Thursday, December 31, 2009

End of year wisdom from Charlie Brown

Last night my four year old was sick, and so she and I cuddled up in my bed and watched the Peanuts special, "Happy New Year, Charlie Brown." Those who know me well know that I love all things Peanuts, so this was a nice respite from an otherwise long day. And my daughter was healed by "mommy cuddles," or so she claims. At one point in the show, Charlie Brown is talking to either Lucy or Peppermint Patty, and he talks about the changes he is going to make in the coming year. Never one for New Year's resolutions myself, I got a real kick out of what he said next.

"This year is going to be different. I have always dreaded the year. This year I am going to dread one day at a time."

This brought a real smile to my lips. I am working on Steps Six and Seven at the moment, and I say that I am working this two Steps more or less together because as soon as I feel I am done with Step 6 and humbly asking in Step 7, I have to go back and *really* question myself - am I entirely ready? The unequivocal answer is YES, but then I catch myself falling back into the old negative patterns of thought, self-criticism and crazy frustration with my alcoholic.

(Case in point: I love to fall asleep with my glasses on. I like to read or watch television until I basically lull myself to sleep. He, on the other hand, wants me to sleep with my glasses off, lights and television off, and not read at all. So if I do fall asleep, he comes over and takes my glasses off and puts them somewhere, not remembering where most of the time. Since I can't see to even walk without my glasses, this is not good. Last night he took them off and put them on my altar. In the last week he has put his phone, my glasses, his spare linty pocket change, unwrapped linty mints, and other things on my altar. I read this as him not having respect for my spirituality and spiritual identity. After all, he has made disparaging remarks about my not being a traditional Christian (i.e., Protestant) in the past. When in all actuality, he is probably just doing this because it is the closest available surface. I build up all this resentment over something so small...)

I am working on asking my Higher Power (who is like a Goddess who is the sister/mother/female version of Jesus, and also likes fairies and elves... but I digress again) to remove these shortcomings and character defects, and then I catch myself piling the resentment right back on my husband's head. He ain't perfect, nowhere near it. But I'm not sure that he deserves all the crap I am angry at him for either... In accepting that I can't control him or cure him, I am reexamining what our relationship really is. Truth is, we have almost nothing in common and go most days without exchanging more than a few sentences. He wants to sleep constantly, and I constantly wish I had as much time off as he does to sleep. BUT my lack of days off is not really his fault. I do choose to work too much.

So anyway, I know there are people out there who have worked these Steps longer and more often than I have. I would love to hear from you. If there is another shortcoming that good old HP is removing from me daily, it is the willingness to ask for help. That feels good.

On a side note, my EX-husband (who is on good terms with my husband and my family and even me more or less) is coming today with a friend, a truck and a trailer to move some furniture for me. I asked him to move my oldest daughter's things she cannot have at the apartment to his home, and he has agreed. He might even move some furniture of mine to the new place today! How awesome is that??? I am in awe of the goodness, HP. Send me more, please. Please. And thanks for opening my eyes. It's a good thing to see.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The year is drawing to a close...

... and I am so glad. This year has been especially hard for me.
In June my grandmother died.
I have lost my home.
And I am confronting alot of stuff in my recovery.
I am trying to figure out where my marriage is going, or if it even exists.
And I am ready for a new beginning.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Kwanzaa

Yesterday I attended a Kwanzaa service at the UU church in Lexington, and learned alot. Now I want to share what I learned...


NGUZO SABA
(The Seven Principles)

Umoja (Unity)
To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.

Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.

Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
To build and maintain our community together and make our brother's and sister's problems our problems and to solve them together.

Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.

Nia (Purpose)
To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

Kuumba (Creativity)
To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

Imani (Faith)
To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
Maulana Karenga


*From -- Maulana Karenga, Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture, 2008, Los Angeles: University of Sankore Press (www.sankorepress.com)

I want to think Marilyn Dishman for being brave and taking us under her wing and leading the service yesterday and teaching me alot.


These are some pretty beautiful principles. Today is the third day of Kwanzaa, so today's principle is Ujima, Collective Work and Responsibility.
Up until this past year, 2009, I don't think I could really appreciate this principle. However, by participating in a 12 Step community called Al-Anon, I have learned that it is safe to care about people again. And to try to help. And even wilder, to accept help when is freely and lovingly offered and given. Amazing lessons. I am in awe. My biggest heartaches come when I forgo collective work and responsibility and try to do it all alone.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Solstice

Since this is the closest thing to a holiday I can rightfully claim this year, I wanted to post to commemorate the occasion.

Today I am thinking about decisions. I feel called to make several decisions in my life at this time. I am growing away from the life that I made for myself for the past six years, and it is a scary feeling.

I am learning to have lower expectations - or better yet, none at all.

I am learning to try to live Tradition Seven, and rely only on myself for sustenance.

I am exhausted with everything that is going on. And I just look forward to moving forward. Wherever that might be, whenever that might be... whatever form that is going to take.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Reality bites.... or maybe it just nibbles

After a hiatus from the blog, I am ready to start writing again. I am in awe and wonder over my program's ability to reinterpret my life into terms I can accept, or at least grow from or into.

One of the greatest gifts that my spirituality has taught me is that I can belong in more than one place. I can survive anywhere. I can reinvent myself to thrive in whatever environment in which I find myself.

That's all for today. I am typing this as I am a passenger across the state of Kentucky on a major road trip (work-related). Too many words across my vision gives me carsickness.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving... gratitudes and all...

I am back after life forced a writing hiatus. I ended up dropping out of NaNoWriMo, and basically felt like I had let myself down once again.

It's not that I have nothing to say; it's just that I am more interested at present in what others have to say. I am interested in what is out there, and more confident about what is in here. Maybe that is why I don't have to explore it in a navel-gazing way for the moment.

Yesterday I found myself sinking deeper and deeper into depression as I pondered the logistics of being homeless. I have decisions to make; my older daughter is in school and doing well, but I will not be able to commute the 50 miles each day to transport her to and from school. I don't even know if schools will let homeless kids enroll. How do they know what district a student is in if the student is homeless? How am I going to take care of my dog? What is this going to do to the joie de vivre that my 4 year old shows? All weighty questions on my soul.

Today I am grateful that I have more than today to get answers to these questions. I am also grateful that my rent is paid for the month, and we were given Thanksgiving food from a family member, so we will eat this week. I am grateful I have lots of good things to read to take my mind off things. I am grateful that I have a job, and that my husband continues to work for this company too, so we have some income. I am thankful that he has more sober (well, dry) days than he has since I have met him. And that we have beautiful and sweet and intelligent children that still love us. I am grateful that my body hurts less today. And that I am working on more referrals for work. I am grateful Chloe is doing so well in school. And that I am enjoying a new church home with my children at the Unitarian Universalist Church. I am grateful for the folks out there in cyberland who read this blog, and allow me to benefit from their wisdom and goodness in their blogs. I am grateful for my program. And I am grateful for Step Six.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Last post marked 250 posts on this blog - Happy Birthday, Blog.

This has been one of those days.

We have been promised that things are going to get better. Yet I am watching my fellow human beings slide further into depression, debt, and despair.

When do we stop calling this a recession and start calling it a depression?

And when do we decide that legal tender, AKA money, is not the thing we need to be trading or depending upon?

When will we realize that we need to depend on ourselves, and our compassion, and our willingness to be the change we want to see in the world?

Just some thoughts....

Monday, November 16, 2009

Reading, Writing and Making Decisions

This week I have gotten alot of reading done. First, I finished the Laurie Cabot book I had been taking forever to read. Then I finished a light read of Ghost Hunters, a book based on the show from SciFi network - ah, a distant memory now, but I used to enjoy it. And now I am reading Phyllis Curott's Book of Shadows, which is very interesting and inspiring.

I also finished the Step work/journaling assignment that my sponsor assigned me after I did Step 5 with her. I learned alot, and want to make that the subject of another blog entry, maybe tomorrow or later this afternoon.

