Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Get a Life. Seriously.

I got to give some pleasant direction to a sponsee the other day: HAVE SOME FUN!

She was upset because her husband was having some friends over to play pool. He stocked the whole refrigerator with beer. He bought a bottle of whiskey. She just knew that she was going to go home and be sarcastic.

“Is there anything you’ve been wanting to go out and do?” I asked.

“No,” she said. “Why should I be run out of my own house?”

I wasn’t suggesting that, I explained. I only thought that she should look at this as an opportunity. Her husband was having fun with his friends. Why shouldn’t she look at this as an opportunity to do something fun herself that she wouldn’t normally do because her husband wouldn’t enjoy it?

If she didn’t want to go out, I wondered if there were a spot inside the house where she go to do something enjoyable and engaging.

“The idea,” I said, “is to do something so enjoyable and so engrossing that you’re not worried about what you’re husband is doing or whether or not he’s drinking any of that beer himself.”

I told her when I needed a lift, I liked to watch Ann of Green Gables or the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice (Colin Firth is the only Mr. Darcy, as far as I’m concerned) and eat a pint of chocolate almond or coffee ice cream. That’s my idea of spiritual comfort food.

She liked that idea. She thought she might rent something along the lines of a romantic comedy. She particularly liked the part about the ice cream.

“I guess I always tend to cope by working my way though problems, but it’s okay to take it easy sometimes,” she said.

“Yes!” I agreed.

Inside, I was thinking how she was so much like me. Taking life and everything in it so darn seriously. Sometimes the best thing to do is just to lighten up and have a good time.


  1. OH Kathy....I love Anne of Green Gables. One of my favorites. :) Even my husband liked it.

    God has been touching me with "joy" in His presence lately. I just laugh and laugh. As I read your post, I was thinking maybe God was whispering to me. It is time to have some fun. He wants me to enjoy Him.

    I love that I serve a God who wants to make me laugh for no reason but to laugh. :)


  2. kathy, i could relate to this sooo much. i have felt the way that woman did. and had a hard time enjoying myself and relaxing and resenting people around me for doing that instead of taking it as an opportunity to relax myself. and your relaxation ideas are right out of my own book! anne of green gables and the bbc p&p are two of my all-time favorites. and a pint of coffee ice cream! yummmmmy! i always felt guilty eating a whole pint. so it's nice to hear someone mentioning that like it's not a big deal.

    i think somewhere along the way i learned that self-indulgence and enjoying life are bad things. i tend to be repressed myself, but this extends to other people. and i can be shaming or disapproving towards others trying to make themselves happy.

    gosh, did i just admit that! my husband would be so happy. :)

    hugs to you for this! :)

  3. Is her husband an alcoholic...??? Is he her qualifier..?? Or is someone else her qualifier so now she is sensitive when anyone has a drink or two or three?

    I reached the point that I could never be a sponsor.. to me Alcoholism is a disease.. but a home should be a serene place...and if an alcoholic is drinking in my home..and active.. I would not be so HAPPY about it either.

    It is a progressive disease; and not halted.. it grows.. etc.

    LIve and Let live..but not in my home... It is the alcoholic problem (sad as this disease it); but who wants to be codependent with it anymore..

    And honestly I heard enough stories about men over drinking and their friends over drinking and making passes at a man's wife or argument incurring. Not in my house.

    If her husband is not an alcoholic...and it was her father or someone else in her life; that makes her uptight over some harmless drinking by non-alcoholic.. that is different. Than it is her problem and not her husband's.. and she has to work it out herself.

  4. I think your advice was dead on. Nothing like doing something that we like to get our heads out of someplace they probably don't belong anyway!

  5. I too tend to take things so seriously. Good advice you gave her. Of course Colin Firth is the best Mr. Darcy. That is one of my favorite books as well as movie.

  6. hi kathy, i was inspired by your post so i just wrote one of my own and mentioned yours in mine.

    thanks again! :)

    sending you warm wishes~~

  7. Isn't that the hardest thing in the world? It feels like when I am focused on "having fun" I am often more aware of the reason I am "trying" to have fun than the actual fun activity.

    Relax, take breaks, enjoy life - this has been almost a rant from my therapist for a LONG time. I wish I knew how!

  8. Great idea, and something I need to be reminded of on a regular basis :-)

  9. Great advise, I think I will take some for myself. I tend to be way too serious most of the time.

  10. Took me many years tobecome more upbeat, relaxed and smiling. I still do struggle with heartfelt laughing, however with each smile and chuckle the guilt of having fun and feeling good disappears. It is so relaxing and makes life so much easier.

  11. I can relate to this too...lighten up...I think I'm way too intense...and I loove love love anne of green gables. great post..thanks Kathy.

  12. It sounds as if I agree with most people here, I am also way to intense, and serious, I have no idea what fun is anymore! People say to me, just relax, be yourself, and I'm like, well I am not sure who that person is anymore, that's what I'm trying to find out.
    The other day someone did something nice for me (I had a running race that was three loops of 7 km, and I knew I would struggle after 14 km, so this guy on my team ran it with me. He didn't have to, but it helped me so much). When I said how nice it was, he said, well, you obviously need more nice things in your life, and I thought, yes, I actually do.
    Then he asked me on a date, haha, and I think, well are u an alcoholic or not? They r the only ones I seem to attract. But I am trying to lighten up : )

  13. Kathy, a great post. I am very slowly reconnecting to some of my childhood antics of fun. Thanks for sharing dear one.!

  14. “is to do something so enjoyable and so engrossing that you’re not worried about what you’re husband is doing or whether or not he’s drinking any of that beer himself.”

    This was actually a big portion of our discussion in our meeting last night.

    One guy said it simply, can't say his exact words, but my interpretation was: "When you're caught up in your own life, doing things you want to do and enjoy, you find [the person you're worrying about] not on your mind at all." He said more insightful things on the topic too. After the meeting I personally thanked him for his comments - I needed to hear them :)
    AND, thank YOU for this post :)

    God bless.

  15. Thanks for passing by my blog. There so many people journeying the road of recovery. BTW I joined Al Anon too, 3 years ago. Only stopped when I started Intense Trauma Therapy a few months ago. 3 months, 35h per week. It is so intense that I started chuckling and smiling pretty fast ;-)))) Love to you from my heart to yours.

  16. Sound advice...I need to remember to do things that I like to do which is often difficult for me. What type of ice cream did she get? That sounds good right now...it is 6 am though.