Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Full Moon Bike Ride

I was going to wait until it was fully light before I set out on my bike this morning, but I see a huge full moon out there about to set. I think I will go out just before the sun rises and see what kind of photographic trouble I can get into. It should be beautiful!

Today I have no appointments or meetings at work. I love these 5th weeks of the month, there is nothing automatically scheduled. Tonight I meet with a new sponsee who is working on her first 4th step. She is a blessing in my life.

In the past 10 days or so, I have spent countless hours on the phone (actually I would be able to calculate the hours, if I so desired, when I get my cell phone bill) with a former boyfriend who has been suicidal. Let me be quick to add that he has also contacted all the appropriate people - I have no delusions of being a substitute for a psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist, social worker, nurse, or police officer.

But I do remember what it is like to feel so bad that taking your own life seems like the only solution. I remember what it is like to feel that you are so worthless that no one would want to spend one second speaking with you. I remember what it is like to intellectually know that you are being a loser by wanting to die, and that making you only feel worse. So, I was happy to talk with this man. I have been checking in on him several times a day by phone. On Sunday, he said he was feeling a bit better. Yesterday, when I called he said he was busy moving stocks around and would call me back after the stock market closed. He never called back. I debated myself about whether I should call him before I went to sleep last night. I decided he sounds like the man I used to know, busy and not returning phone calls. And he can do that. He must be feeling better. I am reminded that sometimes when I think I am being altruistic, I am not really. Because I am a teensy bit annoyed with him. I will get over it, don't worry.

I better go get my bike shorts on and get out of here! It is going to be a great day.

"clear-cut directions are given showing how we recovered." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 29

Monday, July 30, 2007

What I did last night...

My sponsor and her husband brought me a dozen ears of corn, and then we ate out all weekend. So I had all these ears of corn that I could not let go to waste. So I made corn relish! It tastes quite yummy. And I absolutely love to put on my apron and fire up the stove and get to work canning something. As I stood sweating in my kitchen, I thought about turning on the Air Conditioning and thought it really would spoil the whole ambiance of canning. It was fun!

Today I am back to work after four days off. I am afraid to look at my palm to see what I have scheduled today. I am sure what ever it is will be just fine. On Mondays, one of my sponsees comes over and we read the big book - that is something to look forward to after a long day.

Have a great sober day everyone.

"Moved by the spirit of anonymity, we try to give up our natural desires for personal distinction as AA members both among fellow alcoholics and before the general public. As we lay aside these very human aspirations, we believe that each of us takes part in the weaving of a protective mantle which covers our whole Society and under which we may grow and work in unity." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 187

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Blessed Fellowship

My sponsor and her husband just left to drive back over the mountains to the western slope of Colorado. It was so good to spend three days with them. I got to spend some quality time with my sponsor, which felt like heaven. I am much more frequently on the other side of that equation these days. It is good to be the sponsee!

On Friday night, it was so wonderful to sit with two of my sponsees and my sponsor. I love the continuity of the fellowship. Actually, yesterday morning, I was at a meeting with my sponsor, one of my sponsees, and one of HER sponsees. So there were four "generations" of us sitting there. What a wonderful thing it is to get to share this beautiful program.

I feel so peaceful this morning. My house is very quiet and serene. I miss the company, but I do so love (and need) my alone time. I am about to go out and get a good run in. I will run for an hour and see how far that takes me. I am now in my taper week before my triathlon - which is next Sunday.

"To me, AA is within the reach of every alcoholic, because it can be achieved in any walk of life and because the achievement is not ours but God's. I feel that there is no situation too difficult, none too desperate, no unhappiness too great to be overcome in this great fellowship - Alcoholics Anonymous" -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 395 (3rd edition)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Oh what a beautiful morning

This is going to be quick. I have to get ready for the 6:30 meeting. Last night I celebrated my birthday one more time. It was a speaker meeting and very very fun to look out as I was speaking and see my sponsor, her husband, two of my sponsees, so many friends, and the man who took me to my first meeting!

What a blessing it is to have lived these sober years. I hope to have many more sober years ahead. It is such a good life. Not a perfect life, but a good, good life.

Now I am off to Rob's 23rd birthday meeting!

"Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends - this is an experience you must not miss. We know you will not want to miss it. Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 89

Friday, July 27, 2007


It is still dark outside. My sponsor and her husband are downstairs in the guest bedroom, still sleeping. I am going to sneak out of here in a minute and take a bike ride and run. It is going to be a huge day - with lots of huge eating - and I want to have a good workout as the start to my day.

