Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Testing

Still no Internet. I have contacted Qwest and they'll get it fixed sometime. Hopefully tomorrow.
Thanks Syd for telling me about blog press. Here's a photo I took while sitting here blogging. See the camping gear? Someone is taking a trip this weekend - guess who? By the grace of God and the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, I get to do stuff!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

From my iPhone...

When I got home from work last night, I had no Internet access. Being an alcoholic, with my own seedy history, I thought perhaps I hadn't paid the bill. But I checked it, and the bill isn't due till the middle of next month. The cruel irony? My iPhone wasn't working either!

I went to my neighbor to ask if some dastardly evil force had shut off my beloved Internet as a whole. She assured me that was not the case as all of her access was working just fine. I came home and read about (spoiler alert ha) Anna Karenina's suicide and went to bed, satisfied that I was simply not meant to access the world wide web at that moment.

So now I am waiting for daylight so that I can go out and run seven miles. The mornings are starting to be cool. I have only 46 more days of marathon training. I will be very relieved when it is over. It is a gruesome task.

I actually had things to write about last night, but writing on an iPod is challenging. (syd, I did download a blogger app for my phone, but not a good one, could you give me the name of the one you use again?)

Let's all stay sober again today, ok?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Alcoholics...

The next time I have a new sponsee, if she is able-bodied, we are going to do her 3rd step at the small structure at the top of those stairs. The view is astounding. Today I think I am more focused on the effort it takes to get there though.

I went to a disturbing meeting this morning. But then I find a lot of AA meetings disturbing. It is always amazing to me how a few personalities can change the nature of a meeting. I know we like to go around saying "I don't have the power to do this or that..." But I don't buy it. I think one person has a lot of ability to hurt others, or comfort others, or make a meeting uncomfortable, or even unbearable. We all have the ability to make a huge difference in our environments, but I guess some of us don't know that.

I miss the people who used to go to that meeting. They would talk about recovery from alcoholism. Not how they were leaving their wives because she gained some weight, or how you were going to confront the person who ratted you out to the police and "caused" you to lose your job. Not how you called your son a filthy name because he failed to live up to your expectations. Etcetera, etcetera. When I shared, I tried to mention things like steps and finding a God of your understanding, but I am not sure that was a welcome message this morning.

After the meeting I got to go to breakfast with a group of women from the group. That was nice.

And then spent the day at home (except for a little 5 mile run), gratefully because I needed the down time desperately.

Now I shall go watch the Broncos game and knit for a tiny granddaughter who is not yet born.

Thanks be to God.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

All Day at Church

Church(es) actually. More than one. Three. Today was the first day of Biblical School. That is an all day event, which was held at a church. When I left there, I was near one of my favorite churches, with a favorite priest, and thought I would go to confession. So I did.

After I listed my sins (think character defects if it makes you feel more comfortable), the priest asked me the most uncanny question. He said "are you familiar with the program of Alcoholics Anonymous?" and I replied, "Yes, I have been a member for 26 years." Then he said that I couldn't fix my own alcoholism and I couldn't fix my own sin (character defects). That I needed God's Grace. Well, I am a big fan of Grace (as our friend the former blogger Ed G. says). My penance (amends) is a very simple thing, reach out to someone every single day, and take inventory (my word, not his) every night. I think I might have been speaking to a recovering alcoholic priest. That's OK. I am glad he understood what I was talking about. He did.

Then on to another church for my regular Saturday evening (Sunday anticipated) mass. There was a visiting priest at my church. A man my age, wearing birkenstocks! With bare feet! Very weird.

So, now I am at home. I am listening to crickets again. I made a recording of them last night. I love crickets.

I will get to bed soon and then get up early tomorrow and get to a meeting. I am looking forward to a Sunday when I don't have to do anything. I am exhausted! I think I am still feeling the effects from my run yesterday. When I called it "heat exhaustion" I wasn't just picking words at random, I really believe I had heat exhaustion. Coachie said she was worried she was going to have to call an ambulance for me. That is nothing to fool around with!

I better write an "on message" post again soon. I have been so overwhelmed with work and marathon training, I haven't sat down and written anything blog worthy in a while. I guess if the point of my blog is just to share the life of a sober alcoholic woman, I am doing that. But I like to have at least one good post a week and I think I may be overdue.

Thanks for reading and commenting anyway. I do appreciate you all.

xoxox, mc


Friday, August 27, 2010

Heat Exhaustion

I went for my run today. We started at 8 a.m. since coach had to get her daughter off to school. 8 a.m. is not a good time to start on a day that is supposed to get into the high nineties. She would not hear of me doing 18 miles today, which was totally academic, as you will see. At 9 miles, I got the sinking feeling of nausea and panic. I couldn't even describe it to you, let's just say it is awful. And I knew I had seven more miles to go. By 11 miles, coach kept saying "Mary, are you all right?" At 11.5, I knew I wasn't. I wanted to find a small patch of shade (which was non-existent) and curl up and die - after I vomited. I made it another 2 miles back, with lots of help of the two women I was with, to my car and gratefully crawled in and drove home.

I am trying very hard not to be discouraged about this "failure." Coach later wrote me an e-mail telling me that she got so sick, she sat down on the curb at about 16 miles (they were going to do 18) and called her husband to pick her up. She has never done that, in 12 years of training. That helped me to know that I wasn't just being old or fat or out of shape.

I thought about the fact that I have never cut a planned long run short. I have always gutted it out. And then I thought about feedback I have been given by friends, particularly boyfriends, over the years. That I am so "tough." I never say never. I get determined and then go forward like a steam roller. That is sometimes a good quality, sometimes a bad quality. It is not particularly endearing to others - especially men. Today I had no choice but to give up.

I came home and bathed, ate, and slept for a while. Then I sat down and read that entire book and wrote my paper on it. Just like I did in college. It was probably good for me.

I don't want to quote this religious dude on this blog, but there was something in that book that I had never heard or considered before. That at night when we finally go to sleep, we surrender and God gets to work on us, all night long. I thought about the way my mind can change overnight -seemingly induced by rest and a fresh mind. Now I wonder. No, I don't even wonder. Now I understand how this happens.

Tonight I hope he will work on my body as well as my spirit.

It is nice to feel so loved by God. I think I will let him get to work now!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Suddenly Blue

Suddenly I have blue things! What? Green is my favorite color. I also like pink a lot. Why suddenly do I have a pair of blue shoes and a blue camelbak? Well, I guess it is because I am not a totally vain girl, when I find the right pair of shoes, I will buy them, even though they are blue, and when I found the camelbak that fit me OK and I hope won't cause too many problems as I run (16 or 18 miles tomorrow!) I bought it. I bought the hydration pack during a quick venture to REI at lunch time today. I also took a quick stroll over to the women's clothing section and purchased a technical tee in GREEN, with some flowers of blue and purple. That is a way to compromise and still wear green.

