Tuesday, November 25, 2008



In early sobriety I was full of fears. There was fear of drinking again, fear of divorce, of being a single parent, of being responsible (for the first time ever) for the finances. There was also loads of fear about the future. There was fear of the "empty nest" knowing that the day would soon come when both the children would be gone, fear of "being alone".

An old adage came to mind -
learned from my mother:


I was very emotionally, mentally, and spiritually unbalanced in early sobriety. There was a desperate need for "balance" in life. One way of achieving balance is to begin putting energy, thought and time into different types of activities and interests - to open the box life had become and move out into the greater world of possibilities.

These are some of the different kinds of baskets that I identified and began to fill:

Family Basket - Working on repairing family relationship wounds where possible, developing and maintaining healthy and satisfying relationships

Basket of Sobriety - AA meetings, sponsorship, working the Alcoholics Anonymous steps, service such as speaking, leading meetings, group service positions

Basket of Spirituality - Developing spirituality - attending church, reading spiritual literature, discussing spirituality with others

Friends Basket - Maintaining friendships that were healthy and developing new friendships

Work basket - Finding satisfying and meaningful work, developing a career, expanding work skills

Hobbies and Leisure Time Basket - Exploring activities and finding interesting and pleasurable arts and crafts, dancing, cooking, reading, writing

Physical Activity Basket - Walking, using exercise equipment, using a personal trainer, swimming, bike riding

It took many, many years to identify the different baskets that would make life full and satisfying. It took commitment, willingness, and self-pushing, and being pushed by others to stay motivated to develop these different baskets and to keep putting eggs in each. The greatest motivator was "fear". As the years have gone by the motivation has changed from doing this out of fear to doing this because it brings a satisfying and full life.

I try to monitor myself from time to time to make sure I'm not getting lopsided. Do I have too many eggs in one basket? Am I reducing the number in another basket or excluding a basket altogether?

Since choosing to write about this, I realize it's time to do a spot check of these areas of my life. How healthy is my balance these days? Good question!


Zanejabbers said...

Seems like you have many baskets for many eggs. And from what I read from you, you are probably very "Basket" balanced.

Shadow said...

wow. how brilliant of you. creating all the little baskets. makes life so much easier...

big Jenn said...

I find that my attitude has a direct affect on balance. 'Working on it! Thanks. jeNN

Cat said...

Excellent post!! It does take all of this and allot of dedication to yourself to have balance in life. And how easy I find it is to fall because of lack of balance!


Gabriella Moonlight said...

My eggs sometimes get broken due to the overfilled basket, so today like you I do a spot check once in awhile to make sure they are more balanced.
thank you for this brilliantly worded post!

Syd said...

I like the analogy. I guess I have a lot of baskets too. Or maybe too many hats in the air or something like that. But I probably spend time playing and doing physical things as I do on drudgery. And working is where I do spend a lot of time. I'll have to think about my balance.

J-Online said...

What an awesome idea. I love this thought process. It's so organized, neat and clean. You've got me thinking now. Thanks PG!!!

AlkySeltzer said...

My life has always been one of "balance"...drank alcohol to 'get high', then when I drank too much, and 'got low', I'd balance it with some vallium. Ooops, too much vallium, try some teeny bit more vodka, hey, too much, back to a half pill, etc. Always seeking that BALANCE in my life!

mile191 said...

i haven't read much of your blog, but i loved this post. i would like to read more when i have time. i thought it was nice that you sent prayers out. you seem to be a really good person. good luck overcoming. i am trying as well. take care.

Progress, Not Perfection said...

Exactly what I needed to hear. I really appreciate you sharing. My baskets arent exactly even lately... actually I am still trying to figure out what my baskets are. I do know that the "friendship basket" is running low lately. I am so fearful of being alone. I guess I need to stop and consider I am never really alone with HP.

Thanks again for making me stop and THINK.

Happy Turkey Day!

Findon said...

Wow, I just read this, Its incredible that I've been looking at similiar things. You are much further down the road and a great example to follow. Thanks PG