Yesterday my sponsor and I sat trying to figure out all the people and places and things (and food) they have planned for their 3 day stay - she ended up with her daytimer, and I had my palm, plugging in all these things... trying to figure out how it can all be crammed into a couple of days. It should be fun.

Tonight I celebrate my 23rd birthday (again) at a speakers meeting that I used to go to when I was newly sober. My friend DD will be celebrating 13 (I think) years with me. I signed their calendar months ago, and if I had it to do today, I probably wouldn't do it. Oh well. It will be a nice evening for a bunch of us.

I got to spend a lot of time talking with my sponsor yesterday and it was truly wonderful. She is such a blessing in my life. She has been my sponsor since I was 11 years sober. Before then, I had a series of sponsors and some horrific experiences with them. I am glad I stayed sober and kept trying until I found Maureen!

"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

Thursday, July 26, 2007


It's Thursday, so I am off to church at 4:30. Then to a 6:30 meeting, where I am meeting my friend B., who is going to come back with me and fix my sprinkler system YAY! I have put this off for a year because I thought it would be expensive. He says it won't be. I wonder what that means?

I took two days of vacation (today and tomorrow) for my sponsor's visit. I am so looking forward to seeing her (and her husband). I have been cleaning like a mad woman for several days now and I think I am now happy with the way my house looks. (maybe there will be a picture later, but leaving the house by 4:30 a.m. makes it pretty difficult to post a picture)

I probably won't be much of a blogger for the next couple of days while my sponsor is here. I want to spend all the time I can with her. I miss her so much!

"Faith has to work twenty-four hours a day in and through us, or we perish." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 16

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Into another day

My birthday was utterly fabulous yesterday. I went to a 6:30 a.m. meeting and a 5:30 p.m. meeting and then dinner with about 20 crazy alcoholics. My friend Larry chaired the 5:30 meeting and had a topic I have never heard before - and I think it pissed a few people off - it was "what is your morning prayer?" He closed his eyes and said his out loud. Many others did as well. It was a cool meeting.
  • For the record - my prayer before I open my eyes in the morning is to ask God to guide my thoughts, words, and actions today. - Then I get up and make coffee and sit down and do my reading and prayer and meditation.
My friend Annette came to the 5:30 meeting and passed her 23 year chip to me. I love chips passed from one alcoholic to another. Bless her heart.

I am 10 days out from my triathlon and I think I am not ready. I know I can do it, but I wanted to break 2 hours and I don't think I have trained hard enough to do that. I have bit off a bit much with 2 half-marathons and 1 triathlon within 5 months. I can be grateful that I am capable of doing a triathlon without adequate training - that is something I could not have dreamed of doing even a couple of years ago.

My sponsor and her husband get here tomorrow. I am so excited about seeing her! I haven't seen her since October - but we do talk several times a week. I think it will be a great weekend.

Thanks to all who came by yesterday. I do appreciate you. This will probably make me sound whiny and unappreciative, but last year on my birthday, there were 47 comments... yesterday 17. I know I have pissed off a couple of folks, but I don't think that really accounts for the drop. (someone once told me that if you are pleasing everyone, you are lying to someone.) Where have all the bloggers gone?

Love you all.

"On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 86

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

By the Grace of God and the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous

Today I celebrate 23 years of continuous sobriety. On July 24, 1984, an entirely new life was given to me - in exchange for a drunken, shameful one. If I were capable of producing this myself, I would have done it years before I had been through what I had been through and hurt all the people I hurt. I believe that my sobriety is something I could never have earned. It is a gift, and all it takes is some gratitude and action... which I refuse to call "work". Work is scrubbing the floor or mowing the lawn, not the blessedly simple things that are asked of us in AA.

I am more grateful than words can say for my sobriety. But I want to say that each sober day is a miracle and a revelation. Enjoy each day. When I was sober 3 years, I may have wished for 23 years, but I am glad I enjoyed being 35 instead of 55 - and all that was going on in my life at that time. Each day is a gift.

When I was fairly new in sobriety, I heard someone say that the only way we "win" this game is to die sober. I thought that was pretty harsh. But I think it is the truth. This is not a competition to win. This is a life to live. If the only way to win is to die sober, I guess I want to win, but not bad enough to die. So I will relish each day and hope that each sober alcoholic does the same.

Thank you for your love. Blogging has added a lot to my sobriety. Those of you I have met hold very very special places in my heart, and I hope to meet more of you as we all trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.

"May God bless you and keep you - until then." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 164

Monday, July 23, 2007

The last day of my 23rd year...

