Tuesday, October 31, 2006

65 Miles

I ran 65 miles in October. I am very happy about this. I will be 55 years old in 6 weeks and I hope to run 5.5 miles on the morning of my 55th birthday. A mile for each decade. I ran 3 miles on my 30th birthday, which I thought was a huge deal. Someday I hope to run huge mileage on my sobriety date - maybe not. I hope to be 50 years sober when I am 82, maybe I won't be running 5 miles that morning? (This might be a reasonable goal for Shannon, who sobered up extremely young, but probably not me.)

I bought a bunch of candy I don't like in hopes that I won't be tempted to eat it all day. At the hospital, the kids come around and trick or treat, it is fun, but sad to see how extremely ill some of the kids are. I am glad they can do something fun though. I may or may not see my grandbabies tonight, depending on what my daughter decides to do. I just hope they have a fun halloween, regardless of where they are.

Now for an extremely spooky and bone chillingly frightening quote from the big book:

"Some of us sought out sordid places, hoping to find understanding companionship and approval. Momentarily we did - then would come oblivion and the awful awakening to face the hideous Four Horsemen - Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, Despair. Unhappy drinkers who read this page will understand!" - - Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 151
I would rather face Freddy Krueger than those hideous Four Horsemen again!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Monday Morning

A couple of lonely aspen leaves.

I am on my way out of here to the gym. I kicked back yesterday and didn't run at all. I went to a meeting at 7:30 a.m., it was my friend Fred's 35th AA birthday. I looked back at my blog and realized that I posted about his 34th last year. (It is sad to realize that one of my dear friends I wrote about last year, Eddie, is now in the big meeting in the sky.) Fred is such a cool guy. He wanted to have a sobriety countdown at the end of the meeting and so we did that. In this small room, there were 431 years of sobriety. We just went around the room and each said how many years we had and Terry wrote down the numbers. I added them up with my handy-dandy palm pilot. It was very moving to see each person state their sober time.

My iPod isn't charged this morning, so I am charging it while I post - I intended to post after my run so that I could sit here and sweat and cool down. I really enjoy that.

"If you still think you are strong enough to beat the game alone, that is your affair. But if you really and truly want to quit drinking liquor for good and all, and sincerely feel that you must have some help, we know that we have an answer for you. It never fails, if you go about it with one half the zeal you have been in the habit of showing when you were getting another drink." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 181 (Dr. Bob's Nightmare)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Constitutionally incapable

"Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest. " -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 58

On the night of July 24, 1989, I celebrated 5 years of continuous sobriety, which was a very big deal. That night, I went to a meeting in East Hampton, NY. They read chapter 5 at the beginning of the meeting and I experienced a feeling I will try to describe.

For my first five years of sobriety, I would hear the beginning of chapter 5 (quoted above) and get a chill of fear. I was so afraid that I was the person they described. I was afraid that I was incapable of being honest with myself. I was afraid I had grave emotional and mental disorders, I had a lingering fear that I just couldn't qualify for this wonderful fellowship and recovery from this dreadful disease.

On the night I celebrated 5 years, I heard that paragraph being read, and felt like jumping for joy! That unfortunate must not me! I must have been able to be honest enough to stay sober for 5 years, I must have been able to be honest in spite of some grave emotional and mental disorders! There was hope for me!

Thank God for the wisdom of the big book and the people who use it. Thank God no one told me that I was just too screwed up for AA. Thank God I was embraced into this fellowship and have remained here for these years.

You cannot get here from there. Only by the Grace of a Loving God.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


I went to two AA meetings yesterday. The first was a noon meeting, the second was a 6:00 meeting at my church. I have been there once before, but this time the meeting was incredible! They recently moved to a larger room, but still the room was so full there were people out in the hallway! It was a great meeting and I plan on going back next Friday. I am so happy about all these meetings, I feel like an excited newcomer again. It is a wonderful thing.

