Friday, March 30, 2012

Half a bubble off plumb

Gosh, I don't know what is going on, but it is kinda frustrating.  I had the internet debacle.  I have a problem with my work computer now.  Last night I picked up a package from one of my granddaughter's birthday gifts and sliced two of my fingers - just with plastic!

I hope to get some good sleep tonight - go out with my running club in the morning - spend most of the afternoon at the hair salon - go to church - eat dinner - sit down and write another post about how I am going to go to bed.... and on and on.

I went into work this morning and printed out the files I needed.  On the way home I stopped at Target to get a folding table to use as a desk while working at home.  I needed a specific place where I know I am "at work" even though at home.  It worked out well.  I got a lot of work done this afternoon.
This new "work area" is in the family room downstairs.  I virtually never use this room - the treadmill is there, a TV is there, there is a little gas stove that is wonderful in the winter.  And the walk-out sliding glass door was wide open today - there is nothing in the world like fresh air breezing through a window!

I'm grateful to be alive and sober.
I'm grateful I know I am an alcoholic so I know where I belong.
I am grateful I have a fellowship to belong to.
I am more grateful than words can say that my sober journey led me back to the church of my youth.
I am grateful for the structure and the community.
I am grateful to know what and who I believe in.

I think I will stay sober for the rest of today and I hope you do too.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

stoopid century link

I have no Internet tonight. I am supposed to work from home tomorrow, but that will not be possible without Internet access. I will decide when I get up in the morning whether I should just go into work or catch a day over the weekend. I am discouraged tonight. I feel sure I will wake up tomorrow with a new attitude . I believe God does some of his best work while I am fast asleep. I can cooperate with that!

Plugging along...

I am in such a hurry, I don't have time for a thoughtful photo.  This is one I took the other day - to show my friend who gave me this tiny workbench, hammer, and saw that I brought it to my new job and have it on my desk.  I thought the photo was kinda cute.  Although I purchased a cute new pair of shoes last night and I should take a picture.  They are flats though  - I walk so much in my new job, there is no way I can wear heels every day.... but every now and then.... every now and then....

Today I am going on a site visit to a provider of mental health services.  Thank God I asked the person I am going with what I should wear.  I was going to go pretty casual.  He said he wears a coat and a tie.  Yikes.   I am wearing a jacket and slacks.  And new shoes.  New silver shoes with a flower on top!

Yesterday my son called me!  Who would have ever thought that Kuwait sounds like safe haven?  It does, believe me.  He is very happy to be there.  And will be happier to get to London and see his wife.  And later will be back home and will see his momma - ME!  YAY!

Even as a young woman, long before I had children, I said there is just something special between a mother and her son.  Boy, was I right!

One of my sponsees called three times last night and then again at 6 a.m. today.  I ended up talking to her for about 20 minutes this morning and that is why I have no time to write a coherent post.  She used me as a job reference.  I told her to NEVER do that again without asking the person first.  Now I have to think of a way to give an honest reference about a woman who has a crisis every single day at work.  Yesterday she told one of her co-workers to f--- off.  If I were hiring, I would rather leave the job vacant than have someone like this to deal with.

And in AA, I have learned to love these problem people.  Also, in AA, I have learned how NOT to BE one of these problem people.  What could be better than that?

By the grace of God..... By the grace of God.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Just a Day

I had a good day at work today.  I am getting more proficient at my job.  Today it took me two hours to do something that took me two (very difficult) days last month.  At lunch, I walked to the Cathedral for Mass.  On the way back to my building, I took this photo of crabapple blossoms (I think).  I thought it was cute that Denver's most recognizable building was in the background.

I love the stained glass in the Cathedral - it is massive and everywhere.  I would like to take a closer photo of some of these windows - but I always feel so sheepish about taking photos in a church.  It just seems like I am sneaking something.  I am sure it is OK, but it just feels funny to me. (I don't take them during Mass.)

This afternoon, I got a text that my son is out of Afghanistan.  Oh. Thank. God.  What a long year this has been.  I have gotten increasingly worried about the situation in Afghanistan.  I am just grateful that my son is no longer there.  In a few days he will be vacationing with his beautiful bride.   And in a few more days, he will be home with his baby and his momma and his sisters.  (well, and his dad too, but that is not my dealeo yo.)

So, it was just a day.  A good one in so many ways.  A sober one for sure.

I am grateful to be the recipient of God's loving mercy.  I get to live in that every day.  All I have to do is look around and be grateful.

It is good.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Smoke on the Horizon

Or, "What you don't want to see on your way home from work!"  I was in a meeting at work until 5:30, when I finally got on the bus to go home, I saw that I had several text messages from the _____ County Sheriff.  Evacuation notices!  Holy crap!  I expressed my alarm to the woman next to me on the bus, we both used our iPhones to get as much information about the fires as we could.

As the bus drove west, we could see the smoke billowing into the sky.  One of the fires looked to be very close to my house.  Indeed, it is closer than I would like - but not as close as I feared.  I am not in an evacuation zone - thank God.  Or maybe I should say "not yet."

So, what do you take from your house when you have to evacuate?  The couple of times I have come near to this situation, I was shocked at what I wanted to put in my car and drive away with.  Not the jewels.  Not the antique furniture.  Not the other things I would normally consider the things "of value."

What I have loaded into my car are my family photos.  A couple of cherished books - like my father's big book.  My computer, obviously.  When it comes down to it - there isn't much that I really think I need.  I wonder why I have all this crap!

I'm grateful to be safe and comfortable tonight.  Not sleeping in a high school as I would have been if I were really evacuated.  Well, actually, I would be at my daughter or daughter-in-law's.  Probably.

I am grateful to be sober and clear-headed.  I am grateful to know that if something should happen in the middle of the night, I will be wakable and able to respond.

Grateful also for:

  • a new suit to wear to work today
  • beginning to feel comfortable in my new job
  • thinking about selling my house
  • friends to talk to on the phone
  • words for friends - this could be a problem!
Life is good on the sober side.  I have God to thank for that and all of the above.  

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Periwinkle Blue

Every year on the first weekend in May, my neighbor and I drive to the local garden shop and buy our plants.  I usually buy plants to go in pots.  I like huge outdoor pots of flowers.  I always used to buy "vinca vine" to put in the pots. They look pretty.  One year some of it escaped and started growing in the rocks the pot was set in.  It has since spread to a pretty large area.  When it is in the ground, it is more commonly referred to as Periwinkle and I really like it.  The blue flowers are showy and the foliage is pretty all year.  It is also known as invasive, but I have other invasives (honeysuckle) in my garden.  It is hard enough to get anything to grow in this semi-arid environment!