So tomorrow I will be 23 years sober. It is 23 years today since my last drink, but I celebrate the anniversary of my first day of sobriety which was July 24, 1984. I hope you will all stop by tomorrow for the festivities.

Today I am struggling again with lethargy. I need to get out and run and I don't feel like it. This is SO out of character for me. I really wonder what is going on. I have felt this way for almost a week. I WILL get out and run, in spite of my (hopefully temporary) lack of desire and passion for it. My triathlon is less than 2 weeks away.

I am tired and uninspired, so I will just put on my running shoes and get out of here. Have a great sober Monday everyone.

"We had a new employer. He provided what we needed, if we kept close to Him and performed His work well." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 63

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Lethal Disease

My sponsor called last night. We are making plans for her visit next weekend. I am so excited. While we were talking, she told me that our friend Skip died. They don't know yet what the cause of death was, but he had been drinking for about the last year. I just went back and read what I wrote about him last year when I found out he was drinking. It is chilling. God Bless Him. God Bless us all. All the expensive cars, nice houses, young girl/boyfriends, all the trappings of success cannot keep us alive. It is only God and the program of Alcoholics Anonymous.

That said - I had a marvelous day yesterday. Started with a meeting, then a couple hour nap, and my daughter came over after her NA meeting. We went shopping and I cut and colored her hair! That is not my forte, I pay to have mine done, but there was a time I did my own, and I guess I haven't forgotten. It was a wonderful mother/daughter day. And when mother and daughter are both clean and sober, there is a very special bond. Incredible. I am so grateful.

What a precious gift sobriety is. All it takes is a little bit of care and feeding, and in return we are granted a life beyond our wildest dreams. And all it takes is a bit of arrogance and defiance and we can lose it and our lives in a twinkling. My wish for myself and for all of us sober alcoholics is that we can keep our gratitude and humble awe at what God has wrought in our lives.

"The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 43

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Saturday Morning

Sorry for this late post. I wanted to get to the meeting this morning - even though I didn't get to bed until 2:00 a.m. - and only got a couple hours of sleep... and didn't have time to post before the meeting.

I actually indulged in the madness of standing in line at midnight to purchase a Harry Potter book last night. It was crazy! But while waiting for midnight, my daughter and I went to a GREAT movie. It is called "You Kill Me" with Ben Kingsley as an alcoholic hit man whose alcoholism is interfering with his ability to do his "job" well... so his family sends him to AA. It is very dark, but very very funny.

So now that I have been to my meeting, I need to get out and run and then come home and go to sleep before my other daughter comes to visit this afternoon after her NA meeting. Life is good.
Have a great sober weekend everyone. XXXOOO

"Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of any9one. Teh only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 98

Friday, July 20, 2007

Lazy Friday

Wow. I started typing "lazy friday" and it popped up, because I have already titled another one of my posts that way. Well, it is true today as well. I was supposed to run this morning, but I just can't. It is a weird feeling to NOT want to run. It is kind of an awful feeling. I hope it will pass.

Tonight I am going to a movie with my daughter, and then we are going to Barnes and Noble to pick up our Harry Potter books at midnight! This is another family tradition, and it will be the last time - this is the 7th and last Harry Potter book.

This week has really been freakishly busy for me, both at work and in my personal life. Maybe that is why I am so tired. I have a serious need for some down time!

"We can believe that God is in His heaven and that He has purpose for our lives, which will eventually work out as long as we try to live the way we believe He wants us to live. It has been said that we should 'wear the world like a loose garment.' That means that nothing should seriously upset us because we have a deep and abiding faith that God will always take care of us. To us that means not to be too upset by the surface wrongness of things, but to feel deeply secure in the fundamental goodness and purpose in the universe." -- Twenty-Four Hours a Day, July 16 reading

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Last night I got to have dinner with Lash. I ate like the last days of Rome. It sure was good. I find it so amazing that I can "meet" bloggers and not be surprised at all. Never having met them, but having read what they have written day after day, I have yet to be surprised. Only surprised by the wonderful people I have met through blogging. Lash is a good sober man and we talked and laughed like old friends. He is a friend.

S0rry to have no picture today. I am just plumb out of ideas.

I am off to church this morning. Then a full day of work, then a meeting tonight. It is a full day. A good sober day. Thank you God.

"There is a direct linkage among self-examination, meditation, and prayer. Taken separately, these practices can bring much relief and benefit. But when they are logically related and interwoven, the result is an unshakable foundation for life." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 33

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Summer Stuff

Took a bike ride last night with a friend from my 6:30 a.m. meeting. She recently celebrated a year of sobriety. It was great fun. You ride for 6.25 miles uphill, turn around and go like a bat out of hell for 6.25 miles back. I took the above photo with my cell phone at the turn-around spot. We talked the entire time, and it was just really fun. She is so enthusiastic about her sobriety, she is like a breath of fresh air.