Last night while I was sharing at the meeting, I mentioned my sobriety date (7/24/84). After the meeting a man came over and shook my hand and said he also got sober on July 24, but in 1993. But then he said something that blew me away. He said "what a great sobriety date, 24/7" I tell you, I never once thought about that! So now I will.

This morning I am going to the 6:30 meeting and then will go to a park to run. I used to run at this park many years ago. It is pretty and it is relatively flat, so I think it would be good go there and get some outdoor running done without all the hills that are in my neighborhood.

I am so grateful for Alcoholics Anonymous. I feel that I have been wrapped in the arms of this fellowship and that I am being carried through a difficult time, by the love of my fellows and the grace of a loving God. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

"We now know that we do not have to run away, nor ought we again try to overcome adversity by still another bulldozing power drive that can only push up obstacles before us faster than they can be taken down." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 20

Friday, October 27, 2006

Icey Friday Morning

When I got to work yesterday, I had an e-mail from my son. He is fine, just really busy. Thank you God.

I just got back from the gym. It was nice to run my 3 miles, but once again, I am sitting here sweating when I should be ready and on my way to work.

Last night at the 5:30 meeting, I was listening to an older woman talk. I have only been attending this meeting for a month or so, so I really don't know everyone. But when she mentioned one of the old sages from my early sobriety, I really listened. Dick S. was a wonderful man who smoked a pipe and had a perpetual twinkle in his eye. He would say things that would cut you to the quick, and you wouldn't even know you had been wounded. One of my favorites was "if you are feeling guilty, maybe it's because you are." I talked to this woman after the meeting and was thrilled to hear that she will celebrate 30 years of sobriety in December. She admired the crazy green socks I am knitting, so she just might find herself the lucky owner of them! (d0n't tell my daughters, both of them want the green socks, but I can always knit more.)

I am so grateful that there is no longer a "smoking" meeting in Colorado - although I have heard that some clubs are ignoring the law. Trudge, you will appreciate this... someone found my blog the other day by searching "Colorado AA clubs exempt from smoking ban." I feel like the whole world of meetings is open to me again, and I have really taken advantage of it. I have met people I would not have otherwise met, and re-ignited some old friendships of people I haven't sat in meetings with for a long time. Right now, with my son in Iraq and my daughter in meth-land, I really feel I need to be sitting in lots and lots of meetings. It does give me relief, it gets me out of myself, and it gives me the opportunity to be of service, and also to let others be of service to me.

I better get ready for work.

"Now there is a sense of belonging, of being wanted and needed and loved. In return for a bottle and a hangover, we have been given the Keys of the Kingdom." Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 276

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Three Generations

My daughter and granddaughters came over last night. I told Megan that I wanted to take a picture of the girls' hands, and she choreographed this photo with one hand of mine, one of hers, and both of the girls' hands. I really like it.

My new morning routine worked out OK yesterday. I got to the gym late and only had time to run 2 miles. I got to the meeting late, but still was glad I was there. Shock of Shocks! I got to WORK on time! Yikes!

It is snowing like crazy out there, so I better kick it in the butt and get out of here.

"Everybody knows that those in bad health, and those who seldom play, do not laugh much. So let each family play together or separataely, as much as their circumstances warrant. We are sure God wants us to be happy, joyous, and free." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 132-133

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Something new

Today I am going to try something new. I have packed my work clothes, a bag with my hairspray, hairdryer, make-up, etc., and will shower and dress at the gym after running three miles on the treadmill. THEN I am going to try to get to the 6:30 meeting (on time.) I have my breakfast packed and ready to eat in my office after all of this. I hope this works. It sure is cutting into my blogging time though.

Nothing has changed with my kids. I sure appreciate your loving thoughts and prayers yesterday.

"The main thing is that he be willing to believe in a Power greater than himself and that he live by spiritual principles." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 93

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Strawberry Jam

I keep asking my son what he needs from "home". The only thing he has asked for is some strawberry jam - only if I have some, mind you. Well, this year I never did can anything, so I don't have any strawberry jam made. Yesterday I finally found some strawberries and made some strawberry jam for my son, and will mail it to Iraq.

