Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Trust My Aspirations?

"How many dreams have we let die? How many projects did we start, only to leave them unfinished? How many times have we promised ourselves, "this time will be different," but then didn't work to make it so?" Each Day a New Beginning.

Okay; enough stalling around. Today is the day I quit cleaning house and start on these projects I've promised myself for a lifetime to get done. Ugh! I am really nervous. But time is up for sure. At 66 how much more longer can I stall!? I'm not even sure what is in my way except fear of failure and ridicule, but I know how to over come those obstacles. Of course in previous cases I've been driven by a greater fear of some kind like, "I must do this even though I'm terrified because my kids are in danger." Or," I must do this because I'll lose my job if I don't." I know about forcing myself forward through fear because of a greater fear but absolutely nothing about going forward because I want something badly.

I'm grateful for my recovery program because I'm not alone in my efforts. So, my first step is going to be to call some people for support.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Just for Today

I had a diet coke with my burger which I ate at around 8:00 p.m. last night. Because of that I had a crummy night's sleep - went to sleep around midnight and woke up at 4:00. And I have a busy day ahead. I really want to get some of these items checked off my to do list that have been on there long enough for me to get worried. I need to order some checks, make a deposit at the bank, pick up a prescription (call from the pharmacy that if I don't pick it up, they'll put it back) and about 20 other things. I just detailed all this into a schedule and it doesn't fit in the time available - plus there's no way I have the energy after an abbreviated night's sleep. It seems I made some ineffective decisions somewhere along the way. Luckily I've been taught that I have choices. So just for today I'll enjoy my life anyway and accept with as good a grace as possible, my less than intelligent choices.

"Just for today I will be unafraid. Especially I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful, and to believe that as I give to the world, so the world will give to me." Just for Today

Monday, January 28, 2008


"Faith is a way of saying, "Yes, I pre-accept the terms of the universe and I embrace in advance what I am presently incapable of understanding." -Elizabeth Gilbert. Eat, Pray, Love

Faith isn't a word I use much. I'm bad at believing anything without some kind of proof. So, they told me to experiment. Try asking something I didn't believe in to help me. Being desperate, I did. Then I noticed that a lot of things were getting better that I had tried and tried to fix without result. Hmmm. I still don't understand, but now I think as a human I'm probably incapable of understanding. I don't need it. I have proof that there's a force for good that helps me every day.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


"...when the time comes for us to accept a change. We'll know when it's coming. Our present circumstances will begin to pinch." Each Day a New Beginning

I've been ignoring my anxiety and procrastination about getting going with some projects I've promised myself to do. Ever since I was a little girl, I've wanted to be a writer. I've been writing prolifically as part of my work for years and years, but I don't think about that as being a writer. I have many ideas for what I want to do and someone in my life who thinks what I write is publishable, but I've been stuck. However, right now my present circumstances have begun to pinch. That must mean it's time to move ahead. What I've been forgetting is that I'm not alone. If this is what is supposed to be, then it will happen. If not, it won't. The failure for me would be being on my deathbed having never given it a shot.

Friday, January 25, 2008


I'll start by admitting that I really am ignorant of the subject of economics. I probably need to study it since I have all these questions and ideas. Nevertheless, in spite of my ignorance, I have opinions.

When I was in junior high or high school, I think I remember learning that investing in stocks was about owning part of companies and getting dividends from companies that were doing well. You checked into public information about companies and invested in the ones that were doing a good job and making money. I don't remember a single thing about guessing which stocks were going to go up in price and making money that way. To my surprise as an adult it seemed to me that it was just a gamble/guess, and you had to sell the stock to make money.

No one seems to actually know why stock goes up or down in price. It seems like the "sheep" all run in one direction or another because they're scared of something or because they think they're going to get rich from buying stock when the market is going up. No one actually seems to notice that prices go up and then they go down. It's a crisis and everyone gets very upset when prices start going down - like it's never happened before.

Lots of people have lots of opinions about how it works, but I always want to know what their track record is - are they making lots of money from good guesses? That never seems to be shared as part of their opinion. Scary.

Then it seems that everyone thinks "the economy" is doing well when the stock market prices are going up. What is "the economy" anyway? Who decided how to define it? How do we know they were right? I equate everything to my household budget - my "economy" is doing well when I have more coming in than going out, when I have a prudent reserve and when I'm gainfully employed in some way. By that standard our "economy" has been doing lousy for a long time. Government spends tons of money it doesn't have and doesn't have a prudent reserve. Businesses routinely lie about how much money they're making so their stock will go up. No wonder things are in a mess.

I wish I had answers for this because it affects me and everyone else.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Oh Barak!

I'm feeling sad. Barak has let Hillary and Bill drag him into a nasty round of accusations. I was surprised that he let it happen. Didn't he know that was how it was going to go? I figured he had a plan as to how to handle it when they twisted his words and put him down. But maybe he's not as smart as I thought.

I'm not sure how he should handle it, but striking back means he's sunk to their level. (Someone asked me once - "Do you know how to get even with a son-of-a-bitch?" Answer: "Sink to their level") In other words, you have not handled it well. Maybe a simple, "that's not true" would work combined with a "truth squad" that provided a more thorough explanation in another venue, and then a return to the issues at hand.

