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Work works

We have shit coping mechanisms as drinkers.

Mainly because we have only one coping mechanism for anything life throws at us:

Drink. Then drink some more.

Fair play to us, it probably was fun at first. But it got old a long time ago. We outgrew it.

There are tons of ways of dealing with the rubbish situations in life. And deal we must. Because they will still turn up on our doorstep.

They won’t affect us as deeply. Not by any means. But they will still happen.

It’s quite astonishing. This whole new world of ways in which we can tackle life’s challenges without drinking. 

Turns out there are loads of things I can now do to make me feel better than drinking ever did.

My favourite one. My absolute fail safe. 
Well, weirdly it’s work.

Rewind back with me to 2010. I had been a non-drinker for about 5 years. I casually assumed this meant my world would never be chaotic again.

Wrong. So very wrong.

My life fell apart in a quite spectacular fashion.

I went from living a comfortable existence, planning a wedding and the stuff that comes after.

To breaking it all off. Living in a grim flatshare with a friend of a friend. And having absolutely no idea where the rest of my life was now going. A life that clearly wasn’t going to be centred around a husband and children.

I felt nauseous all the time. Just shellshocked really. My life felt utterly fucked. I was a failure. And I didn’t know how to feel better.

I had one good thing in my life. I loved my job. I had only been doing it 6 weeks when everything crashed down around my ears.
 But now it was my sole purpose for being.

I’d never loved work as a drinker. I never have myself the chance too. Mainly because I was always too hungover to do a decent day’s work at all.

But, to my relief, being a non-drinker gace me the opportunity to submerge myself in this new job.

I slowly taught myself to relish every moment. Squeeze every bit of joy I could out of the process. Because it was the only time I didn’t feel totally horrendous inside.

I found that I could stretch the work feeling far beyond the hours I was filming a show.

It felt like work did when I shopped for outfits to wear for shows (that’s how I finally discovered a love for clothes, actually). 

It felt like work did when I got my hair or nails did. So on days off, when  I didn’t have work to keep me going, I’d try and get something like that done. 

I’d volunteer for every extra shift going. Get there early. Stay late. Because when I did, I felt better.

Work saved me. It was a coping mechanism that actually worked. I was so surprised that this was he case, but it was true.

Life got better. I ended up leaving the channel I worked at, which I still regret to this day, to be honest. But we can talk about learning that lesson another time.

Life still gets hard, even 12 years in as a non-drinker. It’s quite hard right now, truth known.

But I’ve never forgotten how worked saved me in 2010. And it’s always my failsafe when things get tough now.

Because, unlike alcohol, it always gives back to me. It’s an investment that is never wasted. It fulfils me without taking anything away.

Put simply: Work works.

So why not give it a go? It’s a better cooomg mechanism than drinking could ever be. I promise you that x


Domestic Affair

I’m really missing my app whilst it’s being redone for you guys. So I’ll be heavy on the blogging until it’s back up and running…

I wanted to talk about domesticity. I don’t know where you stand on making a house a home, but for me, it was such a low priority as a drinker, that it didn’t exist.

When I was constantly drinking, I didn’t have a home, I just lived places. Flats usually. 

The bedroom was for sleeping off hangovers, and hiding when I had hangover-induced anxiety attacks.

The living room was for drinking alone in.
The kitchen was where I kept drink.
That was it really.

And even during the occasional dry spell, I wouldn’t have the confidence to make my home any nicer. Because I just didn’t have any sense of what my style preferences were.

So I just ignored my house, and got on with trying to stop drinking and sorting my life out.

And I did. I stopped drinking.

But I still didn’t get it; the concept of a house being a home. 

Like so many questions I wasn’t sure how to answer in my non-drinking life, I just left it alone. Let the solution present itself to me, rather than trying to hammer it into place, in a bid to be “perfectly recovered.”

I just started noticing things. That’s the best way I can put it. I’d be scrolling through Instagram and someone’s home decor would grab my attention.

Or someone would post a picture of whet they were busy baking in the kitchen and I’d think “I really like the feeling that gives me when I look at it” so I’d give it a go myself.

I found myself loving having an ordered home. Clutter free. 

I loved buying new cleaning stuff and spending a morning with my sleeves rolled up getting everything spotless.

It just felt so good to me. The slow and gradual timing of domesticity finding me.