I haven't heard from him for 9 days now. I am fighting that panic that I get.

My daughter is so addicted to meth and so dysfunctional. Last night I quietly let her know that I am aware she lost her job... she was pretending that she just got off work, but in reality got fired a week or two ago. I do not know what is going to happen to her or her daughters, my granddaughters.

I am praying a lot. On my knees. I know that it is all as it should be, it just doesn't feel too great right at this moment. So, I will put on my running gear and head on out to the gym to get on the treadmill. Once I hook myself up to my iPod, I tend to forget everything for 30 or 40 minutes while I run. It is a good deal. Then I will go to my job and put in an honest day of work.

"We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day 'Thy will be done.' We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 88

Monday, October 23, 2006

Monday AM

Another photo from my trip. This one is as you head south from Clifton, which is just east of Grand Junction, CO.

Yesterday after I posted and made some phone calls, I went out for a "quick" 2 mile run. At about 1.5 miles, I decided to do 3. At 2.5 miles, I decided that I could do 5. At 5, I decided I could easily do another mile and complete a 10K for the first time since the 80s. At 6.1 miles, I forgot that a 10K is 6.2 miles, and quit running. I missed doing a 10K by .1 mile! Oh well. I still ran over 6 miles. I have not done that since the 80s, when I was in my 30s. I am a little sore this morning, but not bad for a woman in her mid-fifties!

I am so grateful to be able to do this. Like most alcoholics, I have had some health problems, including a lifelong battle with the scale. Three years ago, I could not run for 5 minutes, let alone 5 or 6 miles. When I started running, I would walk up a hill near my house, and then "run" for 5 minutes down the hill. Believe me, that was enough! It didn't help that I weighed around 200 lbs. Now I weigh considerably less than that and I can run! This is such a blessing to a woman who drank every day for 18 years, smoked 2 packs a day for 25 years, huffed aerosols in my youth(among other things), had 3 vertebrae in my neck fused with bone grafts and titanium rods just 7 years ago... I thought I would never run again. In reality, it is a miracle that I am even alive.

"Now about health: A body badly burned by alcohol does not often recover overnight nor do twisted thinking and depression vanish in a twinkling. We are convinced that a spiritual mode of living is a most powerful health restorative. We, who have recovered from serious drinking, are miracles of mental health. But we have seen remarkable transformations in our bodies. Hardly one of our crowd now shows any mark of dissipation." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 133

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Back Home

As you can see, we did run into snow. A lot of it. This picture was taken from inside the rest area at the top of the Vail Pass. It was so beautiful. I love sunny days after a big snow. The roads were not bad today. Friday was a bit dicey at times, but we made it through.

It was wonderful to see my sponsor and her husband. We went to a couple of meetings, sat and talked a lot, and ate WAY too much. The time just flew... even the time in the car. Sharing with another alcoholic just puts you into another time dimension where the time just goes without notice.

I am so full of gratitude right now, words really couldn't begin to tell you how grateful I am to be sober and to have some sober years behind me and priceless long term sober relationships developed over the years. If you are new to AA, please keep coming back, it is SO worth it. I will endeavor to get to all your blogs today. XXXXOOOO MC

"AA has taught me that I will have peace of mind in exact proportion to the peace of mind I bring into the lives of other people, and it has taught me the true meaning of the admonition "happy are ye who know these things and do them." For the only problems I have now are those I create when I break out in a rash of self-will." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 551 (both 3rd and 4th editions)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Over the river and through the wood...

To my sponsor's house I go. Yay! I am so excited about the prospect of being eyeball to eyeball with my sponsor for the first time in 6 months. Say a prayer for weather that is conducive to driving over mountain passes (please.)

This morning I got up and went to the gym and ran 3.10 miles, and then got to the 6:30 meeting (on time!). I smelled pretty bad and was dripping with sweat, but they tolerated me, thank God.

I will most likely be a crappy blogger for the next day or so while I am gone. But I usually find a way to blog no matter what, so we shall see.

