I’m reading a book by Peter Buffett called Life Is What You Make It. I picked it up randomly at the library the other day during the six minutes I had to browse before the boys get bored and the library cop comes to me with Hampton since he’s been playing with the water fountain. So four minutes then. It’s a really on time find- he discusses career, and choices, and other cool life stuff. (The subtitle is Find Your Own Path to Fulfillment.) I love shit like this. It’s kind of like a decoder ring.

Here’s this quote: (attributed to Goethe)

Until one is committed  there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance  of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never have occurred  A whole stream of events issues from the decision  raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”


In the back of my head I’ve been pushing around my label. What I call why I don’t drink. How I explain it. I don’t feel like an alcoholic now. I don’t feel like an addict now. I don’t feel like I need to struggle and yearn for freedom every day because I am enslaved to something much more powerful that  me. I don’t feel like I need to promise myself that I can drink one day but just not today. That doesn’t work for me. To me that’s like the eat all your dinner and you can have dessert promise. Forced reward. Blegg.

Then I read that quote and zing. That’s what you call what I’m doing. Commitment! Until one is committed  there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. That was the problem all those times I tried to quit before. I wasn’t committed. I was toe in testing the water, not jumping in letting the safety net close over me.

My sobriety has been entirely about readiness. I was not ready until I was ready. I was ready to commit. To make a promise to my lifelong partner (me!) that I would  love and cherish her all the rest of my days. For richer, for poorer. In sickness and in health. For better and for worse. Is sobriety like getting married? Could be.

So I think that means I don’t even have a label. I just have a promise. Between me and me. I’ll worry about how to explain it when it comes up. It means that I cannot renege or hesitate. The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. There are clear expectations. No one is wandering around in the dark looking for a wine glass because there will never be one. That makes me feel safe.

Ah. Take a breath.

Sometimes I want to have all the answers. And then sometimes I get one.

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”