Yesterday my sponsor called to tell me that she and her husband are coming for my AA birthday. I am so excited. They will be staying with me. I will be officially celebrating on Friday (the 27th) at a speakers' meeting, although on my actual birthday on Tuesday, I will just go to my regular meetings. They will get here on Friday and stay until Sunday. I cannot wait to see her.

I better get out and run. I have a presentation to give at 9:30 and it wouldn't hurt to review it before hand.

"Faith is more than our greatest gift; its sharing with others is our greatest responsibility. May we of AA continually seek the wisdom and the willingness by which we may well fulfill that immense trust which the Giver of all perfect gifts has placed in our hands." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 13

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I need to be out of here in about 15 minutes. I am sitting in my jammies, with old eye makeup under my eyes, hair pointing in every conceivable direction, sipping my first cup of coffee. I am moving s-l-o-w this morning. I had intended to run this morning and then take a bike ride this afternoon, but it looks like the run is not happening.

It is one week before my AA birthday. The days preceding my early birthdays used to be insane. These days I haven't felt that kind of "squirreliness" but I do tend to reflect a bit. I remember that last July of drinking. It was truly awful.

Not for drama. Not for any disasters. I think it just dawned on me that my life was always going to be this way, drinking every single day. Never drawing a sober breath. Being too sick to do anything with my children. Laying on the couch most of the day. Wanting my house dark and quiet, and instead I had three healthy, lively, little children.

My last drunk? I drank all day July 23, 1984 (as I drank every single day all day long), and in the evening when my husband came home from work, we piled the kids in the car and drove to the library. But suddenly, driving up Wadsworth Boulevard in Broomfield, Colorado, I had a thought - I knew I was going to make an ass of myself and my kids by showing up at the library drunk. I asked myself why I didn't take them to the library when I was sober and I had a chilling thought - one which never occurred to me before - because I am NEVER sober. Never.

I had many dramatic moments before this one. Many drunken debacles. Don't get the idea that going to the library drunk was the worst thing I ever did. I don't know why, but I thank God that this, of all things, was my bottom. I called AA the next day, and the rest, as they say, is history. Thank you God!

"We perceive that only though 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

Monday, July 16, 2007

A New Week

I need to get ready to get out of here pronto! I am going to the 6:30 meeting this morning because I won't be getting to the 5:30 meeting tonight - because I have scheduled a regular time to meet with a sponsee on Monday nights.

Yesterday my buddy Larry called me at about 11:00 and asked me to come over and visit him. God bless him, he has a bunch of health problems and has been told not to leave the house if it is over 72 degrees outside. In other words, he is holed up in his apartment and is rarely getting out. I went over and we visited for a couple of hours, ate some pineapple and strawberries, and drank the most delicious cream soda I have ever had!

In Pam's gratitude list this morning she used this phrase "My 'program' posse of women and men." I absolutely love that! I love the people in Alcoholics Anonymous. Most of them are definitely an acquired taste. But once you love them, it is incredibly wonderful.

And here I will tell on myself: There is a new woman at one of my meetings. She is maybe 30 years old. Very attractive. Dresses very provocatively. Always has a "herd" with her, her boyfriend, her mother, etc. She comes into the meeting talking on her cell phone and stays on the phone until the meeting starts. I turned to the man sitting next to me before the meeting on Friday, looked at her and whispered "our very own Paris Hilton." He was surprised at my bitchiness. But then, she saw me, came running over and just gushed about what I had said the night before and how true it was and how it helped her so much! Well, in that moment, self-centered person that I am, I changed my mind about her. I truly hope she stays sober and I am sure that if she does, she will learn to come to meetings alone and turn off the phone and talk to US before and after the meetings. Hopefully, she will put some clothes on too!

"I try hard to hold fast to the truth that a full and thankful heart cannot entertain great conceits. When brimming with gratitude, one's heartbeat must surely result in outgoing love, the finest emotion that we can ever know." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 37

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sunday Morning

That's a picture from my bike ride yesterday. I drove across town with my road bike on the back of my car - only to take it off and find that it had a flat tire. So I drove back to my side of town, hopped on my mountain bike and rode to a nearby park (see above.) I took my road bike back to the bike shop, got the tire repaired (again) and will hop on it in a minute and take a nice early morning ride.