I also got brave and confronted my finances. They were even worse than I thought. In the past 3 months I have given up alot of "luxury" items, like my cell phone, Internet access, and coffee. This was a small step in the right direction, but it was too little, too late. I am now confronting that we are going to lose the house we were trying to buy on land contract. My projected date for getting out of this house is the end of next month. I want to be wrapping it up and putting our stuff in storage by Christmas. I don't want the kids to be homeless at Christmas, so I am dragging it out until then. It was also give me more time to get my things either given away or put in storage so we don't lose so much, and won't have to start from scratch when we do find a place.

I need to be very clear here when I say that I do not put this here to ask for help, or for anyone to feel sorry for me. I think this is the best thing I can do at this time. It will give me a chance to save some money, pay some bills, and basically get this stuff that has been hanging over my head taken care of. Three months ago my mother bought a car and I have been making the payments on it so I would have reliable transportation to work. The payment is 4 days late, so she stated yesterday that she is taking the car away. Maybe without the cost of outrageously high house rent and $500/month utilities, I will be able to keep the car so I can continue working.

Now would be a great time to report that I have been doing so well with NaNoWriMo, but alas, I haven't worked on it at all. Didn't even make the first day's required words. So much for me making my fortune writing the next great American novel. I guess those types of pursuits are for people with more talent and support than I have. Oh well. Such is life.

So look to this blog now as a commentary of more sociopolitical intent as I try to figure out housing in America. It should be a grand adventure.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A week of getting it together

I didn't get much of a chance to do any blogging this week due to work, and basically just spending my spare time reading and cooking and trying to think about some decisions I am going to have to make soon. More on them later.

I've averaging about 3 to 4 meetings a week right now. I completed my 5th Step with my sponsor, and she gave me an additional writing assignment in preparation to the 6th Step. I've been working on this for the past couple of weeks.

I'll write more tomorrow. I'm working on getting some NaNoWriMo work done, and thinking about my novel right now, so I'm not in a blogging space in my mind.

More to come...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sanity 101, a new series

I wrote this last night after a meeting. I don't have Internet access at home anymore, so I am delayed posting this on the blog.
**********************************************************************

Musings after a good meeting

Tonight’s meeting was on character defects. I volunteered to lead, and I chose the topic because of finishing my 5th Step last night. I just love the feeling of peace and simply being comfortable in my own skin when I leave a really great meeting. Serenity rocks.

My character defects are pretty simple. But they run deep. I think that is the truth for most people, at least I think so...

My first character defect is resentment. No big surprise there.

My second is self-pity.

My third is fear.

My fourth is lack of love.

I have progressed in the program insofar as my resentments are MUCH less than before I began this program. I have learned to let go of alot of things, and not waste as much of my psychic energy on others’ opinions of me or mine. However, there is still some stuff that I let get to me, and those things usually are the two addicts in my life. When I say addict, I mean alcoholic in one case, and drug/sex addict in the other. There is a real knee jerk reaction I have to these two addicts who I feel are somehow not living up to their responsibilities as adults or parents or employees. I resent them for it.
Because of my own overdeveloped sense of responsibility (thanks to Judy for bringing this concept into my world)!
Is it the addict’s fault that I have this overdeveloped sense of responsibility? Nope.
Is it my fault - or more importantly, *is it my problem* - that the addict has no sense of responsibility? Nope.
How awesome is that?

When I contrast how I resent this perceived disparity, I start to pity myself. Poor little me, working my ass off while the addicts don’t. When really, there is no reason for there to be any comparison. I do what I do because it is who I am. They do their thing for the same reason. Apples and oranges. And I am happy to be who I am. I am blessed to not be addicted to a substance. I need to be grateful instead to pity myself. Kind of backwards, huh?

As for fear, well, my sponsor directed me towards a reading in Hope for Today (page 228/August 15th for those of you keeping score) that talks about using the Serenity Prayer to determine what is worth fearing. In a word, accept what I cannot change, and change what I can. This reading also talks about not leaving the present and projecting fear about the future (unknown), and suggests that focusing on what my body is doing at the present moment. By taking my attention down to a physical, or even cellular level I distract it from projecting any bizarre scenarios about the future. I love this reminder to do this.

Finally, because I am resentful, pity myself, and fearful, I experience a lack of love. By lack of love, I mean I start by not loving myself. And this inhibits my ability love anyone else.

Because I have confronted and faced all this garbage about myself, I feel lighter. I feel more accepting of myself. And because I accept myself more, I like - maybe even love someday myself more. And that opens up a whole other way for me to love others. The right way. By allowing them to live without my interruption or attempts at control. Or, as we say in my profession, I allow them the dignity of risk. 

My sponsor wanted me to write some more on my resentments, and I will do so, but in a more private way than on this blog. And also to write some on practical ways I can address my character defects and weakness. These may be the subject of another blog in the near future. 

Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

One Step at a Time

Last night I finished my 5th Step with my sponsor. She has given me some more writing to do on 2 of my resentments and my character defects, so I will be working on these in the next two weeks and sharing it with her. It is wonderful to finally have gone through that step though.

I also am glad to have gotten through some consulting work I was doing so I can get back into NaNoWriMo, and I am hoping that I can get some more accomplished in that area, and maybe even CATCH UP? That would be fabulous.

I am literally exhausted, however, so there won't be much on this topic today. Maybe tomorrow. I am holding out on going home because there is a meeting here in Frankfort in another 2 1/2 hours, and I would like to make it. I didn't get to go to a meeting yesterday, so I feel overdue.

Thanks for your patience....

An interesting idea


This morning my dog and I are in my car in downtown Versailles. Parked close enough to the library I can usurp their wireless for a moment. The church bells are ringing and I am watching people go about their day. It's very neat, and a good place to write! Plus my dog is happy - he loves the car, which is why he is a Kruzer.

P.S. Did my 5th Step with my sponsor last night. More on that later.

Monday, November 2, 2009

NaNoWriMo

Okay, so I don't have internet access at home, and I failed to figure out how many words one needs for the first day. I made a nice attempt and got all of 750, which made me feel good, as I really like how my opening sounds. This is so unusual for me, so that part is great.

HOWEVER, the amount of words was 1,670... so I wasn't even halfway there. And of course, I have to do up to 3,340 today and 5,000 by tomorrow.... it is not for the faint of heart. And I keep feeling that once I make it through tomorrow I will be better able to devote more energy towards this.....

TOMORROW is the day I have set up to share my Fifth Step with my sponsor. I was scheduled to do this on June 7th, but my grandmother fell on June 4th, had surgery the 5th, and died the 8th. Plus my sponsor's daughter graduated from high school that weekend too... so it was not meant to be.

I took a few months to isolate, heal, lick my wounds, and decide how to best live through this. And I found that I already had alot of wisdom and life's instruction manual in Al-Anon. So I am back, immersing myself in about 5 meetings a week. And doing much better, overall...

This is not to say that I don't have moments of "oh shit" or despair, or whatever. And I have been flirting with depression a bit the past two weeks. But overall, I am hanging on. And I am looking towards small things I can do to take care of myself.

Which brings me back to NaNoWriMo. I am doing this, kind of like when I did the blogathon, as part of my self-care. The process of writing for me is a difficult yet identifying act. This energy I put towards writing is energy of self expression and what I need to do to heal. And survive.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Slithering back out of the abyss...

I have been away basically all week due to things being busy at work and not having Internet access at home anymore. So now I am going to try to get back on the horse...

Yesterday I turned 40. It was an okay day. By the evening I had become really depressed and emotion and basically thought all I wanted to do was go to bed. So I went to bed, but could not sleep. I ended up watching like 3 episodes of "Criminal Minds" while the girls piled into bed with me and fell asleep within minutes. I was feeling kind of abandoned and miffed because my husband didn't really seem to give a damn that it was my birthday. He ended up having to work, and I ended up in a training all day, so we saw each other for all of an hour before I went to a training at 8:45am. He had made the comment that he was going to get me a card, and leave it on my pillow. Well, stupid me, I forgot my Al-Anon lessons and allowed myself to have an expectation, and of course, there was no card. I knew not to expect a gift, as he said he couldn't afford a gift. A card is no big deal. My mother and my best friend and my best friend's parents sent me cards for my birthday, so I didn't need another card. It's just the tiny effort that doesn't ever really get expended in my direction. Yet this morning, I get him a latte and a pack of (cheap!) cigarettes, and don't even think about it. Until later, writing this. And then, I think, wow, I got him more on for a Saturday morning ride to work than he bothered to worry about for my 40th birthday. Stinkin' thinkin.' Not healthy. And yet. How do I demand more respect and dignity for myself? Do I even bother? I am thinking not. My daughters didn't even try to draw me a card. My sister's kids did. Of course, my daughters also blew off Mother's Day as well. And come to think of it, I was so immersed in trying to work my program, I didn't expect, and wasn't disappointed, when my husband blew off Mother's Day as well. More stink' thinkin'. And Mother's Day was INVENTED by a freakin' card company as a purely commercial enterprise.