This morning I got to attend a meeting where a friend celebrated 32 years of sobriety.  When I walked into the room, I saw my old friend T. sitting across the room.  We were the dearest of friends for a many many years.  But he moved away to one side of town and I moved away to another and we never see each other any more.  How lovely to sit next to him and celebrate the birthday of his sponsor.  Actually T. has been sober longer than J., but they decided 32 years ago to sponsor each other and apparently it has worked because they are still sober and still each other's sponsors!

As I sat there, I had a sudden revolutionary thought.  I moved to this side of town to be near my former workplace.  As I may have shared here  before (ahem), I no longer work there.  I work downtown.  That means that living in the part of town I love would actually be appropriate again.  What a revelation!  So much so that I came home from the meeting and cleaned out the worst closet in the house.  I think I am going to paint my bedroom next weekend.  I think I am going to work for the next month or so on getting my house into some kind of shape where I can consider selling it.  Amazing!  I could actually live close to my old AA friends and groups.  Actually,  it turns out they really are my only AA friends.

This afternoon one of my sponsees came over.  She is a realtor, and I mentioned this to her.  She is going to run the comps on my neighborhood.

I have a little bit of sunburn and a little bit of hope in my heart that things are really beginning to change in my life.  I felt so stuck for so long.  Change is hard, but change is good.

It is all in God's hands.  When facing a big huge change or decision I always ask him to "bless it or block it."  I think he responds to that kind of willingness.  Of course, I can go ahead and force my will - I have found out over the years what that looks and feels like.  I would prefer to go with God's will.  It is just easier and more pleasant that way.

Sober = Good.

Glorious Spring

The first of my tulips showed their flowery faces yesterday!  I think they are two weeks to a month early.  I am a bit worried about them.  If I were a wagering woman, I would gladly take the odds that they will be covered with snow before another two weeks has passed.    And then if I am wrong, I would be happy.

Yesterday I went out with my running group - it was a glorious morning.  When I was done with that, I went to a local mall and actually waited for the stores to open.  I purchased some new clothes which I need for work.  And wouldn't you know it?  They placed a Swarovski Crystal store on my way out of the mall, so I had to stop in and buy a bracelet.

When I got home, again I saw my neighbor out in my yard, cutting up the tree we cut down on Friday night.  I wanted to cry.  All I wanted to do was eat lunch, take a bath, and a nap and wait till it was time to go to church.  Instead, I changed into my working-in-the-yard clothes and helped her.  Some of you have said that you wouldn't do that.  But I think this points out the difference between a recovery program for an alcoholic and a recovery program for an Alanon.  Now, I can't speak for Alanon because I don't know that much about it.  But I can speak for being a recovering alcoholic.

And let me say that the last thing I would want to do is offend any of my readers who are members of Alanon.  I have tremendous respect for Alanon and its members - particularly the ones who read my blog!

You may have noticed that alcoholics are like a black hole, a whirlpool, a magnetic field.  We draw everything in.  Nothing ever comes back out.  We are self-centered in the extreme.  Taking away the alcohol does not really change this.  It only changes by conscious effort and the help of God.

I live alone.  I am extremely independent.  I am also used to everything being on my schedule, according to my needs and wishes.  When something varies from this, I balk.  But I must get over myself and go with the world according to the other 7 billion people from time to time.

I have a wonderful neighbor who loves to work outdoors.  She sits inside all day in her job just like I do.  When she gets off work, unlike me, she does not want to sit indoors and "rest."  She gets out and weeds and waters, builds things, tears down things, and generally works her butt off.  Occasionally, she will wander over the property line and help me to do these things that I have absolutely no desire to do. When she does, I am eternally grateful.

I can show my gratitude by changing my clothes and pretending to help her - work in my own yard!  I can hold the log still while she chain saws it.  I can carry around little sticks.  I can tie the top of the huge garbage bag full of twigs.  And when I am done with this, I can look around my yard at the lack of dead trees and the look of a clean, spruced-up place and have the good feeling that brings.

I know that other people have to learn how to say "no."  I am not one of them.  I have had to learn to say "yes."  It still is not the first word that comes out of my mouth.

I am dependent upon the Grace of God, because left to my own devices, I would be sitting alone in my house (or alone homeless) - drunk.  But by the Grace of God, I get to live sober among my fellows.  Phew!  That's a good deal!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Saturday Pre-Dawn

It has been so warm here that some trees' leaves have bursted out to greet the sun!  I am so happy to see them, but a bit worried about them.  We normally have some heavy snows in late March and into April.  Also nights that go far below freezing.  I hope all those little leaves don't freeze in a week or two.

Last night as I got off the bus into a glorious, sunny early evening, my elation was dampened by the anticipation of getting to my house and seeing my neighbor hard at work removing a dead tree.  I actually prayed that she wouldn't be there as I made the last turn before my house came into view.  I was so relieved to see no piles of wood in my driveway and no sign of my neighbor!  And then she came from behind the house!  Covered with sweat and smiles, telling me all about her plan to tie a rope around the tree and saw a bit here and a bit there, etc., etc., etc.  I thought I would die.

Because you really cannot say "how nice of you, but I would like very much to go and cook my dinner, take a bath, and watch television in a pair of shorts and a tee shirt.  Good night."

So, I smiled and told her I needed to get out of my work clothes and into some working clothes and I would be out in a minute.    I had to pray to be appropriately grateful for this woman's help.

She is a wonderful neighbor and I sincerely doubt that I would still be in this house without her.  She has mown my lawn for the last two summers - while I am out training for marathons.  She has shoveled the snow from my sidewalk as well.  She knows I have lost my enthusiasm for these things, and she is happy to help and tells me candidly that she does not want me to move.  I have yet to find a way try to make at least a gesture of gratitude.  She does not want my pies, breads, tarts, cakes, etc. - because she eats every last morsel of them.  I understand.  I buy her birdseed and birdhouses, etc. whenever I see something nice or cute - because she loves to feed the birds.  I think maybe I should knit her a little afghan.  That's what I'll do.