I am devoid of ideas this morning. I feel tired and dull. I hope a bike ride will get me back on track. I am grateful to be sober. Some days when I feel slightly bad, I remember what it was like to feel HORRIBLE every day until I got some alcohol in my system.

"Personally, I take the attitude that I intend never to drink again. This is somewhat different from saying 'I will never drink again.' The latter attitude sometimes gets people in trouble because it is undertaking on a personal basis to do what we alcoholics never could do. It is too much an act of will and leaves too little room for the idea that God will release us from the drink obsession provided we follow the AA program." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 16

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Saturday Morning

And I am heading out to the lake for a little (800 - 1000 meters) swim at daybreak, followed by a 12 to 20 mile bike ride. And I am excited about it! Training for a triathlon is fun!

Why do I write about my exercise each day? Because I love it. I have a separate fitness blog, where I talk about it in detail and get lots of good support and help from other people who are truly jocks, but here I talk about it because it is a big part of my sobriety. If my illness is three-fold: physical, spiritual, and mental... I need to do my best to restore my health in each of these areas. My physical exercise is also tremendously helpful for my mental state. It really helps!

Yesterday I was sweating how I was going to get to the 5:30 meeting. I knew I wasn't going to get to the 6:30 a.m. this morning because I will be at the lake by that time. But I had to mow the lawn and get some work done on my bike, and if I went to the 5:30, I knew these things would not get done. Then an intuitive thought came to me: I get a lunch break! So I drove home at lunch and quickly ran, in my dress, around my lawn with my lawn mower... then I drove to the bike store and got my bike fixed up... and picked up a slice of pizza and went back to work. I was sitting in a colleague's office later in the day and she said "do you have DIRT on your leg?" Sure 'nuff, I had dirt all over my legs! Cooooool.

Have a great sober weekend everyone.

"Those of us who have spent much time in the world of spiritual make-believe have eventually seen the childishness of it. This dream world has been replaced by a great sense of purpose, accompanied by a growing consciousness of the power of God in our lives. We have come to believe He would like us to keep our heads in the clouds with Him, but that our feet ought to be firmly planted on earth." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 130

Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday the 13th of July

It is 52 degrees outside and I need to get out there and run! It will be fabuloso! I slept rather late this morning, so I will be running late - until I get to my office and can just slink into the work-a-day. I have no appointments or meetings today, so I hope to get a lot of work done! How 'bout a gratitude list? OK:
  • I work M-F, and therefore have S-S off!
  • I am in good health and can actually enjoy going out for a run
  • The birds are singing this morning
  • It rained yesterday, and it is cool and damp this morning
  • It has been a year and three days since I have seen my son, but it is about a month until I will see him again
  • The women I sponsor are wonderful sober women who are sincere about their sobriety
  • Sober friends who I love
  • My friend Mike whose birthday is also 24/7 (July 24). He will be 14, I will be 23 - is he my "little" brother?
  • Sober bloggers, I love you guys!
  • The Infinite Grace of a Loving God
"Our search must be for what reality we can find, which includes the best definition and feeling of love that we can acquire. If the capability of loving is in the human being, then it must surely be in his Creator." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 294

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Waiting in Line

Waiting in line to get into the Harry Potter movie last night. My two daughters and my son's friend were there. It is nice that it is their tradition to include me in this event. I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have if I was still sneaking booze into movies... but Thanks to the Grace of a Loving God - I am not.

"We found that as soon as we were able to lay aside prejudice and express even a willingness to believe in a Power greater than ourselves, we commenced to get results, even though it was impossible for any of us to fully define or comprehend that Power, which is God." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 46

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wednesday Stuff

I am heading out of here in a minute for a bike ride with a swim in the middle of it! It is so much fun to start a day like this. And a glorious day it is, nice and cool. Tonight I have tickets to go see the latest Harry Potter movie with my daughters and one of my son's friends. We will miss my son, because we have gone to each of the movies as a group... but he will be home soon.

So I have a question. How much time to spend helping someone who wants what I have but is not willing to go an inch to get it? A woman I used to sponsor and has since used and drank called a couple of weeks ago in dire straits. She wanted my help. I talked with her and spent some time with her. She has since decided that she doesn't want to go to AA because we cuss and we don't all believe in God (as she understands him). Her church has been kind enough to assign two women to help her out. On good days, she believes these women provide all the help she needs. However, when the s*** hits the fan, she calls me.