Yes, I am taking a day of vacation tomorrow so that I can run my mileage on Friday instead of Saturday. On Saturday I have my first day of the fourth year of Biblical School - and it lasts all day. I am really looking forward to that, except that my summer homework assignment was to read an entire book (that I have only read a few pages of) and answer some essay questions about it. I guess I know what I am doing tomorrow afternoon. I am looking forward to a delicious afternoon, tired as can be, sitting in my bed with books, Bible, and laptop. Oh, and with the AC blasting. It is hot, hot, hot.

I am meeting my coach and another woman at 8 a.m. for 16 or 18 miles. They are doing 18. I am scheduled for 16. I will see what coach says about me doing 18. She may not like the idea since I am coming back from yet another injury (badly infected blisters on my foot - they are still there, but don't hurt anymore after a week of antibiotics).

My daughter was here tonight. She is OK. She got through the moving out of the b.f.'s apartment. She called in all kinds of reinforcements - including the Police. She certainly is resourceful, and always has been. Her daughters (my granddaughters) were here. The little one has lost her first baby tooth today, in her first week of first grade. A gap toothed grin is charming when it graces the mouth of a little one you love. (not so charming when it is on the mouth of the daughter's latest boyfriend, but that is a different story.) The girls went back home to the safety of their grandfather's (my ex's) house, where they live. On days like this, I can see the wisdom of that arrangement. But let me hasten to add: my daughter is sober and actively recovering from lots and lots of stuff.

I found out today that my suicidal friend has been discharged from the hospital to a "drying out" place. I don't know what her dispo will be after the few days they will hold her. I have never known anyone who needs long term treatment as much as her. I hope she will be able to get it. I can pray for her...

I can pray for my daughter and pray I am setting the best possible example of sober womanhood.

And I can know that God has me exactly where he wants me. Blue? Green? What difference does it make? It is a beautiful sober world.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

One day in the life of this sober woman...

Just because I am too tired from it to think about anything else to write about.

I tried to get to work early today - but my 12 to 15 minute commute turned into a 45 minute commute. Complete with a three car accident just in front of me that I had to drive onto the shoulder to avoid. Then someone else tried to drive into me. By the time I got to work I was shaking. I wish all this construction would be over. It seems every road in this town is undergoing a major overhaul.

A long day at work. I just wrote three paragraphs about it and erased them. Who cares? I am gainfully employed and I am grateful for that.

When I got home, I noticed that I have a new rose in the garden at the back of my house. So, I snapped a photo. I have not taken care of my lawn and garden this year the way I normally do. I am just too tired from work, from training for a marathon, and from being a year older than I was last year. For the last month or six weeks, every Thursday when I get home from work, my lawn is freshly mown. My neighbor, bless her heart, asked me if I would mind if she mowed my lawn. Are you kidding? Mind? I am thrilled! I do feel guilt, so every time I bake or cook, I make extra for her. I have the best neighbor in the universe, and I think she kind of likes me too.

My daughter called tonight from a strange number. That always puts some fear in my heart. She has left her boyfriend (thank you God), but it is a very volatile and I think dangerous situation. I am frightened for her tonight. Tomorrow she will have the police come and supervise her move out of there (I forget what you call that, she told me, but I think there are some kinds of information that a mother's mind just doesn't have the velcro stick to). She has asked her old boyfriend (who I love) to help her, and he has. He always has. He has literally saved her life more times than I probably have an inkling of. I know of a few times though. I wish she wasn't staying with the one I don't like tonight though. She is bringing a girlfriend and claims that x-b.f. is afraid of her.

I have to remind myself that she is a sober woman. She has her own relationship with God. God is at work in her life, I know that.

I also know how many volatile situations I walked through in early sobriety. I must have scared people half to death with the things I did. I know I did. And yet, here I am, an old lady reminiscing about them, safe and sound in my own little home.

I can pray and trust God that it is the way it is supposed to be for right this moment. Tomorrow should be a different story.

It is good.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Alive and Sober

video
There is a limit to how long I can stay unhappy, and I reached it today. I am terribly sorry that my friend is ill. I will continue to pray for her. I will continue to support her. I will continue to do whatever I can reasonably do for her. But I cannot stay in this state of unhappiness.

Work is overwhelming right now. Tomorrow is a day with major presentations - back to back. They are not all written yet. They will be though. I really must get to work early tomorrow, which means I must get to bed in a matter of moments.

Yesterday when I was just horribly unhappy, one of the men at work came to me with this silly solar powered flower to put on my window sill. I love this thing. I decided to take a movie of it today. Very very silly. And that is fine with me.

I feel like that last couple of months have been rich with lessons about every moment being meaningful. Every word, every action. Nothing unnoticed, nothing without a consequence. My friend who is in critical care said that when I told her I pray for her every day a couple of weeks ago it meant the world to her. Well, I do pray for her every day and I have for a long time. But when I said that, I didn't think it would mean a thing to her. Just like that bathroom in Colorado Springs - I didn't think my conversation with my daughter would be heard by a little girl who had just lost her mother. I feel like God has just noticed that I might be worthy of doing some work. I am honored, but a lot more comfortable with being an unreliable slacker.

I am in some serious need of frivolity. I don't think it will be coming, but I at least need some down time. I scheduled Friday off today. I have got to get some peace and rest.

And in all of this, I managed to get on the treadmill at 5 a.m. and put in 7 miles before I got ready for work. I have 53 more days to train for this marathon, and I have a feeling it is going to be hard. (Who knew training for a marathon would be HARD?)

Thank you for your kind comments over the last couple of days. They have been appreciated by me. :-)

Monday, August 23, 2010

"For with it there goes annihilation...

of all the things worth while in life. -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 18 Speaking of the alcoholic illness, of course.

I went tonight to visit my friend who has barely escaped with her life from a suicide attempt. I don't know if there will be lasting impairment. I know it was shocking to see her. Absolutely shocking. And I was expecting to be shocked. Thank God my friend was with me and we stood outside the hospital for a while and processed. And then we just talked. And after a while we laughed about other things. Not much though. I thought about the fact that I was standing at the door I walked in over 17 years ago for my first job in healthcare. I loved that job - for its purpose. I have a special place in my heart for that hospital.

Metablog note: Usually this blog is written for a stray reader who may be looking for info about sober life. The last day or so, this blog is written for me. I am seriously in need of processing all this stuff.