So, I got out in my jeans and my Broncos tee-shirt (because now I don't care if it gets chain-sawed, painted on, ripped, or otherwise destroyed) and worked with ropes, saws, telescoping tree trimmers,  and chain-saws.  And what do you know - we got that tree down!
We sawed it into pieces and will take it out to the street today with a sign on it that says "free fire wood" and it should be gone within a few minutes.  This is the third aspen tree in my yard to die within the last 2 years.  They only live for about 20 years.  I have two more that are probably about 20 years old... so I guess I better learn how to chop down dead trees because I refuse to pay someone to do it!  I have two new aspens - and they are beautiful.  It only takes a couple of years for them to be real trees - tall with the beautiful leaves that earn them the nickname "quakies."

I am going out with my running club this morning.  It's going to be warm and beautiful!

Grateful for another day that I woke up sober.  No hangover.  No dread of what I did yesterday.  No wondering "who knows" what I did yesterday.  And no dread of today.  God is here today with me and it will be as good as it is supposed to be.  And usually that is pretty good!

Thursday, March 22, 2012


We had a nice little birthday party tonight.  My daughters and granddaughters enjoyed themselves.  They were dancing, which made me very happy.  I don't know if there is anything as joyful as spontaneous dancing.

I did not bake anything, I went to Dairy Queen and purchased Dilly Bars.  They all loved them and sat around and giggled while licking melting ice cream... just as they would giggle while eating homemade cake or pie.  I still think it is better to have a homemade treat - but what do I know?  I am too tired at present to be making such a thing on a week day.

So tomorrow I shall go to work.  It is Friday.  I will work all day and then look forward to my weekend.  I am more grateful than ever for those two days off per week.

Grateful tonight for a house full of healthy girls.  Everyone was sober.  Everyone was joyful, smiling, and enjoying themselves.  There were no harsh words.  There were not even any dirty looks.  We have come a long way in the last three years - when my two daughters were not even speaking to each other.

The toll of the disease.

The endlessly evolving miracle of recovery.

I marvel at them both.

Thank you God.

Preparing for a Birthday Party

Tonight I shall see my two older granddaughters and we will have a birthday party for the eldest.  She was 12 years old on Monday of this week.  I am having a little party.  I was up until 9:30 last night cooking.  I have a meeting on my old campus from 3-4 this afternoon - then I will get home and get this thing rolling.  My heart is a little bit broken because I don't get to see those girls as often as I used to.  It seems to be almost impossible since they live with my ex-husband.  But tonight, they will be here and we will have the best little party!  Oh, the toll that alcoholism takes - in so many ways.  The only innocents in this are those two girls.  Bless their little hearts, they have lived through chaos that no child should ever have to deal with.

My heart is also just a little bit broken since the Broncos traded the wonderful Mr. Tim Tebow.  And now we have a 36 year old busted up old quarterback.  For $96 Million.  And the NY media is making fun of Tim.  But like my friend said - now she has three additional hours on Sunday afternoons in the fall because she won't be watching this crap.  We'll see if I can forego the afternoons watching football, but I am really disappointed and sad.

And that's about all I have this morning.  I am driving to work today since I have meetings in the afternoon.  So, I am not on such a tight time-schedule.  Not riding the bus makes my life easier in many ways.  But riding the bus virtually eliminates frustration and anger out of my life... and that is a good thing.

No matter what, I am planning on staying sober today, with the help of God's grace.  I hope you will do the same.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

stuff I do...

Today at lunch I walked to the 16th street mall and got my nails done.  I have been getting "gel nails" since January.  It is kind of an expensive habit, but I love having a nice manicure. It lasts for two weeks.  Today, instead of my usual light natural looking pink, I opted for bright red.  I LOVE red nails - and lipstick.  And if it didn't cost a fortune to maintain, I would have red hair.

Yes, I am an alcoholic.

And I don't really care if I look a tad flamboyant!  But just a tad.  I will wear a grey suit tomorrow with my red nails.  That will tone it all down right into mousiness!

I think this is one of those nights when I have absolutely nothing to say.  I am about to hit the bed, and when I do, I will thank God again for another glorious day of life and sobriety.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Days being Good

That should be a week worth of fruit - excluding the strawberries.
Today was a good day.  It was an easy day.  I had two meetings on the campus of where I used to work.  When I left there, I contacted my boss and she suggested that instead of coming in, I just call in for my 3:00 meeting.  Awesome!

I have been on this job for almost 2 months.  I think I might be getting a bit used to it.  Maybe.  And maybe it is just easy to think so today because it was an easy day.  But honestly, those two meetings were difficult because they are my hardest people.

But when I want to feel bad about that, I just look at the receptionist there.  She trained me to do my first job at the hospital, nearly 18 years ago.  She later decided she hated me and told me so.  When I became her boss she tendered her resignation.  And I smilingly accepted it.  She thought I would argue with her.  She took her entire retirement fund out and spent it on things like remodeling her basement.  A year or so later, she was back at the hospital working in a greatly diminished role.  Her job was eliminated a couple of years ago when the hospital down-sized.  She found herself at this other place.  She is my age and will be working for the rest of her life.

Thank God I was living a program through all of this.  I cannot imagine having to face her if I hadn't come to terms with her behavior, take responsibility for mine, and go from there.

When I was in college one of the teachers said "it is all about relationships."  I thought at the time that was a rather cynical sentiment.  Now I can hardly imagine why I thought that.  Because no matter what I do, or where I do it, it is all about WHO I am doing it with.  You can be the smartest person on earth, but if you behave like a jackass, you will get nowhere.  I got to do some "active listening" today with some of the people I find the most difficult to deal with in my new job.  When the woman who has been so hard told me she was so overwhelmed she was about to burst into tears, I could see that was the truth.  And it put her manner into context.  I figured it probably wasn't really about me, and sure enough, it wasn't.  Glad I took the time to listen.

It is good to be a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous.  The rewards go so far beyond just not taking a drink - but the first and most important thing that I do - is NOT take a drink.  It would all be lost if I had a sip.

So, I will thank God for his abundant grace tonight as I lay down my head to sleep.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday Morning Meeting

I love that these are the real un-retouched colors of this flower.  That yellow looks too bright to be real.
I'm just home from driving 40 miles to my homegroup.  It was so good to be there.  Next week one of my friends will be celebrating his 32nd AA anniversary.  I have known J. for almost 28 of those years.  He has been a blessing in my life.

I remember one time - I was sober about a year, and he was helping me move.  I had thought my ex-husband was going to help, and I was not prepared when he told me at the last moment that he was not going to.  So, I was scrambling to get people to help me.  I wasn't ready.  It was hard to get help.  My friend J. came over to help.  I will never forget sitting in the front seat of his truck and having him ask me if I was sober.  I was incredulous and a bit insulted!  I asked him why he would ask me that.  He said something that hit me right between the eyes and literally changed my life.  He said:

"I have never seen a sober person living the way you are living." 