Yesterday she left me a message. She is a mess (again). She asked me to please call her back because she really needed to talk to ME. I never got hold of her yesterday. But I wonder if I am really being helpful at all. My ex-husband used to talk about people who wanted to "second-hand" recovery. They don't want to do anything to get it themselves, they want to get MY recovery - by osmosis. It doesn't work. Part of me thinks that I should cut this woman totally loose - and tell her to call the church ladies when she is in trouble. Maybe if she were totally cut off from what AA offers, she would realize she needs it - instead of doing a bit of a cafeteria approach - she'll have some of the fellowship, but none of the responsibility... like jello without the green beans.

I'm just thinking... I haven't got it worked out. If you have thoughts on this, please share them.

"If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it - then you are ready to take certain steps." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 58

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


This is a photo from my daughter's vacation. I thought it was so beautiful, I would share it with you all. Also, I am needing to get my vicarious vacation thrills. It seems I am stuck without being able to take a summer vacation this year. There is an unannounced thing expected at work sometime this summer and I need to be there for it. After these folks show up, I can take time off, and before then, I just need to be there.

Last night I met with a sponsee and we started our journey through the big book. We read the forwards to the first, second, third, and fourth editions of the big book. It always gives me goose bumps to read the earnestness of the forwards, talking about our growth and current membership. To think of what a miracle it was in 1939 to write that there were "more than one hundred men and women who have recovered..." and in 2001 we were "an estimated two million or more." And it is all based on one drunk talking to another drunk... what an honor and blessing it is to get to be part of this.

The wind is blowing like crazy outside but I need to get out and run. I had planned on a bike ride and swim, but that isn't happening in this wind!

"In any meeting, anywhere, AAs share experience, strength, and hope with each other in order to stay sober and help other alcoholics." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. xxiv

Monday, July 09, 2007

I Love Monday

Yesterday Scott W. sent me a link so that I could download Firefox - he found that he didn't have the blogger troubles that have been plaguing both of us when he used Firefox. I downloaded it and now I have great blogger functionality.

Yesterday was a good day... I got out before sunrise and took a 3 mile run which was glorious. Went to church. Took a nap. My daughter came over and replaced my broken bathroom faucet! Met with a sponsee for her 2nd and 3rd steps.

She now begins her 4th step. It has been a couple of years since I have successfully sponsored a person in her first year. I think it is different to do the steps for the first time. I feel there is great urgency about it. I don't think it is so important that you fine tune them to perfection, but that you get them done so that you don't drink again. This is not rocket science. It is trusting God and cleaning house. And the 4th step is not the Great American Novel... it is putting to paper the stuff that causes you enough discomfort that a suicidal drink sounds like a viable alternative. I always remember what Dick S. (long departed) used to say: you can only do each step to the best of your ability today. And when you are new, odds are you don't have much ability. But you still do what you can.

Now I am gratefully off to work. I wasn't in my office much last week and I have lots to get done. I am so grateful to be gainfully employed, in the field that I studied and I love.

"From the beginning, communication in AA has been no ordinary transmission of helpful ideas and attitudes. Because of our kinship in suffering, and because our common means of deliverance are effective for ourselves only when constantly carried to others, our channels of contact have always been charged with the language of the heart." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 195

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Waking up Happy

Waking up happy. I love it when this happens. I am going to take a very early morning run (once it gets slightly light outside) and then head to church. Then I am meeting a sponsee to do her 2nd step. It should be a very nice day.

Yesterday I went for an 800 meter swim, followed by a 12.4 mile bike ride, on hills, in the heat. It was glorious! I am thinking of registering for an extra triathon that is next weekend. So, I will have the tri on August 5, as well as the one next weekend. We shall see if I actually do it, but I know I am capable of it - and that is a nice feeling.

Last night was nightwatch. It was held at the mountain home of one of our members. It was 100 degrees in the city, and 68 degrees at his house! It was marvelous. We sat on his deck, and looked at the mountains and ate gobs of food. Someone at the deal said that we alcoholics "eat good food," I disagreed and said that we "eat happy food." Bratwurst, chips, scalloped potatoes, pasta salads, and cakes, cookies, candy, and of course, one Mary Christine Homebaked Blueberry Pie! I like to think that the calories consumed at an AA function don't really count - it is a spiritual event and not really physical at all.... sure... I like it.

"The essence of all growth is a willingness to change for the better and then an unremitting willingness to shoulder whatever responsibility this entails." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 115

Saturday, July 07, 2007

For the Sake of Consistency

Just for the sake of consistency - I will post here this morning. I was taught early in sobriety that it was important to do what I say I am going to do. That it is a blessing if people actually come to rely upon me to do something consistently - because no one could count on me for anything when I was drinking. This runs counter to pop culture - that I should think only of myself and what I want. As a drunk, I have thinking about myself down to a science... what is tricky for me is to think of others.