Oh well, on to bigger and better topics:
I have decided to - and registered this morning - to participate in NaNoWriMo. It's basically a countdown for the month of November to write a 50,000 word novel. I joined my regions this morning, and basically signed up. I look forward to taking the time to do it.

I am also considering writing a FAST grant (because it is due November 10!!!!) for a two year program to establish and expand disability-related employment program in my area. I learned about it at a training this week (where I was Thursday and Friday), and I am kind of excited about it.

Being a person with "a" disability (mental illness in the form of depression and anxiety, migraines, fibromyalgia, and once diagnosed with [adult] ADHD), I feel very strongly that people with disabilities can work and be valued and valuable employees. Hell, *I* am one of the hardest working people I know. So I am convinced that everyone can make a difference in some sort of work. Working with assets and talents rather than looking at restrictions and limitations. What can I do instead of what I can't do.

And depression.... well, I am tired of talking about it. I know I promised I would do a series of posts on it, but.... sue me. I can't face it right now. I really want life to be looking up instead of down. And I still have too many demons of my own that can still rear their ugly heads. My goal is to one day live without this illness. However, I am not sure if that is going to happen. I would love to be able to do as well off medication as I am doing on. But I cannot foretell the future.

The present moment is enough. It has to be.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Depression Sucks.

No, I am not depressed. I am just sensing several people around me who are fighting this disease, so I want to talk about it today.

Depression is an equal opportunity affliction. It does not choose you because there is something wrong or something extraordinary about you. It can happen even when situations are not impossible. And it is not something we choose.

Yes, some of the greatest minds have fought depression. And some of the most ordinary, normal people in the world have too.

It can make you question who you are, take your will to act in the world away from you, and incapacitate you to such a degree than earning a living or loving your family becomes an impossibility.

Today, I do not feel depression. And today, I am grateful.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Momentarily lapse of time

I am on my way to an Al-Anon meeting. However, I am thinking that this week I will feature a series of posts on depression. I got overwhelming personal response when I did the blogathon entries, and lots of people I know are dealing with new and varies nuances of the whole depression thing, so I am feeling it is time to stab the steely beast.... again....

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

NaNoWriMo

What is it?
Well a couple of my friends who are way more accomplished than I am in the writing field told me about this phenomenon. It is November, National Novel Writing Month. Basically, by plying one’s trade - i.e., writing - a certain number of words - i.e., 5000 - per day, at the end of a month one will have a body of work resembling a novel. 
I say resembling, because, as I have found lately, my proclivities as of late do not fall in the creative, fiction category. I am more of a non-fiction gal by trade, as I write daily clinical and documented notes about the people whose lives are mine to monitor and serve. And then I blog. Well, when I blog, most of that is all nonfictional navel-gazing as well.
So finally, am I game? Sure. I will take on this NaNoWriMo monster and allow it to ravage and digest me, spitting out nonfictional entrails in its wake.
No, it ain’t gonna be pretty.

Words here: 167
Time Written: 7:15-7:25am

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cut and paste my thoughts from last night....

Notes from an Al-Anon meeting on Boundaries:

10.19.09

Monday night I went to my home meeting and the topic was on boundaries. It was a great meeting, and we all had a couple of “Aha” moments, brought to us by each other. I love this program for exactly this reason.

We all discussed how we are no longer accepting unacceptable behavior. I think I have made the greatest progress in the area of no longer accepting unacceptable behavior *from myself.* This is huge for me. I also am pleased to report that I no longer engage in fruitless battles with St Timothy. I don’t accept the unacceptable from him; I try to turn my head and my efforts to other endeavors. I can only change myself.

From my notes in my journal jotted during the meeting:

*By setting boundaries, I am merely asking to be treated as I was created: with dignity and respect.

*Just because I love myself does not mean I don’t love the people with whom I am setting boundaries.

This means my husband and my children and my family.

This also means the people that I work with as well. Setting boundaries helps everyone act with dignity and respect, and it models good behavior for successful interactions. It is a gift we can give others. Because it means we will all be more respected and treated with more dignity.

Having written this, I feel like it is almost common sense and too elementary for words. Yet in my daily observations and interactions I see that people neglect to observe this common, basic sense every day. 

Here’s hoping that I wake up sooner rather than later. That we all do.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Writing prompt:

You are driving and see a dark, shadowy figure hunched over the side of the road

The rain sluices as you roll down the window, and you peer through the darkness, trying to discern the features of the entity, bedraggled and forlorn in the deluge.

************************************************************************

The idea behind the writing prompts is that I am following on twitter something called Daily Prompt. It is supposed to help with daily writing exercises, and I want to be a writer someday....
However, this prompt above, which should thrill me to no end, leaves me cold. I'm just not feeling it today. Sorry.

Al-Anon musings

Been going back to meetings. Since Wednesday I have attended a meeting every day, did a Saturday morning meeting today, and planning on a meeting tomorrow night in Lexington, and taking my daughter along for Alateen.

Today the meeting topic was serenity. I ended up leading the meeting, and I am grateful for enough serenity to lead a meeting.

This week we have talked about forgiveness. This is very important for me to learn about. After pondering it a while, I have discovered that I am not very forgiving to myself or to my husband who is my alcoholic. Because of the hell he has put me through in the past, I walk around looking behind every corner and into every shadow anticipating drunken cruelty, rages, and disappointments.

Reading after reading has told me to lower my expectation for other people, or to have none at all... what if I did this for myself - and lowered my expectations of the negative things as well?

What if I don't expect him to drink or to be sober, but have NO expectations for him? What if I have the expectation for myself that MY SERENITY takes the highest priority, no matter what silly shit someone else is doing?

We also talked about abundance at another meeting this week. One of the best heard things in that meeting to me was to BE GRATEFUL - GREATLY FULL - for even the smallest of things, comforts or gifts in our lives. This is a good thing for me to ponder on too.

From my Al-Anon journal:
SLIP = Serenity Losing Its Priority
Letting other people suffer their natural consequences of their actions allows them full personhood, dignity, and shows that I am not putting myself above that person.

I also had to think about the idea that it is HIGH time I let go and released my Fifth Step to my sponsor. She has her hands full, and I am not sure at this point she is ready to hear it, so I am also thinking that maybe I should find another sponsor. Any input on this would be appreciated.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Writing Prompt:

Your camera has images on it you haven't taken.
and my brain reels from thoughts never said,
wonderments I haven't wondered,
and my shelves books I haven't read.

Yet I continue to look
to wonder aloud and quiet
to read when i should drop the book
and to prudently avoid the riot.

So my final conundrum plays out,
and I stop, tempted to regret,
I wonder just what I am about
and just who will pay my karmic debt.

Dorothy Parker, a poet I am not,
And epics, I have never written.
While once I had a great thought,
Now by age I am bitten.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

More relaxation in motion...

video

A little levity... sent to me by St. Timothy of the Unbearable Cuteness

Sunday's Faith

Yesterday I went to another Al-Anon meeting at my old stomping grounds here in Frankfort. It was a great meeting about living in the moment. A share that was near and dear to my heart came from a newcomer, who stated that she can substitute "time" for the word "alcohol" in Step One. Another brought up the fact that we can use the Serenity Prayer as well for dealing with this time problem or urgency addiction. What can we change? What can we not change? Let's put our time where we can make changes, otherwise we are wasting time worrying about things not within our power to change. Good lessons for me, who has been crazy lately working too much and accomplishing too little.

