Greetings, and welcome back to The Barrage. This Monday’s edition is dedicated to the month of November and the reinvigorating “firsts” it had provided me over the years.
I briefly discuss how I proactively reinvented myself in The Beginning of Too Much Stuff.
With Rachael’s help, I reflect on how November marks the beginning of our journey as parents in Marley’s 12th Year – The Birth of a Parent.
But first, I acknowledge the benefits of eliminating alcohol from my life in Happy Re-Birthday.
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1. Happy Re-Birth Day
I once had a wild, whirlwind romance with alcohol that began when I went off to college at age 17. Just like any other new relationship, I was head over heels in love – I fell hard and fast! My long love affair with alcohol was exciting, captivating, and intoxicating (literally). It was an indescribable feeling that I had never experienced before.
However, as the years went by, something began to change in our relationship. Relationships are supposed to build you up, be supportive, and help you to become a better person – they are a vital component to our overall health and wellbeing. Healthy relationships are easy to identify, but it became increasingly clear that mine was starting to drag me down.
Relationships are not static because people are not. My outlook on life and my value system had changed, yet my partnership with alcohol remained the same. I had a vision for where I wanted to go in life, yet my connection to alcohol was preventing me from getting there. It wanted me to continue to be the person I had always been, but I was unwilling to do so.
Ending a relationship can be a challenge no matter how toxic it has become. But I had to ask myself these questions:
- Is this relationship negatively impacting other aspects of my life?
- Is this relationship detrimental to my overall physical health and self-esteem?
- Is this relationship preventing me from achieving the greater good in my life?
The answer for me was yes, yes, and yes!
November 20, 2017 marked the day I ended my almost 30-year affair with alcohol. Admittedly, I was initially afraid, as much of my self-identity had become tangled up in this unhealthy kinship. I was losing my sense of normalcy, and venturing out into the unknown, out into uncharted waters. But I’m an explorer by nature, so I boldly set forth on my mission to explore the undiscovered territory.
Yes, ending an unhealthy relationship or destructive habit can be especially challenging, and you may need help to do so! But if you know that this habit is keeping you from being your best self, you MUST work toward letting it go…and keeping it gone!
If you feel like change is impossible, just remember that you deserve to live a happy and fruitful life. I made a change because I desired just that!
Tomorrow I will celebrate 1 year of kicking alcohol to the curb; and what have I learned?
- I have more self-confidence – I’m learning exactly who I am and what I want out of life.
- I have full control over my body – I feel healthy, fit, and mentally sharp.
- I have so much more time these days – time to read, time to write, time to connect with family and friends.
- I have a new definition of fun – I really thought I was having such a good time drinking, but not drinking is so much more fulfilling.
Letting go of my worst habit has been a game changer for me…mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I have experienced what can only be described as a rebirth.
In the end, it was going to be me or that toxic relationship, and I chose myself. November 20th, Happy reBirthday to me!
Read about these 2 Ways to Jump-start Your Decision to Quit Drinking.
2. Marley’s 12th Year – The Birth of a Parent
I’ve written before about how much having our first child changed my life forever. About how, “I felt dazed and confused as a brand new father trying to figure out what it would mean to care for this bundle that needed my constant care and attention. This was the greatest responsibility that had ever been bestowed upon me, the boldest adventure I’d ever set out on. This would prove to be a major undertaking for a man with a track record for being sort of immature and rather irresponsible.”
The month of November annually marks the beginning of my parenting journey. A trip that has brought me innumerable joys and has helped to shape and direct my life’s purpose.
Rachael sums up how we are feeling 12 years later in the following post taken from Facebook.
Today we awakened to a house once filled with 👶🏾👶🏾👶🏾 🍼 delightful baby girls, that is now a house filled with beautifully spirited big girls 👩🏾, particularly our eldest Marley, who is celebrating her 12th birthday!
So many exciting “firsts” are happening right now in our home. Not just for her, but for us parents as well, for example:
1. Middle school
2. Her first school dance 💃
3. That fact that she’s allowed to call her new teachers by their first names (a whole nutha discussion)
4. No more actual Halloween costume dress up, accessories are better
5. Graduating to the adult menu at restaurants and adult size price that comes with it. Plus, she has the nerve to try to order meals more costly than our own, (“No Marley, you can’t order the Japanese Kobe beef ribeye!”)
6. I almost choke sometimes on some of her newfound inappropriate adultish words and phrases she has picked up 🤦🏾♀️
7. Increased “sassy pants” talk that we’re attempting to regulate now more than ever.
8. We’re now being razzed by her and having our “coolness” called into question based upon our “olden day” music preferences and adult swag.
So as we continue to learn “tween speak” and the ability to relate to a new-school 12 year old without sounding too old-school, we want her to always know that she will always be OUR sweet big baby girl no matter what…even if she’s sleepin’ 😴 on how cool we really are!
She better ask somebody 😜.
Love you Marley Bear and Happy Birthday 🎉🎁🎂
3. The Beginning of Too Much Stuff
It was in November 2015 that I finally realized my mission to becoming an author of children’s books, and set about proactively reinventing myself to fit the dream.
I enlisted a team of editors, financial contributors, an illustrator, book designer, crowd funding manager, and fellow authors to assist in publishing my first picture book, The Girl Who Carried Too Much Stuff. And in the three years since, this endeavor has taken me to wonderful places I never thought I’d go.
Many of us dream of a future that looks slightly different from the present. But we must be ever mindful that change is a choice!
It’s fine to have a dream, for this is how we shape our future; however if we don’t set goals to actually manifest these dreams, we are left feeling restless and unfulfilled.
If fear or lack of motivation is keeping you from setting out down that yellow brick road toward making your dreams real, ask yourself this question: What will I regret not having done in my life? Use this as a way to encourage yourself to set your value compass to true north…and remember, to thine own self be true.
Spiritual Quote of the Week
Whatsoever you have done is nothing in comparison to that which you can do. And whatsoever you can do is nothing in comparison to that which you are – Osho
IN ADDITION TO THIS EDITION
What The…?? Who Knew? Black Contributions
Hmm…Did he invent the light bulb and the telephone, or didn’t he?
In this edition of What the…?? Who Knew? Black Contributions, we feature Lewis Howard Latimer (September 4, 1848 – December 11, 1928).
Though Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell get all the credit for “their” revolutionary inventions, Lewis H. Latimer played a vital role in the development of both.
In 1881, Latimer patented a method for making carbon filaments, allowing light bulbs to burn for hours instead of minutes. Latimer also drafted the drawings that helped lead to Graham Bell’s patent for the telephone.
Umm, between you and I, if he was the one drafting the drawings that led to the patent, and his filament leads to a longer lasting lightbulb, then he should at least get co-inventor credit for both…right? I’m just sayin’!
Tune in for more, What The…?? Who Knew?? Black Contributions in the weeks and months to come.
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