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


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

(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 (

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.