Ooiks.  I had a boyfriend I had met in AA who was actively drinking.  He didn't show up to help me move.  My house was a mess.  My kids were out of control.  I hadn't done what I needed to do (like pack boxes) to get moved.  

I thought about that.  Really hard.

Someone else later in my sobriety told me something I have never heard anyone else say.  That it is not only important to do the right thing, but also to give the appearance of doing the right thing.  It sounded crazy until I really considered what that meant.  

In the above case - it is not only important to BE sober, but it is important to have my life LOOK like I am sober.  I can't inspire the trust of my friends and relatives if I am still acting like a nut.  I shouldn't make my friends and family worry about my sanity or sobriety if I can help it, unless it is appropriate that they worry.  

So, it is important to me that I do things like make my bed every morning.  That I do the dishes as soon as the meal is over.  That I pay my bills on time.  That I keep my car maintained and clean.  That I look as good as I can every day.  

I used to say that I never stole anything - then I realized that when I was drinking I had stolen my family's peace of mind.  I try to make sure I never do that again - at least not needlessly.

It is a gift from God to be sober.  I need to appreciate that every day.  The best way to show my gratitude is with a little bit of care and feeding.  Every single day.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Saturday Morning, Dave's Birthday, St. Paddy's Day...

AND, I have flowers in bloom in my garden!  I am loving this warm weather.  Though much of the nation has experienced a milder than normal winter, Colorado has certainly not.  Now, I know winter is hardly over here, in fact, we are expecting snow again in the next couple of days... but I have hope that spring is going to be here, and summer following that.

Today is my friend Dave's birthday.  Go over and wish him a good one.  He is such a true blue AA member and truly great guy.  (sorry Dave, I know this will make you uncomfortable, but it is true!)

Yesterday I actually had a good day at work.  Well, I wasn't in my office, but I was all over the city, meeting and talking with people.  Listening to a presentation on how trauma effects us.  Sitting in an office doing a site visit.  I thought - geez, I am on the other side of this equation now.  I know what it feels like to sit on the other side of this desk.  So, I can have empathy and try to make it easier for the other person.  Just because you have authority doesn't mean you have to act like an authoritarian bureaucrat.

I am going to the icon workshop this afternoon.  I have a rescue icon.  I hope I can repair him.  But I have to admit, it is going to be kind of hard to spend the afternoon in a church basement when it is 73º and beautiful outside.   I'll be out this morning - going out with my running club for the first time in a couple of weeks.  It will be nice to see my friends and get some exercise.   And then I have a date tonight! What an exciting day!

I am grateful to be alive and sober.  God has been so good to me.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Life Stuff

That's the pie, in a little pie carrier thing, that I brought to work for a potluck lunch today.  I did not eat one single morsel of it!  Yikes.  I got a ride in to work with my daughter today.  She had a meeting in my building.  She got invited (by people other than me) to the potluck.  We got to sit together - with people who know us separately.  It was fun to watch them look at us and realize how much we look alike.  Enjoying a lunch with super smart funny clever people is fun.  These people are running vast enterprises.  I like being around them.  In my old job, I worked with super smart funny clever people, but they were all doctors and that can get tedious.  Missing my daughter is one of the hardest parts of my new job - we used to work in the same building and go out for lunch almost every day.

Today was a good day at work.  Tomorrow will be something.  I have a class in the morning and then I am going to observe a site visit of a doomestic violence shelter.  I hope this does not prompt more PTSD, but I wouldn't be surprised if it does.

I can change who I am today, but I can never change the experiences I have had.  There was probably a time when I would have told you I was grateful for all of my experiences because they made me who I am.  But I think I could have been who I am without having endured loving a man who broke my bones.  I think I could have been who I am without having been raped.

Oh, I know... we will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.  We will see how our experience can benefit others.  I have experienced that.  I continue to experience that.

I wonder how it is that I find myself involved with a doomestic violence program as part of my job.  I can handle the mental health portion of my job - it is what I have been doing for the last 18 years.  This other thing?  Throws me for a loop.  I will get used to it.

A couple of years ago, I underwent a specific therapy for PTSD.  When we began, I was to name a "safe place."  I thought I should think up something impressive (like a desert island), but all I could think of was my bedroom.  In the summer, it is a slice of heaven with the window open, the sheers floating in the breeze, and the ceiling fan humming.  In the winter it is still nice.  I am so grateful I named that as my safe place.  It is right behind me now as I write, and in a minute I am going to go lay my body on my bed.

My body is safe, warm, clean, and unthreatened.  My bed is safe, warm, clean, and unthreatening.   I have every single thing I need in this moment.

I thank God for this, and another blessed day of sobriety.  xoxox

A new day, a new pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, as it went into the oven a few moments ago
We are having a potluck at work, so I am baking a pie this morning.  I was "going to" bake it last night, but I could not muster the energy to do it.  So, I got up at 4 (which is not unusual) and I am going to drive to work today and get there very late for me.  Gosh, I may not be there until 8:00 !!!  I am excited about the chance to socialize at my new workplace.

I have a new coworker.  She is younger than my youngest children.  We had our big meeting yesterday.  Before I started the job, I asked my new boss what I should wear to these meetings.  She suggested a suit or at least a jacket.  So, I went out and purchased $900. worth of clothes (I didn't PAY $900. for them, they were on clearance).  My new coworker was wearing SHORTS yesterday.  To the big meeting.  Shorts.

I thought of the old ladies I worked with early in my career.  About their raised eyebrows at my mini-skirts.  I guess this is the same.  But appropriate is appropriate.  And if you are supposed to wear a jacket, then you wear a jacket.  But what the hell do I know?  She has already come in and said some of the things we are doing are "stupid," and my boss has actually changed them to be "smart" like my new pal.

Oh, I get so many opportunities to G-R-O-W!  So, I will.  I will plaster a smile on my face and step out in faith that I am exactly where I am supposed to be today.

God, please save me from myself today.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Getting to work before sunrise.  Yikes.
Today is my big meeting at work.  I work all month to get ready for this day.  And some of those days are so intense I don't know if I can really handle them.  My boss tells me it will get easier, but a lot of that is outside of my scope of control.  In this cycle are some very short turn-arounds.  I think they were designed for a 30 year old mind, not one twice as old.  It doesn't help when I don't get the data on time or when it is utter shit that has to be completely reworked - which was the case this month (and last month come to think of it).

