It got to about 10.30 on Monday night. I was sliding into a sound slumber when my eyes fluttered open. I thought – ‘Oh! Didn’t do the blog.’

A brief pause. A mental shrug. My eyes closed and I drifted off.

Previously… I would probably have got back out of bed and scampered downstairs to get something typed and uploaded. That panic to get it done on the day. A couple of my favourite posts of the last month emerged like that, a bit last minute, born of a sense of duty, yet completed eventually out of enjoyment.

No such misgivings yesterday. There was a momentary sensation of a betrayal of process… but that was just as quickly acknowledged and left on its shelf. It’s the kind of thing that might have had the potential to become an enduring niggle. Something to fret and worry at, probably over a few days then of not doing it, not posting, getting behind, more and more fixated on it, allowing feelings of self-disappointment to inflate. Letting a splinter work its way in.

If there had been a hangover involved, there is no question it would have become the bedrock of a spree commencing round Thursday.

Reader, there was no hangover. Although there have been plenty of trigger situations, I’ve not responded to those in a trigger happy way. The drinking thing at the moment is a faint background hiss, under the regular sounds of day to day life, ongoing preoccupations, the crackle of being busy with other things. And an improving practice of letting the little knots of worry and over-thought play themselves out.

There is a suppression of feelings that happens with drink, for all its reputation as a truth drug.  Cleaner-brained, I feel more able to observe feelings moving through and on, rather than getting panicked by them, trying to sluice them away somehow and succeeding only in getting them stuck in place.

This is, like it has been when I’ve been in this situation before, both a hoped-for outcome and a welcome surprise. And my sleep is becoming substantially better too.

Browsing about, I happened on the work of illustrator Sow Ay, which I dug.

So, aye… The word ‘mindful’ gets thrown about quite a lot at the moment, conceptions of ‘presence process’, thinking ‘right now’. Some aspects of That Sort of Thing work well for me, anyway.

This cartoon by Sow Ay is a nice reminder that one may be feeling good, all over it, even, but not to take that for granted.

Not drinking alcohol reminds me that my brain works in certain ways, quite a lot of which can be positive, but there’s a lot of excitable over-thinking, unsolicited extrapolation and fret as well. I’m getting to appreciate that the brain waves are easier to stay afloat on without a body full of booze.

Today? I was shovelling a tonne of compost on to the veg patch, which I suppose works as a metaphor but was, also, an actual tonne of actual compost on to an actual veg patch… alongside other first-day-of-holiday, warm-sunny-weather-in-late-winter hyphenated pottering. Lots of time with the kids. Oh yeah, Leeds won as well. It was A Good Day.

Not taking it for granted, no sir, not saying I’m full of understanding… but yeah, recognising when it feels good.