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Day 12: Choices

Uh-Oh! Another Weekend!

Welcome to your second weekend of Dryuary! Still wondering what to do on the weekend when drinking is NOT involved? You are BORED? Remember this acronym and you’ll come through for yourself:

Be creative
Outside–go there!
Read a book
Exercise 30 minutes
Do something helpful!

Here are some ideas for things to do:

  • Find a beach or a forest or a park and just sit and listen.
  • How old were you the last time you pulled out your pocketknife?
  • Clean out a drawer or closet or your toolbox. Don’t wrinkle your nose like a 10- year-old. Less clutter is calming.
  • Find a funny movie and laugh. It’ll do you good.

You’re doing GREAT! Want to get a little more serious?


Choices

“Man’s power of choice enables him to think like an angel or devil, a king or a slave. Whatever he chooses, his mind will create and manifest”
– Frederick Bailes

After high school, I made a decision to attend a huge university 600 miles away from my home town, even though I had little travel experience. I knew nothing about a big university city, let alone living away from my parents or navigating a huge, diversified campus. Consequently, I spent my first semester in culture shock. I regretted my decision not to attend the small college near my home town where I could have avoided financial burden and stress by living at home.  At the large university, I lived with my sister, who gave me room and board for nannying help with my nieces while her husband was in Vietnam. One especially frustrating day, when I was bemoaning my university decision, she said, “Sis, you can always choose to go back home and enroll in the community college next semester, the decision you made to come here is not set in stone.” So simple a solution had never once occurred to me! That sudden knowledge that I had a choice gave me power to continue on the more challenging university path.

I’ve read that the average working adult makes about 12 decisions before 9:00 AM and around 70 decisions a day. Most have short term effects but a few may have serious repercussions. We often opt ‘not to choose’ and just let things happen because it’s easier. 99% of the time we have a choice in what we do on a daily basis, and, unless we are imprisoned, we are rarely “forced” to do anything. We don’t have to get out of bed, or go to work, or even brush our teeth every morning. We choose to do these things because, somehow, they warrant our efforts – we find value in doing them. We become healthier, function better, strengthen relationships, or have happier lives because we choose to do them.

Choice theory is the study of how decisions get made. The term was coined in a book of the same name by William Glasser, who argued that all choices are made to satisfy five basic needs: survival, love and belonging, power, freedom, and fun. We choose to be employed in order to pay for our family’s survival, to gain their love and respect, to have control of where we live, to have the freedom of driving a car. Most things we choose to do enrich our lives in some way, yet we can always take a step back and choose a different path going forward if our needs are not being met.

Drinking is also a choice. None of us is forced to drink but somehow we have found value in it – as a release for stress, to fit in with others, celebrate a happy occasion, become more sociable, or to obtain a buzz.  We might think, “I feel compelled to drink.” No, we are not compelled, we freely choose to drink because we find value in it – at least for that moment, that day, or that occasion.

By the same token, we can opt not to “just let things happen” in January. We can choose to find value in abstaining by intentionally pinpointing the greater value of abstaining in our lives. For myself I can pinpoint health benefits, sleep advantages, fewer calories, more morning-after energy, unfettered mobility, and monetary savings. Additionally, I can choose to save my most precious commodity, mental energy, by eliminating a decision whether to drink or not. And finally, I can give myself that wondrous sense of empowerment. The same empowerment I felt when I decided to remain at the university and get my degree rather than flee back to the security of my parents’ home. A more challenging route by far, yet with far great value for growth.

Post Submitted By: Bee Brown, Member of Moderation Management

4 thoughts on “Day 12: Choices

  1. Horse Lover

    I love this post, and can I also say I just love the music! George Jones is one of my all time favorites. Thanks for this, Bee!

  2. Rauzo

    Day 12 – I had heard of Dryuary but never really considered it mostly because the Holiday parties always seemed to roll right into the next year! Last year due to my Catholic faith I decided to abstain for Lent which started Feb 14th and ended April 1st which was on Easter Sunday. It was a total of 47 Days, there was Valentine’s Day, my Wedding Anniversary and my Wife’s Birthday that all occurred within that time frame, I would take them all on sober. It felt great to be able to “live through” each moment and reflect on the more important things in life, like my wife, 2 sons, extended family and friends rather than booze. This year Jan 1st came and I looked around the internet for Dryuary links and found this site. It has been very helpful and all the posts have been very helpful and spot on, not to mention the soundtrack to go along with each day. What is most surprising to me this go around is all the time I have available to me, thus far I have reorganized my closet and garage. I’m almost running out of things to do around the house so I’ll be taking the BORED advice today! Headed out for a walk, enjoy the day!

  3. Rudy

    “I can give myself that wondrous sense of empowerment. “ this statement in today’s reading is key. It makes me proud to know that I have decided to stay dry this month and not have one drop yet, as a matter of fact, I don’t feel like binging on the weekends anymore I love the feeling! I made the choice!

  4. Jerry Porter

    Thank you Bee for your powerful information. I purposely look for time to be BORED for a few hours calling it OFF DUTY so I can have a double and sleep it off in the mid day. I am stating that for me to see it in print and not just in my head. I am not asking for advice as to how to stop it, simply getting it OUT there for myself.

    Kary, your characterization of Little Book . . . is spot on, it “breaks down our urges and habits” so they can be seen realistically. I am going to borrow that from you as I tell people about the book. It is soooo NOT a how to! It for me is a vision direction changer, it makes my world bigger.
    With shared concerns,
    jlp

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