Yesterday I took the day off. First one in over two months. And I went to my 11am meeting, then to lunch and to run errands with a friend. It was fabulous! We had a great time, and had a great lunch. I had shrimp scampi and fried clams - MY TWO FAVORITE seafood dishes!!!

I then went home to spend some time with the kids. We watched television together and played with plastic monkeys. Tara is now a doctor who can cure the swine flu in plastic monkeys. The world can rest easier now! We all ended up crashing in my bed. Poor St Timothy was truly martyred as his relief staff did not show up last night and he ended up working a 32 hour shift. I go pick him up in a little over an hour from now. He took it like a trooper. Working this job has been extremely good for him, in my opinion. It has allowed him to exhibit wonderful qualities I did not know he had. I mean, this time last year he was going on a 5 day drunk and losing a $20+/hour job. Now he is working 32 hours straight at an $8/hr job, because people are counting on him to do so. He is a wonderful caregiver to these people, and he really cares about them as people. If I could bottle that and sell it, every human service agency in the world would be lining up on our doorstep. His actions towards people here, especially considering these are people that have disabilities and are sometimes challenging to work with, demonstrate the law of attraction and the laws of karma in action: Do small things with great love, just like Mother Teresa said. He definitely is. And I am very touched by this. It is another demonstration of how time is spent in the service of others that I can observe and learn from.

Other than that, we are doing well. St Timothy will be taking tomorrow off at my direction, and I will be working at the office to get the last of the paperwork details straightened out.

I also have been enjoying Hay House Radio this weekend. Check them out at Hay House Radio.

Another fabulously awesome thing I noticed this weekend:
The leaves are starting to change in the most beautiful way here. I am going to be taking some photos this week and showing the world how beautiful my little part of Kentucky is.

Namaste, my loves.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Another chilly fall morning...

I am in love with October. It is by far my favorite month. I adore the changing leaves, the chill in the air, the bright blue skies (which I sure we only have in Kentucky) and wind with just a hint of winter in it.
I love this point in the cycle of the year, where nature is having her last hurrah before settling into winter's hibernation. I love the golden reds and the taste of a Jonagold apple picked at just the right time; it embodies even the crisp taste of autumn.
I love waking up and letting my dog out in the morning and the cool rush of air in my face as I open the door. It's comical to watch him have to hesitate with his nose in the air to check out the new, evolving smells of the season.

Last night I was kidnapped from work and coerced back to an Al-Anon meeting by a friend. She stated unequivocally that she needs this in her life, and that she needs to get back to meetings. Of course, part of that is the royal we... I need it too. Especially since my significant other, St Timothy of the Dog's Love for Dirty Socks, is not active in the recovery process anymore. It used to be something we did together. But as he told me, and he was right (it happens occasionally, don't panic), it has to be something I do for myself. And as my sponsor said, they have missed me and my recovery does not depend on the recovery of anyone else.

Well, today's reading was about the phenomenon of coming back to center: When I improve my conscious contact with Source, I find that emotional balance and inner peace can be a part of my daily life.

This is a great promise. It's part of the the Promises that are read at every AA meeting. And I am happy to report, I am now seeing glimpses of its fulfillment.

Today take the time to do something you love, even if only for a moment. And then reflect, how does this connect me to the Source of who am I and what I can be?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Knitting Christmas items...

I was just reminded on an email listserv I am on that it is time to work on Christmas gifts. I have decided to do a hat and mitten combo for my nephew, so this was a good reminder.

Today it is cool enough to wear sweaters here. The sun is bright and the sky is blue, but it is not warm - my FAVORITE kind of day (once it hits 32 degrees F I am less enamored of the weather) and it has me thinking about building a fire in my fireplace and knitting! Ah, I can't wait!!!!

Until then, I have to go to work, do more paperwork, and file more paperwork.
Thank goodness I like my job, and my office, and my coworkers.
Have a good day!

Thoughts on Worthiness from Abraham-Hicks

Monday, October 5, 2009

Manic Monday

Last night I was dealing with some anxiety or slight mania, I think, and then I became anxious because I couldn't figure out what I was experiencing - anxiety or mania - so the long and short of it is that I was unable to sleep and ended up crashing out on the couch at 3am, and was grouchy all day because of it.

Another lesson for me: Sleep is becoming a non-negotiable. And I need to make time for it.
And no more skipping my vitamins or any other medications.

I'm off the soapbox now.

I am watching Tim play with Tara and it is doing my heart alot of good. Even when we are barely communicating, I still love to watch him spend time with Tara. He is a good father.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Looking for love from someone else is like looking for bread at the hardware store.

This is by far one of my favorite Al-Anon quotes. The exact quote escapes me; let me go look it up.

The reading is from Courage to Change, and it's the beginning of the January 2nd reading:

"Turning to an alcoholic for affection and support can be like going to a hardware store for bread."


Lately I am working on being more positive. And overall, I feel it's working. Tonight I had a momentary slip up where I started feeling lonely and sorry for myself because I am married to someone who, to quote a book title, seems like "he's just not that into me." Tonight I realized he is putting alot of energy in reconnecting with friends from the past, and less and less energy in communicating with me. I let myself feel hurt, rejected, and yeah, even jealous for a bit. Then I realized THE MOST IMPORTANT THING:

I - and the Universe - AM that into me!
He is not my only source of love, respect or friendship.
Perhaps he should be a source, but after almost 6 years, I know that this is hit or miss.
To pull an idea from Abraham-Hicks, I miss the vibrational place/space/energy of when we were on the same wavelength. And he maintains that we are still there. Yet I am no longer worrying about it.

No one but me can be all the things I need from this life. And I do have sources of friendship and companionship at Al-Anon meetings, at work, and with my dear friends who do care about me.

Am I still lonely? A little.
Am I still sad? Nope.

There is more out there for me. I just have to open my eyes and be grateful for the now.
Everything is fine. I am right where I am supposed to be.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A stolen afternoon away from work!





Today was a fabulous day!
This afternoon I escaped from work for a few hours and with a friend of mine went to a Gem and Mineral Show in Lexington. She got me a very awesome and beautiful clear quartz crystal, and I love it!!!!! I am including a picture here.
Then we went around and investigated a few of the parks in the Frankfort area. Our favorite by far was Cove Springs Park. And we took some great pictures! Check them out. I am going to try to squeeze in a trip back tomorrow, and take my digital camera. These pictures were all taken with my little work cell phone's camera.

Friday, October 2, 2009

A rainy Friday in October

Ah, Fridays. I love them. Almost as much as Saturdays. It is a dream come true, every week.

Today I woke up early and stretched out in bed and thought about all the things I have to do today. It's a long list, but nowhere near impossible. I came to to conclusion this morning that much of my stress comes not from my inability to delegate tasks to my employees, but my unwillingness to let go the result. I give them the task, but then I constantly worry that they are completing it to the best of their abilities and in a timely manner. So today, I resolve to let go of what is not in my basket. I DID listen at Al-Anon when it was said, Today I give thanks that the world can revolve without any help from me.

I am planning a weekend of getting some more work done, but also of taking time to relax and enjoy myself. This weekend I am going to a free rock and mineral show with a friend; she and I are both big crystal buffs. I also have so many good things to read; this weekend I am going to take time to read them. I also am going to take time to clear the physical clutter around me, so I can feel cleared emotionally and physically as well. And of course, I am going to make time to write.

This is definitely my favorite time of year. I get a little worn and almost manic in September, and October is always the take a deep breath and center myself kind of month. At the end of this month I turn FORTY. And while I am consciously *not* putting any real stock in a number, I have noticed some physical decline of my earthly envelope, this body. So I am also very grateful to have discovered Nopalea for my fibromyalgia. It has made a big difference - NO MORE CANE. I also am taking some Glucosamine for my knee, and that seems to be helping too. My knee is not clicking much at all! Also, the Nopalea seems to be helping my moods, I am no longer desolate, and I feel like Al-Anon has cognitively given me hope and woken me up so I could hear and *get* the message of positivity and abundance. This is a huge deal for me, an eternal cynic and smart ass.