Lately I have to convince myself that I have many many good things to bring to the table besides a razor sharp 30 year old brain.  I have years of experience and mellowness that comes from years of having the sharp edges knocked off me.

Yesterday my boss was complaining about how irregular baseball practice is for her step-kid and how it is ruining her life.  She was cussing and emoting all over the place about that.  The only thing I had to share was that I had heard from my son and he is leaving Afghanistan in 12 days.  The joy that brought me made a tiny tear spring to my eye.  She looked at me with wide eyes - literally, her eyes got really wide.

So today it is 11 days.  And my nephew left already.  Oh, thank you God!!!!!

I got phone calls from my former work place all day yesterday.  They are going through the triennial event that was almost my whole reason for being.  I prepped them as well as I could when I left, but they had forgotten.  And in the panic of the moment, they were missing me terribly.  I sat at my new desk and cried, I had to go to the bathroom and get over that.  I was SO GOOD at that job!  I hope to God that some day I will feel as good about my performance at my new job.

My feelings got hurt on this blog yesterday, I am still coming to terms with that.  So, don't unload a bunch of advice on me today, OK?  I am really not feeling well and don't need it.

I will share Dave's sentiment - I know I am not going to drink today - and that is a miracle.  Thank you God!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Just two more...

Going to work before the sun rises... I hate Daylight Saving Time.
OK, a couple more questions:

Anonymous asks:  How does someone (me) who can't stand the thought of not drinking get sober?

My question back to you is, do you WANT to quit drinking?  Are you convinced that you cannot drink normally?  I know you can't stand the thought of not drinking, but probably no real alcoholic can.  Until they do.  I can only share my own experience, strength, and hope.  When I called AA I had no idea how I could possibly not drink.  It didn't seem possible. But I asked for help and I got it.  The rest is history.  Thank God for the simple people who made themselves available to me - they told me straight - Don't drink, don't think, go to meetings, read the big book, get a sponsor.  People don't much like to hear that anymore because they have great minds and hate to be told that their great mind might not be helping them... Anyway, that's my story.  

Amber asks:  In may i will be celebrating 3 yrs of sobriety. I thank God everyday for the life i live now. During my first year of sobriety i worked/work with a wonderful sponsor...she truly understood the program & attended aa meetings for all the RIGHT reasons. The group i attended i soon realizeed were a bunch of bottom feeders, for many reasons (i wont go into detail) i decided to no longer attend aa. I practice all my principles that my sponsor taught me, see a therapist once a month. My sobriety is super strong BUT i sometimes worry about not attending meetings. Any advice on what i can practice on my own to keep my sobriety in check. Trust me, if i ever thought i would drink again, i wld attend meetings & do whatever i needed too. Ur websited along with others have helped me so much! Xo

As I said before, I can only share my experience, strength, and hope.  I have had many bad experiences in AA.  But early on, I asked myself if I wanted to stay sober and the answer was yes.  So, I kept going to meetings and being involved in AA - because I tried many times to stay sober without AA and never was successful.  So, if I run across a bad group, I find another.  If I have to, I start a new meeting.  I need AA members in my life to talk to, to run things by, to share my life with.  Other people do not understand us.  

I have seen too many people leave AA for many reasons, and I have never heard this with a happy ending.  Seriously.  I go to funerals of people who said things like you just said.  That they are just fine alone and IF they ever need anything, they would come to AA.  Somehow they just don't.  If you are an alcoholic, alcohol is cunning, baffling, and powerful.  That drink can sneak up on you because you will have no effective mental defense.  

I'm sorry to be so frank, but that is my experience.  

About a year and a half ago, I stopped blogging.  I had been irritated by many things about it, but the last straw was when I read the blog of a woman who told me she came by my blog first thing every morning and it meant so much to her.  She didn't go to AA, her blog was full of self-justified hatred.  I thought that I was enabling her to act like that in some small way.  She thought she had some kind of a program because she read my blog!  OMG!

I am just a crazy old drunk!  Sober, yes, but I am an alcoholic in recovery.  We are nutty people.  Don't feed our egos, because it can kill us.  My blog is meant to be a place where I can share my experience and have a community with like minded folks.  

I never meant to be an expert on recovery from alcoholism.  I find that whole idea offensive.  Granted, I have a lot of experience I can share, but I never have and never intend to "graduate" to some higher plane of sobriety, where I "pay back" by gracing you all with my presence.  I am in the trenches with the rest of the drunks.  

If you are an alcoholic, my advice is to go to AA and do what they tell you to do.  If you find a crappy group, go find another one.  If you have a crappy sponsor, fire him/her/it and get another one.  Geez Louise.  Just keep plugging if you want to live.  

Was everyone you knew when you were drinking just so nice and churchy?  Maybe you never hung out in a bar - but I did.  I had spidey senses about who to stay away from, and I used those skills in AA.  I still got taken in plenty of times.  I met bad intentioned men, I was stolen from, taken advantage of, etc.  So what?  So, do I lay down and die because not everyone is nice?   

Not me.  You can go ahead if you want.  

Sorry, I'm all fired up.  I will now go sit down in a chair and pray.  Maybe I'll call my sponsor.  All that stuff works.  

Sunday, March 11, 2012

And Still More...

The old temple downtown.  They built a new one in the 1950s.  I think this one is beautiful!
So, there are a couple more questions.  And one that got lost... (Amber, you can send it to me again if you would like).

Kelly asks:  From what I recall reading, you've once been involved in an abusive someone who has broken free of that, and moved onto healthier relationships, do you have any words of wisdom for someone (me) just breaking free of an abusive relationship (but still struggling with an emotional attatchment to the relationship)?

Hang in there, pray, and turn your thoughts to others.  Breaking free of my last marriage was probably the most difficult thing I ever did.  I remember thinking when we were still together and I knew I had to leave "I am not done with him."  Really, I just wasn't done.  Maybe him killing me would have gotten me to be done.  I was powerless over my feelings for him, and I just had to surrender them to God.  I worked with others which really helped me.  I was also the GSR of a group at that time which also helped.  I couldn't think myself out of it.  I just had to step out in faith even though it felt horrible.  I swear, it physically hurt me to leave him and then stay away from him.  

Anonymous asks:  What are the best things that can be done to support the troops serving overseas? I don't live near any military personnel that I could volunteer to help the families at home ... but would like to do something to help.