"The expression of the faces of the women, that indefinable something in the eyes of the men, the stimulating and electric atmosphere of the place, conspired to let him know that here was haven at last." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 160

Thursday, October 19, 2006

New Flannel Jammies

I was sure glad I had these nice warm flannel pajamas yesterday when my furnace wasn't working. It was only a blown fuse and got fixed for $102. Phew!!! And yes, Life IS good, as long as I don't pick up a drink, one day at a time.

"When we became alcoholics, crushed by a self-imposed crisis we could not postpone or evade, we had to fearlessly face the proposition that either God is everything or else He is nothing. God either is, or He isn't. What was our choice to be?" -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 53

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


It is 20 something degrees outside. There are maybe six inches of snow. When I got up this morning I realized my heat wasn't on - though it was on last night when I went to bed. So I checked the thermostat. It is 60 degrees in here. According to the thermostat, the heat is on. I checked the pilot, and it is on. EEEEEEEK!!!!!!!!! I will have to get a service from the heating company. Shoot. This is NOT in this month's budget. At all.

I will call the big Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Company and someone will come over in a truck with my friend's name all over it. And I will smile, because I remember when my friend dragged into AA 20 years ago. There were no trucks with his name on them then. He has been such a success in every way in AA.

I had a pretty picture of snow this morning, but blogger is being naughty again. So, I will just be grateful if I can get this post posted.

"We perceive that only through utter defeat are we able to take our first steps toward liberation and strength. Our admissions of personal powerlessness finally turn out to be firm bedrock upon which happy and purposeful lives may be built." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 21
I posted the picture of the snow on my little ponderosa pines on my deck. Aren't the little lights pretty? Now, if only the heating guy will get here and find out I only need a $2.00 part - or even $200.00 - Just not a $3,000 furnace. Please.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tuesday Morning

I have been to some great meetings in the last week. They have helped to remind me that God will never give me more than I can handle. I have felt overwhelmed with my job, but if I get my pride and ego out of the way, I don't have a problem. If I am not worried about looking "good" or looking "bad", I can just do my job without all the attending B.S.

On Sunday morning, I went to my friend Terry's 23rd AA birthday. I was able to give her the chip I have been carrying around for almost three months. On my 22nd birthday, that group did not have a 22 year chip, so Terry gave me a 23 year chip, and told me I would have to bring it back to her on her 23rd b.d. It was nice to be able to do that. That meeting was so wonderful. Terry was someone I could not stand for my first ten years of sobriety, and the feeling was quite mutual. We talked about that in the meeting, it was great fun. I am so grateful that we love each other today. It is amazing what happens when you stay sober, and do what is suggested. Miracles, I tell you!

I slept well last night and I am off to the gym now. I will actually get to work on time this morning barring unforseen circumstances.

"Absolute humility would consist of a state of complete freedom from myself, freedom from all the claims that my defects of character now lay so heavily upon me. Perfect humility would be a full willingness, in all times and places, to find and to do the will of God." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 106

Monday, October 16, 2006

Monday Morning

I have had a very busy weekend. I am very tired. I slept very little on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. Today I need to prepare for a presentation that I am to give at 2:00 this afternoon, followed by my quarterly presentation to Governing Body tomorrow. Oh, I am going to be praying today! I need to be on top of my game, not so tired I can barely see straight.

On Friday evening, after working all day on the materials for the presentation, I could not save the document. It would not save to the network, to the hard drive, to a flash drive, or a CD. It had done this earlier in the day, I called ITS, they came and looked and said "sorry, you just lost that document", but you should not have any further problems... ha. At 5:30 p.m, it just would not save and there was no one to call. So, I just shut off my computer and left. Sometimes I just have to remind myself that I make a pretty decent wage regardless of how well I am enjoying myself, or how well things are going. So, on Friday, I could say that at least I made a living wage for the day.

And today I better get to work at a decent time, and put in a full day, doing my work to the best of my ability with the resources available to me. I can thank God that I have a full life that some times cuts into my precious sleep time.

