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Old 01-31-2014, 01:17 AM
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Becoming

This is a pretty roughly formed idea that I've been chewing on; not complete but I want to get it out there. Like most people I've had lots of things I wanted to do, wanted to learn, things I just haven't had time to do. While I was drinking it's not hard to see why. Drinking is inertia- it's an activity unto itself.

Now just shy of 16 months sober I am beginning to "turn a corner" of sorts. Sobriety is something I never want to take for grants but it's also something I don't really have to work at anymore. And it's getting to the point where simply not wasting my life isn't enough. I feel like it's time to "become what I am."

Work has been kind of hectic, and I also do school FT. It kind of drives me bonkers studying accounting when I'd rather be studying philosophy! But I only have about a year to go to get my Bachelor's degree. Then with some luck I'll have a little more time to devote to "becoming".

How have you folks handled this? At what point did just being sober stop being "enough" for you?

As a conversation starter, here are a few things I want to work on (not that all of them will happen):

1) Learn Latin: I have a very good video course on learning latin which I want to supplement with a good book or two (Wheellock's, etc). This is a long term goal obviously since Latin is a lot of work to learn and I don't have time for serious study yet.

2) Re-learn French: After studying French in HS and college I used to be able to reach French newspapers and understand 90% of French TV/radio. Due to 20 years of disuse I've forgotten most of it. However I expect it will be easier to get it back than it was to learn it.

3) Forge knives: I'm a pretty serious knife nut. I sharpen professionally (small time, just for a few locals and some internet customers) and do a lot of repairs. Eventually I'd like to take that next step to learn how to forge them, do my own grinds and heat treat.

4) Study philosophy: I'm a serious amateur student of philosophy. In a perfect world I'd dedicate myself to academic study and obtain an advanced degree. In this world it doesn't make sense for a 45 year old to start on a monetarily-useless liberal arts degree. But I do want to keep learning what I can.

5) Work out: At various times in my life I've been in pretty good shape, athletic even. But right now I'm a bit soft around the edges...round is still a shape, right? I really need to make a big push again to start getting a bit more serious about health and fitness. The back half of my life will be a lot better if I get in better shape. Being a drunk made that difficult but now I don't have that excuse.

6) Relationship: I ended my last serious relationship almost 3 years ago. I don't feel like I want to get into another one til I'm done with school. The last time was great but it really hurt my grades, just too much to juggle. Needless to say, that first year sober was also not a good time to be starting a new relationship. But I should graduate at the end of '14, and I'm beginning to find myself again. There will be a time soon when I'm gonna want to "put myself out there" again. Although it didn't work out with my ex we're still fast friends, and she kind of "woke me up" and brought me back to life in a way.

Well, this is just a stream-of-consciousness kind of thing I want to put out there, just to help clarify my thoughts. What kind of changes are you contemplating now that you're sober? What do you want to become?
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Old 01-31-2014, 03:20 AM
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Hi, Octsobermate)

I can relate a lot to what you've written. Not drinking is not a full-time (not even part-time) job any more, though I think I am still working on my sobriety in a broader meaning. Becoming who I really am is a part of sobriety journey for me, because when I am running from who I am, or hiding from it, or escaping on working towards this goal, I start abusing myself.

I am still working on binge eating. I also take is as a part of sobriety - for me these addictions have common roots.

I like your list of goals - I believe it embraces all the major areas of the life - professional and spiritual development, relationships.

I learned both Latin and French in the University (I have a degree in linguistics). I remember to pass my exam in Latin they made me to learn by heart somewhat about 200 Latin proverbs)) . But both languages have been out of use for long time as well. I would like to revive them though.

As for things I would like to bring into reality out of realm of dreams and ever-procrastinating goals, they are something like that.

1. To take part in some fitness competition. I work out a lot. My fitness week usually comprises 3-4 days of weightlifting, 3-4 boxing classes, 1 cycling class, swimming and cardio. But I feel like I am starting to lack motivation. I think competing even on some low-profile local level would boost my motivation here.

2. Publish my e-book.

3. Set up my own e-business. I even have a plan for this. And during the previous year I took a couple of courses about it, and a friend of mine would like to partner up with me on this. But what prevents me from making the final step from planning and preparing to really taking actions is my old stinking thinking "You will fail. It's not for you. Etc. Etc.". I think I have walk through fear again.

4. Make a financial plan to reduce my debt and stick to it.

5. To make meditation an integral part of my daily routine. It really helps, and once I start doing I love it.

6. To make finishing works and move to my new apartment. Just at the end of 2013 I wrapped up the most difficult issue - splitting real estate property with my brother, and with my share I bought a new apartment for myself. It's in a newly built building, and it will be without any finishing. So, it will be another challenge for myself. But with a challenge comes an opportunity - it will be a brand new apartment, designed absolutely up to my taste and needs.