My first response is to suggest you pray for them.  And treat them with respect.  Not gushing all over them, just with respect for what they are doing and what they have done.  Also, if you know any families with someone deployed, just say a kind word - ask how their soldier is.  As a family member, it is so nice when you feel like you aren't alone.  Other than that, I don't really know.  There is a lot of support in place for our troops.  I used to knit hats for them, but was told they don't need them.  They get a lot of donations.  My son can't even look at a girl scout cookie, he had so many of them when he was in Iraq (which was my fault - I got a whole girl scout troop involved).  

Annette asks:  I thought I had read awhile back in your blog, that you had become an ordained something or other? lol If I have that correct, what is your title and what led you to pursue that?

I am guessing you are referring to my graduation from the Biblical School last May.  I finished a four year school studying every book in the Bible.  So, I don't have a title, and I wouldn't even consider myself an expert.  But I am grateful for what I learned.  I love the Bible - I did even when I was drinking.  I wanted to spend more time with it.  I miss the class terribly.  I used to spend at least 8 hours a week studying the Bible.  Now I just read it a bit every day.  

Kary May asks:  I'd love to know how you keep your enthusiasm for sobriety so fresh? I remember being shocked when I read how long you had been sober. You write through the eyes of someone that is seeing the world anew everyday.

KM, I would say that this is something I have to consciously do.  I am by nature a not very optimistic person.  I have never done anything in my life as long as I have stayed sober - except bodily functions like breathing, etc.  By going to AA meetings and being in touch with other alcoholics, I see what the effects of alcoholism are.  I realize, that by the Grace of God, I "dodged the bullet" in many ways since I am sober, which makes me very grateful.  I have a choice of how I look at my life every day.  I can see that I am divorced, which I never wanted.... or I can see that I live in a peaceful quiet home, which is in stark contrast to my marriage.  I can see that I have a hard job that I am struggling to adapt to, or I can be grateful that I am a 60 year old woman with a new opportunity, gainfully employed!  I have to keep it always fresh in my mind that I am an alcoholic who probably wouldn't be alive today if I were still drinking.  And I definitely would not have the life I have today.  I just have to spend a minute reframing things and make sure I am grateful.  Without gratitude, I think we are all sunk.  It makes such a huge difference.

Thanks guys.  This has been fun.  And now I will lay my sober head on my sober pillow and thank God for another sober day.  What a wonderful world this is!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

More "A"s

Lookit!  Stuff is popping out of the ground!  It does every year, but this year I really was beginning to doubt it.

So, I have a bunch of questions.  Thank you very much.  Some of them probably deserve a whole post instead of a sentence or two, but let me get started...

The Noise and Haste asks:  do get on your knees to pray as part of your daily 11th Step practice (or any practice). If so, why? How do you feel like praying on your knees helps you?

I do not get on my knees as part of my daily 11th step practice.  I sit in a chair.  It takes about a half hour, so I would imagine I would try to rush if I were on my knees.  I used to get on my knees every morning and say the third step prayer and the seventh step prayer.   I do pray, on my knees, at church as part of my religious observations.  I think it is humbling and also a bit penitential as it hurts.  

Anonymous asks several questions:  What strategies did you use in early sobriety to distract yourself so that you weren't thinking about drinking?
I jumped into AA with both feet and got so busy with that, I really seldom thought about drinking.  It just didn't appeal to me at all.  I was absolutely done when I got to AA.  
Did you ever have your anonymity compromised?
The closest I would say I ever came to that was when a nurse I worked with was also teaching at a community college.  She showed up at an AA meeting with a gaggle of student nurses following her.  She asked if they could observe the meeting and was SHOCKED when she was told it was a closed meeting and they needed to leave.  I don't know if she saw me, I actually kind of doubt it, but she is not someone I would like to know I am an alcoholic.  People in the meeting were also SHOCKED and thought the chair person was rude.  I thanked him profusely.  A closed meeting is a closed meeting and should stay that way.  No last minute votes, etc.  
Do you ever tell people in your life that you're a member of AA? If so, what would make you inclined to share that information?
All of my friends and family know I am in AA.  I have told some of my neighbors and some of my co-workers.  I used to tell everyone, but realized after a while that it was a back-handed way of seeking praise and attention.  So, as I get to know someone, I will tell them.  It is a pretty big part of who I am.  And obviously, I tell someone if I think it may be helpful to them.  
Jeremy ups the ante with a four part question:  What are your three favorite books?
I read a lot.  Probably the answer is always going to be the last three books I have read.  Right now that would be "11-22-63" by Stephen King, "Winds of War" by Herman Wouk, and "War and Remembrance" by Herman Wouk.  They are all three excellent books.  

What are your three favorite movies?
I don't really know that either.  At one time I would have told you "Fargo," because I loved that movie.  I think if I watched it now I wouldn't like it.  I am not the same person who went to that movie in 1990-whatever.  
What was your favorite moment of the past year?
This morning while I was putting away the dishes, I was singing, the sun was shining, and it was special.  I could say finishing a marathon in October, but honestly, I find the small moments as momentous as the big moments.  
How do you think AA has changed since you became a member?
Oh yeah.  I addressed this a bit yesterday.  I think we are being killed with being polite, politically correct, and "nice" to people who need someone to tell them the truth.  We don't talk about God if someone might be offended.  I guess it would be better to go to their funeral and act sad.  Oh, I could go on and on, but what's the point.  It just makes me sound old.  

And Atomic Momma asks a GREAT question:  I am a 40 something mom who worries and gets caught up in the stupidest things. You've got wisdome, beauty and love of life and life experience to share. So....what would your 60 something self tell my 40 something self that you wish you had/had not done in your 40s?
I'm going to assume you are a recovering alcoholic, I don't know if that is the case or not.  Here's my shocking advice to someone younger than me:  Don't be so rigid about getting to meetings that you neglect your family.  The world won't end if you miss a meeting.  But you only get so much time with your family.  If your kids are young - even teenagers, enjoy that time with them.  And even if they are older, spend as much time as you can with them.  It is like that old adage:  No one on their death bed ever said they wished they had spent more time at the office - I am sure no one said they wished they had spent more time in AA meetings.  That said, please go to meetings - but don't miss important family stuff because you "have to go to a meeting."  

What's worth it and what's not worth it in life?
Family and good friends are worth it.  Working on getting closer to God is worth it.  Worrying about the future and the past suck the life out of today.  For me, I spent WAY too much time focusing on my career, which ended up being a disappointment.  I wish I had enjoyed myself more.  