I have been told by several people that they read my blog daily - I think that is an honor and a blessing. I have been having a problem with blogger and the comment feature is not working most of the time when I try to post a comment on someone else's blog... so if you haven't seen me around for a while, that is why. In fact - Blogger won't even let me get into the title section for this post, so it won't have a title. I guess you get what you pay for.

I went to the 6:30 a.m. meeting this morning, and I am off for a swim, bike ride, and run at a local reservoir. Training for the tri is in full swing now. Somehow while sitting in the meeting, I hurt my back. I am hopeful that swimming will loosen it up. I still don't feel 100% recovered from whatever I had on Thursday.

"We had a new employer. Being all powerful, He provided what we needed, if we kept close to Him and performed His work well." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 63

Friday, July 06, 2007


Yesterday at work I was feeling ill. I had to give a presentation at 2:00, and planned on just getting through that and going home. But no! In the middle of my presentation, I got that overwhelming feeling and had to run out of the room and go vomit! Yikes. How embarrassing.

As I knelt in front of the porcelain and hurled my guts out (you're welcome, I know you enjoy the detail), what did I think? I thought "Oh NO! Yesterday was a holiday, they are going to think I am hungover!" Honestly! God willing and the creeks don't rise, I will celebrate 23 years of continuous sobriety on July 24. I have been working in the same place for almost 13 years - I have never thrown up in all the time I have worked there. WHY would anyone think I am hungover? Some ideas just never want to leave us.

I had to go back into the meeting, pick up my PDA, keys, notebook, etc., and apologize and leave for the day. When I got home, I went to bed, and then the woman I have sponsored for a long time (bless her heart) took me out for dinner. I am not going to work today - I really still feel awful.

Thank God I am sober. I cannot imagine feeling like this almost every day - which I did for years. -- And whenever I think about all those hangover mornings, I recall the best description of a hangover I have ever heard...

"We know for sure that alcoholics do have tremendous willpower. Consider the ways we could manage to get a drink in defiance of all visible possibilities. Merely to get up some mornings - with a rusting cast-iron stomach, all your teeth wearing tiny sweaters, and each hair electified - takes willpower many nondrinkers rarely dream of." --Living Sober, p. 85

Thursday, July 05, 2007

I'm tired

Yesterday was so jam-packed with activities, and today I have to be up so early in the morning, I am just tired. Give me a cup of coffee, and I will probably be OK. But for the first thursday in a year and a half, I don't have a picture.

At the AA picnic yesterday, I was seated with so many friends I have known throughout the years. It was a good deal. I was talking to an old friend, and recalled going to AA picnics when I was a girl - my dad was in AA. Then my children came with me to AA picnics when they were young (and so was I). Now my grandchildren are going to NA picnics with their mother (my daughter). If you have to be alcoholic, which apparently we do, this is sure a good way to go about it.

Yesterday I went off to church, thinking it would be a good start to my day. However, yesterday the priest at my church chose the 4th of July as an opportunity to give an anti-war homily. (just for the record, I am not FOR war, but I have a son serving in one, and I feel that he is a good man, serving an important function - and that does not make him a bad person.) The sermon was so full of disdain for so many things that really felt personal to me, I started crying. I really didn't stop crying until I got to the picnic, several hours later. I am grateful for my AA friends and many AA functions that I can attend and where people actually care about me.

That said, I am now off to church. Unlike the MC of old, I will not stop going to church because I have been offended by someone. I will most likely speak to the priest about this at a later date, but I am not going to stop doing one of the most important things in my life because of hurt feelings.

"We used to amuse ourselves by cynically dissecting spiritual beliefs and practices when we might have observed that many spiritually-minded persons of all races, colors, and creeds were demonstrating a degree of stability, happiness and usefulness which we should have sought ourselves." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 49

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July

I am a Blue Star Mom. This is the Blue Star Flag that is on my front porch. A friend gave me a little flood light to light it on my last birthday. This flag signifies that I have a family member serving in a war. My son is in Iraq.

This morning, I will try (this is a lot to do and I may not be able to do it all) to first bake a lemon meringue pie to take to the picnic today. Second, take a bike ride and a run. Third, go to church at 8:30. Then I have the AA picnic at 11:00, and a party in the neighborhood tonight. I will most likely make it to the 5:30 meeting in the middle of it all. I am sad to not be going to the 6:30 a.m. this morning, but as you can see, I have too much to do this morning.

