Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Tricky Time of Year

I have always liked the clean slate aspect of the new year.  This year I notice that I want to go off on tangents with thoughts of Improving My Life.  I'm thriving on the energy of joining the Franciscan process, getting an iPad so that I'm more plugged in than I have been most of the year.  Today I downloaded Angry Birds, folks!

Anywho, I am determined not to get carried away with myself.  I know my urgency to write down targets and goals is my effort to try to control and quantify.  Today I'm going to enjoy the music, maybe hum along but not clutch my notebook and try to write down every lyric.

Here's to 2013 where we can sway to the music, smiling in faith!  That's what's good about today.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Most People Don't Talk, They Advertise

I can't figure out if I am listening to something helpful or not. I get the Daily Reprieve email from Tom Murphy and am listening to the recorded speaker.  He's someone who calls himself recovered and speaks from a spiritual bent but I can't identify.

The post title is a song lyric I heard on the radio this morning driving to work. Another line from the song was Love is Like a House That is Never Finished.

Have you heard anything helpful today?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Back to Business As Usual

Every other person that I've talked to today is exhausted! I am pretty tuckered myself today.  Barely on the good side of the naughty or nice fence.

I had the most stress free holiday season of my life and it all had to do with using program tools.  One thing was to keep my head in the present.  If I don't do that then I get lost in my head and end up in at the corner of Dysfunction Junction and Self Pity Road.  I can also keep a better eye out for H.A.L.T.

Nobody can take better care of us than ourselves. Just paying attention to sleep, rest and exercise needs goes a long way to emotional sobriety.

And that's what's good about today!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Another Sacred Day

Every new level of awareness brings its own trouble!  This week I found myself resenting the well wishers who presented me with ultra sincere wishes that I have an absolutely wonderful Christmas Day with my family.  Did they think it was a coronation?

Then, yesterday, at work I grew weary of the ubiquitous Merry Christmas that I was hearing everywhere that had taken the tone of  Have A Good Day.  I shared that with our administrative assistant whose real life includes being married to a minister.  She gets me and nodded quickly.  Unlike the agnostics who want to take God out of holiday greetings, I would like to limit it to those who cherish God in their daily lives.  Too hard core?

Christmas every morning and Thanksgiving every night is something I used to hear at meetings.  The promise of a life heretofore unimagined is what program promises and what it has delivered to me.  I was in a meeting this morning and thinking of my next destination which was church.  I thought about how much the service would resemble a meeting and how those things made it attractive to me.

My church was built out of a horse barn 52 years ago by area folks who wanted their own Episcopal Church instead of traveling to the next town.  It is a plain and simple place, it's cross made of two fence pieces.  We sit in chairs that can be brought around in a circle. This morning we were a small enough group to assemble next to the alter for communion, passing eucharist in a circle one to one another.  As in a meeting, some readings were read by volunteers and there were prayers spoken of thanksgiving and pleas of intercession for others.

It's not always such a small, intimate gathering but this morning as we pondered such greatness bestowed upon a teenaged girl in first century Palestine, it was just right. Not a coronation and not an ordinary day either.

Just another sacred day in which lies great promise.  It carries the likelihood that it will pass without struggle.  And I ask in my higher powers grace to keep me away from a drink or its substitute a day at a time.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Happy To Visit My Blog Family

What a time knocking the cobwebs off this blog site.  Had to rattle the doorknob just right to get the door open.

I am well and happy.  Still going to my morning meeting and will be at the 18month sobriety date on Christmas Day.  It's a different holiday season for me this year.  Last year I really wanted an LOA from sobriety for about two weeks, ending in early January!  After all, it's the time of year that cries out for sedation.

What's different this year?  Gods grace holds me and I hold up my end of things. I'm off to peek in on you, maybe say hello here and there.  Thank you for being here for me.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Insights of a Sober Yogi

No, I'm not a sober yogi but I got to meet one on the 100 Best Sober Blogs List.  And you can meet her too if I've attached her correctly to my blog list.

The sun is shining, the birds are tweeting, I took a 4 mile walk and ate healthily for breakfast.  I'm off to pick up some cherries at the store to take to the annual 'mass on the grass'.  I will meet Sister Kiwi,visiting from New Zealand.  She will accompany a friend of mine, another Franciscan to their annual OEF convocation in Indianapolis.  I was hoping to accompany them but my new company will not give me two days off as they (mis)treat everyone equally which gives me new lessons to learn.