7. Well, relationships. I ended mine a few years ago. And since then I had no wish to engage into new ones. I actually at a loss here. I still don't feel like doing this. I am fine being on my own - I finally have time and space to discover who I am, rather then adjusting myself to be what other people expect me to be. I think I am afraid that once I am again engaged in relationships , my old habits would kick in and I would shut and bury my newly rediscovered authentic self and start people pleasing again.

So, this question pops up regularly in my head. Or, often other people "pop it up"' kindly reminding me that at 36 it's high time for me to get married and have kids. I know, I know.. But for some reason the mere thought about this makes me sick at the moment.

I have some more ideas on my mind, but I think, that will do for today.

Thank your for bringing up this topic, Myth.

And I always enjoy reading your posts.

My best wishes to all.

And best luck with your goals and endeavors!
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Old 01-31-2014, 04:24 AM
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Thanks! That reminds of two I should have remembered to list. The first is music; I don't play but I really should get back to listening to at least an hour of classical every day. I have about $12,000 in my audio system but with school & work I don't make time to listen every day, but I should. It really calms me and helps my brain work.

The other is getting back to writing. Years ago I had a few things published, always wanted to pursue writing more but it fell by the wayside.
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Old 01-31-2014, 04:41 AM
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1. Establishing a home business building outdoor furniture. I have made some progress on this, but it is not yet ready to launch. I am hoping that 2014 I will get it fully running, but I have a huge honey-do list and some additional shop preparations. The (financial) goal is to increase it over the next several years so that I generate some income after I retire from my primary job.

2. Complete the requirements to earn the Certified Financial Planner designation. This could also lead to a small income stream, but I haven't decided yet.

3. Develop the several websites for which I have ideas.

4. I am hiking the Grand Canyon in November. I need to get stronger so that I am sure to make it.
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Old 01-31-2014, 04:46 AM
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You were published! You have this great experience already - don't let it travel sideways, it deserves first class seat)
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Old 01-31-2014, 05:20 AM
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Hi myth. Regarding your interest in Philosophy, I too am a nut! Maybe you already know, but Yale & Princeton both offer amazing online only classes (free). Me personally, I love ethics and right now Yale is offering a class on the moralities of everyday life. It's only the 2nd week. They come up every few months or so, you can check on Coursera if you were interested! There are a ton of classes of every nature.
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Old 01-31-2014, 05:38 AM
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MofS - I so relate to your comments. I often remind myself that Rome was not built in a day and layering activities, goals, hobbies for me is the best approach, as too much become overwhelming and paralysis sets in, for me. I have recently changed my diet and am following a loose version of the Paleo diets and strict about no grains, except quinoa and no processed sugars. I am also maintaining swimming twice a week with a swim coach 2K meters in an hour of drills and cross fit 3x. I intend to add yoga and tennis into my mix but not there yet consistently. I am down 13lbs in 3 weeks on the diet and have tons more energy.

As for progressional goals, I have many. I have started a new Company and adding employees and have many goals. I am only going into month 6 so ten less than you but my recovery is still very much a part of my daily activities.

Congratulations on your 16 months and good for you to outline some impressive goals.
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:05 AM
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MoS,
what sobriety is giving me is more choices and possibilities.
so i've decided to retire so that i can "develop" sides of me that have been shoved away in the very "macho" job i've done for over a quarter century. the plan is to get a part-time job in a field/place that i enjoy, that brings interaction with others (my job was solitary, and i liked it that way), that has some kind of "meaning".
hm...i see lots of quotation marks. must stop that!

if i were still drinking, i'd be entirely stuck where i am.

anyway, just to say Latin is not much work to learn compared to living languages. no changes, basically no exceptions. a lot like "doing math".
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:25 AM
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http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...60444564,d.cGU

check it out; took the guy six years to translate it.
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Old 02-01-2014, 12:12 AM
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This is turning into a pretty great thread!


Originally Posted by Nonsensical View Post
I am hiking the Grand Canyon in November. I need to get stronger so that I am sure to make it.
That's awesome! I am nuts about hiking and camping. Once I'm done with school and can get a few life things squared away I'd love to hike the AT, or at least a good stretch of it. Back before my dad passed away he and I used to like to take summer vacations at this really great old fishing lodge in Saskatchewan. It used to be fairly primitive but over the years the got electricity and stuff.

I'd also love to take a couple weeks to paddle the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and visit Olympic Natl Park. Lastly, if I can afford it someday I'd like to hike, camp and fish in Alaska.