So, let me throw a caveat on all of this:  Alcoholics are self-centered in the extreme.  For us, we need to learn how to say "yes" and participate in life.  Alanons need the exact opposite and I cannot address what they should do because I have no clue.  

There are still more questions, I will answer them tomorrow.  OK?  

Thanks for asking.  I really do appreciate it.  

Friday, March 09, 2012

Some "A"s for your "Q"s

Hey, thanks for all the questions!  I was surprised by the number of them and also the content of them.  But this is fun.  I will make my best effort:

Syd asks:  What do you think AA will look like in 25 years--will singleness of purpose be a thing of the past? Will there be splinter groups? Please explain based on your experience.
      I actually think AA as we know it is on its last leg.  For a couple of reasons; we have totally lost our focus and our language has been watered down into nothingness by the treatment centers.    I have written and rewritten this twice, so I must not be meant to expound on this.  

Mrs. D asks: what has kept you sober for so long? Is it the memory of your dysfunctional life before you stopped? Is it AA? Or is it that you really enjoy living sober?
  I don't really often think about my old life before I got sober.  It has no appeal to me.  AA gave me a way of living that worked.  The program really works.  It brought me to a God of my understanding,  that is where I really put the credit for me being sober.  And I really enjoy living sober.  The thought of a drink is about the worst thing I can think of. 

Mary LA (in Africa) asks:  Did your family come from Ireland originally? Have you ever visited the place from which they emigrated to America?
  My father's side of the family were fairly recent immigrants, my paternal grandfather came from Birmingham, England around the turn of the century (1900s).  My paternal grandmother's family came from Ireland maybe 3 generations before her.  Some of my mother's family can be traced back to the Revolutionary War in the US.  They came from Germany mostly.  One of my great grandmothers came from Amsterdam.  I feel 100% American, and although I would love to go to Europe (and never have), it would be to see the art and architecture, and not for any sense of homecoming. 

Ellie asks a few unusual questions:  What's a new recipe you've gotten lately that you really liked?  
I'm on a grilled vegetable kick.  Nothing fancy, just vegetables, sliced and grilled, with maybe a splash of balsamic vinegar.  

What's a good one-sentence prayer I can use for when I'm feeling super overwhelmed?
"Thy will not mine be done."
  Are you the type of person who walks out of movies or stops reading books when you don't like them, or do you feel obligated to stick it out to the bitter end?
I have absolutely no problem putting a book down if it isn't wonderful.  I have walked out of movies when bored or offended.  Life is too short to waste it doing things that aren't beneficial or enjoyable.
What's your favorite word?
I don't think I have one.  I love good descriptive words.  

Lou, of the inquiring mind, wants to know:  Is there a love relationship from the past or present you wish you had handled differently? Would you prefer to be married, or do you like the independence of your life now?
Well, actually I think I would prefer to be married, but haven't been for 20 years now.  So I might have forgotten what it was really like.  My big regret is that the man who came along when I was in my 50s, a big tall cowboy who I loved, got drunk.  I could not stay with him as a drunk man, I tried for a year, and it just wouldn't work.  But it makes me sad almost every day.  He and I had the best relationship I have ever had.  We just adored each other, had fun together, worked together, and never had a harsh word.  We could talk things through.  But as a drunk, he is a disaster and I refuse to ruin my life with that.  

Pammie asks:  I would like to know if your siblings or children hold to the catholic faith as strong as you, but I don't want to do any anonymity breaking.

My brothers and sister are all Catholic.  Some of them are a bit more serious about it than others.  My kids were baptized when they were babies.  Unfortunately in their formative years, I was either drunk or newly sober and pretty preoccupied, I did not go to church for almost 25 years.  By the time I went back to church, my kids were teenagers and not interested.  I made them go with me for a while, but you know how that goes.  It is one the great regrets of my life.  

Oh my gosh, I will have to answer the other questions tomorrow.  

Thanks for asking!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Sun Storm Leave Me Alone!

Did anyone else have a day like no otha today?  I talked to a few people on the phone tonight who had a bunch of stuff going on today.  It started when I got to work and could not get on the system - my access was denied.  I thought I did something with my password, so I called the help desk.  I was removed from the system yesterday afternoon.  Someone decided that since I left my old job six weeks ago and was signing in from another building I was a security risk.  He sent me an e-mail at 3 o'clock in the afternoon and since I didn't answer it by 5 (while I was offsite at a meeting), he just deleted me.  Thankfully, I have some very well-connected people who went to bat for me and got me restored by 9 a.m.  Otherwise, I would have had to complete the paperwork for a whole new account and wait 2 weeks to a month to get to use a computer again - and all my files and e-mails would have been deleted.

It sort of went downhill from there.  Like I said last night, "this too shall pass."  I know it will.  I am tired, I am overwhelmed with my new job, and I have changed my diet.  But tomorrow is Friday and I have a weekend off - and not one thing planned.

My boyfriend is out of town.  We had a sweet conversation tonight.  He gets the sweetest sound in his voice when he is concerned about me.  I appreciate someone who gets concerned about me - mostly no one does because they tell me they always know I am OK.  I am a bit too tough in my affect I think.

Anyway, I am boring myself with this endless complaining about how tired I am.  I stayed sober for another day today.  Regardless of what is going on, the thought of a drink never crossed my mind, and that is thanks to the Grace of God.

So, Syd and Lou have been doing this question thing.  I would like to do it too.  I have a lot of readers but few commenters, so this is risky.   But if you have a question for me, I will answer it - providing it doesn't step over the bounds of anonymity.

Thank you dear readers.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Coping Mechanisms

I have no ideas to blog about tonight, so I thought I would check my site meter and check out the latest search that brought a reader here.  It was "coping mechanisms alcoholics anonymous."  I wrote a post titled "Coping Mechanisms" in 2006.  It wasn't really about coping mechanisms, it was about my son's impending departure for Iraq during the worst year of that war.  Honestly, when I look back on that, I am amazed that I functioned at all during that year!

Now I am trying to cope with a new job after leaving my old job of over 17 years.  Even I am bored with writing about how tired I am.  I can't imagine why anyone would want to read about it.  But I appreciate anyone who has hung in there with me for the last 6 weeks.  Thank you.

I wonder if anyone even worries about coping mechanisms anymore.  It seems everyone takes a pill for every ill, especially anxiety.  We didn't used to do that.  Now, please don't get me wrong, there are times when a recovering alcoholic needs to take medications - I would never dispute that.

