It wasn’t always like this.
Today the sun was streaming through the blinds in our kitchen as our family sat down to have breakfast together. The kids were munching their cereal and we were talking together about what we were going to do with the day. It had snowed recently, and the sky was a deep blue and the kind of sunshine that brings a vitality and makes you want to move and make the most of this moment.
Only a few years back I didn’t have anything like this on a Sunday morning. They were mostly spent in bed recovering from the worst hangovers. Usually they’d take the form of waking from a semi-comatose state, then the happenings of the night before would gradually come into focus, followed by pangs of regret, anxiety and my mind would start filling up with excuses I’d have to make to friends or work colleagues and hope for the best.
Those days were wild but empty. There was something missing from them. In church this morning the reader read a passage from the bible that talked about love, faith and hope. These are in my life now, but looking back to when I drank, there was none of that. They haven’t appeared overnight, but instead they’ve developed over the last few years since being sober and moving to this new chapter in my life.
Having a young family has helped me to focus on the here and now and what’s important. It’s wonderful to watch the kids grow up, but it’s also wonderful to experience the moment.
Previously, I would have slept through that Sunday morning. Missed the light coming in through the blinds, and if I had, then I probably would have cursed it for waking me. In living in the moment these things are a pleasure to watch and experience. They serve as reminders for what we’re here for. All these things can be taken from us in a moment, and it’s so important to make the most of life now. Not looking far into the future, nor looking back into the past either, but to enjoy what is happening to us and around us now.
So, it’s great to see the sun coming in through the blinds and to hear the chatter around the table. I worried about giving up drinking and what might happen with my life, but had I known that the wasted mornings spent sleeping long would be replaced with a family and chatter around the breakfast table with the sun pouring in through the blinds, then I needn’t have worried.