Originally Posted by MsJax View Post
Hi myth. Regarding your interest in Philosophy, I too am a nut! Maybe you already know, but Yale & Princeton both offer amazing online only classes (free). Me personally, I love ethics and right now Yale is offering a class on the moralities of everyday life. It's only the 2nd week. They come up every few months or so, you can check on Coursera if you were interested! There are a ton of classes of every nature.
I've looked at some of those classes, very good stuff. Until I finish up my degree in business administration I don't have an awful lot of time but I want to pursue some of those classes seriously when I can. I have a ton of great lectures from The Teaching Company, very good stuff, too.


Originally Posted by jdooner View Post
MofS - I so relate to your comments. I often remind myself that Rome was not built in a day and layering activities, goals, hobbies for me is the best approach, as too much become overwhelming and paralysis sets in, for me. I have recently changed my diet and am following a loose version of the Paleo diets and strict about no grains, except quinoa and no processed sugars.

I have been on a Paleo-ish/Atkins-ish diet for years. Now that I've kicked the bottle it's a lot easier. I avoid grains as much as I can and eat mostly meat and low-glycemic-index veggies, as well as cheese and nuts. I kind of 'fell of the wagon' diet-wise during the holidays as most of my family eat the SAD. But I'm making a huge push right now to get serious and stay strong. It's hard when it's so cold, though- my body seems to cry out for carbs!



Originally Posted by fini View Post
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...60444564,d.cGU

check it out; took the guy six years to translate it.
Hahaha! That's great! I was reading the reviews for that book a couple weeks ago. In fact I've had it in my Amazon cart for awhile.
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Old 02-01-2014, 05:07 AM
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Gonna hike some AT after retirement. Dream of doing the whole thing, but we'll see how my health is in 10 years.
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Old 02-01-2014, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by MythOfSisyphus View Post
Sobriety is something I never want to take for grants but it's also something I don't really have to work at anymore.
I don't think sobriety, and doing what it takes to maintain it, and pursuing your goals are mutually exclusive.

Being the person you were meant to be should be the goal of sobriety...not just quitting drinking.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by doggonecarl View Post
I don't think sobriety, and doing what it takes to maintain it, and pursuing your goals are mutually exclusive.

Being the person you were meant to be should be the goal of sobriety...not just quitting drinking.
I agree, carl. But in the beginning just being sober was "enough", and took some work. Now it's about getting on with the rest of my life.
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Old 05-04-2014, 03:24 AM
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Hi, Myth)

I've being reviewing my goals and accomplishments, and remembered your thread)

I re-visited it, red my own response, and realized that I accomplished...nothing of the list...yet.

Food for thought for me now...

How is it going for you?
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Old 05-04-2014, 03:31 AM
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What a cool thread this is! I have a sense of accomplishment just from having read it!
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Old 05-04-2014, 03:49 AM
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Midnight, thanks for bumping. Amazing thread! MoS et al, thanks for the inspiration!
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Old 05-04-2014, 06:56 AM
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I'm a little older (40) and tend to juggle a lot of high-level things at work. More or less, I tend to be pretty accomplished professionally. At 11 months sober, I can say I am handling work (and life) stressors better than I have before, but that's not particularly dramatic a change.

But I get what is said about "becoming." I too am starting to hit that stage where being recovered isn't enough - what I am trying to "become" is something a lot more personal - a whole person. This is not easy.

-DrS
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Old 05-05-2014, 01:58 AM
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I'm down to the last week of the term before school is out for the summer, so right now all I have managed to accomplish is just work and school. I am glad to revisit this thread, though!
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Old 05-05-2014, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by MythOfSisyphus View Post
It kind of drives me bonkers studying accounting when I'd rather be studying philosophy!
It's funny you mention this. When I initially started college my first plan was with majoring in philosophy, but I ended up double-majoring in accounting and management information systems. Sometimes, I wondered if I was majoring in accounting only for the possible job prospects. I do not regret my decision though.

You're at your senior year and it really sounds that you have a vested interest in accounting. Many students in my classes were very apathetic and had poor reasoning for being there (their parents wanted them to major in something useful). You have to want it. The shift from the classroom to working for a public firm, private company, or the many other places the profession can take you is dramatic. It is rarely exciting, but it can be and usually is challenging. Having the critical thinking skills that philosophy provides can be very beneficial along the side of accounting work.

I am in support of you finishing your accounting degree, but also continue pursuing philosophical material as a personal interest. Also, keep on keepin' on with your sobriety!
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Old 05-05-2014, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by MythOfSisyphus View Post
I'm down to the last week of the term before school is out for the summer, so right now all I have managed to accomplish is just work and school. I am glad to revisit this thread, though!
Hah! This made me giggle.

I remember when you first posted this thread. I thought "good lord, I'm lucky if I get the garbage out in time for trash day".

Now that summer is here maybe you can revisit doing a couple of things on your list...or...all of them. I think you've got some cool interest.
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