And I am learning to be grateful for the "small things," for with small things, we make up the world. And with our thoughts too.... my apologies to Buddha for mangling his quote. For example, this morning my tea came out perfect. I am sipping it and listening to rain outside. I am sitting on the couch which just happens to have a recliner on either end, and it was *given* to me by someone who bought themselves new living room furniture. I am going to be teaching CPR today, and I love to teach and do training. I have also moved around, organized and cleaned my office, putting lighting and candles in there so it is a very pleasant place to be and work.

I am very grateful for my good, loving and interesting friends. They have so many different talents and personalities, they make life so interesting. And I am learning alot from them... I also have some great writers as friends, and watching their love of their craft and their creative processes really inspires me.

Like I said on Twitter a few days ago:
I am rich beyond measure.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I Love October!

This is my favorite time of year. I love the change of the seasons, and the weather growing cooler, and the changing colors of the leaves. I love pulling my sweaters out and starting to wear them. And I love seeing my breath in the air in the mornings. And how my morning tea warms my hands as I sit outside and smell the tang of winter on the wind.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Gratitude for Wednesday

Today I am grateful for the following:

1. That my children are healthy and happy and both with me. I am able to spend lots of time with my 4 year old daughter for a mother who works 7 days a week. I am able to take her with me alot when I work, and I don't have to have daycare.
2. That I have a job. My job is hectic and sometimes tedious, but what I do makes a difference in people's lives, and I am in the position to advocate for people who cannot speak for themselves, and I help others advocate for themselves.
3. That my dog is here when I get home, to give me unconditional love.
4. That we have food to eat and the Internet to communicate on.
5. That I have a few good friends who genuinely care about me.
6. That I am learning to look at the positive parts of my life.
7. That I am open to learning new things even though I will be the BIG 4-0 next month.
8. That I still have a sense of humor about turning the big 4-0...
9. That I have a stack of great books to read by my bed!
10. That Tim is cooking dinner tonight.

Thanks for reading. I invite you to add more blessings - yours or mine, they become ours! - in the comments.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Migraine

I want to write about migraines. I have one.

It started like any other headache, waking me up with a hint of a sore neck. At first I thought it was merely painful because I had been joined at the midpoint of my slumber by the ever-stretchy Tara, a four year old who can take an entire queen size bed for her domain. Alas, it moved into my forehead, spanning the bridge of my nose with its tentacles of discomfort. I fought back with the wondrous neti pot and was lulled into complacency by the slight disentanglement of one tentacle.
By lunch I was ready to chew my own limbs from their sockets like so much sinewy jerky. I met a friend for lunch and was pleasantly surprised in the middle of inhaling my salad that I only had the sensitive aura left of my headache left clinging to my left temple.
This ended up being a dastardly trick, and I am shamed to admit I fell for it like a dot com stock. By this afternoon I was driving into the sun and my eyes were glazed with pinpoints of fire. I drove Chloe to her school chorus concert and resolved to brave the storm within my brain. Afterwards I went to an Al-Anon meeting and was able to focus on the meeting - and welcome a newcomer - without falling out of my chair.
Home now. Each beam of light and each sound is piercing my being like nettles or swords. And I am in bed with a brain buzzing that will not let me sleep.

I read somewhere that migraineurs (i.e., people who have migraines) are more likely to commit suicide. This does not surprise me. Chronic pain does make one look for a way out. I've also read that we have a higher rate of depression. I'll buy that.

So I am going to stop with the computer tonight, and sleep. If my mind will let me. And wake up again, for tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Finally finished the Palahnuik I was reading...

Pygmy Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk

My rating: 2 of 5 stars So far I am not digging it. Palahniuk is a fine writer, and this is well written. And thought provoking in it pointing out of absurdities. But I am just not digging it. Still, it's good enough to finish. And maybe my overall impression will be different. A week later: I am still slogging through this. It's almost like I am forcing myself to read it, and it's basically an exercise in endurance at this point. I *will* finish this, as I have liked his other work to commit to it, but this one is leaving me cold. The anthropological voice of shock value/novelty is just not compelling enough to draw me in. FINALLY I finished this book. I would have given it one star if it hadn't (like all Palahniuk works) made me pause and think at several parts of the book. Overall, I was not taken in by the autocratic fractured English of the first person narrator. I was impressed that he was able to keep it fairly consistent throughout. In summary, if you REALLLLLY like Palahniuk you should read this. Especially if you are one of those readers who likes to read the canon of each favored author. It's as good as Snuff, nowhere near as good as Stranger than Fiction. View all my reviews >>

Saturday, September 26, 2009

New readings

Right now I am enjoying an abundance of wonderful new reading possibilities.

First, there is the wondrous Paul Sawyier Public Library, my book home away from home. The staff is just the right combination of friendly and yet-not-snoopy, and I am also a friend of the library. It is about 2 blocks away from my office and that thrills me to no end as well.

I also am picking up free or almost-free paranormal books to read. They end up being just brain candy for me to relax with, but this is IMPORTANT to have an outlet here as well.

And I now have two of the Abraham-Hicks books, The Law of Attraction and Ask and It Is Given. Check out their work at their interactive website.
Those of you who have been following me for a while know that I am trying to concentrate on and enjoy abundance in my life. No, I am not perfect yet, but I am doing better each day in enjoying what I have and making myself receptive to what is out there in store for me. This has been a psychic and psychological stretch for me, but I am glad to be making it. I think at this time in my life I am finally poised to make it, and I have evolved enough to take that leap of faith - no, certainty! that life has much more and better to offer me as I try to do the next right thing and keep my priorities and heart in the right place.

I have not been going to meetings lately, and I want to remedy that this week. Tomorrow my older daughter and I are planning on making a new meeting in Lexington. This one has two separate meetings (actually three - there is a men's group as well) and she can attend Alateen while I can attend an Al-Anon meeting that does speaker and step meetings on the 1st and 2nd Sundays of the month. I really feel I need to include Al-Anon back in my life. It is a part of what led me to be able to be strong enough to believe in abundance.

I've also been working a crazy amount. I love my work, and so that makes me happy. But there is so much, and the only time I feel I can really accomplish the paperwork end of things is when I am in the office by myself, and this can only occur on the weekends. Right now Tim is working the 1st shift in one of our houses on Saturdays and Sundays and so I can work after I drop him off, and that lets me get things accomplished. I am going to state when I need uninterrupted time so I can work in peace in my office. I am also going to exercise my right to close my office door.

Also this weekend, to come back full circle to the reading topic, I am going to read some works on time management and prioritizing tasks in business to see if there is some other wisdom out there I can use.

Tonight I go meet my dad and his new girlfriend and go out to dinner with Tim and the kids. It should be fun.


Well, dear readers, enjoy the rest of your weekend. It is cool and rainy here in the capital of Kentucky, but a fabulous day.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Recommendation

Go over to my list of blogs on the sidebar and visit The Rag Blog and check out the last entry, on the Gift Economy. I love this concept, it has always worked in the small ways of my life. I was wondering: how would this look applied to the US Health Care Crisis at present?

Sammy

Sammy was the 14 year companion of my best friend. He vacationed at my house, spending time with my dog-son, Kruzer. Thank you all for your heart-felt wishes, I will pass them on to his owner, Barb, my friend of the last 6 or so years.

Monday, September 21, 2009

RIP Sammy P. Hansen, Faithful DoggyFriend




Today a very beautiful and gentle good friend passed away. He will be missed. He will always be loved.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Another fun day at work

I went to work today and was pleasantly surprised when I got a new computer! It is not a Mac - but then, I already use a MacBook at home and LOOOVE it - but it has a wide flat screen, and some good audio.... I really like it and can't wait until I am able to take an ethernet cable in there and hook up the Internet.

Also had a great lunch at Frankfort's best Mexican restaurant, which I discovered last week when my friend met me there. Great queso, which always makes me happy. And the simplest meal there is just fabulous. I wish I could remember the name.....

Too tired to write any more than this.... promise to do better tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pygmy Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk

So far I am not digging it. Palahniuk is a fine writer, and this is well written. And thought provoking in it pointing out of absurdities. But I am just not digging it. Still, it's good enough to finish. And maybe my overall impression will be different. View all my reviews >>

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Reading and thinking about writing...