"True ambition is not what we thought it was. True ambition is th e profound desire to live usefully and walk humbly under the grace of God." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 124-125

Saturday, October 14, 2006

New York City, 1989

When I saw a map of Manhattan in the newspaper earlier this week - pointing out where a plane had crashed into a building- I was reminded of this map. It has been kept safely in my big book since 1989, because it is a momento of a powerful experience I had.

I was sober 5 years, was going through a terrible time, and had gone to stay at my sister's house in the Hamptons for the summer. I found a morning meeting there and night meetings there, and after a month or so, got to know some fellow sober alcoholics out there.

At the end of the summer, it was time for me to come back to Denver. I stayed a day or two at my sister's apartment in the city first. On my last day there, my niece (she is now 10 years sober, but was just 18 at the time) and I took the subway to do some shopping. After we were done, I realized that she was not going back to the apartment with me. I absolutely panicked! Holy Cow! How was I going to get around New York City all by myself? None of it made any sense to me, and it was so fast paced and frightening to me! My niece drew me the above map and told me which bus to get on and where to get off, etc. After she left, I stood for a long time at the wrong bus stop, and finally realized it and went to another bus stop. By the time the right bus got there, I was really panic stricken.

I got on the bus, and heard someone say "Hi Mary". I looked around and it was someone I knew from AA in East Hampton. Oh my Goodness! What on earth were the odds that I would run into someone I knew on a bus in Manhattan? I went and sat with him, and he not only showed me where to get off the bus, but got off with me, and walked me to my sister's building.

I don't know when I have ever been so profoundly grateful for the Grace of a loving God and the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous! I considered that a miracle that day, and I still do today. All of my needs are always met. I just need to always remember that.

Of course, I could go on and on with story, after story, after story... but I would sound like a boring old woman, so I will stop. Thanks for listening to this one.

"Some day we hope that every alcoholic who journeys will find a Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous at his destination." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 162

Friday, October 13, 2006


Fear of Friday the 13th. I don't happen to have that fear, but it is interesting to know that there is a term for it if I should happen to begin to suffer from it.

I just got in from a 5K (3.10 mile) run. It is absolutely glorious out there! 32 degrees and sunny. This is the kind of morning that makes me fully realize why I love Colorado so much. As always, I am running late for work, sitting here in my spiffy new running gear, not looking so spiffy being darkened by sweat. Oh well... that is what it is for.

Had dinner last night with someone after the meeting. There is nothing like sitting with a fellow sober alcoholic and sharing a meal and laughs and little pieces of our souls. Thank God for Alcoholics Anonymous. I love it.

Thanks Al-Anon Lifer for reminding me of this passage, it is a good one... the 5th step promises:

"Once we have taken this step, withholding nothing, we are delighted. We can look the world in the eye. We can be alone at perfect peace and ease. Our fears fall from us. We begin to feel the nearness of our Creator. We may have had certain spiritual beliefs, but now we begin to have a spiritual experience. The feeling that the drink problem has disappeared will often come strongly. We feel we are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 75

Thursday, October 12, 2006

cannot be nAAked today

I can't post a photo from work. I couldn't get into blogger from home. I am so busy today and even donating blood at 10:30. I wore my red sweater and red shoes for the occassion. I had a picture for today, but alas! It must be something that is not meant to be.

I will probably post more later when I get home.

Let's see... what can I quote right off the top of my head? And if I get it wrong, it will actually please me having once been a "know-it-all" big book thumper. I still thump it, but try to be a bit more humble about it now....

"We will be with you in the fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the road of happy destiny. May God Bless you and keep you until then." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. ?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Nothing Notable

Going on. Just got in from a 2 mile run. Went to Red Rocks to run the stairs last night with my friend Jean. I probably shouldn't have run at all this morning, but I just bought a new outfit to run in yesterday. Delayed Gratification? What the hell is that? If I buy something new, I want to wear it NOW! I have never before actually gone out and bought a color coordinated outfit to run or work out in. It is pretty cute to have a green and black outfit. Black pants, black vest, green long-sleeved shirt, which goes with my green shoes. Yep. It is cool.