My tastes have changed as the years have gone by. The stuff I prepare in the kitchen varies a lot more. Though I do still keep my old favourites around.

My taste in room furnishings has changed a great deal from when I started really identifying who I am and what I really like. Which to me is a perfect reflection of a successful non-drinking journey:

The bit where we put the bottle down l, that part is the non-changing constant. So much so, we barely need to think about it after a while.

But the other personal preferences. The new hobbies and friends and jobs we pick up in our new life? Well they constantly change.

Because the world shows us everyday what new things there are to discover. That’s the exciting part. The trick is learning not to be afraid or turning into a new version of ourselves.

We are supposed to like newness. It doesn’t make us flaky. Or a fair weather friend. It makes us geniuses at non-drinking. An inspired individual who feels settled in their surroundings, yet is open and eager for more of life’s great variety will never return to drinking.

And falling in love, over and over again, with domesticity in all its intricate detailing, provides that variety for me is such simple ways, every single day.

No More Drink. No More Drama

Life as a drinker is fairly boring and monotonous.

Combine that with a feeling of being emotionally numb. Spiritually empty.

And there becomes a real need for drama, judy to feel like something is happening.

Or just feel at all.

I courted drama as a drinker. Loved it. 

Revelled in its presence.

I still panicked when things went wrong though, so life was a constant push-pull emotion of “oh no I did something bad-phew thank god something is actually happening.”

Gossip. Bitching. Causing trouble in my romantic relationships. These were all great ways of courting drama.

The stupid things I did whilst drunk could also bring an element of drama to my life.

But probably my histrionics the day after, in response to my hangover and vague memories of me doing something shameful whilst drunk, were the most handy for dramatic responses.

I could get days or drama out of that.

When I first stopped drinking, I almost missed the excuse for drama.

Because I was so very used to having it around.

That was before I discovered there didn’t have to be an empty emotional chasm inside me.

That I could fill this emptiness with happiness, peace, stability and contentment.

And that these emotions ran so deep, they made superficial drama look and feel utterly ridiculous.

I love my drama-free life. I adore my drama-free marriage, friends and family.
Because all of my relationships really are drama-free. I stopped tolerating it a long time ago.

At first I did it by trying to confront it and telling it loudly to go away.

But that’s fighting drama with drama, so of course it didn’t work.

Then I had to work out which section of my life I was still being dramatic in, to bring this to my door.

Turns out it was work.

So I changed the channel I was working for, and deliberately made new habits from day one.

These past few weeks have had the potential for drama, for me and my loved ones, it’s fair to say.

But we don’t engage in drama, not any of us. It’s probably one of our strongest common bonds as a family.

We never mine any event for drama. Whatever happens just happens. We deal with it in an understated way.
And when people try and bring their version of drama into our situations, or circle?

We don’t engage. So they just get bored and take their drama elsewhere.

I’ll never judge another person for needing to inject drama into their own lives and interactions.

Not when it was a habit I cultivated for so long myself.

And it isn’t solely a drinking emotion. Because I don’t drink, I now know lots of moderate or non-drinkers. And, amazingly, they thrive on drama to fill their inner-emptiness too.

So I try to be kind. Knowing it comes from a place of almost unbearable unhappiness and numbness within them.

I don’t shut the door on them completely.

I just make it clear that there’s no space these days, in our home, for such behaviour.

It’s a lie to say that life stops being complicated when we stop drinking.

All that really happens is that we aren’t the ones complicating it any more. 

Which is hard to come to terms with at first, when we’ve always been the main instigator of the f*ck-ups we experience.
People still sometimes get sick. 

Folk can still act in a cruel way towards us.
There is no formula for a perfect, drama-free existence in the outside world.

But when we refuse to tolerate any histrionics in our personal life or inner-emotions.

We instantly cut out one of the biggest vices we harboured as drinkers.

Try it. Screen your day for people, situations, or personal emotional reactions that bring out the drama in your life.
Take note of them. (Here’s a hint, Facebook and twitter will be filled with them, not just face-to-face interactions.)

Ask yourself it it’s really worth keeping up such an out-dated way of dealing with sh*t.

Then, have a little clear out. Mute the people who court drama on your timeline.
Stop responding to texts or engaging in phone calls with dramatic souls.

