobster night for a long time. How long? Well, I was drinking the last time we were there, so well over 3 years. We figured this would be a great way to celebrate 3000 days.

Since it was a “fancy” dinner, I thought, you know what, I’m going to put on some perfume. I walked up to Bret and said “I did something for you I don’t normally do, smell!”
Bret – *smells* Oooo, pretty, it smells just like Batman would smell.”
I laughed and thanked him for giving me more blogging material. 😀

We arrived only an hour after they started…..and the lobsters were already gone! We missed it by just a few minutes. Granted, there were some big groups before us, and a limited number of lobsters. Totally fine. We ended up getting some great food. I got shrimp and Bret got a BALT-imore. A BLT with a crab cake and avocado.

We ended up chatting quite a bit with the bartender and then the guy sitting next to us. The guy is a serial entrepreneur like us and we chatted for a long time. We love talking business with people and it was a great conversation. Bonus points to Ellicott Mills for having Buckler, my absolute favorite non-alcoholic beer. I really admire bars that cater to the very very very small percentage of people who don’t drink, but do enjoy a non-alcoholic beer. And what’s that on the rim of Bret’s beer? Oh that would be cinnamon sugar! He really liked the beer, in case any of my local readers are pumpkin beer lovers.

Since I was wearing my Batman shirt (see yesterday’s post), the bartender encouraged us to checkout the bar downstairs. DUDES! A bat cave bar! There were Batman lights. There were Bat symbols. It was awesome.

I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate 3000 days!

So what makes a great marriage? What do you need to do to hit 3000 days (8+ years)? Obviously, every marriage is unique and what works for us won’t work for everyone. But I do think these can be helpful for a healthy marriage. Feel free to pick and choose what works for you.

– Don’t have private messages/texts with someone of the opposite sex. I will add Bret to conversations with mutual guy friends. I will tell Bret if a guy is messaging me, especially if the topic is sensitive in nature. This is a way that we can show honor to each other and keeping all parties safe.

– Tell your spouse big things first. Whether it’s great news or something stressing you out. Bret is my absolute best friend. If I can help it, he knows things first. Obviously, this isn’t always possible. But, again, this is a way to honor him.

– Tell each other you love them, as much as possible. If Bret is the one to go first, I will know that I was loved. In some respects, we say goodbye as if it was the last time, every time.

– Learn how the other communicates. There are times when I just want to complain. I don’t want a devil’s advocate. I don’t want a solution. I just want to rant. I’ve learned I just need to start the conversation that way. “This thing is really bugging me, I want to complain, don’t try to fix this.” Of course, most of the time, I’ll finish, feel better, then ask to hear the other side, and ways to fix it. I’ve also learned that this is helpful when I’m sharing a new business idea or book idea. In the beginning stages of something, I don’t want to hear why it won’t work, what’s wrong with it, or edits to it. So I know to tell Bret, this is a new idea and I just want to share. This has been huge in our marriage.

– Lift up your spouse in public. In our first pre-marital counseling session, our amazing leaders pointed out something we did – making fun of each other and them not knowing if we were joking or serious. It wasn’t so much that it’s a terrible thing or we were saving really mean things about the other. This was the key point – “take the opportunity to build each other up in public and not tear them down.” It was such a huge shift in how we acted in public…and honestly, most of the time in private too. It’s one of those things that you don’t realize how bad it can get or how bad it appears until you notice it. We were at a dinner with some friends a few months later, and one person made a negative comment about their significant other, something along the lines of “it would be nice if you cooked for me at home like this.” It was very uncomfortable and you could tell it hurt the other person.

– Have fun together. Laugh together. Be kids and goofy together.

– Enjoy the journey. There are some days when it’s hard, whether it’s a situation we’re walking through or decision we have to make. There are some days when it’s easy, fun, and wonderful. Each season is necessary for the other. You won’t fully appreciate the good times if you don’t walk through the hard times. You won’t fully be able to press on during the hard times, if you didn’t remember the easy times and know they’re possible.

May your marriage be filled to overflowing. Enjoy the journey my friends.

And Bret, thanks for 3000 sunrises and sunsets. For standing by me when I am strong. For kneeling by me when I am weak. Thank you for making this marriage thing seem easy.

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