I am grateful for the folks who come by my blog - all the regulars, and then the folks who get here by searches. I feel bad when I have some inane post about my running gear if you have come here in serious need of help. I guess I can say that as a result of staying sober, one day at a time, days turning into months, and months turning into years, and years turning into decades - some days all I am worried about is how cute my running gear is. But not all days are like that - see some posts of the last week - I have been pretty upset on a day or two. But I don't have to drink over any of it. It is possible to stay sober, by the Grace of a loving God and the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous, no matter what is going on.

"God willing, we members of AA may never again have to deal with drinking, but we have to deal with sobriety every day. How do we do it? By learning - through practicing the Twelve Steps and through sharing at meetings - how to cope with the problems that we looked to booze to solve, back in our drinking days." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd ed., p. 560 (the story 'to handle sobriety')

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Two things I said I will 'never' do...

I just did. At the same time. I ran in the dark and with my iPod. I ran three miles before it was even light outside. Frankly it was scary from time to time (but not as scary as the 6:30 meeting yesterday morning.) I am so grateful that I am able to run, and I love running in this weather. It is 37 degrees and cloudy. That is great running weather.

My son called last night. Phew! He sounded good. He had just gotten off work and was even able to watch part of Monday Night Football. Even though it was Tuesday morning there. And what a great game, no?

Yesterday I went to a 5:30 p.m. meeting and it was one of the most amazing meetings I have ever been to (and I have been to a lot!) A woman shared - her father just died unexpectedly that morning. A lot of people shared their experience, strength, and hope about living sober through all the events life has in store for us. The most amazing thing was to listen to my friend J., who is now in his 70s and on oxygen. I have known him since he was in his 50s and smoked like a chimney (but that's another story). He cried, tears of gratitude, when he talked about how he was able to be there for his mother as she was dying - because he was sober. And that is when the waterworks started again for me. Some of the stories shared by the older members were just so incredible. Sobriety is not just for us - it has such a profound impact on our families.

"We have entered the world of the Spirit. Our next function is to grow in understanding and effectiveness. This is not an overnight matter. It should continue for our lifetime." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 84

Monday, October 09, 2006

Columbus Day

I am grateful I am not working today. That I just ran 4 miles in less than 41 minutes. That it is raining. That I am a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. That I have been a member for a while. That I can cry through an AA meeting.... and that no one there has ever seen me do that before.

I have not heard from my son for the last week. I woke up this morning feeling a little panicky about that. So I went to an AA meeting. Where, once again, the topic was snickering about the chicanery of organized religion. I am so fucking sick of this. A few people threw in their disdain for the government of the United States of America.

I reminded the group of the 10th tradition. Then I sat and cried. I am feeling so fragile today and I just felt so disappointed. But after the meeting, I got to talk with some of my friends, and I am grateful for them. My friend Mike, who just celebrated 7 years on Saturday, hugged me - and I noticed the pack of Kools in his pocket! On man, I really could have just grabbed one and stuck it in my mouth! That was My BRAND!

If I am sharing about my own experience, strength, and hope there is nothing to argue about. If I start throwing in my opinions, we have just opened up the grand debating society. I realize that some people have had bad experiences with their church (most of them seem to belong to my denomination), and I would never discourage them from talking about their own experience. But when it crosses the line into condemning religions, governments, world leaders - it just doesn't belong in an AA meeting.

On a MUCH lighter note - I got my template changed yesterday and I really like it. I think it looks like a Generic Alcoholic Page. Just black on white. Plain as can be. Thanks for the help that was so kindly offered.

"Being wrecked in the same vessel, being restored and united under one God, with hearts and minds attuned to the welfare of others, the things which matter so much to some people no longer signify much to them. How could they?" -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 161

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Life is Good

I turned these healthy, fiber filled, fall-a-licious apples into:
This super fat and calorie filled taste sensation! It was the hit of night watch last night! And, oooh, it was good. (More photos of the pie making process at my photo blog.)

