“The Morning Show” A+

So, this past weekend, I started Apple TV’s “The Morning Show.”

And by the end of Monday, I’d binged the ENTIRE SEASON. And these episodes are not your average 41 minute ad-filled telecast. No, these are straight 60-75 minutes of, imo, brilliant television writing and beyond.

After I cheered for it getting itself on air – yes, if anyone could it’s Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, but it’s the fact THEY DID IT – I began to really think about its message.

While the obvious message is the lack of truth in “journalistic news” (and trust me, they’re preaching to the choir on this one,) but what REALLY stood out was the way they embraced the destructive culture of celebrity.

The importance some of the main characters placed on their position in “journalism” was like one who was fighting a war as leader of a third world country. These “news anchors” forgot who and what they were and instead believed themselves to be “above” things or at the very least, so incredibly important they could treat people like shit and be abusive.

And the way Witherspoon and Aniston had the balls to tell their OWN INDUSTRY to take a look within…

Exceptional women, no?

As someone who has had several jobs in the entertainment industry – assistant to Scott Rudin (seriously, look him up…), assistant editor on American Idol, script analyst at Imagine Entertainment for over a decade…. I’ve learned a thing or two about this business.

The entertainment business is a beast.

But to me, this was one show willing to unmask the absurdity and abuse that exists behind celebrity culture.

My take away – Be true to yourself and you will prevail, though you must be patient. Be true to the facade, and you will learn little truth, except that pretense comes with a steep price.

#themorningshow

Socialization is key

In this age of Corona, being around others is something more rare than it is plentiful.

For some, who work in jobs that still exist, they ARE still around others, socializing a ton, like those in food service, delivery, healthcare and ride sharing.

And then there are those you are around because you’ve been around them since day one of the Pandemic and what they have, you have.

And some who don’t give a shit and socialize like it was 1999.

Regardless of what group you fall into (and there are a lot more,) what I don’t see is an end in sight. Even with a vaccine, no one can be forced to take it. And even if it was tried to be implemented by force, a civil war would likely happen and then the virus would dominate.

I’m thinking we have to figure out how to just deal with this new reality before our economy tanks even further.

And while, I’m a believer things will change after the election (like kids back in school, flight routes reopening and the like,) it’s not going to happen overnight.

And I fear for the ones lonely in this process.

I fear for the kids who no longer know where their friends are. Or if they even still have any.

I fear for the communities that need others, like AA, churches and the like.

But what I fear most is that we are becoming a society who fails to understand socialization is part of what makes us human.

After having lunch with a couple girlfriends today, whom I haven’t seen since this whole thing began, I was left thinking 1) how much I need to socialize with others and 2) how humanity is cherry-picking what is okay and what is not.

What say you?

And now I’m dieting..

After doing a month of no alcohol, I was inspired to keep going on my healthy living path.

I knew, however, I’d need some guidance, beyond my healthy, fit husband who helps me stay motivated simply by being himself.

But before I could even ponder my options, the Universe responded to my energy! A research group I’m part of asked me to be in a pilot project for a major weight loss program.

Um, yes please! I wholeheartedly accepted and began this week.

Now, I can’t speak on the actual program, signed a NDA, but I will say it involves a lot of healthy eating, exercising and high moderation of wine and salty snacks – two of my loves.

It’s going… okay. Rough start, I won’t lie but I’m getting the swing of things. Two thoughts have strongly stuck out to me –

  1. I thought I struggled moderating wine… uh, nope. Moderating carbs is not only WAY HARDER but I found a truth about me – I have a true addiction to soft pretzels, kettle chips and sharp cheddar cheese. Well, that and I’m a MAJOR snacker and that stuff adds up QUICKLY.
  2. I drink 64 ounces of water by the afternoon, out of habit and desire, so that part was really easy for me. But what isn’t easy is eating leafy veggies multiple times a day. Damn… that’s where I’m going to struggle….

If you have any helpful hints when it comes to dieting and redesigning your eating/living habits, I’d love to hear yours!

Quitting Alcohol For A Month – I DID IT

First and foremost, I’d like to give BIG THANKS to all of you who came along with me for the past four weeks – supporting me, checking in and sharing your own stories.

I used it all as a crutch as I walked on this path with urges in the shadows.

I know it sounds cliche but this was one of the best things I think I’ve done for my body. And it’s not all in my mind. Here’s an interesting article about the benefits a body gets from going a month without alcohol… pretty dang cool if you ask me, not to mention the other benefits you get as well, like saving money and time.