See these people as the overgrown teenagers they really are.

Then thank your lucky stars we’ve chosen a different way.

And have the most beautiful drama-free day ever x

Lean on me

It’s been a challenging few weeks for me in a personal capacity.

I’ve learned a lot. I feel like I’ve changed a lot too.
Learning how to walk again, as I did a few years back, taught me the value of emotional independence.

I needed to be totally emotionally self-sufficient, in order to survive.

Otherwise I know I would still be living in my parents spare room. Too scared to try and fully recover to my full physical capacity.

Thing is, I’m not learning to walk again now. Those days are gone.

I’m not in a position where I need to be in sole charge of taking care of myself.

Because the fear of backsliding into a bed or wheelchair, just doesn’t exist for me now.

It’s not just okay for me to lean on others.
 It’s safe. 
I know I can return to a place of emotionally sole responsibility at any point, if I want to.

Right now I don’t want to. Not at all.

Support is important. I understand that now.

I didn’t find it helpful in my early days of non-drinking. Mainly because the kind of support I was offered seemed a bit shit.

But there’s good support out there now.
And I’m going to count my App as one of those good methods of support.

I’m doing so, because of your generous feedback.

I’m glad it’s helping you.

I’m proud it’s working.

And now that I fully understand the concept of healthy support.

I’m going to be giving you all far more of it.
I’ve asked my app developers to change things, so that you will get unlimited updates every day.

And always for free.

I feel like it’s the least I can do, for those of you who have gotten value out of just a few updates a day so far.

I get it now. Leaning on someone who is strong enough to take it, is a wise thing to do.

So give me a few days. And the app will be back online, fully updated.

But most importantly, ready to give you the amount of support you deserve.

Carrie xx

Have you cake and eat it

I often struggle to believe that I had no idea what people actually did that wouldn’t involve drinking.

For years I wouldn’t have believed people did actually have lives that weren’t soaked in alcohol.

I had no experience of socialising without getting battered.

Weekend. Evenings. All free time was spent in pubs.

I didn’t know any different. So I blithely assumed that my way was the only way.
People must have been doing normal things around me. I was just too tunnel-visioned to notice.

If they weren’t up for getting pissed. Then they were of no use to me. So I ignored them.

When I’d had enough. Years after the fun has gone out of drinking. I wanted a different life.

I’d started noticing people who never drank. They were so fascinating to me. But I never really had the confidence to ask them about the intricacies of their lives.

What do you do with your time?

A simple question that could easily have gotten me started. But I was too afraid to put myself out there.
So I had no choice but to figure it out myself.

And I did. It took a long time. Lots of trial and error.
It broke my heart a bit more, every time I discovered that these new things I was trying, has been there the whole time. That I’d been missing out on them for so long.

That l would never get my youth back, to spend as a happy non-drinker.

But I’m here now. It’s all second-nature. I have the life I’ve always wanted.

And, more to the point, I can’t imagine ever associating drinking with any experience I have. Or any activity I undertake.

Any party I go to, I get to enjoy as a non-drinker without even thinking about it.

Every date I go on with my husband, we get to leave alcohol totally out of the equation, as a subconscious habit.

Every Christmas and New Year. Every Birthday and Holiday. All are spent effortlessly experiencing a full life.

This week I went for tea and cake with my mother. They wrapped our cakes up as presents.

This is what my life is like now that there is no drinking. Everything is a fucking gift. Even the everyday things.

Talk about having your cake and eating it!

It was so perfect. Such a wonderful moment. I had to share it with you.

I could be in a pub right now, drinking last nights hangover away. I’m not. Because I chose to live differently.

So did you.

How good are we??!

Perfectly stuck.

It’s been a while.
A really long while.
I know. And I’m sorry.
2017 has so far seen changes at a lightning pace in every aspect of my life.
That’s not really the reason I’ve held out on blogging though.
I’ve had a new website in the pipeline for over a bloody year now.
It’s much more reflective of what my work is about. And my personal beliefs on stopping drinking.
It’s got a proper section for my mini eBooks, of which there are a shed load.
Videos. Pictures. Blah blah etc.
It’s not even that fancy. It’s just taken the people I paid to do it, so flipping long, that I got engaged, got married and changed my name. And still this bloody site wasn’t done.
So I decided to do nothing. To wait.
Wait for my version of perfection.
Worst old drinking habit ever.