I still credit Barak with the wonderful goal of rising above the infighting and separatist politics that have disgusted me for years and eaten away at my hope for enlightened leadership. But I'm sorely disappointed that the Clinton's dragged him into the mud so easily. I'm truly bummed.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Realistic Optimism

I just saw a very "dark" movie which portrayed some of the very worst in human beings and in our world right now. I heard from someone else that it was depressing. I wasn't depressed and I wondered about it. I thought the movie was a work of art as it showed the underside of life. Maybe something is wrong with me that I don't get depressed when I am confronted with evidence of the terrible things in the world. I don't really know if something is wrong with me. I don't think so.

I have worked hard in my recovery to accept myself and the world around me as I am and as the world is and still remain optimistic. It wasn't that difficult once I accepted that I didn't have the power to change myself or anything in the world without the help of a higher power. To the extent that I don't face myself as I am and the world as it is, I am truly powerless. I won't even have sense enough to ask for help from my higher power.

My life has had quite a lot of difficulties that sometimes shock other people. That fact may have a bearing on why I'm not shocked by the tragedies in the world. I'm not living in a fantasy land where nothing bad happens if you behave yourself; and so those tragedies happening to other people - well, they probably did something to cause them to happen and since I'm behaving myself, I don't need to be concerned about what's happening to other people. No, I know that much tragedy is simply random or has multiple causes.

My task as a human is to learn to live in the real world and contribute to the greater good as I'm able. The trick is to stay optimistic while facing the truth. I can only do that because I believe in a force for good in the universe that I can align myself with.

"Provided we strenuously avoid turning these realistic surveys of the facts of life into unrealistic alibis for apathy or defeatism, they can be the sure foundation upon which increased emotional health and therefore spiritual progress can be built." As Bill Sees It

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


"Try to see in all things some fulfillment of the Divine Intent." Twenty -Four Hours a Day

I'm really on two trips at the same time: learning to live without Ron and physically recovering from the wreck. It's a struggle because I can't actually focus on one at a time because they're happening simultaneously and I have little control over either trip. I'm grateful for the structure my recovery program gives me - I believe there's a gift from the force for good in the universe in both trips.

Right now I'm more and more thankful for Ron's and my relationship. The first ten years of our marriage he was the one with the stability and could give me the support I needed to re-do my life, make amends to my children with disabilities, and get comfortable with myself. Most of the time during those years I felt unconditionally loved. Amazing healing took place at a time when I was most hard on myself and feeling the most worthless.

I know I'm not supposed to take my self worth from what someone else feels about me. But too bad. I did. It worked. I wish I had been as good at giving him unconditional love when he needed it. I still have the feeling that wherever he is, he still loves me unconditionally. It was the first time in my life that a person I loved and respected convinced me that I was a wonderful, beautiful, capable child of God.

The most recent trip to the orthopedic surgeon revealed very little from the xrays. He was happy that I had done well with walking with only one crutch. He said since there didn't appear to be any movement of the rod, pins, and wires that are holding my femur together, he was going to guess that the femur was healing. So, my instructions are to switch to the cane, and when I'm strong and doing well with that, stop using any assistance with locomotion, walk independently and hope my leg will hold me up.

My friend, Peggy, who comes with me to most of my doctor appointments, was elated. I was cautiously optimistic. I just wish there was a way to know what is truly going on with that bone, but there isn't, short of opening up my leg. So, I just have to move forward and see what happens. My wheelchair is folded up behind the kitchen table. It's close by - not in the garage. But my butt hasn't been anywhere near it for a over a month.

At this point I finally have the energy to work on getting some routines in my life that will support what I really want to do. Now that my every waking moment isn't taken up with trying to function while being exhausted, in physical and emotional pain and overwhelmed with doctor appointments; I'm thinking about having an organized home, good nutrition, time to write, time to build my new business, and time to grow spiritually. My goal is to finish setting up these routines and learning them as well as cleaning up some of the most messy parts of the house by the end of the month. Let's see - I have about 10 days. I've been at it for a couple of days now and gone to bed totally worn out but feeling good. So, maybe I will make it by the end of the month.

Monday, January 21, 2008

I have a dream day

I was awake and in the world during the time Martin Luther King was doing his work. I had never heard of non-violence as a way of changing the world and was fascinated. I remember watching the marches with the police violence and waking up to the state of human nature. My heart felt broken for the injustice and cruelty. As time has passed, I've rejoiced at the changes I've seen AND I know there's still a long way to go. Another one of my "soap box" speeches is on why we don't expend tons of research dollars on finding out what motivates humans to be violent and cruel and whether we can change. I have a dream that we'll all wake up and put our resources in the really important things.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Creative Actions

"Reaction isn't action - that is, it's not truly creative." - Elizabeth Janeway, Each Day a New Beginning

Freedom to be creative - that's one of the amazing things I've learned in recovery. I am not at the mercy of my past mistakes, negative experiences, or current struggles! I'm free to decide how I want to be and how I want my life to be regardless of outside circumstances.