But it’s not easy. (Like most things worthwhile.) For me, the hardest part was actually starting. The beginning felt really long but by the third week in, my brain began to think differently and that’s when it got really good. Not gonna lie, though. Temptations were a big part of the process so if I can offer any advice it’s to prepare for those with a strong network of support, a fierce mind-over-matter-determination, and a willingness to see your ugly side so you can do something about it.

But what I think can really help anyone considering going dry a month (or more) is if I be incredibly honest about my experience, so here goes. I’m going to do it as a pro/con list. ***Fair warning though, I’m not going to hold back…

PROS

I lost 5.5 pounds, as the scale tells me so consistently.
My sleep has NEVER been better; and by that, I mean I don’t wake as much, it’s more restful and mornings feel way more vibrant.
I pee A LOT less.
I spend more time with my husband doing active activities. Rather than go to a happy hour, we opt for a bike ride.
Mental clarity is way sharper.
My skin is glowing, according to my husband.
My face doesn’t look bloated, according to several people.
My allergies got better. Not sure how, but they did.
According to my app Dry Days (thanks for the recommend Judy!) I have saved almost $250 dollars. (!!!)

CONS

A few days in, you get bloated. Like, really bloated.
Agitation is the name of the game. You will have to allow yourself to feel it.
Sadly, your bowels get way out of whack. Constipation city for the first few weeks.
Depression hits on weekends (and randomly at 2 in the afternoon on a Tuesday.) I binged TV shows that held my interest and made me laugh (Schitt’s Creek & The Golden Girls) and read a shit ton of books. (4 just this month!)
I felt A LOT less social.

That’s pretty much what I’ve come up with. If anymore pop into my head, I will add. But as always, thank YOU for joining me and I’d love to hear about any of your experiences :)

Quitting Alcohol For A Month – Day 24!

If there was a time I was going to cave, it was this past weekend.

Heat wave, Labor Day weekend, pandemic and the anniversary of meeting my husband eight years ago, Sept 3.

But I didn’t.

I stood strong and channeled more self-control than I think I ever have before.

People were drinking everywhere… and my favorite thing to do in a heat wave is enjoy a cold glass of sauvignon blanc with a good book by the Pacific Ocean. I had the book, in fact was finishing it, and the ocean, but I needed to teach myself the wine was not necessary, just a compliment.

And I did.

But what I’m most proud of is the fact I didn’t let the no-booze change my plans. My hubby and I went on a bike ride along the coast and even stopped at a boardwalk bar for snacks. I tried a Heineken 00 – no alcohol beer – and it was quite good!

So, here I am. On week four and feeling good. Down five pounds and my sleep has gotten so much better. I’m sleeping through the night without waking up multiple times and I also don’t feel bloated, like I would after a night of drinks.

Next week, my month dry will be over.

24 days in and it doesn’t seem as long as it had when I started. And while I’m not going to be sober, I know I have changed. My thought process for wine is different and my body is loving the results of being alcohol free.

Thank you for coming along with me. Stay tuned for next week, when I list everything, all the good and the bad, to expect from a month dry, as according to my time doing it.

Quitting Alcohol For A Month – Day 16

I really want a glass of wine, but I’m not gonna do it.

That’s been something I’ve been dealing with lately and this whole going dry thing has really put my self-discipline to the test.

There are so many lovely moments to have a glass of vino, from enjoying it with hearty pasta dishes to sipping a glass by the roar of the Pacific Ocean, from relaxing with a drink after a long day to toasting alongside others after a hard week comes to a close.

But what I’ve realized is that those things don’t NEED wine. Wine just compliments them.

So, I’m resetting my brain essentially to see alcohol for what it is – a most delicious treat that needs to be handled delicately.

Even if one isn’t addicted, it’s very easy to abuse drinking. And the pandemic had made it far too easy for me to indulge…

So, this is where I’m at.

Day 16 dry and feeling pretty damn good… despite the urges.

Thanks for coming along with me!

Quitting Alcohol For A Month – Day 9

Thanks for joining me again, on my month of going dry.

Not gonna lie, it is hard AF. Harder than it should be, yes, but doing it during the pandemic, well, I’m thinking it makes it extra hard.

But I’m not going to whine. Instead, I want to share some things, both positive and maybe not so much, that I’ve been learning on this journey….

Summer is the worst time to do it.
As a friend of mine said when I asked for guidance on my month of sobriety, “Well, first, I don’t do it in the summertime.” And she’s right. Hot weather practically begs for a cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc and forget about BBQs… sparkling water just doesn’t cut it when refreshing cold beer bottles glisten in the rays.