Monday I receive my one year medallion.  On all roads, we walk with God.

That is what's good about today.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Pretty Good Place

If you ever have a chance to go to an 11th Step Meeting, give it a shot.  I've only been to one which I adore and has the unfortunate time slot of 4-5pm on Saturdays.  It's awfully easy to miss, especially since I'm given to Saturday afternoon naps that go on a little too long.

For the last few months I've been starting my days with some purposely quiet time.  I face out the window and let my eyes rest on the green of trees and warm my hands on my coffee cup.  Sometimes I read a prayer from Saint Frances, other times I write an account of something that's tweaking me and end up owning my part in it, aware of my humanity and grateful for life's abundance. 

The experience is serenity building and I'm experimenting on repeating it when I get home from work. A day at a time I move along.

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Little More on Family

Thank you for the comments on my last post.  The word 'family' is ripe for connotation, I'm not using the word to convey psychological identification and warm feelings for others.  My noticing of families has more to do with family of man concept.  We are all connected and we need others for all levels of survival.  Whether I buy in to it or not, if I am showing up in a group with regularity and sharing space, I belong to that family even though I may feel separate from others.  Feelings are beside the point which brings me up to what I was thinking about after I signed off last night.

I can give up the idea of being unique.  My favorite knitting blogger (Yarnagogo) just posted her novel writing strategies, she is working on her sixth.  When I started reading her, the blog was the extent of her writing.  I have delusions that I could write books.  And paint capably.  They are just ideas that I have about myself, things that make me stand out from others and flatter my ego.  They are erroneous ideas that I have about myself.  If Icould be those things, I would be working on them.  But I'm not, that's not the path that I've been given.

So, what's good about today is that I'm not a failed anything, I'm who I am.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

11 Months

Tomorrow I will pick up a chip. What I have been thinking about lately is that I'm becoming a member of some families.  There is a gathering on Memorial Day Sunday that I would just as soon miss but I have history with these folks and I think that I must go.  AA meetings do not feel like home to me yet but I go anyway, mostly because I care about what is happening even though I do not particularly feel like I belong.

I have a new work situation and watch my reactions to others, I spend more time with the three that I'm seated than with anyone else in my life.  My church counts me as a member whether I like it or not.  There are expectations and I suppose there must be gifts though it is not always clear to me.

The common denominator is me and my attitude with others who are in the same pocket.  Just as in my birth family, I feel different and judgemental.  But, a step at a time, I see that they are my family and I am bound to them.  As someone I know sometimes says, the frozen wall around my heart is beginning to soften.

That's what's good about today.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Change is Strange

Some of the things that I pray for are to have my anxiety and fear abate and that I not be ruled by my ego.  The weird thing is that as those forces rise up and swirl, I feel more confused than ever and do not know whether I am gravitating towards health or away from it.

An essential truth is that with attention to prayer and meditation, I move closer to God instead of further away.  If I feel disconnected and disoriented in my human activities, it is that change is underway and I need to surrender my will.

If I exercise my will in an effort to control my anxiety I feed into a cycle of escalating reactivity that has it's own centrifugal force.  Today, a day at a time, I can pay attention when I notice myself in a circular pattern of avoiding what is really bothering me.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

An Almost Alchoholic

I went looking for a Recovery Bible and came up with a book from which I took the title of my blog. If you google it, you will come up with some conversation about it.  I found some identification with it.  I could say more but am not sure that anyone else has any energy around it.  It doesn't change much for me.  I don't have a neutral attitude about alcohol and I don't need a drink today, it would not be a good idea, one day at a time.

Today is first day without the old job and I'm surprised at how calm I feel.  Surreal.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Chit-Chats

Talked with a friend this morning who I met in program about four months ago.  She's not doing many meetings and she is sky high with spirituality and optimism.  The Shalom group is very important to her growth and she is alive with wonder and excitement.  I hope that she is right about all this.  She was thrilled hearing that I start a new job and I felt sky high from having talked to her.