Today I continue to mull over the idea:
What you think about, you bring about.

This is the acronym for a group I have recently joined and it is no less true than when the Buddha uttered it centuries ago.

And what I am thinking about is my identity as a writer.

I have often used this forum to bemoan the fact that I am not recently published, or that I am not working on the next Great American Novel. But what I have failed to acknowledge in my whining rants is the fact that I WRITE DAILY. Writing is a very integral part of my work, and it is something that I do well, and am acknowledged for in my field. I am asked to write by people at work for work related things, and I do it well. For example, tonight I sat down and in a manner of less than 15 minutes I wrote a scheduled curriculum for an adult day training program for developmentally disabled adults. And I have been asked to develop a program manual for another program. This is something I see a definite need for, and it is a cause/issue which is near and dear to my heart.

So today's affirmation is:

I feel gratitude for the wisdom that guides my life in the best and truest ways!

More to come later. I have some writing to do.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hump Day!!!

Today was one of those days that I look back on with gratitude because I got so much done at work. If I have one or two days more like this, I will be in great shape!

Tonight I am wondering what to make for dinner. I am feeling more like relaxing than cooking.

So I am going to make this short.

Today's affirmation is:
My body is caring for me and healing every day.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Another day, Another step in the journey

Today I got the opportunity to practice another part of my journey - being positive in my relationships with others. This morning St Timothy got up and was angry at the world, me especially, because he had to get up and go to work. He stood in the kitchen and yelled for no apparent reason as he was grinding his coffee beans for coffee before we left. So I stood in the kitchen behind him, and thought, I love him and I am glad he has coffee beans to grind - his coffee will be awesome. Then I started talking to him about some cappuccino I bought and he totally redirected himself and started being pleasant. Later he said he wants to get started tomorrow at 8am for work. So it works!!!

Today's affirmation is along those lines:

I love myself unconditionally. I can do this for myself.

This refers to the fact we can be our own sources for happiness. No one else should have to fulfill this role for us. In fact, we should defend our right to be our own source of happiness. It's when we look outside ourselves for this that we are building our foundations on uncertainty.

This afternoon I am work in the office, after spending the morning running around doing errands and getting paint for the big residential project at work. It will continue to go well, and be more fabulous than anyone can guess!

I also am getting my things aligned at work. I brought in some things from my home office and that is helping me feel more at home. I look forward to getting my to-do list completed and enjoying some new business here.

Feel Good. And better.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Burning Up!

Today I am afire with the positive feedback I have been getting from the Universe today. I continue to put the principles I have learned from many sources together, and I am amazed and happy with the results!
Today's affirmation:

I love and am loved unconditionally and eternally.

I hope this helps you through your day like it helped me throughout mine.

Today was a field test for my healing new habits. I woke up in a fairly good mood and greeted my dog, Kruzer, a lab mix mutt, who always wants to give me love and affection in the mornings. I took him out for a moment, and then we came back in and he got a treat. Since I was not scheduled to work today, I got back in bed, snuggled and kissed a sleeping St Timothy, and started reading The Watchmen (the graphic novel I am currently reading). It was getting better and better and I am so pleased that I cannot predict what is going to happen next. But the phone rang and the client appointment that I was supposed to have at 6PM was moved to "as soon as I can possibly physically get there." I got up and took a shower and got ready to leave. St Timothy tried to fix the tire that went flat on Friday, but he was unable to do so. So I called my boss, who lent me his car to go get our client. Then I took care of that appointment and was able to have a good, positive meeting with my client and her family. I was able to provide them with some ideas and family counseling that I think may really help them. Everyone was much happier after I left. I went to return my boss's car to him, and my friend told me she would lend me the money to replace the tire until Friday, when I get paid. So we dropped my car off, and she even took me to lunch. I ran some work errands with her afterwards, and we had a good time and got things done, and we were both happier for it.

Tonight I was going to an Al-Anon meeting, but ending up staying home to cook supper instead. In the oven I have roast chicken, and I am making garlic lima beans and fettuccine to go with it. I love to cook, and I especially love to get creative and make something new and tasty out of seemingly disparate ingredients. I love surprising people. It makes me very happy to feed people who are hungry and enjoy eating.

So I was not perfectly positive all day, BUT I continually redirected myself to look at positive feelings and dwell on feeling good. Like Rhonda Byrne says in The Secret, "Feel good." I even followed Louise Hays' teaching and SMILED at myself in the mirror, instead of what I have done in the past, scowling and grabbing my stomach roughly as I criticized myself. Today I smiled, and I thought I AM LOVED AND I LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY AND ETERNALLY. I reminded myself that LOVE is ENERGY.

So, my journey continues. Thank you for being a part of it. Thank you for coming along. Feel Good. Because YOU are LOVED.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Taking the labor out of labor day....

This weekend I have worked, up until this morning... And after I picked up St Timothy from his 16 hour shift at 8am, we had breakfast, came home and crashed. He's still sleeping, the kids are playing and leaving us both alone, and it has been a nice day. I've been in bed, napping and reading. Finished two graphic novels and hope to finish a third this afternoon.

At the moment I am all about reading, not so much about writing. It's like I just want to soak some more stuff in rather than develop my own thing.... Went to the library yesterday and checked out nine books and two movies, and so I felt like I was set up for a treat. Last night I watched one of the DVDs, the movie of Louise Hay's "You Can Heal Your Life." It was wonderful, a tingly experience. I really admire her and her work. And it's good information, real cognitive therapy, and makes alot of sense. So now I am employing some of her affirmations, along with my own I have been using for a few weeks now....
I decided I would put a couple of my own on the blog now and again, since they are helping me and I won't have to worry about any copyright infringement - they came out of my own head, after all....

Everything is happening in my life for my best life.

That's okay. I'm okay. It's all okay.

And my favorite:
I trust my body to do what I need and love to do.

I figure that even on the days I am too hurried to post some ruminations on here, I can always put an affirmation or two. AND that will be out there to HELP OTHERS. AND it will HELP ME by allowing me to be positive and put that positivity in play and practice.

Thanks for hearing me, dear readers. Please let me know how I can HELP ME BY HELPING YOU. I love hearing from you. We are so not alone.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Stepping out

Tonight I made a big step on faith and did something I never do. I signed up to be an affiliate with TriVita, a company whose products have made a big difference in my life in the past two months. If you are interested in how I have reduced the pain from my fibromyalgia, reduced the number of migraines I have, and gotten more energy to try to be super-woman (like all women I know are expected to be), let me know via the comments section here, and I will see about sending you a free gift of health.

Now, I am stepping off my soapbox. I am very hesitant to talk about TriVita here, as this has been where I have exorcised many demons and dealt with both Al-anon and depression issues. But Nopalea has helped me so much, and made me feel like a survivor with joy. So please pardon my enthusiasm!

Life is pretty good. I am enjoying work, and it is really hectic right now. I am working on renovating the residential homes my company runs. I am also trying to organize my clients for a NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness, check them out at http://www.nami.org ) benefit walk. And of course, there are mountains of paperwork; I feel sorry for all the trees that have given their lives for my career.

Tara is growing by leaps and bounds. Every day she says something so wise or clever or unique; it is an experience watching her grow into a person and getting to know her. Last week she told me about a dream she had. She was a bee and she was flying around. She hit her head on a star and broke the star. I don't remember any dreams as cool as that. I always was jealous of people who have dreams of flying. It makes me think they are able to transcend something I am not. Whether that is true or not... maybe it's like lots of things I have envied in my life: once I get a taste of it, I realize I am not missing that much after all. Still, to be able to fly....

Chloe is doing so well in school. She has matured quite a bit, and she is on grade level - or above grade level, as in reading!!! like her mama - in every subject now. She looks forward to school every day, and comes home and appears happy. It does my heart good.

Tim is working and liking his job as a caregiver. His clients really like him, and he seems more involved with life in general. He looks forward to going to work, and does a great job with his people. I found a new Ken Goddard book for him this week at the library's used bookstore, so that was a score. He loves Ken Goddard, but most of Ken's books are out of print.