It’s ridiculous to go back to such an old habit of thinking, twelve years after stopping drinking alcohol. 
The habit of perfection. This concept that if I can’t be perfect, then I’ll just be nothing at all. It’s bullshit.
It leads to nothingness. A life devoid of personal development.
And I let it stifle me for a year. This out-dated concept of perfection.
This all-or-nothing mentality l’d managed to undo for so long.
Took me ages to work out what I was doing. And how “drinky” this behaviour was.
But when I did, I addressed it.
And I’m happy it happened.
Because as much as I unequivocally know I will never drink again.
I’m equally aware I’m either evolving or I’m stagnating.
And stagnating sober isn’t a very different feeling place than stagnating drunk.
And drunk is so average. So second-rate an existence, to me.
That I want no emotional links to a life like that at all.
What notion of perfection are you inadvertently carrying around that is making you stagnate when you could be flourishing?

Your App is Ready…

I’ve not been terribly active on the blogs this year.
I’ve been working on something else for you, instead.
For the past year, I’ve been working on an app to give you what I never had, but desperately needed, not just in the early days as a non-drinker. But whenever I needed a little boost.
Someone to pat me on the back, to tell me I was doing a great job.
To remind me WHY I was making this life choice-to STOP DRINKING permanently.

Because why the fuck shouldn’t we have someone sit us down, and remind us, not just daily, but several times a day, why this life of non-drinking is brilliant.
But I didn’t just want it to be airy fairy little messages on motivation. I wanted you to have tips! Actual practical tips, every damn DAY. 
Daily solutions to that question we all have: what the hell do l do with all this spare time I suddenly have, now I’m not getting rat-arsed all the time.

And I didn’t want you to have to have ANYTHING on your phone that gave away that this app had anything to do with non-drinking. 
Because whose business is it how you intend to improve your life?!

See? This is the app on my phone. Nobody would guess what it’s about.
And you don’t get notifications when a new inspirational update appears. So to get to control when you check in and have a look.
Because who wants personal notifications showing up for all-and -sundry to eyeball 👀?
Yes there are other apps out there. Dealing in the usual stuff. The woe is me. The sadness. The lack mentality. I’m sure they work beautifully.
But this is NOT what I wanted for you. I wanted HAPPINESS. 

I wanted you to feel and experience what life is like, 12 years down the line as a non-drinker without having to wait 12 years to do it.

With daily pictures of a nice life that you should expect as the norm. 
With little hints and tips that I love and that have worked so many times for the people who have used them when doing sessions with me.

I called it SO? Because so fucking what if we can’t drink, because when we start, we can’t stop? It doesn’t have to define us.

SO who cares if we now have to carve out the most amazing life for ourselves instead?

SO what if it’s different to how others seem to live?

Really and truly, these past twelve years have taught me, that the only part of Sober, worth bothering with, is SO.

I put everything I have into this app. Not just financially. But more importantly, emotionally. 
It’s the culmination of everything I’ve learned so far. Of every conversation I’ve ever had, with you, and everyone else who ever put a question to me.
It’s the end result of obsessively searching for solutions to every recovery-based struggle I ever wrestled with.

It’s very simple: download the app and you will get two free updates every day, or five for the paid version, which is £2.99 for the year.
I recommend you try the free version first. It may be all you need.
From the day you download the app, your history page will store one month’s worth of updates for you to constantly refer back to.
The first update you get will disappear after your read it once. I don’t know why. No one knows why. 
But if you check back in for the next update, whether later that day, or the day after, then it won’t ever happen again after that.
There is no signup. I get so bloody irritated by apps that want a million bits of info from me. If you do too, then this will be a welcome relief…jut download and begin. It’s that simple.

It’s also not a forum. I’ve included two great interactive sites that are run incredibly well by folk who I like personally and trust professionally, if that’s what you are looking for.

This is one-on-one. Nobody else’s business. Just a few moments of inspirations. Several times a day. To help you build strong non-drinking momentum.

It works. That’s what excites me the most.

And if you want it, then you can download it here
To my chicas who were kind enough to test the app for me, then were so lovely with their feedback-I can’t thank you enough. You have given me the confidence to tell everyone else about it. And I’m so appreciative of you ❤️
(Also you’ll be hearing a lot more from me, now everything is up and running, thanks for sticking with me whilst I went off the grid and got this done. I’m really very grateful)
Carrie xx

The first step to becoming a sober girl.