Mostly I am just thinking about my friend. She looks about as close to death as a 40 something year old woman should ever look. We forget that alcoholism is just as lethal as cancer or heart disease. We like to think it is willful, I think it helps us to feel safe. I know that she has come to meetings, more meetings than most. I know she has a sponsor. I know she has worked the steps. I know she has been more motivated to stay sober than probably 90% of the sober people I know in AA. And yet, tonight she is at death's door, hooked up to every sort of tube and cable, her skin and bones barely covered with tangled hospital gowns. I know that there is a guard at her door. (I also know the guard because he has done work at my hospital.) I can't help but remember her as she was a couple of years ago. Still living in a very lovely and quite expensive home with her husband and children. She had a very good job. She was a very good athlete - and always wore shorts and athletic apparel. Always laughed. A nervous laugh. She is a very lovable woman. She has lost all of that in the last year or so. And almost lost her life.

If it is a comfort to you, you may believe that you have done some kind of magical "work" that will ensure your sobriety. I don't indulge in that kind of thinking. I subscribe to belief in the Grace of God. I don't understand it. I know I screwed up most everything I touched, particularly early in sobriety. I didn't do anything right. I was more interested in men than steps, I was more invested in my job than meetings, I was hateful and superior towards most of the people in AA - until I was brought to my knees. But somehow I didn't drink, and I didn't die. I will not boast about that, or feel superior because of the "work" I did. That is utter crap.
I lived long enough to get a chance to actually practice these principles. I got to do the stuff you are supposed to do after a time. I don't call it "work," it was a blessing to me. I was blessed to stay sober and live long enough to actually come to value my life and my sobriety. I cherish both of them today. But I believe that is a gift from God, because I could not manufacture it for myself.

I stopped at church on my way home from the hospital. I took the photo of the church candles. They were all taken, none were available for me to light tonight. That is OK. Somehow to me, my photo of the candles captures all of them to send up for my friend. I sat in the silent church with the other silent pray-ers, it was such a comfort to me. I pulled my rosary beads out of my purse and said a rosary for my friend. She probably doesn't care that I do this, but I do.

Tomorrow is the funeral of another friend. He died on the golf course, sober 37 years. His funeral will be full to overflowing. I am too busy at work to take 3 hours off in the middle of the day tomorrow. I would have loved to go. It would have been nice, as far as funerals go. But, like I said, it will be full to overflowing. There is a woman who no one wants to see, and I can go see her. Somehow, I think that is more important right now.

Sorry to go on and on like this. Somehow this has just taken the wind out of my sails. I am just so sad. Her mother's name was Mary. She died of alcoholism.

I better go to bed. I have crossed the line
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
morbid.



Sunday, August 22, 2010

Don't Drink

This is a story that probably shouldn't be shared on a blog. But, as I frequently do, I will share it anyway. I will try to be as respectful as I possibly can be...

I woke up this morning and checked my e-mail first thing. I do that. I saw a name in my inbox and was immediately happy - someone I haven't heard from for a couple of weeks, as far as I know no one had. She is a chronic relapser, someone who seemingly cannot or will not get sober. She is also someone who everyone cares about. She has not managed to alienate people the way most chronic relapsers do.

But then I opened the e-mail and saw it was a letter addressed to her lawyer, her sponsor, and me. It started by saying "I have decided to take my life." Knowing her as I do, I believed her. I tried to call her but it went straight to voice mail, and a full mailbox. I e-mailed her, but that didn't feel sufficient. I had no idea where she was. It was only 5:30 in the morning. I had no idea what to do. I prayed, I cried, I pleaded with God.

I went to church as I had planned. I called my friend, her sponsor, the other recipient of the letter - but she didn't answer. Then I went to a meeting. It was my friend's 32nd birthday. 32 years of continuous sobriety. I sat down across the room from him, looked at him and started to cry. I cried through the whole meeting. I remember when he was sober ten or so years and was having a breakdown of some sort. He came to meetings and cried and since he was new to the area and we didn't know him, we thought he was a new guy and we took care of him as such. He just let us because he knew he was screwed without our help. It took a while for him to get the nerve to tell us how long he had been sober. I remember the day his son died of AIDS, and he came to the meeting. He told us that he had died. We all observed several minutes of silence - most of us crying. I remember when he had a stroke and his rehab from that. I remember his fights with people and then how they made up. The controversies. One morning when a young woman wanted to beat both of us up - we had really pissed her off! And through all of that, he stayed sober. He never took a drink. And today he got to celebrate 32 years.

After the meeting - which restored my faith in humanity and sobriety - my suicidal friend's sponsor called me back. She knew who to call to find out or be able to make an educated guess as to where the woman was. She took the action of calling 911 and getting the police to find her. I really didn't think the police would do that. They did. And thank God.

She would have died otherwise. She is now in the hospital. Her life was saved by the action of her sponsor, my friend. She is not conscious and she is on a vent, but her prognosis is good.

I pray for her every day. Along with a bunch of other people (including a blogger or two). I will continue to pray. It seems like a small thing, but it is what I can do - and I know there is power in it.

I am completely exhausted from this day. I am so sad that this beautiful woman came to this desperate decision on a beautiful Sunday morning. But I am grateful that she reached out to the right person who was able to help her. I am also grateful that she is alive because wherever there is life, there is hope.

My 32 year sober friend today told a story during the meeting. He told of 3 men who came to AA and after 3 months or so they were all three out drinking again. He ran into all three of them in different places and asked them what happened. All three of them told him that AA didn't work for them. They said they did what they were told to do. They had gotten sponsors. They came to meetings, they read the big book. My friend asked them if anyone had told them not to drink - and they looked at him with that blank look because apparently no one had. That seems silly, but maybe we don't tell people not to drink. It seems too obvious.

Hey, don't drink, OK?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Peaceful Peaceful

I cooked all day today. Well, I cleaned for a while too. But in the end a nice evening was enjoyed by my son, very pregnant daughter-in-law, and granddog.

I sometimes get too tired to write a sensible sentence or two here. This is one of those nights. I am just too tired. It was a wonderful Saturday - I got to go to my old Saturday meeting -which I no longer usually attend since I run with my group on Saturday mornings. (see what I mean about being too tired to write a sensible sentence?)

Tomorrow I will get up early and get to church and then come home and get some rest. I am utterly and completely exhausted.

But it sure was a great day.

Friday, August 20, 2010

What Price?

Last week before I left to go see my sponsor, I purchased a gift for her from the gift shop at work, and a gift bag from the grocery store. When I got home from the grocery store, I realized I had yet another mishap with the "u-scan-it" machine and had failed to pay for the gift bag. (I really dislike checking my own groceries, really, really, really.) Anyway, I was on my way out of town and did not go back to the store until tonight.