So all in all, things are better. We are still not financially where we need to be, or even okay in that department - but maybe the TriVita will help that area too. I don't want to become rich, I just want to be able to pay our bills and make sure the girls have what they need. We are making it, one day at a time. Thanks for reading.

Monday, August 31, 2009

My time

Today I have been thinking quite a bit about time management. I had to counsel a couple of employees on their time management skills, and their resulting lack of inefficiency at work. I do not profess to be the queen of time management by any means; one look at my all work and no play lifestyle would attest to that. But it made me think about what motivates each of us - including me - to care, to decide to put forth the effort to make effective change come about in our lives, and in other people's lives.

At this point it may be necessary for me to disclose that I am looking at a couple of marketing jobs I can do while I am working my current job. I am resigned to the fact that I am the financially responsible one in my home, and I am going conduct myself accordingly.

Today I came to another realization as well. I have been so busy that I have failed to stop and thank the universe. I have not felt despair or depression for almost TWO WEEKS now! This is a miracle. Anxiety is another story. Without the depression to cut through, the anxiety has been wreaking some havoc, having full reign. Time to reign it in.

Well, I'm off to put the finishing touches on some stuff at the office and then go home. Not sure what I am going to feed the minions at home. We'll see.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Reading and writing... not so much on the arithmetic.

This weekend I read that book that everyone is raving about, The Shack. I gave it 3 stars (out of 5) on my goodreads review. Not because it was terrible. And not because it was pushing Christianity. I actually like the ideas that it set forth, and have to admit, if my mind was that broad when I was a Christian, I would have stayed one. Back in the day I did feel especially connected to BVM, and I still honor that commitment in many ways. One thing that I really liked about The Shack was that at one point in the book the protagonist actually envisions god as a black woman. Now, that is an image I can honor. And the qualities that She showed, loving and nurturing, are ones that many people in this world need from their god. I'm not going to make this about my own beliefs or tenets; I've written about that in an earlier blog.

I also started reading Nicole Krauss' The History of Love this weekend. Although only a couple of chapters in, I am really enjoying it. I was sucked in by the second or third page. I love it when that happens.

Also have been really throwing myself into work. I am neglecting writing, and my friendships again. And I am feeling alot of quilt over that.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

What I am I?

Ever since I was a little girl I have wanted to be a writer. With a capital W. But life got in the way. Other things happened. My own words reared up and turned against me, and I was no longer able to find any redeeming value in them. They became merely tools I used in my daily life, in my work, to advocate and try to change things for other people.
Now I look to them for solace, and find they have left me. Now, to borrow a line from Edgar Allan Poe, all that I see or seem is merely a dream within a dream.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Neglectin' nothin' but the blog

I have been extremely busy in the last couple of weeks. My mood has stabilized a great deal, and I have been overcoming some pesky cold/flu issues, but haven't missed any work because of it.

I am actually enjoying my full time work now. Things are going much better and I am having a larger say in how things are being handled, which I do attribute in part to why things are going better there.

I am also doing some consulting work, and this will bring in a little extra money, so that is good.

St Timothy is working part time at the agency where I work, and he actually enjoys it, so that is a huge surprise. I only hope it continues.

Chloe is actually enjoying school, and so far it appears she is doing well. Last year's homeschooling really helped her be ready to accept more work and responsibility.

Tara is doing well, more energetic than ever, and saying the cleverest and funniest things. This morning, for example, she checked me to make sure my "heart is beeping." She then took a health history and looked for something in her toy box to help me "just calm down." Then she came over and put a stuffed dog on my forehead (for the fever and headache) and rubbed my feet. Then she gave me her Elmo to rock. What a good physician she is! Now, how soon can she get through med school and support me in a way to which I would like to become accustomed?

(I promise to write something more insightful later. At the moment, I am just glad to have a moment to post.)

Today I am meeting my mother for a late lunch on the river, and I am going ALONE, sans children. Almost like an adult.

Never mind the fact that I have a stuffed dog on my head.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The plot ever thickens...

Well, I am both more stressed than ever, but also feeling like I am trying to take more control of my life.

Today I went to the farmer's market and grocery, and completed the shopping for the week. I am happy to report that I bought lots of fruits and vegetables, and that many of them are organic. I also found some great pears and blackberries, and am putting the pears and bananas out of my kitchen counter, so when anyone in the family wants a snack they can grab that instead of the usual crap junk food they eat in loads. I bought no junk food, no convenience foods other than fresh fruits and vegetables they can consume raw...

I'm also happy to report that St Timothy has almost made it through all his training so he can begin working at the same agency I do. He will be doing direct care, and he is working with his direct supervisor tonight.

Chloe started school this week. So far she loves it. And so far she seems to be doing well. I hope this all continues.

Now, if I could just become rich and famous, things would be okay.... seriously, my mother bought a car this week and gave it to me to drive, I just need to make the payments and pay the insurance, and I already paid the first 3 months' insurance. I still want to get more caught up in bills so I can do things like buy Chloe some school clothes, but this is okay, and will get better. At least now I can get to work without breaking down on the road.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

What I have read this weekend...

This weekend I have been home reading. I did go out yesterday to learn more about Sonoran Bloom and TriVita which is making a HIGE difference in how I feel - both the physical pain as well as my energy levels and mood. If you have any issues with inflammation, mood, chronic pain, or any of the above, please let me know. I will send you some information! Free gifts of health to follow!

I have been reading quite a bit this weekend. So far:

Hark! The Herald Angel Screamed (An Augusta Goodnight Mystery) Hark! The Herald Angel Screamed by Mignon F. Ballard


My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is the first of this series that I have read. The characters were likable; a few were a bit stereotypical, but overall enjoyed the book.
GREAT recipes at the end. I am making the jam cake and lemonade cake this week!

View all my reviews >>

And continuing my growing fascination with the graphic novel format...

Syncopated: An Anthology of Nonfiction Picto-Essays Syncopated: An Anthology of Nonfiction Picto-Essays by Brendan Burford


My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The very concept of this book I heartily endorse: a series of picto-essays from different authors on different subjects. What unites them? The graphic format and the desire to share some opinion or slice of life.

While the different contributions were of varying quality, the overall package is very interesting, and I look forward to more of Syncopated.

View all my reviews >>

and

My Mommy: is in America and she met Buffalo Bill (Fanfare) My Mommy: is in America and she met Buffalo Bill by Jean Regnaud


My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a sweet and interesting look at how children deal with having the truth withheld from them. Very interesting. Worth reading.

View all my reviews >>

And of course, on my table to begin next are:

Puccini's Ghosts

and

In the Shadow of the Master: Classic Tales by Edgar Allan Poe and Essays by Jeffery Deaver, Nelson DeMille, Tess Gerritsen, Sue Grafton, Stephen King, ... Lisa Scottoline, and Thirteen Others

These may take a while, however. I also checked out the third season of The Sopranos, so I will be watching it too.

I have determined that I would lose my mind if it weren't for my library - it is about 2 blocks from my office, and I am there at least weekly. They have an awesome friends' bookstore (open to the public too!) as well.

Other than that I have been spending lots of time with Tara this weekend, and cleaning a bit on the house (nothing drastic!) as well as cooking (chicken & dumplings yesterday in the crockpot, shepherd's pie tonight). I am less than academic at the moment, and am enjoying it enormously.

This week Chloe starts school again However, Tara will be homeschooled another year by my husband and myself. There is no full-day school for her in our town, and I am working in the next town. And her father is going to start working again, as I am going to employ him myself. St Timothy will be very busy from now on, indeed. He will miss working elsewhere.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A good reason to write:

Alas for those who do not sing, they die with their song still inside them.
- service of Yom Kippur

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Resolve

Today I resolve not to scream. Not to slap the crap out of the next person who assumes my time is their own to schedule without consulting me. To give the benefit of the doubt when St Timothy of Self-Indulgent Slack tells me at 2:15 in the afternoon that he is tired and taking a nap, despite the fact that he has done nothing for 5 days, and went to bed after I did, and was still asleep when I left for work this morning. Not to spit out my tea because I have misestimated the cube to loose sugar ratio. Not to hack all my hair off with scissors or shave me head because my hair is hanging in my face and annoying me.

