Creating New Habits



As I speed toward 10 months of sobriety and away from my 47th birthday, ideas of creating new habits drive at me like a horizontal rain. The words mindfulness and patience keep finding their way through the vortex of ideas, scenarios, thoughts and songs that assault me hourly.

I’m the person who refuses to budge from the warm spot on the couch because I’m comfortable even though I’ve had to pee for an hour.  I’m the person who can stay busy all day in my hoodie and sweats and accomplish absolutely nothing of significance and go to bed happy.  I’m the person who has still not quite grasped the fact that I don’t have to like to do something to do it anyway.  This is especially true when it comes to exercise and – well – anything that makes me uncomfortable.

I suppose it’s not surprising that after 19 years of heavy daily drinking, it’s taking me a moment to acclimate to life without alcohol and withdrawals (because I was either drinking or sick.  One wouldn’t think a person could get used to that … ).  I don’t miss alcohol and I certainly don’t miss withdrawal, but I thought I’d have it all in the bag by now.  I don’t. I see that there is a part to me (it’s small but loud) that is resisting creating a new life and getting out there.  It’s busy and hectic and a little chaotic and unpredictable out there.  I’ve even moved to the Oregon coast to get away from the frantic energy of the city.  But I think I got used to being unproductive.  19 years is a long time to sink into a habit and particular ways of thinking.  Today I want to be productive and disciplined, but I’m not quite sure how.



I’ve got to act my way into new behavior.

New behaviors will become second nature.

Unconscious competence!

So far, my new habits include showering and preparing my coffee at night. Those look innocent and easy enough, right?  Hell no!  I fight with myself come 8pm every night.  I’ve also had to put my vitamins in the refrigerator next to the powered vanilla creamer because that’s the only way I remember to make myself take them.  Leaving them out on the counter in front of the coffee maker wasn’t enough – all I did was push them aside. What is that?

I’m monitoring my reactions to these new habits I’m creating and it’s funny.  I’m funny.  I am clearly infringing on the personal space of the part of me that did not ask for any of this.  On the other hand – something within is yearning for new routines.  What is this crazy dichotomy?  I do not know.

Now – if I can just work myself up to tossing aside a mere 30 minutes a day, five days a week, for cardio and lifting – I’ll be able to say I have some pretty cool things in the bag!  They’re small, but they count.

How do I prevent myself from falling back into old lazy behaviors?

HALT – don’t allow myself to get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired.  I learned this in my first treatment center and it’s logical that it’d work for me (or anyone anywhere for that matter) today.


Have you ever worked with a life coach?


Life – it’s so many things.  It’s generous.  It offers us ongoing opportunities to make choices and decisions that can change the course of our lives.  What we know and how we feel influences our decisions.  Some of the things we know came to us through family.  Some things came to us through society and some things arrive through insight.  These moments of insight – that internal “ah-ha” moment – usually feel amazing, but occasionally they ride in on a painful event.  And sometimes these insightful moments bring us to a crossroads.

“Now what?”  We ask ourselves.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had someone on the outside of our ‘circle’ who was there to walk with us – metaphorically speaking – not as a friend, not as a partner, not as a teacher or a parent or a therapist or an elder – but as an equal?  A confidant – someone we trust.  Someone who understands how to keep pace with our best self, even if we’re unsure what our best self looks like.  Someone with an unbiased and objective point of view.  Someone who asks us questions about ourselves, our lives, and our possibilities – knowing we have an unlimited number of “ah-ha” moments waiting for us.  Someone interested in being there with us when we discover them.  A witness.

That’s a coach.

As your personal coach, my objectives will be to:

  • Collaborate with you on current and potential issues that you’d like to address and act on
  • Ask open-ended questions that will require your consideration
  • Create new avenues with you that will enable you to reach goals
  • Suggest options and possible new perspectives
  • Construct a safe place for you to create your own inspiration and motivation

I’m enrolled in an accredited life coach program.  Practice coaching is required and I’m looking for volunteers (it’s free).   Please leave your questions here or email me directly at

Participating anonymously is totally okay.