No matter what is going on, I make time for my morning prayer and meditation, and my written tenth step at night. Most days I attend an AA meeting. I always spend at least some time on the phone with an AA member each day. I usually try to think of one to call who may not be expecting a call, or who I know is hurting. - I tell you these things not to tell you how virtuous I am, but to tell you that no matter how long you are sober, it is still a daily process of staying sober - one day at a time. If I rest on my laurels, they will get wrinkled!

Have a sober and safe Independence Day to my American Friends - to the rest, have a wonderful 4th of July - whatever that means to you.

"We are not cured of alcoholism. What we have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 85

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

July 3

I am going to take a bike ride this morning before work - while it is still relatively cool. There is nothing like the exhilaration of a cool blast of air in the face as you pick up your speed on a bike... even better when you are heading down a big hill. 30 + mph on a bike feels GOOD!

I am looking forward to the 4th of July holiday - even though I dislike the local yokel fireworks. I love the professional displays, but do not care for the ones under my bedroom window... set off by people who apparently don't want to burn down their own house, so they travel a few houses down. I have an AA picnic to attend and then a neighbor's party in the evening.

There is not much going on. I am grateful to have a lack of drama in my life today. Staying sober, one day at a time, keeping my own side of the street clean, makes life pretty simple. Oh sure, there are the occassional complications, but for the most part, there is a wonderful lack of drama.

"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 (3rd ed.) p. 551 (Freedom from Bondage)

Monday, July 02, 2007

Lavender Morning

This is the lavender that grows along the side of my house. It is not a particularly nice photo of it (I am not even awake yet). At midday there are so many bees around the flowers that it fairly buzzes with excitement!

It is very hot here. It is expected to get to 100 degrees the next two days, as it did yesterday. It is a very dry heat - it feels like a sauna. I actually like temperatures below zero a lot more than I like temperatures above 80. I am a hot weather wimp. I just don't like it.

I seem to be stymied for anything meaningful to say, so let me do a grateful list:
  • Central Air Conditioning (at home and work)
  • Heavy, dark, velvet drapes on all my windows
  • That I gave up soda pop for lent and have not started up again
  • That although I am heavy, I am extremely healthy and fit for a woman my age
  • My children - Laura who is so responsible, and yet funny and fun. Megan who is my wild child (clean & sober 95 days). Kenny who is a wonderful man, off serving in a war - and not complaining about it.
  • My sponsor, who called me yesterday
  • A former sponsee who called yesterday - she is still sober!
  • The women I currently sponsor - I love them
  • The AA groups I have been part of over the years
  • That I will celebrate 23 years of sobriety in 22 days
  • All the AA members who have been so much a part of my life
  • My sober blogging buddies...you have added so much to my sobriety
  • That I got to talk with Scott yesterday
  • For long gratitude lists that I have to consciously decide to stop - lest they go on FOREVER!
  • For the Grace of a Loving God, who has tenderly cared for me when all I could do was try with all my might to destroy myself. And who continues to care for me - when I sometimes think I know what is best and what I need.

"In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don't struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 86

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Happy July!

I looked back at last year's post for this day - it was when my son was on leave before he left for Iraq. We had watched "Mean Girls" together and laughed, and laughed - and ate and ate. It was a great time, but with a heavy cloud hanging over it. Today is sort of the opposite. It is a heavy time, with worry for my son, but with golden shining hope for his homecoming - which will be in a little over a month.

Yesterday I ran 8.5 miles in the heat. After I ate and bathed, I took a nap, and ended up sleeping all afternoon! It was nice to do that, but there is a part of me that says I wasted a day. In the evening, instead of going to church or a meeting as I usually do, I went to the annual meeting of my homeowner's association. It is the first time I have gone. I nearly volunteered when they said they needed a new secretary. But I kept my eyes and my hand down and the urge passed.

I need to get going out of here to church. It is nice to wake up on a beautiful summer morning and have nothing to do but go to church. My neighborhood is quiet, the birds are singing, my flowers are beautiful... this is what suburban living is supposed to be about - I think. It is going to be hot again today, so I am not clear on what I am going to do for exercise. I may go to the gym later and swim or run on the treadmill.

Last night I talked with my friend Larry who described laying on the couch - with a hangover - wanting everyone to go away - moaning the alcoholic refrain "leave me alone!" And how different life is today. But I can recall the days on the couch or in bed and wanting nothing other than my head to stop pounding and to be able to keep something in my stomach. Oh yes, those were the "good old days."

In any event, I am sure I will have a lovely sober day today and I hope you all do too.

"I came to AA solely for the purpose of sobriety, but it has been through AA that I have found God." -- Alcoholics Anonymous (3rd ed.), p. 192