Tuesday, December 22, 2015

“If you don’t know where you want to be in five years, you’re already there.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

That statement literally changed the trajectory of the past year for me, inviting me to almost immediate action. I’ve been following Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love fame on Facebook for awhile now. I confess, I have not read her famous book. I found the premise of being able to quit one’s job and go on a worldwide soul search more than a little bit unrealistic for me and my circle of friends. Still. I have found that I love her daily insights into finding oneself and living the life you truly want.

Being a writer, she believes in the power of writing down your dreams and plans, and I have to agree. Putting words on paper takes more than ink. It takes thought, energy and commitment. It takes honesty. Admission. So she recommended that you write down the answer(s) to where you want to be in five years. And she went further in suggesting that if you don’t give any thought to the future, you’re likely not going anywhere. And if you are perfectly content exactly where you are, then that’s fine.

She prompted readers with some basic questions -- what do you want your health to be like? Where do you want to be living? Where do you want to be working? How much money will you need, to make your dreams happen? She believes that just declaring these things shakes up the Universe and starts the ball rolling. I wanted to believe this too.

She also posed this question, which for me, was the catalyst:

What are you willing to give up, to have what you really want?

Wait. I have to give something up,? Can’t I just write down my list of wishes, like a childhood Christmas list, and then go to sleep and await their arrival?

But for me, that was the pivotal question. My list of five-year goals included the usual -- more money, more travel, a thriving art business, and a regular daily exercise program, to name a short but lofty list. But another “want” crept into my head. In five years, I wanted to be five years’ sober. And there it was. I admitted it. Of course, I’m sure I was drinking my third glass of chardonnay at the time, but it was a start. Way down deep in my gut, I knew the truth – that none of the other things that I wanted would ever be possible without giving up the thing that had become most important to me. Drinking.

This may sound melodramatic to anyone without a drinking problem, but it takes a lot of energy, creativity and time to have a deep, long-term relationship with alcohol.

But like many long-term relationships, this one had long ago ceased giving me what it had promised in the beginning. And I was ready. Right after I finished that last glass of chardonnay.


Createology said...

Here I am Kerri reading AND understanding your post of honesty. I believe you will reach your five year goals. I am proof that life is much better after alcohol. I never believed those "converted sober people" when they told me how much better life gets. Well now I wish to apologize to those wonderful helpful smart sober people..."Thank You for being right!" My life is far from perfect but it is amazing and I have achieved so many dreams and goals. It is only my own (nagging) lack of self-worth that holds me back from achieving even more...
Bless You Kerri Dear.

Peggy Beck said...

Hooray for you and your wishes and hopes. For me it has been 30 years this year since my last drink and I can honestly say there are times still I wish I could have one but I don't for I know the path and where it leads and I've done so many wonderful things since being without I never want to go there again.

I am your cheerleader and so happy that you have made this choice. Wonderful things are about to happen but be patient. It's never over night like we want it to be.

Love to you Kerri.