Whew, I feel better.

Oh, and not to laugh at my counselor when she tells me I really should get out every day, no matter how bad I feel.

A very wise person gave me some wisdom about looking at all of this as an opportunity for growth. That makes more sense and helps me put things into perspective. I also agree with her - I wish I did not have so many of these opportunities. I think I keep getting them though, because I still haven't learned whatever it is I am supposed to learn. Very rough. I wish I wasn't so dense.

Maybe I am too old to learn new tricks?

Or maybe not.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Every day brings a surprise... or not.

Today I discovered I am back to being the only working adult in my household.

This does not surprise me.

But it does disappoint me.

A nice girl and a nice cup of tea

Hmmm, I am analyzing my title. Think I will leave it unchanged, as I aspire to both.
That is, I want TO BE a nice girl, and I want a nice cup of tea.
Couldn't sustain the fiction, could I? Well, at least you know I don't lie about tea.

This morning I am feeling more optimistic ....as I wrote this last, a rolling wave of thunder jarred the atmosphere around my house. Maybe optimism is something I am not supposed to talk about.

Pity. I want to be more optimistic.

It would be a nice change from the dark, depressed, emo-birthing old bag I am at the moment.

Speaking of emo, yesterday I took my own emo-queen, the 13 year old birthed of my loins, to the middle school for a math placement test. She attired herself in cut-off shorts defaced in Sharpie-bold lettering, and a hoodie, despite the day's temperature of over 80 degrees (F). She slunk in, little wisps and pools of emo following her into the behemoth of a school like so much toxic vapor. And she ensconced herself in a chair of the counselor's office and gave me the evil eye, boring it into the back of my head like an arsenic-laced auger. Then she slithered off to ignore the math test, no doubt, with as much angst as she could muster.

Have I mentioned I *love* being the parent of a "teenager"?

The other offspring is sprawled across my bed like a net of sticky toddlerhood, just waiting to catch someone in her web of play-with-me-NOW.

Gasp, my children are just like me....what a shame.

Rejoining the world...

Today I decided to accept the offer of full time employment at the agency where I have been doing independent contracting for the past year.

This is probably a good thing. We need the money. Although the offered salary is quite low, it will be more than I am making now. And if I am to work anywhere full time, I prefer to be in this place, where people support me and feel that I have a unique talent for what I do. Where my opinion is valued.

A part of me wishes I was brave enough to trust in my writing process, to focus on writing full time, and make it my life's work. Unfortunately, this is not an option right now as I have a family to support. Yeah, I am married, and yeah, St Timothy is working at the moment. But as I have learned the hard way, this is not something I can depend on. So I have to make plans to be able to support my family the best I can, alone.

And a part of me really resents this as well.

So it is past midnight, I have to get up early again tomorrow, and live to fight another day.

Oy.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday nights

Every Sunday night I am plagued with insomnia. I start obsessing about all the issues and problems facing me in the coming days/week and then the anxiety kicks in. And then sleep will not come. And it stays away until the morning comes, when I am overcome with exhaustion and want to sleep the entire day away. This cycle keeps occurring. And the physician solution has been to put me on a prn (as needed) anti-anxiety med. But it makes me a zombie, even at the smallest dose. Even at a halved smallest dose.

Oh well. Here goes another night of courting sleep and relaxation.

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Bad poetry is fun.

Apologies to the faint of heart.

Here is a rough draft of a bad poem. My index finger is very sore, and so typing is kind of rough at the moment. So I thought I would put a video blog on here instead. Yet I can't resist the urge to type some meaningless crap here as well, to make excuses for how bad the poem is.

Also of note, my new copy of Stephen King's Secret Windows: Essays and Fiction on the Craft of Writing came in the mail today.
Oh well. If I could just get out of the house and go drown my sorrows in an Indian buffet, my blogging audience could have been spared all this carnage. video

Friday, July 31, 2009

From the mouths of babes...


Tonight Tara told me, "I rock! So why won't you buy me a horse?"

When is the weekend? Not soon enough.

I am discontinuing this week due to lack of interest.

This morning I woke up when St Timothy of the Manic Monday's alarm went off. And I rolled over, remembering that I did not have to be in the office until NOON. And that would give me time to meditate, have a leisurely cup of tea (cuppa tea) and basically finish off the two graphic novels I've been reading.

(For those who are interested they are:
Narcissa: Grapnic Novel (Doubleday Graphic Novels)

Incognegro

If you're not interested, I apologize for the digression. A little.)

However, this was not to be. Since I had lulled myself into semi-relaxation thinking last night about sleeping in, I actually was NOT plagued with my usual insomnia, and I fell asleep before the 11 o'clock news. And since I had actually gotten about 8 hours of sleep, my body will not allow me to nap further, protesting with a migraine (Day Three of waking up with one of those).

So I am awake. Wanting to write, wishing I could clean the kitchen and bake something. And basically feeling at at a loss for what to do.

Of course, there are the usual last minute demands upon my time. Two different agencies have asked me to do last minute trainings today. I love to train people, but there has been entirely too many last minute requests which have disrupted my life and zapped my energy. I am trying to discourage this at all costs. And by constantly accommodating this poor planning, I am enabling and encouraging it. So I have decided to do both the trainings, but schedule them at my convenience.

And of course, the house is a mess. I want to clean my bedroom. And I have laundry enough for a small army of messy children. But there it sits, and there it shall sit until I can make it happen this weekend.

Oh well, enough grousing. I'm off to see the buzzard....er, wizard, or something.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Is it Wednesday?

Whoever christened Wednesday as "Hump Day" was a pretty linear thinker.

I mean, really. Today has been insane, from the standpoint that I have so much to do and so little time to do it. Yet the kids had shots, and shots make them feel crappy, and so I am home keeping an eye on them. Tara got up in my bed when we came home, asked for Tylenol and then fell asleep. She also called the dog in, so she fell asleep with Kruzer, our lab mix who is bigger than she is. It was very cute and made me wish the batteries in my camera were charged.

However, all this cuteness has caused me to get an even later start on the day than I was planning. And this drives me insane, because it means I will be working late again tonight. I had a project that I had planned, and through circumstances beyond my control, I did not get the keys or card to complete this project until late yesterday afternoon. So now I have to do the best I can to get it set up and completed by tomorrow. This will have me delegating quite a bit of responsibility, and this makes me nervous, as it has failed miserably in the past.

So today my lesson will be fortitude and trust..... I think.

More later.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dealing with decisions is rough, but feels good.

Yesterday morning I woke up and a decision that I have been ruminating over for MONTHS was made - kind of magically, in my head.

I have been homeschooling my daughters for the past year. I have enjoyed it, bemoaned lack of funds to do more field trips, and overall worked pretty hard at it. I brought my older daughter's math grade level from 3rd grade to 6th grade in about 3 months. And I taught my 3, now 4 year old to count, write her name, sing, dance, draw, some letters (although she recognizes them best on the computer keyboard, which makes me fear she will learn a QWERTY alphabet!), and basically be kinder to her fellow souls.

I am a huge champion of homeschooling. I think it is the absolute best way to go for SOME kids. And my kids thrive with it.

But my 13 year old wants to go to middle school. She will be in 7th grade, and yes, she should be in 8th but *I* chose to keep her back a year so she could actually learn rather than squeaking by. And I want to write. And I will be working full time again soon, hopefully.

In the past week I have thought alot about my wellness, or lack thereof. I discovered that I am chronically over-committed and this causes me to sink into depression, or freeze in place, unable to do anything positive or effect positive changes.

So I decided that I will send my daughters to school.

I spent yesterday feeling very guilty. Feeling as if I failed somehow as a parent.

Then I realized this is what most other people do. Most people are not concerned with playing any other role except that of parent with their chid(ren). And this is what other children do. They go to school, have semi-healthy relationships with peers, and someone else gets to be the bad guy when they don't know their math.

Today I feel okay. My mood is good without being over the top. And I am here. And trying not to freak out about all the school physicals, transportation, and other crappy details that go with beginning school. Well, back to the salt mines.