How do you become a sober girl?

If it was as easy as just not drinking anymore, then we would only ever need one attempt at it.

I had a number of failed attempts.
Not loads. I thought about “giving up” drinking, constantly.

I had notebooks full of drunken crap I would write myself, about how I would like to stop drinking.

But I never invested heavily in any action, because my self-belief was so poor, I thought I would fail at anything I tried to do.

Nearly 12 years on. This is what I now understand.
To become a non-drinker. We have to believe we deserve a non-drinker’s life.

We have to believe we are worthy of all the nice things other girls have.

To know we are capable of living the lives they live.

There’s no difference between us and those other girls.

And you know the one’s I’m talking about.
The women who let a glass of wine go untouched on the bar table in front of them.

Who look happy. And perfectly turned-out.
Who have relationships with men who adore them.

Who laugh all the time.

Who have hobbies and interests that mean they barely have time to sit in a bar.

The women who make having a night in look more glamorous and fun, than anything else we’ve done all year.

The girls whose lives just seem to work. Effortlessly. Constantly.

Who are showered with love and adoration.

These creatures were so mysterious to me, in my drinking days, that I may as well have been an alien from a different planet to them.

I would never have dared compare myself to one of them.
I didn’t deserve to share the same air as them.

There’s no way I could have tried to be like them.

I wouldn’t have known where to start.
They had no struggle like mine. They didn’t need to learn how to be a sober girl.

Alcohol played such a tiny role in their picture-perfect lives.

How sad that I didn’t realise there was barely any difference between their own lives, and mine.

What a waste, to discover, years down the line, that if I had believed in myself.
Liked myself.

Concentrated on myself.

I would have morphed into one of those girls. Effortlessly.

Because those girls. Those ones with lovely  lives. Totally indifferent to alcohol. Filled with fun and excitement and positivity.

They are the only women I surround myself with, these days.

Because that’s what I deserve.
Nice things.
Great experiences.

They are what life is supposed to be about. I get that now.

When I was drunk and hated myself and my existence.

I thought people would like me more, if I put myself down.

Or had less nice things than them.
If I wore my self-hatred like a badge of honour.

What a weird thing to think.
That’s not how to be liked.

But, more more importantly:

No one can get sober from that frame of mind.

So, how do we become a sober girl?

First and foremost: we fill our lives and thoughts with nice things.

We go to the nice places.
We say and think the nice words.
About ourselves, and about others.

We leave the crap, bargain-basement mentality, in the seedy bar, and we walk into The light with our heads held high.

We force ourselves to experience beautiful things.

We say nice things to ourselves.
About ourselves.
Until we are so saturated in love and beauty.

That our actions reflect this love.

Because when we become love. It’s very hard to sabotage ourselves.

It’s almost impossible to put up with shoddy experiences, like drinking abusively.

And it’s far, far easier, to become a sober girl.

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Getting back in the kitchen 

My relationship with cooking was weird when I was a drinker.

I would get massively anxious about cooking. For myself was bad enough.
For other people? Awful. I could hardly bare it.

I hated everything about cooking. I felt useless at it.

I had no idea what to do. And no impetus to learn.

Plus being in the kitchen meant that I wasn’t in a pub drinking.

Or on my sofa, also drinking.

Two of the most important and worthwhile ways to spend my time.
I hated it. And never wanted to do anything to change that.

And had I kept drinking? That’s how it would have stayed.

Because that’s the thing about alcohol abuse.

Nothing ever evolves

But anyway, I did stop drinking. And almost immediately, I became obsessed with healthy eating.
Because I only knew how to engage in emotional extremes.

And then because I was physically very poorly, and decided food would be my salvation.

I would pour obsessively over recipe books. Even when I was too sick to get out of bed.

Even when I did eventually get my body back to a place it could stand and walk.
I was too afraid to eat most foods.

In case they were dangerous and made me unwell.

Food wasn’t really about eating, it was about a fantasy lifestyle where I could pretend to be someone else.

I became a militant vegan, because I based my new, faux personality on women who write cookbooks and blogs.

I didn’t know who I was, thanks to drinking my entire adult life, so I thought I may as well pretend to be them.