Heard about a work friend on Monday who received severe injuries from a motorcycle accident over the weekend and was transferred to a Boston hospital.  The good news is that she has started fluttering her eyelashes.  I saw her late on Friday as I went home.  She was watching a patient being transported away in an ambulance after suffering a fall.  "I can't be everywhere", she said with tears in her eyes.  Of course, you can't, I replied, it's not your fault.  I know, she said.

I gave scant notice at my job and now my supervisor gets the gift of experiencing life in the trenches.  She tells my management team that she had been trying to take vaca this month and that her sister is having brain surgery but she will do her best.  And thanks me for my years of work for the company.  I, too, would have liked vacations and not to have returned to work after taking a supper break. She tells me, as I work hard to clear reports, that I am not eligible for re-hire and that it is a small world.

I think that it is a big world.  And that life is a series of hellos and goodbyes. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Picking New Flowers

Here it is almost a month since my last post.  This recovery business can keep a person busy.  Next week I will celebrate 10 months of sobriety.  I have tried some new meetings recently and went on my first commitment.

Work has been a bear and it is opportunity to examine my motives and watch my reactions.  My pathology follows me everywhere.  I see fear and approval seeking, know judgement and turn to my higher power.  Even now, as I accept the windfall of a new job landing in my lap, I observe my anxiety in giving my goodbyes and watch my boundaries ebb and flow as I paddle the waters.

I hope for the best as I close out the last 5 years at the old place and contemplate the new adventure starting in May.  I know that if I don't stay close to meetings and even closer to my personal defects, I can turn the best things into a canvas that I paint with the same old palette of color.

So, I didn't think that I had anything to post today.  Then I checked out your blogs and found some new ones to add to my list that you might like to check out.  Those are my 'new flowers' by the way.

That's what's good about today.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Practice, practice

Steve's comment mentioned the word persistence which reminded me of a book I just finished reading with a group. It's called Compassion, by Henri Nouwen & two other theologians.

In Part Three, The Compassionate Way, Chapter 7 is entitled Patience and delves into the concept of discipline, not as a rigorous effort of control but as an effort of practice that enables revelation of divine spirit. Through the discipline of prayer and meditation, we patiently make ourselves available to experience the divine presence in our lives. Here's a direct quote, "Without discipline, the forces that call us by our old names and pull us into competitive games are too strong to resist."

Wow, that sounds like something a lot of us can identify with. Another thing he mentions that I also like is the idea that compassion cannot be willed. He/they state that compassion is a divine gift . . . it is not conquered but given by the grace of God.

I was at a meeting sometime in the last couple weeks where the subject was change. Some people prayed for change (I might have already posted on this) and maybe this is just semantics but what works for me is to pray for the lifting of my defects, my fear and narcissism and ask to be humble and accepting of what life presents me. And THEN things change.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Prayer Works

Brush teeth. Pray. Enter Day. End Day. Brush teeth. Pray.

Wash, rinse and repeat.

My prayer life has been vivid lthis past month. Absolutely the way to go. Try it, you'll like it.

That's what's good about today.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Is there anything better?

Come morning, I ask God to let me accept the day as it happens, let me be ready to welcome what comes my way. Instead of resisting, kicking or fighting, let me gaze upon it like a bee come to investigate a flower bloom.

And in the evening, it is time to see what I've caught today, by God's grace, a reminder of the abundance through which we swim.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hello, Hello

I'll chance posting even though I'm tired and thoughtless, I'm not believing my thoughts, that is to say. Work snafu busyness got in the way of arriving early enough for a meeting so that I could talk to my sponsor. Calmed down by knitting and hopes of conversation were dashed (excellent word) by her whispered words to me that she was leaving for a commitment in Maine with her home group.

My phone is amongst the missing since this morning when I was certain that I'd thrown it into my pocket. I might have put it on silent (Lord, I will never find it) in anticipation of walking around work with it. So, it is many hours later and I have my old dinosaur charging in hopes that I can call my phone which may be in silent mode.

Feeling a tad marooned, it drives me forward to prayer, ever impassioned to speak with a god about my delusion that I'm alone.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

11th Step

Things are working out well. I did not feel spiritually fed by my ministry class and withdrew from it a few weeks back. That really opened me up to do other things which are much more nourishing, heart and soul stuff. The ministry class had some spiritual exercises which were worth while but it was fundamentally intellectual.

