Start Where You Stand

Today I discovered a quote, hidden in a 2009 email written to myself, where I was struggling with drinking, moderating, and perhaps abstinence?  

Simply, it said: 

“Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’
Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command,
and better tools will be found as you go along.”

~Napoleon Hill

I searched Napoleon Hill, and discovered that he was an inspirational author, from the late 1800s, and spent the last days of his life in the town I live in today. During his lifetime, he met many American leaders, and almost 200 years later, his words speak to me again.

We don’t have to wait.  If the fourth of July meant that “A Dry July” got a little sprinkled with booze…. well, you can still stand where you are today.  You can continue to try.  

Start where you Stand.  

No matter where you are on this beautiful rock, the seasons are constantly changing… the days become shorter (or longer), and the evenings shift to the next season, preparing us for the next month. 

Life is like that.  We are always in transition, to something different.  The question is:  Is the “something different” better or worse? 

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, summer has just begun, but you may soon be looking forward to Fall, when the leaves shift from bright greens to bold orange and yellows…. when it’s time to unpack the cozy sweaters and dig out the furry boots.  The “smell” of Autumn lingers in the air, with campfires and damp evenings to look forward to…  children love jumping in the piles of leaves, and Halloween candy is already staged in the department stores, in anticipation of one fun-filled night. 

If you live in the Southern Hemisphere where the winter brings cold days and nights, you may soon be looking forward to Spring, where the earth is waking up from the bitter cold, and the trees are budding, in defiance of the past season. Your days will grow longer, and you’ll happily put away those bulky clothes with a thought of, “good riddance!”.  You’ll be waking up to sunnier days, and the brightness will warm your heart with hope and laughter and the knowledge that tomorrow will even be brighter.  

Whether you wake up on the north or the south side of the Equator… or maybe you live in an area that hugs it, and sunshine and winds are gently blowing all year round…  the one constant is Change.  

Tomorrow is ours to change, for the better.  

Dry July? There is nothing dry about being alcohol-free.  

In retrospect, many of my early sober days were quite “wet”, ha ha. My emotions were no longer hampered by alcohol, and my ability to feel them better often led to tears.  

Happy tears.  Sad tears.  Guilty tears.  Joyful tears.  Frustrated tears.  

Tears of relief.   Tears of angst.  And sometimes, “I don’t know why I’m crying, but I am, so just let me cry, dammit!” tears.  

Today, as I look back to those early wet days, crying was so therapeutic, and after feeling bad about being a cry-baby, I gave myself permission to cry…. and like a baby, the tears were ultimately soothing.  

And tomorrow, as the seasons continue to evolve, give yourself permission to change, too.  It’s okay to cry!  This is your journey, and as the winds blow and life shifts, today is the day to embrace you.  

Protect Your Quit.  ❤


More by this author :

Respect Your Frog – A Sobriety Fable

Once Upon a Sunday Night

How I Stopped Drinking – Calling Out the Truth of What Alcohol Was to Me

Beyond the Bottle – Loving Living Without Alcohol

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