Along with my order tonight, I picked up an identical gift bag and told the young man at the check out that I wanted to pay for it but not take it - explaining what happened last week. He had no idea how to do that. He had to call a manager over to help him. I explained to her what happened. She looked at me like I was from Mars (I seem to get this a lot lately), but did understand. She said "thank you, not many people would bother doing this." I told her that I didn't feel right about it and I needed to make it right.

It is such a small thing. But I think it is small things that can lead to big things and then we end up drunk. That sounds dramatic, but I really believe it is true. I have seen so many people over the years get away with a little dishonesty, then try a bigger one, then a bigger one, and the next thing you know, they have got a big mess on their hands. And when you have a big enough mess on your hands, a drink might seem like a sensible idea. Rigorous Honesty is just that. Rigorous. I cannot afford a $1.99 bag that I did not pay for.

So, tonight I am making sauce for lasagna. Tomorrow I am making a late birthday dinner for my only son. He turned 34 earlier this month. And for the last 31 years, he has wanted the same thing for dinner - lasagna and banana cream pie. These are not my personal favorites, but it is a personal favorite annual custom to make these things for him. He and his wife will come over for dinner tomorrow night. How wonderful. It still makes me cry to think of how happy it is to have him and his little family just down the road... after those years when he was away at war. There is likely another war in his future, but for today, he is at home with his wife, expecting their first child, and will come to his mother's for a huge birthday dinner. Just for today, it is good.

I cannot run with my group tomorrow. I had blisters on my feet after the race last week. The blisters on my heel have already healed, but the blisters on the ball of my foot have become infected and very painful. I saw my primary care doc today who prescribed a course of antibiotics. I need to stay off it for a little while. I also will go purchase a new pair of running shoes. That pair only had 300 miles on them, but I think they are shot.

Enough out of me! Grateful on a friday night for my hot house, reeking to high heavens of tomato sauce, windows open, breezes blowing the sounds of crickets through every room. It is a wonderful night to be sober.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

It is good


The above is a photo of the luggage cart at the Union Station in Denver. There are many such anachronisms in rail travel. I like it for that reason.

For instance, as I sat and waited for the train I was catching to leave town, I had plenty of time because it was late. (On the way back, it was early.) There was a very pretty young woman who sat across from me on the huge wooden benches waiting.
She had chipped red nail polish on her fingers and bright blue eye shadow on her eyelids. She had a massive suit case. After a while, we struck up a conversation. She was going to Washington to meet her husband as he returned from Iraq. She was unable to fly because of an aneurism, so she would spend 3 days on the train in anxious excitement about seeing her husband. She had packed his belongings as well as her own, and had a lot of heavy bags to carry (they were too heavy to check - imagine this, on the train if your bags are too heavy to check, you just carry them on board the train). As we chatted, she became distracted - and then called out, "Michelle?" Another woman came over, but failed to recognize her. So, she was forced to say, "remember? We were in jail together?" She then looked at me and said "we used to be bad, but we are good people now." And although she may have seen a nice old lady knitting who she was afraid of shocking with her past misdeeds when she looked at me, when I heard this, I knew that she was someone I liked even more. We talked more on the train and I discovered that she is sober 2 and a half years. How wonderful.

Those are the kinds of things I really enjoyed about taking a train trip. There is none of that creepy security like at the airport, and it made me feel more, not less, secure. The time slows down, both waiting for the train and being on the train.

I got to meet a young woman who is sober for 2 and a half years. Going to meet her husband coming home from Iraq. How wonderful is that?

It is good to be sober and I thank God every day for it.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Celebrity Recovery

I have a very dear friend who would on occasion go off whenever someone talked about a celebrity in a meeting of AA. I thought it was a trifle odd that he did that. One day, I did something I frequently do - I googled his name. For no good reason. I just did it. And I discovered that his name came up at the "ne'er do well alcoholic husband of..." Another alcoholic. A famous alcoholic. An infamous alcoholic. Now deceased. Wow. I had no idea.

But I know the way people talked (and still talk) about his late wife. Her name could be, and probably is, the punch line on many a joke. His children are hers. They have had to deal with this all of their lives. And they are very nice people. When I met his son I immediately dreamed of him sitting at the Thanksgiving dinner table at my home - I coveted him as my son-in-law. He is so handsome, and so nice, and such a gentleman. If I could somehow get a son-in-law without one of my daughters cooperating, he would be mine now. But I digress...

I began to realize how much it hurt him that his beloved late wife was still comedian fodder. Even in death. He could do nothing to control that. But, holy cow, he sure doesn't like to hear people in AA discussing celebrities falling from grace, and he will be more than happy to let anyone have an earful about that.

We do that, you know. Last winter I attended a meeting where the topic (I am not making this up) was "Is Tiger Woods really a sex addict?" I wrote about it then. I was horrified. Unfortunately, only 2 or 3 of us thought that was an inappropriate topic for a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous.

That was an insanely inappropriate thing to discuss in an AA meeting.

But I think even more importantly, we need to think before we talk about others. ANY others. I do not have the right to tell you what I think of Lindsey Lohan or David Hasselhoff or any others who have had public flame-outs. I don't care if they never hear what I said about them. It is hurtful and I do not need to do it.

Every alcoholic should have a chance to get sober, whether it is a nameless, faceless panhandler on the corner, or someone who is a household name. We should not make it more difficult for any of them. It is difficult enough.

There are wonderful AA members who also happen to be famous people. I have been in meetings where they humbly act like everyone else. But they need our cooperation in order to do that. To deny them that opportunity may be to deny them their very lives.

We have ceased fighting...

I made my way home yesterday. I do so love home. I love walking into my house after a few days away. It is beautiful to me. It smells good. It has all the things that I love - not fancy stuff, but things like my icons and my books. To me, it feels like a God-centered home. I am sure it looks eccentric to some, but it is just the way I like it.

While gone, I got to go to a very good AA meeting. Just a noon meeting in a meeting hall in a small town in Colorado. A bunch of old men, mainly, dropping in at lunch time. In varying stages of sobriety. No one bragged about how long they were sober, and no one acted sheepish because they were "ONLY" sober days or months. Later I found out a humble gentleman I met there was sober over 40 years. He not once acted the sober fool the way we do, with our chests puffed up, bragging about this or that, or having that phony humility "I've been sober a FEW 24 hours..." oh, puh-lease! AND, they talked about the 9th step. A real step discussion!

I got to visit with my sponsor and her husband. When you see someone only every few months, you get to notice their aging. It is not something I am enjoying. I think they are much more OK with it than I am. I did get to join them in their morning meditation yesterday, and that was wonderful.