I am beginning to adjust to the fact that it is fall. I am sitting here at my desk, there are no leaves on the tree outside my window. There aren't even many leaves left on the lawn after my labor yesterday. This morning it was dark as I left for my 7:30 a.m. meeting. I am going to turn off my sprinkler system today. I am also going to put Christmas lights on two ponderosa pines (in pots) I just put on my deck. I hope that will be pretty. I will probably leave them on all year if they are. And, the best thing of all is that I can hear the sounds of football commentary from my television set. I really love anything having anything to do with football.

Night Watch was really wonderful last night. I was one of the last people to leave which is highly unusual behavior for me. After about 9:00, most everyone had cleared out, and there were five of us, sitting around the dining room table, having great AA fellowship. Those are the best times of all.

"Most of us feel we need look no further for Utopia. We have it with us right here and now. Each day my friend's simple talk in our kitchen multiplies itself in a widening circle of peace on earth and good will to men." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 16

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Saturday Morning

I have been up most of the night. But I am still looking forward to the day. It is the first day of a three day weekend, and I feel the weekend stretching endlessly before me. I can take a nap this afternoon. I am going to a 6:30 meeting this morning, and then I will hit the gym. I will come back home and rake those leaves. Tonight one of my groups is having night watch, so I will head over there after church. It is usually a great deal of fun. We answer the phones for the Denver Central Office of AA, we have a potluck dinner, and some good fellowship.

I hope some time this weekend to work on my blog. My links are in serious need of updating. I would also like to change my template, but the last time I did that I really regretted it.

"AA is a spiritual program and a spiritual way of life. Even the first half of the First Step, ' we admitted we were powerless over alcohol,' is a spiritual experience. An AA member needs more than physical capabilities; he needs the use of his full faculties as a human being to hear the message, to think about it, to review the effects of the past, to realize, to admit, and to accept. These processes are activities of the mind, which is part of the spirit." -- Came to Believe, p. 3 (thanks for reminding me of this great book in your HNT picture daave.)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Happy Friday!

The last rose of the summer. It is pretty, isn't it?

I had a great run this morning. I actually felt a little bit of lightness and happiness in my soul this morning. When I first opened my door and stepped outside, the world was bathed in the red-orange morning light, it was truly beautiful and I felt it in my heart.

I have an appointment at work at 8:15. It is now nearly 8:00 and I am sitting at home, dripping sweat, in my running gear. I need to call him and let him know I will be late. I need to get in the shower and get ready and out of here.

Have a Happy Friday everyone.

"Believe more deeply. Hold your face up to the Light, even though for the moment you do not see." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 3 (my favorite quote of any AA literature)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I'm leAAving!

My neighbor saw me taking this picture last night and shook her head. She asked me why I am always outside taking pictures of my feet and my hands, etc. She hasn't yet realized that it is always on Wednesday night - getting ready for half naaked thursday. She just thinks I am odd. Imagine that!

"Change is the characteristic of all growth. From drinking to sobriety, from dishonesty to honesty, from conflict to serenity, from hate to love, from childish dependence to adult responsibility - all this and infinitely more represent change for the better." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 76

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Thank You

Thank you all for your nice comments yesterday. I think what we saw was my disease rearing its ugly head. On Monday night, I was sitting in a meeting thinking what nice people "they" were. I wasn't going to share because I figured I had nothing of value to say. I realized what was going on there, and I did share and told the group about my crazy thoughts.

If I start thinking the people at an AA meeting are "them" then I must be "me" and "me" is alone. If I think what I have to say has no value to anyone then I am also full of ego in thinking that I am so special that no one could possibly relate to me. That I am so unique, worthless, fabulous, whatever - that my experience, strength, and hope won't help anyone else. What a crock!

Yesterday morning, again, I sat down to write and thought - who the hell cares about what the hell I ate for breakfast, or my morning run, or my concerns over my kids, my worrying about my grandkids, or how insane I am going over worrying about my son in a war on the other side of the planet.