Today I'm sitting in the midst of my creativity and having a good laugh at myself. My kitchen table still has a huge bunch of left over Christmas stuff - two dead poinsettias, green and red placemats and the platter, red paper plates and "Santa, I can explain..." napkins that never got used for the Christmas brunch because of the ice storm. The office floor is covered with wrapping paper and gifts that haven't been wrapped, let alone delivered because, although I've been home two weeks, I'm still struggling with the magazines, catalogs and mail that came while I was in Texas. All those are on the kitchen floor and the dining room table. I can't put away the Christmas brunch stuff until I clean out a shelf in the linen closet. I really have been working at it, but for some reason it's very slow.

I have, however, had time to go to the movies, eat lunch and dinner with friends, do a tiny bit of work, and buy a used, fake mink bedspread. I'm also making to do lists, calendars, schedules and using every resource I can find to help me do a better job of being creative rather than reactive in 2008. I'm having a glorious time.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

New Year

The rule I thought up just now is that I have until the end of January to start the new year. Of course I realize that I can start a new year anytime. It's just arbitrary. But something about January gives me hope that this will be the year I lose weight, get in shape, get organized, and become a better person in general. I refuse to give up the hope. There's a good chance that I would weigh more, have fewer muscles, be more confused and be a cranky old woman if it weren't for new year's resolutions. I'm grateful for the hope. Luckily I also have a lot of help available to me.

"God never, ever asks us to do anything that God does not equip and supply us to do." Melody Beattie, Co-Dependent's Guide to the Twelve Steps

Saturday, January 05, 2008

"Grief Calls Us to Open Our Hearts in Hell" - Stephen Levine

The above quote is from Unattended Sorrow which is probably my favorite book on grief. Stephen Levine and his wife have been working with grieving people since the 70s. And he knows what he's talking about. No bullshit as that quote shows. In fact, opening my heart in hell has been the only way of making my way in grief. I've tried other ways - like getting drunk and staying that way, going to bed and pulling the covers over my head, getting furious at the world and life and acting out accordingly. None of them work. They only made things and me a whole lot worse.

Levine says, "The inclination to disown our pain degrades us and turns our pain into suffering. Approaching the pain with mercy and awareness, we are called to open our hearts to it." This is unbelievably hard to do. The program has taught me to have mercy on myself for my flaws - even for my unwillingness to bear the pain of grief. It seems to me, though, that the pain of grief is equal to the love I had for the person who died; so the greater the love, the more impossible it is to escape the pain. What else is there to do really, except try to open my heart to it?

"...all that we love will someday turn to dust. But the love will remain. A love that calls us even now to attend more fully as much to the sorrow remaining from a departed loved one as to the unloved parts of ourselves." Quote from Levine again. I'm glad I knew this when Ron died. For awhile my love for the others in my life was what was mostly in my awareness - overshadowing his loss. And I still loved myself as I have since having worked the steps enough times to learn who I really am - with all my flaws - because I know I am God's beloved child. The odd thing was that I lost my conscious contact with God for awhile. I wasn't mad at God. I wasn't questioning the justice of Ron's death and my injuries. I just had no energy to even think about conscious contact. I felt quite lost but still knew God was present even though I couldn't feel it. I felt much like a woman quoted in Unattended Sorrow: "I'm feeling a little better. But to tell the truth, I would rather be with Robert (her husband who died) than with God."

I still feel a little bit that way sometimes. But wherever Ron is, I'm sure he's with God. So, God and Ron are kind of mixed up with each other. When I'm talking to God, I'm talking to Ron. When I'm talking to Ron, I'm talking to God. They are surely in touch with each other and in the same place. There's some resolution in that.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

My Christmas Presents - Grandsons and Girlfriends

Left to Right:
Thien, Adam's girlfriend, Adam; Aaron and Amy,
Aaron's girlfriend. And, of course, Rusty

" Shed peace, not discord, wherever you go....Try to ignore evil, rather than to actively combat it." - Twenty-Four Hours a Day

This concept from my morning meditation really makes me think. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with ignoring evil, but I do believe it's my job to shed peace not discord. Seeing myself in my mind's eye shedding peace....hmmm. It's pretty easy to see myself shedding discord, because I've done a lot of that in my life and I'm fairly new at shedding peace.

I can absolutely testify that fighting evil with discord does not work well at all. I've actually won a lot of the fights I've taken on. But you know what - even when I've won, the folks I beat kept fighting - just in secret while pretending to knuckle under. For sure things are a lot more complicated than I used to think. At the same time, I do believe that underneath it all people want to be accepted - and loved - for that matter. But we all cover up that need with a whole bunch of fears, rules, demands and general insanity.

Today is my last day with my daughter and her family in Texas. It's been an amazing visit. I'm so glad I got to spend this time with her, her husband and the three pretty much grown children. The older two - guys - have serious girlfriends and I got to know them better on this visit also. They have both done a really good job of picking out girlfriends. Being a visitor and a member of the family with all these personalities in the same house has actually been an exercise in trying to shed peace. Mostly I've just tried to love and enjoy which has left me comfortable at least, whether any one else benefited or not!

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