“What you seek is seeking you.” ~ Rumi

Recovery Coaching


Straight from the mouth of Wikipedia – “Recovery coaching is a form of strengths-based support for persons with addictions or in recovery from alcohol, other drugs, codependency, or other addictive behaviors. Recovery coaches work with persons with active addictions as well as persons already in recovery.”

Coaching is not therapy and it is not sponsoring.  Clinical issues (past traumas) and 12 Step work are not addressed.  The idea behind coaching is partnership and collaboration.  It’s all about you (the client) and your agenda.  It’s about topics you’re facing in the present and it’s about goals you’d like to set, and then set out to tackle.

Coaching is an adventure, and all it requires on your part is a willingness to move from the thinking stage to the action stage.99

People might share the same path, but no two people can occupy the same space.


I welcome your questions.


Nature’s placement is best!


Hello everyone!  I took this photo on a hike up in Port Orchard last month.  I love little things, and this grouping of nature stuff was tiny!  I could have fit all of it in my palm.

I’ve been out of the blogging loop for quite awhile, but I’m back now.  Good things to come!

Small details


“Do your own thing on your own terms and get what you came here for.” -Oliver James

A Quiet Place + Mark Twain



“I thoroughly disapprove of duels.  If a man should challange me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.”  Mark Twain

New Book Review + Ken Venturi Quote

I don’t believe you have to be better than everybody else. I believe you have to be better than you ever thought you could be. ~ Ken Venturi
5.0 out of 5 stars Valuable,Informative memoir,March 20, 2012 By dori
This review is from: Saturation (Kindle Edition)

I loved this book. A Well written,discriptive,honest journey into the mind of an alcoholic.Anyone who has someone in their life that struggles with Alcoholism will get a wealth of information from this book. Now This is the type of book they should give out at Al-non.

Thanks Dori!

Chillaxin’, Four Stars & Mother Teresa

Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.  ~ Mother Teresa
4.0 out of 5 stars A Valuable Memoir,January 26, 2012
A. Arendt (Fredericksburg, VA 22405)

(From my blog, Word Vagabond: Supporting Independent and Small Press Authors.)
When Jennifer Place entered a substance abuse treatment center for the first time, she was fresh out of jail and drinking four bottles of wine a day. She had given away custody of her two children, married a man she didn’t love, and moved several states away, all in a haze of alcohol. This book describes her journey through five treatment programs, struggling to free herself from her toxic relationship with drinking.
The book begins just after Place’s husband has her hauled off to jail, which is definitely an attention-grabbing way to start. Unfortunately, this is immediately followed by a chapter that tries to sum up her entire history up until that point in just a few pages. The result is confusing and feels rushed.
Thankfully, the book gets much easier to read after that. Place’s descriptions of her time in jail and rehab are vivid and interesting. Her voice gets stronger and more confident chapter by chapter, which helps the reader feel the progress she is making underneath her continuing addiction.
Watching her enter each new treatment center and then relapse time and again is frustrating, but that’s what makes this an authentic story: there are no easy answers, no quick fixes. It would be nice to see more of the internal work she was doing while in treatment, though. She talks about doing constant journaling and introspection, but never shares the results of that work. She also doesn’t discuss why she started drinking in the first place, which I think would be a crucial detail for this kind of memoir.
Even as a person who has never struggled with addiction, I found a lot of empathize with in her story. Place’s severe anxiety attacks were all too familiar, and I actually found those parts emotionally difficult to read because they described perfectly experiences I have gone through. It was easy for me to understand how difficult it was to recover from alcohol abuse and try to manage severe anxiety at the same time.
Apart from the story, Saturation would have benefitted from more thorough copy-editing. While there weren’t a crippling number of typos and style errors, they were a bit distracting.
I think this is a valuable memoir for anyone who wants a better understanding of alcohol addiction, or even the possible effects of severe anxiety.


Thanks A!