Most of you were kind enough to remind me that you visit someone's blog because you WANT to read about what is going on in THEIR life! I know that I love to visit my blogger buddies' blogs and see what is going on. And I don't care if they are writing about what they ate for breakfast. I think it is fascinating to read about people all over the world and follow their daily ins and outs.

I talked with my sponsor for a long time yesterday. I hope to be going to the western slope and will stay with her for a weekend later this month. I think I just better make that a priority and do it come hell or high water (or snow).

Thanks again everyone. I am so grateful for this community.

"Almost without exception, alcoholics are tortured by loneliness. Even before our drinking got bad and people began to cut us off, nearly all of us suffered the feeling that we didn't quite belong. Either we were shy, and dared not draw near others, or we were apt to be noisy good fellows craving attention and companionship but never getting it - at least to our way of thinking...... When we reached AA, and for the first time in our lives stood among people who seemed to understand, the sense of belonging was tremendously exciting." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 57

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

How Self-Centered is a Blog?

Over the last week or so, I have really become concerned about this. I feel that all I talk about is Me! Me! Me! I know there is value in sharing our experience, strength, and hope, but I am concerned about vanity here.

I am not in my happiest frame of mind. I have faith in God and concentrate on turning my thoughts to others, I am going to lots of meetings. I am reaching out to others. I am practiced at the art of finding gratitude in all things, great and small. I am doing the self-care that you all hear about every single day in my blog. I have a deep and abiding faith that all will be exactly the way it is supposed to be. But right now it just does not feel too good. And I am concerned about blogging about this.

So - the question is: how self-centered do you think a blog is?

"Worry; see Fear" -- As Bill Sees It, p. x

Monday, October 02, 2006

4th Place!

At the race yesterday I came in 4th place in my age group. I cannot begin to say how much that thrills me. If only... I hadn't stopped to tie my shoe, I hadn't stopped to pick up my drivers license which fell out of my pocket, and I hadn't stopped for a sip of water... perhaps I would have won a prize! Which is not to negate the glory of 4th place. I think it is wonderful.

I got a call from my son last night. I was glad to hear from him, but worried too. It was 5:00 a.m. there and he was just getting off work. He said he had worked for 11 hours. I guess I would sound tired too after 11 hours of working. But flying at night in a hostile land must make you extremely tired. And it makes his mother tired too, just thinking about it.

I am looking forward to going to work today. I am beginning two huge projects and I love a big fat challenge. I am looking forward to getting to a meeting tonight. I haven't been to a meeting all weekend and I really need to go be with people like me.

"the foundation stone of freedom from fear is that of faith: a faith that, despite all worldly appearances to the contrary, causes me to believe that I live in a universe that makes sense." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 51

Sunday, October 01, 2006

10/1 5K

I'm off to run a 5K (3.1 miles) race this morning. I am nervous about it because my running is slow in comparison with the folks who get out and run competitively. In my annual triathlon, the running is always my worst event. I make good times in swimming and biking, but not so good in running. Which is kind of ironic, since my mainstay exercise throughout the year is running. I love to run. But I don't like to feel like a snail next to people who are flying past me. So - why am I doing this race? I am doing it because it is a race organized by my neighbor. I do this in support of her and she does appreciate it.

I am grateful that I am capable of getting out on an early Sunday morning and running 3.1 miles. Last year I had a broken rib and had to walk this race. I am grateful that I don't have a hangover and all the remorse that goes with it. I am grateful that I have sober days in my past and I pray that I have many more - until they plant my elderly remains in the ground! I am also grateful that yesterday I got to spend the day with my granddaughters. I am also grateful that my daughter came to pick them up last night. There is a good reason that young people are parents and old people are grandparents.

Wish me good luck on my race!

"Faced with alcoholic destruction, we became open-minded on spiritual matters. In this respect alcohol was a great persuader. It funally beat us into a state of reasonableness." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 48

I just checked the results and I came in 4th place in my age category! Holy Moly!