Thursday, November 26, 2015

In praise of walking...

I took our dog for a big walk in the hills above my house yesterday. The weather was warm-ish but blustery and there were low clouds which made the whole area quite misty. We walked for 45 minutes along paths and unpaved roads, bumping into two people and one other dog along the way.

It was absolutely lovely and we are about to go and do it again.

I would not be going for a walk along the hill-line behind my house if I didn't have a dog. I absolutely would not. I have never been one to go walking just because a walk is a good idea. I will force myself to exercise but usually by going to the gym (not for a while but still paying the weekly membership!) or to a yoga class (every Tuesday night down at my local rec centre).

But I walk nowadays because we have a dog..... and I am so grateful for him because these walks really are lovely! I come home refreshed and alert and feeling good. And he absolutely loves them! He's like the most excited dog you have ever seen ... darting all around me as we walk along the paths.. sniffing here there and everywhere.. just so happy to be out in the big wide world walking along with me.

Getting this dog has been such a good idea. I have to tell myself this when he is chewing everything in sight, shedding his black hairs everywhere, and barking to wake us up at 6am! The kids love him so much and are so sweet with him. He makes our house feel even more like a home and most of all, he gets me out walking.

For our family's secret santa this year I am buying for my brother-in-law and he's asked for whisky. So this morning I went into the bottle store and asked the shop keeper for help. He showed me a few options and I said 'I don't drink so I've got no idea what to get but I like the colour of this bottle and the font they've used on the label so I'll get this one'.

I felt quietly cool for being such a casual non-drinker in the bottle store. Proud of myself for being so comfortable to state I don't drink. I didn't give a toss what the shop keeper thought of me (a boring wowser? an alcoholic in recovery? an alien from another planet?). Who cares. I was just me casually being a non drinker buying whisky for someone else.

Then I drove to the chemist and they had these mini breath test kits for sale up at the counter (blow in a straw and it will tell you if you're close to .05% breath alcohol limit). I asked if they were selling many and the chemist lady said 'not yet, we've only just got them in' and I then said 'lucky I don't have to worry about that any more!'. She laughed politely, probably wondering what I meant but I didn't say any more. I just smiled and paid for my items, then left.

Just me a casual non-drinker moving around my world comfortable with that fact.

The Silly Season is upon us (I wrote a 'Silly Season Survival Guide' at Living Sober) and I have a couple of lunches to go to but they won't be boozy affairs. I have turned down the opportunity to go to one big boozy party - too far to travel/too difficult with childcare - so Mr D is going alone. I had a dream about it so maybe deep down I am sad to be missing out and am still mourning my lost life. But I won't mourn for long. My boozy life was fun (until it wasn't) and now it's over and my sober life is in full flight. And it's pretty damn fine.

Now I better go take the dog up into the hills before he kills me with his sad eyes!

Love, Mrs D xxx


  1. Ahhh, I miss my dog...funny, the first time i heard the term 'wowser" was when we had Australian friends to stay and I was kinda 'flirting" with sobriety - and my 'friend" looked me straight in the eye and said " Give up drinking? Be a wowser? That's not a world I want to live in" ...and so I had to look it up. I am ashamed to say that at the time, I caved and started drinking, again....but you can call me what you like now, I'm sober and free! :)

  2. I don't know what that means!
    I'll look it up, too!
    I miss my dog, too.
    He got us out walking!!

  3. I had never heard it either, but I can't imagine you being one!
    I know I'm so,etimes smug in my sobriety, when I know I can drive myself home and will have a good sleep and will wake up hangover free. But I try to keep my self satisfaction to myself!

  4. I think its so important for children to have pets when they are growing up. We always had and still do have cats. Even though my children are now in their thirties (wow how did that happen) ! we still talk about the pets that passed ,happy memories. Love following your blog Mrs D so inspirational. Im coming up to 18 months alcohol free its great just to feel normal. Wish we had your weather here in the UK. I spent part of my childhood living in Singapore loved it. I remember coming back to London and crying because it was so cold. Im under the duvet now having a lazy day off with my two moggies x

  5. One of my favorite things on the planet is to walk in the woods/nature with my dog. It definitely goes in my happy jar. :) I'm very new to the AF life, but I already find myself telling myself POISON! when I walk past the corner store and see shelves and shelves of wine stacked in the window. Now it's about practicing the narrative in my head in anticipation of someone asking if I'd like a glass of wine. I wonder if I'll ever bring a bottle of wine to a dinner party again. I guess we'll see. (oh, so many new things ahead!) Hope you had a lovely walk and I'll look forward to reading your Survival Guide. :) Rachel.

  6. Walking is an underrated exercise. I love walking. I love walking by myself , with my dogs, I love walking. It clears your mind. Energizes you. So do pets. Having pets changes some of my perspective on life. How little they need from us - just love and food and shelter. And how much more humans need to feel happy. Of course we are more complicated creatures than pets but still... It seems that they appreciate simplicity of life more than we, humans, do.

  7. I'm so excited to have found your blog! I downloaded your book last night and could barely put it down. I identify with you so much! I am 43 days sober today and have really been struggling with the desire to drink this last week. You've inspired me to try harder and find more tools for my sobriety. Your blog will definitely be one of them.

  8. It's amazing how much a pet can inspire us to get out there. I am currently working toward sobriety and my dogs are part of my goal. I want to use my new found free time to spend as much time with them as possible. Thanks for sharing a great post.

  9. Aww, dogs really are the best. Mine runs with me and makes it so much more fun than alone.

  10. Hi, Mrs D. I just recently discovered your blog and I think I read pretty much the whole thing in one night! I love it, and you've inspired me to write one of my own - have just published my first post. I've never done a blog before, but I think it'll be a worthwhile experience.
    I have truly loved reading about your continued success at living alcohol free.
    Betty x

    (PS Above it says I deleted a comment, it's because I left the '.au' off my blog address, derr.)