Now, I've been to an 11th step Meditation Meeting twice that I really like and I've been accepted into a Bible study group by some of the men in my morning group. I have time to volunteer for an interfaith homeless program in it's start up phase. My higher power and I are in better accord now that I can slow down to show up in spiritual places. I pray with hope & gratitude each new day to know God's will.

That's what's good about today.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Absalom Jones Remembered

I'm proud to be associated with a church that memorializes Mr. Jones, a slave in the 1700s who eventually became ordained in the Episcopal church. Not only do they speak in his memory but they renew their covenant of anti-racism.

As a body we also renew our commitment to work together for an end to all forms of oppression. Somewhere in the list of statements lies the one that asks . . .

Will you examine how you may be privileged by the existing power structures, recognize your own bias, and examine how your faith has supported that bias? I will, with God's help.

What does that have to do with recovery? How about getting honest, examining our motives and re-covering or dis-covering the person that we might (have) become.

A work in progress, that's all that's asked of us. A day at a time, that's what's good about today.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

"I've Spent My Life on Nothing"

A quote from poetry in Louisey's post today in Letting Go. It resonates with me, at an early age the thought of being blessed with a life that I didn't know what to do with burdened me. It still does, my ego wants to make a mark. I struggle between 'knowing' I'm just a grain of sand in the cosmos desert and listening to theologians in and out of the program proselytize that what I do matters. Praying is all I can do as I do not trust my best thinking. Nothing needs to be 'decided' today.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Yes, No, Maybe

What a day. I was nirvana-ing along and ba-boom. Hit the wall. Made me cry, even hours later.

Ego drama? The voice of reason? Emotional riptide put into motion by pirhana strike in Amazon River?

A good day to end with a cup of green tea with lemon, Robyn Carr romance and a not so great grocery store peanut butter cookie.

What's good about today? Riding it out.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Whining or Shining

It's funny to me that I'm getting some conciliatory comments when I think I am talking about feeling good. Reminds me of an Alanon saying that goes, it's not what you say, it is what they hear.

It is a good and right thing to leave behind what no longer serves us. There are no mistakes in God's world and there are no changes that are 'bad'. I guess I haven't communicated the quieting of my anxiety as I no longer try to 'hang in' where I don't belong.

The book, Compassion, by Henri Nouwen and two other theologians is great and there is a chapter on displacement that says it all. It's a great read for group discussion which is how I discovered it.

And that, with great faith, is what is good about today.

Monday, January 30, 2012

You See What Happened

In my last post, I stated that I needed to slow down and listen. I've been doing that. Honest.

It doesn't lend itself to blogging, but I've been lurking here and there.

I had been angsting about my religious studies group. Since my last post I have gone on sabbatical from EfM (Education for Ministry, an Anglican 4 yr program for laypeople to increase their knowledge of the bible and theology). Since releasing myself from that obligation, I have been like a bumblebee visiting the flowers. From one part of the garden to another. So far, so good.

When I go back there to take a formal good-by bow, I will bring back news of Peter Menkin, the poet. You may find him at Look for his piece, Ash Wednesday.

What's good about today? Changing it up!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Could Be a Problem . . .

I usually stay for the monthly business meeting and this past week I had something to complain about! Our group conscience states that we will share for 1-2 minutes in a round robin fashion. The meeting had been packed with people on Saturday and the few people who got to speak hogged the time. It ticked me off and I expressed my exasperation and was glad enough for that. No way is this group ready for a timer!

My religion class confounds me always, it goes on and on in an unexciting way. At an extremely slow pace. I just feel like there are better things I could be doing. As in, anything could be better than sitting there in that class.

I notice how impatient I am at work with people who meander around the point.

Maybe I'm having a problem listening in several areas of my life. I don't particularly like to talk either, note the gaps between posts lately! Ah well, I surrender.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What's Good About Today?

Prayer and Laughter.

Most mornings I start in the fellowship of others exchanging concerns and camaraderie. We laugh, we get choked up and, yes, sometimes roll our eyes. It gives me a good start to the day because honesty is currency there, the rest of the day can be a little sketchy.

Starting the day in communal prayer, that's what's good about today.