I was obsessed with my vegan lifestyle for years, yet barely ate.

Then I stopped all of that, and just ignored food for a few years.

Everything I bought was readymade. Or prepared for me by someone else, because I knew it was the only way I would ever be free from this prison.

Then. I simply waited.
Waited until I felt interested in making food for the pleasure it gave me to prepare it.

It took years.

But finally I moved into a home with a kitchen I loved, and people I really wanted to feed.
Finally I saw food as connection.
Connecting to my past, by using my nana’s decades old recipe book.

Connection To my present, by bonding with people during food prep together and the eating afterward.

Connection to friends and family by making them gifts in the kitchen.

Connection to myself by finally having the confidence in my burgeoning creative streak, to express it in the kitchen.

Now, I’ve come back to the kitchen.


I can spend a lazy Sunday morning baking cakes and buns.

Or a Friday night making a roast dinner for extended family and inviting them over.

I can nip in for 20 minutes, if someone is popping over, so I can feed them fresh scones.

Or spend quiet time at my kitchen table, reading, whilst the smell of baking bread permeates the air around me.

There are no rules to the kitchen now.

Whilst-ironically-I actually use the vegan cookbooks now that I just used to read when I wouldn’t eat.

I also use vegetarian, meat filled, or any others that grab my attention.

There are no labels. 

Just a lovely, bright, warm and inviting space that I love to spend time in.

A place that makes me so glad that I learned how to get back in the kitchen.

Coming full circle 

When I was a drinker. 

My houses were never homes.

Okay, flats. I always lived in flats as an adult. But they were never nice.

I had no idea how to make a home lovely.

How to create what I needed from a living space.

Mainly because it never occurred to me to ask myself what I needed from my home.

(My home now)

By default, the only time I was ever there was to drink, or to recover from a hangover.

That’s what I needed from my housing.

So that’s all I did. Sleep. Or drink. Or get ready to out drinking again.

Nice homes were for other people.

Not people like me, who didn’t deserve nice things, and wouldn’t know how to create them, even if I did feel I deserved them.

I stopped drinking, as we all know, or I wouldnt be writing any of this.
And when I stopped, gradually? The fog lifted.

And, over the years of non-drinking, I changed.

I changed every time a question came up in my own mind.

Little questions like “what do people do in their own homes if they don’t spend all their time drinking”


“How do people go about making their homes and lives lovely places? Do they learn it in a class somewhere?”

(I’d always felt like I’d be born without instructions everyone else seemed to already have read, so this was nothing new.)
We have the internet now. On our phones. Which is very helpful.
Most of the answers can be found on there.

If I’d stopped drinking now, instead of 11 years ago, I’d have just hopped on my phone and spent hours on Apps like Pinterest and Houzz.

I’d have stripped down my dingy flats, and made them into the homes I was discovering online.

(And then kept recreating them, because we change and evolve at a rate of knots when we become non-drinkers, so the stuff I thought was the height of chic 5 years ago, would be of no interest to me now. That’s how I know I’m doing non-drinking right, the sheer rate at which I still, even 11 years on, keep changing.)

By the time we stop drinking, our world revolves around alcohol. It’s our life. Our hobby. 
The only thing we truly feel anything remotely like enthusiasm for.

So of course the world feels full of drinkers and bars and happy hours.

Understandably, no other human appears to talk about anything else except getting pissed.

Because our world has become so tiny, that it’s all we see.

But the world is nothing like that.
Most people, are nothing like that.
And right now, in 2017, there’s never been a better time to let technology show us that.

11 years ago, technology was far less accessible.

So it excites me that I get to live vicariously through the women that come to me for lessons in stopping drinking.

Because they get to use these brilliant things I never had!

I’m not going to talk about the journey I made, that resulted in me caring about my home.

Not this time, next time I will.

And I’ll follow it on with the other things I replaced drinking with, how I did it, and then how my ladies use 2017 technology to do it now.

It’s all I have to offer these days.

Because I genuinely cannot be arsed to tell anymore sad drinking stories from my past.  

If alternatives are what you are looking for.

If coming full circle, back to a life that you know you had the potential to have.

Could have had, before drink got in the way.

Then stick around for the next few weeks.

Because that’s all I’ll be talking about.
If you are ready to come full circle with me, that is …