I had a point to this post, but I haven't gotten around to it yet, I guess I better do that.

I sometimes get comments congratulating me on winning my battle against alcoholism, or being strong and brave not to drink all these years. I wonder how I could ever explain that I have no battle whatsoever with my alcoholism, and I am certainly not strong or brave. I surrendered, I gave up, I stopped fighting long ago. I was fighting it when I was still trying to drink. That was a battle every single day. But when you are done drinking and you surrender, it is not a battle to quit drinking. For me, I was just done. It was over. I gave up. It won. But I got to walk away. And walk away I did.

The work begins with trying to discover what person is really in there under all that garbage that we need to cover ourselves with in order to live an alcoholic life. That is what the steps are all about. It has been a long process to get rid of all that junk to discover the person God made. For me, I think it shall take a lifetime. I have to go against my instincts every single day of my sober life. My default is: selfish, self-centered, self-pitying, and just plain ugly. But by the Grace of God, most days I don't live like that.

The woman I was drank, and she will drink again. I need to be an entirely new person in order to stay sober. God can change me. I cannot change me.

Surrender to win. If you are alcoholic and have had enough to drink, this makes sense. Otherwise, it probably sounds like jibberish.

Thank God I drank enough to be ready for this wonderful way of life.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Alive & Well

I'm alive and well and enjoying a tiny vacation in western Colorado. Visiting my sponsor and her husband.

We've had so many wonderful conversations - over coffee, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. An old friend who lives here now stopped by to visit yesterday. It reminded me of how much I miss him.

In the midst of this, another friend called to tell of the death of someone I've known since I got sober. He died, 37 years sober, of a sudden, fatal heart attack while golfing. Somehow, I can see him smiling at that. He had a horrible alcoholic history, and yet, by the grace of God, got to live the last 37 years as a sober man. I will miss him.

Heading home later today. I expect to have a few spectacular photos from the train ride. I cannot figure out how to post them from my iPhone- it is tricky enough just writing this!

Sober lifetimes shared with others - God has blessed us so abundantly.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Race is Run

Pre-sunrise at the start. It was gorgeous - and it was brrrrrrrrrr, cold at 8500 ft. elevation!
Crossing one of the many bridges during the race. I didn't want to stop to take photos, so I didn't, that was the best I could do on the fly.
Just a shot as we were ambling along.

It was a good race. I decided this morning that I would walk the whole thing due to my back. Believe me, I don't walk much slower than I run. At about 4 miles, my back was hurting so bad I doubted that I could get through the race. I started talking to another woman. She was running, but was so discouraged because I was walking as fast as she was running. At 6 miles, she said I looked like I was having more fun than her and she was miserable, so she was going to just walk along with me. We had the best time! Because I was talking to someone else, I wasn't focused on my pain and I had a good race. It was a lovely day. It is wonderful to be winding through the mountain roads, crossing the creek over and over and over again. Most of the time, it was roaring along side of us. I got to walk along another woman for a little over 8 miles and such an interesting woman! An opera singer!

I am very happy about the race. I am very relieved.

Tomorrow I am heading out on the Amtrak to see my sponsor. I am not taking my computer. I don't know how to post with my iPhone, but I do know it is possible. My intention is to leave the blog alone for a day or two, but we shall see -I haven't been very successful with my attempts at that in the past.

I greatly appreciate your prayers today. I felt lifted by them.

I will sleep well tonight!

Friday, August 13, 2010

It's Show Time!

My first half marathon since January 2009 is tomorrow morning bright and early. It is in the mountains, so I have to leave this house very very early to drive to a parking place and wait to get on a bus to drive me to the start line. Point to point races are fun, but have some logistical issues, like you have to park in one place and get to another. I am looking forward to this. But I must get to bed.

I had to work until after 6 p.m. tonight. And then I had running around to do. That was not what I had in mind for today. I thought perhaps I would leave early and lounge around. As it is, it is bedtime and I am still in my work dress and will change straight from that into jammies.

If you have a mind to, would you please say a prayer for me? I am a bit nervous about this race. I am injured and worried about coming in last or not finishing at all. God forbid I should embarrass myself!

I'll give you a full update tomorrow.

Sobriety, who knew it would be like this?

(not me...)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Spiritual Experience

This morning I took my weary body out for a walk. The above photo is of the morning. Foreground: lavender. Background: Red Rocks. (You've heard of Red Rocks, haven't you? The Beatles played there! U2 played there and recordings of it are still an iconic video.) I did manage to run maybe a mile out of the four I ambulated this morning. My back is seriously jacked up. I went to see my chiro at lunchtime. She kinesio taped my back. I pray this will help. It might be a little better, but a half-marathon on Saturday seems like a pipe dream at this point.

I have been thinking about my long trip to Texas for the International Convention of AA. The months of planning. The miles and miles of driving. The hotels. The meetings. The things I thought would be wonderful - and they were. The doing sober things with my sober daughter. Meeting up with sober people. I actually saw a man I knew from Sedro Woolley, WA walking across a large room - I ran across the room and was amazed that I recognized him after not seeing him for 18(?) years. Running into people that I knew from way back and finding out that they are current people in my daughter's life - now that is a good feeling. I got to take a boat ride with Dave. I got to have dinner with Pammie. I got to have the experience I have always wanted - the 50,000 people saying the Lord's Prayer together. That was powerful.

But my truly life-changing spiritual experience happened on the way home in a ladies room in a grocery store not 30 miles from here. Now isn't that ironic? The powerful lesson of that meeting has not left me. I still pray for that little girl and her mother every day. But I have realized the power of my words. The power I have to help or hurt - even when I have no idea that it matters at all. I had no idea that day that a little girl who had just lost her mother was listening to what I was saying to my daughter in a bathroom! I could have been bitching about traffic. By the grace of God, I caught myself and didn't do that. We never know who is listening. I want it to be worth listening to. I want to be an instrument of God's peace, not a burden to those I encounter.

I talked to my daughter the other day and told her that the experience had changed my life. She said it had changed hers too. But, as can be expected, the way she processed the experience is totally different than the way I processed it. She is looking at it more as it effects relationships - mothers and daughters. She and me. She and her daughters. That is what she needs to look at I am sure. Just as I am sure I need to see what I need to see.

It is always amazing to me how God speaks to me, to us.

I am grateful.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

1800 Posts

A small strawberry rhubarb pie I made over the weekend for a sponsee. I wish the guts didn't spill all over the place. Oh well.

I can't believe I have been at this blog for 1800 posts. For at least 1700 of them, I have sat down, just like tonight, saying to myself, "whatever will I write about now?" And yet, I have prayed each time before I have written and I do believe that God has helped me to write some of the posts. My ego has been heavily involved in some of them too, it is clear.