I sleep better.
In all seriousness, my sleep has WAY improved. When I would drink, I would wake up during the night and also, trips to the bathroom were more plentiful. I find myself now sleeping restlessly through the night and waking up more refreshed and focused for the day.

Trips to the grocery store are cheaper.
It is truly surprising how much my receipts at the grocery store have diminished when I don’t add a couple bottles of wine or a six pack of beer to it. Alcohol is far from cheap so this was noticeable right away and my bank account is loving it!

I’ve lost three pounds.
Sure, it might have been water weight but still, the scale is consistently down a few pounds and I’ll take it!

I’m learning new habits.
Rather than head to the fridge for a glass of wine after a long day or with a good meal, I have begun to think outside my norm and get more creative. I pour sparkling water into a wine glass and it’s lovely. I drink way more water, period, and have begun to explore more alcohol-free drinks, such as Sleepytime ice tea for warm summer nights or adding fresh raspberries to my morning water.

And there’s more… stay tuned!

 

Going Dry – Come Along With Me!

I don’t know about you, but being home more has made me drink more.

And boy, do I love me some wine but while enjoying it is lovely, abusing it is not.

But damn, it’s sooooooo easy to have one glass and then, just keep going, right?

So, in these times, with moderation flying out the window, it’s at the point I need to reassess. And after a particularly alcohol-fueled birthday weekend, my husband and I decided we would give our livers a break and go dry.

For. A. Month.

For some, this may seem like no big deal. For me, it is a big deal.

I’m on Day 5 and feeling good but it’s Friday and the weekend is starting and I’m not gonna lie… it’s not going to be easy to go without that glass of wine on my patio with the book I’m reading, or sipping a Moscow mule at weekend happy hour with my hubby or enjoying a glass of bold red with Sunday pasta.

But, in order for me to reset so I can get back to moderation of having drinks at those times and not at, say, 3 on a Tuesday, I believe I need to go a month without any.

And that’s where I’m at.

Day 5 and going….

 

 

This is Friendship

I’ve had many jobs over the years and have made friendships along the way. Very fortunate to have come across some amazing people in my time and with social media, we all have a place to keep in touch and keep each other posted on what’s going on…

While no two friendships are alike… some will fall naturally into the “see each other when you see each other” and it’s lovely. Then some, you genuinely make an effort toward seeing and then there are those who become family.

One such friend, who falls into the last group, recently lost a family member. She lives a couple hours from me so our visits have become yearly and sometimes, even less. We try to catch up on the phone a few times a year but life happens and sometimes we go longer than we should.

Well, randomly, last week, I couldn’t stop thinking about this friend of mine, who again, I haven’t seen or spoken to in many months. I even thought I saw her. So I texted her a simple “Hey, I miss you.” Lo and behold, she texted me back expressing the pain she was in from the death of a loved one, that just happened.

I said, I’m coming to you. Give me a day and time.

And though we hadn’t seen each other in two years or even chatted in almost a year, we fell immediately into sync and didn’t stop talking for four hours.

Our faces have aged a bit and gone is the 20-year-old invincible attitude, but in their place, is understanding, history and love.

Many years ago, this friend could have walked away from me. I would have if I were in her shoes, considering the selfish way in which I’d conducted myself at the time…

But instead, she loved me more.

“The language of friendship is not words but meanings.”

-Henry David Thoreau

 

 

This is Marriage 3

My husband and I went on a little road trip to Joshua Tree the past couple days. It was lovely, getting out of dodge, and being out with nature. Yes, it was over 100* so I had to mostly be indoors with AC or outside in a pool, but still, it was most relaxing.

On the way up (about a two hour drive from where we live,) I saw my husband was in a bit of pain with some foot trouble and also, in a bit of an agitated mood because of work stuff and a limited food diet.

The old Christina would have not liked it. She would have drawn attention to the mood and asked why the hell he was starting off our mini-vacay with the attitude…. full disclosure.

But now, nearly five years into marriage, I know myself better and I also know us better. I know that I have the power to take him out of this mood because I know what makes him tick and I’m learning what he needs.

The last thing he needed was for me to come at him. Even if I had a point, it would be far from helpful.

No, I knew he needed to have his cup of coffee and he needed me to just listen. I also knew a healthy lunch spot would put a smile on his face so I let him choose and I also knew he responded to touch so I made sure to hold his hand, give him hugs and just let him know I was right beside him.

And it worked!

Well, if that’s not growth, I don’t know what is.