The Teacher is the Student

Two empty glasses of wine sitting on a coffee table next to an unopened bottle of wine

One of the “glories” of being a mom to two teenagers is that they’re quick to point out my inconsistencies.

It’s like I’ve got the hypocrite police on my back all the time.

The value of this is that I’m always asking myself – am I modeling the behaviors I expect them to demonstrate? Or, am I adopting a “do as I say, not as I do” approach to leadership. (Which, by the way, isn’t a leadership style.)

In this spirit, I recently took a good hard look in the mirror. Here I am, dubbing 2024 as “The Year of Transformation,” and how am I transforming?

I have goals this year, but that’s not new…I always have goals. Goals don’t necessarily equate to transformational change.

I decided that I was going to do something significant: remove the vices from my life for the next 90 days, chiefly caffeine and wine. Now, my relationship with both isn’t toxic. I have two cups of coffee in the morning, a glass of wine at night. But these bookends are dependencies – left unaddressed, could lead to self-neglect. I’m addicted to caffeine. I feel like I need it in the morning. And wine? I don’t need it, but I love it for a variety of reasons – it takes the edge off a tough day, it celebrates a great day, and it’s the perfect companion to a good book…a good tv show…a good conversation. You get the point, right? It’s a ritual for many occasions.

I couldn’t help but wonder: Who am I without stimulants and depressants? Who am I without my bookends?

I started this hiatus February 1. The caffeine headache is definitely a thing – I feel like a duller version of myself in the morning and it gets worse throughout the day. And wine? My body is sad. It’s like it’s saying, “Hey, what happened to that girl, Chardonnay? Is she ever coming around again? We like her.” This might sound dramatic, but I feel like I’m walking in the wilderness right now – naked, mildly afraid.

But what’s interesting about this change is how much time I’m thinking about the loss instead of the gain:

–   I get a natural, caffeine-free boost to my morning.

–   I’m discovering alternatives to mid-day caffeine cravings.

–   I’m getting incredible sleep.

It’s too soon to name any of this as transformational success, though I’m keeping a journal that helps me track my mental, emotional, and physical progress. I’m still new to the journey, but hopeful with this experiment.

Where are you on your journey? How are you capturing change? What are you learning?

I look forward to hearing from you.

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