I am suffering, as you have been able to tell lately. I am reminded of something a character on one of my favorite shows said. It was the HBO series "Six Feet Under," the character was played by Kathy Bates, she befriended the family matriarch "Ruth" and encouraged her to shoplift - told her that as a middle aged woman she was invisible. And Ruth discovered it was true as she placed a lipstick and then a scarf into her handbag in a department store and no one even noticed.

On Sunday I went to the butcher's counter at Whole Foods and told the young man I wanted beef or pork. He told me all about the specials on chicken this and chicken that. I repeated that I wanted beef or pork. Then he went on to tell me about the turkey items he had in stock. I finally told him "I do NOT want poultry! I want RED MEAT!" He looked up at me like I had just arrived from Mars, but he did manage to tell me about beef and pork. And I purchased a nice fatty piece of beef, just like I wanted.

At work I am dealing with recently promoted women who are much younger than I. Much less educated and experienced than I. And, dare I say? Much prettier. Young enough to be my daughters. I remember when I was the young woman. I will never forget a woman saying something about my ankles being thinner than hers and she thought that was why the boss liked me better than her. Well, my ankles are still thin, but they and the rest of me is old now.

I have even noticed lately in AA meetings that the new people don't listen to me the way they used to. I remember an old boyfriend who never wanted to listen to "old ladies," and I would tell him he needed to listen to them especially.

You know, someone recently got on me for ALWAYS talking about how long I have been sober and I told him I don't do that. But I am going to talk about it now. And for a good reason. At least for me it is a good reason.

  • In my sobriety I have seen the first day of school for my daughters. I cried. I didn't want their preschool years to end. I loved being a housewife with them at home. But by the time I got home from driving them to school, I was grateful that I could go to a noon meeting that day.
  • In my sobriety, I went through a divorce from the father of my children. That was one of the most difficult things I have ever faced. Probably because it was something I never should have done. He loved me and I loved him. But I listened to people in AA and thought it would be better if we were not together. But I stayed sober and lived through that experience.
  • I dated men and fell in love and broke hearts and had my heart broken in sobriety. It was all a part of living.
  • I married someone I met in AA. He ended up not being a nice man. That experience taught me more in a few years than I ever could have learned by having "nice" experiences.
  • I got to be with my father as he was dying. It was one of the greatest privileges of my life. I could never have done that if I had not been sober.
  • From somewhere, I got the courage to walk into a college at the age of 43, and fill out and application and start college. From nothing.
  • I finished up and had my masters by the time I was 50.
  • I went from living on peoples' couches to owning a home and all that goes with that, including hurting my back pulling weeds.
  • After having lost custody of my children, they came back into my life. I have a close relationship with all three of them today, and my two granddaughters.
My point is: I came to AA as a young woman. Now I am not. I am not alone, even though I feel that I am right now. I have gone through all of these life events as a sober woman, and I will go through this as a sober woman too. God is always here.

I had always hoped that I would "age gracefully," but I am afraid I don't even know what that means. I am finding this more difficult than just about anything I have ever done. It just recently snuck up on me and smacked me. (so don't give me advice about aging unless you are over 58.75 years old, thank you.)

I will see the chiropractor tomorrow. Being out of pain would likely go a long way towards helping my frame of mind.

Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tears in the Tanning Bed

I went to the tanning salon tonight on my way home from work. I cried the entire time I was in there. I guess it was the only place I could do that. Oh, who knows why I feel the way I do? I could give you a list of reasons, but nothing has changed from 3 weeks ago when I felt just fine. Except a couple of weeks ago someone really did something under-handed to me at work and I seem to be having difficulty not letting it color my entire world.

Oh, and I hurt my back over the weekend doing something so incredibly stupid - I have trained for months to do this half-marathon on Saturday. I have spent hundreds of, if not a thousand or more, dollars on a chiropractor to get my back healthy so that I can run. I was finally without pain last week. And in two hours in my back yard, I undid all of that and have been in pain ever since. I can tell you that in the scheme of things I don't care that much about weeds in my back yard. The half-marathon? I care deeply about that. So, why did I do this? This morning when I should have been running, I went back to bed.

I will try to see if I can spend another $60 tomorrow to see my chiropractor - perhaps she can get me straightened back out. That could happen.

I could tell you more things that are contributing to this sense of ill-being, but there is no point. So, because I usually have readers each day who need an encouraging word, this is the best I can do today...

I am an alcoholic, and I am extremely unhappy right now. The thought of a drink has not ONCE entered my mind.

I have been able to still make all my commitments, even though I would rather tell everyone to find some other sucker, I have shown up with a smile on my face.

On Sunday, I am getting on a train and will spend eight hours getting to the other side of the state. My sponsor will pick me up at the station and I will get to spend 36 or so hours with her.

Deep in my heart, I know that "this too shall pass." I have been here before and I know it is a transient place. I also know that my sense of well-being is not an accurate gauge of my real well-being. I may be drawing closer to God and it may hurt like hell. Sometimes we think that all spiritual experiences should FEEL good, and in my experience, they don't. Maybe I am just having a selfish fit, maybe I am not. No one who knows me thinks I am, but I seldom rule that one out right away.

I am going to have some popcorn for dinner now. And I am going to put real melted butter on it. (and then I will have something in my stomach when I take my fish oil)

Do you all know about Rule #62? I think I need to pay some attention to that one right now.

"Don't take yourself too damn seriously." Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 149


Monday, August 09, 2010

Do you know why I don't link to any commercial website?

I am way too tired. I have been up since 4. I need to go to bed. Right now.

I wanted to post something and had no idea what to write.

I saw that blogger wants me to link to a certain bookseller on my blog. Then if someone buys a book, I might earn a few cents. Sounds good, maybe.

Maybe not.

What if someone comes here looking for information about Alcoholics Anonymous and they click on a link that has come up about some book someone has written, say on how to quit drinking without need for a higher power or meetings or ongoing help? What good would my blog be then? It certainly wouldn't serve any purpose that I think it has.

I see others' blogs have links to all kinds of ads for things. Some of them, I am sure, have no control over what is going to be advertised. Just like my g-mail. If I write an e-mail about my back pain, there will be ads for devices, creams, tinctures, pills, and all manner of things that someone might try to sell someone who is suffering from back pain on the borders of my e-mail inbox. (It is really rather creepy, but not so dangerous, I don't think.) I am quite capable of ignoring these.

But would I put conflicting advice about treatment for alcoholism on my blog? No.