But I have to say that there has been tremendous benefit for me in walking through my uncomfortable feelings.  I have had to learn how to cope with things I would rather not cope with.  I have had to learn what works best for me.

This blog has so many entries listing the things I do to help me cope, but just to reiterate:

  • Prayer, prayer, and more prayer.
  • Quiet time, at least an hour a day
  • Social time every day - even if only on the phone
  • An AA contact - even if only on the phone - every single day
  • Helping others - they don't have to be AA members - gets me out of my self quicker than anything
  • Good food, no junk
  • Lots of sleep!
  • Exercise - preferably in the sunshine and fresh air
Notice that I didn't include going to meetings or reading the big book.  Certainly those are in the mix.  I think that is just a given for alcoholics if they want to stay sober.

And right now my biggest encouragement is "This Too Shall Pass."  

Please join me in thanking God for another day of sobriety.  

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

It's all happenin' now

A photo of a New Mexico mesa from inside a church on the mesa.  Taken during my niece's wedding last year.
The only thing that's really happening for me right now is a whole lot of work.  I should not have scheduled meetings away from my office this week.  I was being overly optimistic about my ability to get my deadline met tomorrow afternoon.  Oh well.  I have to cancel an appointment tomorrow because I have to get myself to my office early tomorrow and start working like a dog - like I did all day today.  It's OK.  Just unnerving to have to work so hard to meet a deadline.  In my former job I started worrying about deadlines right as I was hanging off the cliff of one.  No more.  Life is different.

Of course, I did leave at lunch time and get a manicure.  I have started a new habit - gel nails.  It is ridiculous the amount of money I am spending on this.  But it is a beautiful manicure that lasts for two weeks and strengthens your nails so they actually grow!

Last night everyone I knew called me.  Tonight, not one soul.  sssssh.  Don't say anything and they won't know I'm here.  I don't even know if I could come up with one coherent sentence right now.

Except for this:

By the Grace of God I am sober another day, and for that I am truly grateful.  I have not yet found the limits of God's mercy.  And it isn't for lack of trying.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Into It.

View from the smoking area at work.  I am glad they have a nice view because I wouldn't want to contend with the hell of that addiction - having once done it.

I had a wonderful day today going to another city with my boss and touring a hospital.  We spent five hours getting a grand tour of the place.  I learned many things I didn't know I didn't know.

I have been on the phone since I left my boss at 5 p.m.  It has been one phone call after another.  I love that I have friends, family, a sponsor, and sponsees, but really, do I have to talk with every single one of them tonight?  Apparently I do.  That's OK.  It is nice to feel loved and needed.

So, I will put my head on my pillow tonight and thank God for another sober day.  And I will pray that somehow I can get caught up on down-time and rest next weekend.

Monday Morning

Tulips from another year
This winter has been so harsh, I don't even have any crocus leaves popping up.  There are a couple of tulip leaves peeking out of the snow and dirt, but not many.  I planted some new tulip bulbs in the fall, but they haven't shown any sign of life yet.  I know that spring will come, but this is one of those years that I despair of winter ever ending.

This morning I am going with my boss to take a tour of a hospital in another city.  We are meeting at her house at 8 o'clock, then she will drive us for two hours to the hospital.  I hope we won't be there long and that I can get back home to work on the project I brought home on Friday and never got to this weekend.  I am a tad nervous about being in a car for four hours with my new boss.  She is a 32 year old PhD who uses the "f" word in every sentence.  She also throws in some other words that I don't hear very often - at least not at work.  It is funny to feel like a prudish old woman - if she only knew!!!

I didn't write about my icon workshop on Saturday - it was really awesome.  I didn't have a board to use and the coordinator thought she might be able to find me one.  However, when I got there, she told me she was unable to.  I told her on Friday that I wanted to do St. John the Baptist, he of the dreadlocks and garment of camel hair.  It happens that another budding iconographer had begun St. John the Baptist and made such mess of it, she had abandoned him.  So, I was presented with this thing to make an icon of.  I feel so honored.  It will take a while, but I think it is a worthy endeavor.

Last night one of my sponsees came over and I showed the new icon to her.  She pointed to my finished icons and told me she had complete faith that I would be able to fix the new one.  Once again, I am grateful for these relationships of many years.  We know each other so well.  Last night we were talking about something and she expressed her trust in me.  Later she sent me a text message thanking me for my trust in her.  These things come with time. We have been through rough patches, in fact, at one point I told her she needed to find a new sponsor.  But we were able to talk it through.   I am so grateful for her in my life.

I need to get hopping to get out of here.

I will look at this day with gratitude. I have opportunities to be of service to God and my fellows all over the place.  A sober life affords such opportunities.

Thanks to the grace of God.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

She's Got her Dancin' Shoes

My little baby is here today.  She has sparkly pink boots on.  She is such a happy baby.

When I brought my computer into the living room, she said "Daddy" and sat on my lap, waiting for him to Skype.  Well, that's one smart baby!  Because a minute or two later, he did appear on my computer screen.  They blew kisses to each other and talked.  And so did I.  22 more days and he will be out of there.  My nephew will be out of there before then.  I think in a month I am going to be able to say that I have no relations in a war zone.  Oh, I can't even image that!  But I will like it!  And I will pray every day still for each and every man and woman who are in a war zone of any type.

I went to my homegroup yesterday.  I ran into the man who took me to my first meeting.  I am always so happy to see him.  He is a friend.  And he is still sober.  He will celebrate 29 years next month.

I saw someone else walk into the room.  A grey haired man who was brown haired the last time I saw him.  We greeted each other warmly and he sat next to meet.  We talked for a while before the meeting.  He has been sober  since we last met - our circles just never meet anymore.  It was nice to see him.  And it is nice to see people who have stayed sober year after year.

I have been attacked from time to time for writing here about how long I have been sober.  I feel like I don't preface every sentence with that, I don't use it as a club for arguments, and I don't think I misuse it.  I humbly thank God for it every day.  Truly, I AM grateful for it.  But I cannot be grateful for something that I fail to acknowledge.

I cannot describe to you the joy of the fellowship when days stretch into months, months into years, and years into decades.  I have known these people since they were young, newly sober people.  Now we are comparing photos of grandchildren and discussing how on earth we will retire!  We are mostly in good health and still marveling at the miracle of sober life - still unfolding every single day.

So, I am a happy nana today.  I will enjoy my day, my baby, and my life.

And thank God, because without his grace, I would have none of this.

Have a wonderful Sunday everyone. xoxoxoxoxox