I am perfectly clear about what my message is. I have only my own story to share. My own story is that I drank until I despaired of drinking another drop. In desperation, I called Alcoholics Anonymous and the good folks there were willing to help me. They nursed me back to health. They held my hand through the twelve steps and a new life was revealed to me. I got to live this new life and hold the hand of others as they find the same.

That's my message. I don't want anything else here. And I certainly don't want to be selling anything.

Freely it was given to me. And freely, and anonymously, I help others, if I can, to find the same miracle. God is merciful, generous, and loving, and free to all.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Life Span of Organisms

Those are two or three new aspen trees coming up. I am going to let them grow. You can see the white bark of the dead aspen tree behind them. I was so sad to see the two aspen trees in the corner of my lot die over the last couple of years. I will have them removed this fall. Aspen trees are very interesting in that they really are just shoots from a massive root system. The individual shoots or trees don't live all that long, but they are continually being replaced by other "trees" shooting up. I am constantly cutting down new trees popping up all over my property. And then, on occasion, I let one or two grow. (Some claim that the world's largest organism is an aspen grove in Utah.)

It reminds me of AA. We would like to be attached to those we love. Those we like to be around. Those we have become accustomed to, just as I really liked those two trees in the corner of my lot and would have liked them to live a lot longer than 20 years. However, life is not static. Things change. There is a healthy root system and there are new shoots coming up, I will nurture them along until there are new big trees.

People in AA age and die. They move away. Sometimes they drink. Sometimes they just leave us. That is not the way we would like it. But there are always new "shoots" for us to nurture if we have a healthy root system.

I am probably too tired and in too much pain to be writing such an airy fairy post, but here it is anyway. It is just what I was thinking about today as I was going to church and baking more pies and visiting with a sponsee. I hope to God I didn't undo the hundreds (if not a thousand) of dollars worth of work I had done at the chiropractor for two hours of work in my yard yesterday. I am hurtin' for certain. Tomorrow is another day.

God bless you all. Let's stay sober. Trees and shoots alike, OK?

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

I made two of these today... and I still have to make another tomorrow. It was quite tasty, if I must say so myself - but plenty of others said so as well. I wish the innards wouldn't have gushed out all over the crust, and the oven bottom. Oh well.

When I got home from my 10 miler this morning, my neighbor was in my back yard pulling weeds. Well, bless her heart, she asked me if I would mind if she did this. I have neglected my weeding this summer because I have devoted all of my energy into running. So, I did tell her I would be very happy if she would weed. But when I got home today and saw her in my yard, I thought I would die, because I knew it meant I had to join her. What else could I do? So I changed out of my good running shoes and went out and pulled weeds and chopped down trees for 2 hours. And I was very grateful for a neighbor who would do something this kind. I told her that in the lottery for neighbors, I hit the jackpot. Later, I took her a pie - with her first initial carved into the top. It was cute.

And now I am hurting worse than I have been in a very long time. I am hopeful that a good night's sleep will take care of that.

I went to night watch tonight - our group answers the phone for Central Office for 6 hours once a month. We get together at a member's house and have a potluck dinner. Hence the pie. It was a lovely evening, at the lovely home of a lovely member. It is nice to have deep connections with my AA community. Sometimes they seem tenuous and unreliable, but there is something about getting together outside of the meeting that restores my faith in the people, the relationships, and the fellowship. Tonight I got to sit with some of my old friends which is wonderful. But equally wonderful was to sit and watch the younger members with their young families. To know that there is the hope that their children will have happy, sane lives due to their parent(s) being sober. It is unbelievable what a difference one person's sobriety makes in a family. (I know because I was one of those kids once, then I was one of those mothers, now I am the mother of one of those mothers.)

Life in AA is very good. What a miracle to be sober, to live sober lives. To get together as sane people, and laugh. No harsh words, no fighting, no back-stabbing, not much drama (there is always some).

God has been so very good to us alcoholics. And I will be forever grateful.

Friday, August 06, 2010

7:30, 3:30, 5:15, 10 Miles - 1 Day at a Time

I was planning on going to bed at 7:30 - I am a bit late for that.
The alarm is set for 3:30.
I am meeting my running ladies at 5:15.
We are doing 10 miles.
I am excited about this.

My clothes are laid out on my bedside table.
My shoes are on the floor beside it, with socks tucked inside.
My contact lens case is on the counter, ready to go.
The water bottle, almond butter, and shot blocks are packed.

Oh, I know this is probably boring as hell to read about. But it is all I am thinking about right now. I had a full day starting at 6:30 this morning at church, meetings all day, a chiropractor appointment, etc. It was a good day (if you don't look too closely - and I am determined not to). I don't need to go looking for trouble. If I want to think about how I was mistreated or slighted, I can, but it will only lead to misery.

Instead I can think about what all I have to look forward to tomorrow. After all of that, I will bake a pie for a friend who celebrates a birthday tomorrow. He asked me to bake a pie for him. I will bring it to our monthly group event tomorrow night. Yummy.

And now, my phone has been ringing and I have been talking, and I have a voice mail from a sponsee - and I better return her call.

I guess I am not going to bed at 7:30 after all.

Thank you God for such beautiful people in my life.
p.s., after talking to my sponsee, now I am baking 2 strawberry rhubarb pies tomorrow!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Today

I got to go out and experience the sunrise. These August mornings really are spectacular.

I got to register for a marathon in California in October. The local marathon I am registered for is not a good one. Last year they ran out of water! I have known this for months, but there were many variables that needed to sort themselves out. I knew on Saturday that I was free to find an out of state marathon to do. Which is kind of short notice for a fall marathon. My first choice was already closed. I really wanted to do Portland (Oregon) - did you know that the Simpsons characters are named after streets and things in Portland? I love the Simpsons and would love to pass streets that are their namesakes - imagine passing Flanders Street and saying "hi-diddly-ho!" I also wanted to do a race on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, but it is a l-o-n-g flight (or two) from Colorado to NC, so I opted not to do that.

I am very excited about this race. I cried from joy as I registered. I think it is the first time in my life that I actually believe that I can cross the finish line of a 26.2 marathon. 73 days from now. But who's counting?

Tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of my last marriage. It is amazing to me to think how young I was and how old and wise I thought I was. I was six years sober, he was eight. I was thirty-eight, he was forty-eight. I was a United Stated citizen, and he was not. I did not know that made me very attractive to him and probably little else did. I was starry-eyed in love. We were married in a park in Sedro Woolley, Washington, surrounded by our AA group.

Four years later, he was a citizen of the United States of America, and we were divorced in a courtroom in Colorado.

I was still surrounded by my AA fellowship. As I still am today.

I would rather be 20 years older and be where I am today. Odd as that may seem. I am safe, I am loved, I am alone, and I am still sober.

Ironically, he never got to live in the US. After our divorce, he immediately married the woman he wanted to marry with whom he had had an affair in Singapore before we met. He moved her to the US and she hated it. They moved to Asia many years ago and he has unhappily lived there since.

I live where I want to live.

Where I hear crickets outside of my window. Where there are white sheets on my bed beckoning me. Where I have a crazy solar lantern on my front porch. Where candles are burning causing a lovely sooty scent. Where it is quiet and peaceful and prayerful.

Thank you God.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Summertime

The crickets are loud tonight! I think that means that summer is on its way out. I was sitting on my front porch just now listening to them. And looking at the above scene. I purchased this crazy solar lantern for my front porch this year. It is probably tasteless, but I really like it. It changes color from red to purple to blue to green... and on and on and on all night long. And all day long it soaks up the sun.

Sometimes I think I like things like this because I know how much my mother wouldn't. I hate to think that I am almost 59 years old, my mother has been dead for 39 years, and I still have a bit of a rebellious streak. Everything had to be "just so" at our home. I thought it was an incredible amount of pressure. Isn't a home supposed to be for the pleasure of the people who live there? I have tried to arrange my homes for the comfort of whoever lived in them with me - even if only me. My current home certainly is a comfortable place. My sponsor says that walking into it is like "a loving embrace." wow.

This morning I woke up at 3 a.m. and was unable to get back to sleep. I really hate that I do that. I tried to make good use of the time and went to a 6:30 meeting. It was nice to be there. I met up with an old friend and sponsee.

Work seems to have turned some kind of hideous corner since I wrote about loving my job. I have been wondering how I can possibly retire years sooner than I had planned. Or scheming to do something else. Amazing how things can change so quickly. Hopefully they will change quickly again. Every day I redouble my efforts to put a smile on my face and be as pleasant as I can and work as diligently as I can. (Would redoubling actually be quadrupling?) That is all I know how to do. Well, that and pray. And try to turn my thoughts to others.

And get to bed now and pray for a good night's sleep.

And thank you for reading this.

xoxoxo

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

All I want to do is sit and knit...

That's a corner of the blanket I am knitting for my little unborn granddaughter. I wish I could just sit and knit all day, but oy! that is not my life! I will sit and knit for at least a half hour once I get done with this post, I swear I will!

When you get up at 4 a.m., and go out and run 7 miles, come back in and get ready for work, then work all day, then come home and make a home cooked dinner and do the dishes and get done with that at about 7:30 p.m., there is no time for anything but that stuff and sleeping. Well, I do exaggerate - because I did have time for some phone calls.

And I had time to have lunch with my daughter. The one who is not an alcoholic. We went to a Japanese restaurant. The lovely young Japanese woman who waited on us asked if we were mother and daughter, we smiled and said yes. She got tears in her eyes and said we were "so lucky," her mother is in Canada, and she has not seen her since 2008. She must miss her terribly because she talked to us for quite a while, always with those tears.

I really did stop and consider how fortunate I am to have my children so close - both geographically and relationally. Blessed. How wonderful. And now a new grandchild on the way. It hardly gets any better than that.

I better go knit. I get to be a sober grandmother. Who would have ever thought this would happen?

Monday, August 02, 2010

Fire on the Mountain

video
Or what you don't want to see when you are driving home from work.

I stopped at the end of the street to take a photo of the fire and another car stopped ahead of me. When I got out of my car, I heard that he very thoughtfully provided the soundtrack for a video. Who would think to provide theme music to a fire? Apparently he did. So, we have "Fire on the Mountain" by Grateful Dead. Sheesh.

Fortunately, we have rain tonight. Unusual. Happy. Fortuitous. The fire is gone. The highway is reopened.

Do you know that I was a "deadhead" before there were "deadheads?" I loved the Grateful Dead. I went to all of their concerts in the midwest back in the 1960s. We would travel for hundreds of miles to see them. Funny, because back then their appeal (to me anyway) was that they were relatively quiet and peaceful. Their concerts were nice and there was no violence or scariness there. Funny how things can change in 20 or 30 or 40 or now 50 years. I guess if you went now it would be a geriatric concert. I have absolutely no interest in living in the past...

Tomorrow I will run 7 miles. Happily. Gratefully.

Today I got a text from a sponsee. "sorry I haven't called....bla bla bla" why does that annoy me? Like I have been sitting here waiting for her to call. She should apologize to herself for not availing herself of a sponsor. I can't imagine why she would apologize to ME. If she doesn't want to call me, perhaps she should find someone she WANTS to call. I just don't understand. Truly I don't.

OK. Going to bed. Happy I don't have to worry about an evacuation. Grateful for too many things to list right now because I am too tired.

The Grace of God is immense.

Back to the Work-a-Day World

I recycled this title - as any blogger knows, as you type in a few letters, blogger fills in titles of old posts... this was an old post. So, I will go with this title today, I think it fits.

Then, as I go through my photo library, I usually chose to go through the past year of photos, which will sometimes remind me of what I was doing a year ago this time. This photo reminds me that a year ago today I was doing my last triathlon. I decided not to do it this year - for the first time in six years I am missing it - because I wanted to focus all my energy on marathon training. After the triathlon last year, I headed out to visit my sponsor on the western slope. Yesterday I booked my trip on the Amtrak to visit my sponsor - the day after a half-marathon later this month. I am very excited about both of these events. After the drive to San Antonio and then Corpus Christi I am not anxious to take another road trip, but a train trip sounds great!

One of the things I love about marathon training is that it forces a person of my age to rest. Rest is something I am usually not good at scheduling. Yesterday I knew I would be tired, so I planned on going to an early meeting, and to meet a dear friend for breakfast - these were both wonderful activities - both very restorative to my soul. Then I came home and slept and watched the Sunday morning news shows on DVR and my netflix movie and knitted and talked on the phone and I even ordered a spaghetti dinner to be delivered from the neighborhood Italian restaurant! My punitive nature would like to chastise me for being "lazy," but then I remember that there is even a commandment that says I am not supposed to do anything on Sunday. It is a very good thing.

I almost feel ready to face the day at work today. Regardless of how I feel, I will just march in there and put a smile on my face and give it my very best effort. Thank God they taught me to "fake it till you make it" when I was new in sobriety. People may argue with the validity of that advice, but it has served me well over the years. I don't have to *feel* like smiling or working or giving it my best shot today - I just have to do it. My feelings usually follow my action and I have seldom found that I get a "good" feeling first and then follow up with action. If I waited until I felt good to do good, it just would never happen.

So, I think I will stay sober today, and I hope you all join me, OK?