Sunday, February 27, 2011

Bogged Down

I've had another one of those weeks where I've been bogged down with too much to do and no desire to do any of it.  I managed to get tiny bits done and am just about on the other side of it.  YAY!  But I am going to have to do something to boost myself out of the doldrums - which I have taken the first steps to do - asking people for help.  What a concept.  Works really well.  I always forget that it does.  Plus I really, really, really hate admitting that I need help.  (Ego).  So, I've asked.  And no one said no.  What a blessing.

Monday, February 21, 2011


It was probably about 1995 when I was recruiting and training volunteers to visit people with cognitive disabilities to make sure they had what they needed, that I recruited a volunteer named Theresa.  The project I was working on mandated that the volunteers would be family members of people with disabilities and people with disabilities so Theresa was perfect for the job.  She had a type of cerebral palsy that caused her to have uncontrollable movements of her arms and legs.  She was in a wheelchair but her body was in constant wild movement which made all activities even speech difficult.  However, she was quite a poet and shared some of her poetry with me.  She used a manual typewriter to write her poems and did them all in caps so that she didn't have to mess with shifting.  I changed that part to make it easier to read.  Yesterday I was cleaning out a closet and found one of her poems:


The world is not the same
Anymore as I am getting older
I am finding out.
Life isn't pretty anymore either
Way life is hard for me now.
I wish I was little again with a hard cry and soft tears.
A lot of people said that I
Never cried when I was little.
I guess I had a small world in my mind.
No, I am not mad because I am disabled,
The Lord made me as He saw fit.
Yes, I believe in God because Life is God!!!
This is how I look at it.
Now I am not God crazy I am just telling
The facts.  Here.
My life is normal like yours.
A lot people have to understand people
To get along with someone different
Than someone who is a little different.
But who's to say I'm weird because
I am in a wheelchair.
Are you weird because you're normal?
I just want to be me.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

What Would Jesus Do?

Although I'm not very religious, I liked those little bracelets that were popular a few years ago.  I thought they would be a good reminder to try to answer that question when confronted with a dilemma.  Yesterday or day before a friend of mine posted a list of things Jesus would NOT do on Facebook.  I thought it was pretty good so I adapted it a little and will post it here.  Of course, I am aware that there are probably people that think Jesus would do these things or some version of them, but I am not in agreement:

Harass single moms
Beat up homosexuals
Picket funerals
Shoot doctors
Shoot anyone
Join a militia
Own a weapon
Run for president
Attack the poor
Burn a cross
Put his name on merchandise.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


So far, so good.  It looks like the politicians have begun to single out the groups that will need to get less money so that the government can quit spending so much money:  old people (Medicare, Social Security), poor people (Medicaid), teachers and other government employees (poor people?).  As the child of two teachers, I'm fairly sure the teachers are not overpaid.  I guess the government workers (teachers, cops, firefighters, military, etc.) are just not important enough to pay them a decent amount.  God knows those poor people and old people just need to get up off their asses and get a job and quit expecting the government to take care of them.  I'm just kind of wondering if the other government workers (subsidized corporate farms, etc.) as well as state legislators and congress would be willing to take a pay cut.  Maybe it would only be symbolic, but I'd love to see them do something like that.  Maybe until the economy improves they could take a 10% pay cut and pay for 1/2 their retirement and health benefits.  That would make me feel sooo much better.

Motivation Pill?

One of my grandsons' girlfriends posted a question on Facebook - "Is there a motivation pill?  I'd like to abuse that!"  She's so smart.  She probably has asked a very important question in a very funny way.  I know exactly how she feels.  There are those who would tell you that there is a motivation pill - it's called "speed."  The problem is that you will definitely abuse it and you may be motivated but not necessarily in a good way.  I am particularly unmotivated right now.  Not sure why.  Retiring to a cave for a long, long time sounds soothing and good.  It's not that I have a bunch of stuff to do that I don't want to do.  I just want to stop for awhile.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Regeneration of Spirit

Went to the 5:30 women's meeting which was on gratitude.  I used to hate gratitude meetings - they seemed  so trite.  But now I love them.  I thought of all I have learned and practiced over the years and how my spirit has regenerated.  That phrase was in one of my readings this morning.  One of the things I'm most grateful for is that I've lost a lot of my fear of being judged.  In the program I am just who I am with all my good and bad qualities and I hide almost nothing from the people of the program.  I am accepted and loved just the way I am.  When I walk in the door I drop all my pretenses.  I still have some fears of judgment - especially my own and other close relationships, but I am willing to be honest in spite of my fear.  Being who I am has given me the gift of being a "free spirit" which is what I've always wanted in my life.  It's who I thought I was in my drinking days - although I was actually a captive of my own self-judgement and the chemicals I was ingesting.  Now my spirit is truly free!  I am grateful.

Monday, February 14, 2011


The snow is melting.  It's been warm the last couple of days.  The trash man came.  But I still can't get to my outside garbage cans because I would have to shovel the snow away from the gate.  There's still a lot of snow in the street but I should be able to get out today anyway.  Since it's Valentines Day and I didn't get to go to my beautiful granddaughter's birthday party, I will be going out to mail all the cards I meant to take with me.  I hate being in the dog house for not doing what I can't do, but ...sometimes that that's just the way it is.  I have an invitation from a friend to treat me to a Valentine's Dinner out - a female friend.  But that is terrific to have a date where I don't have to do anything except be myself!  I think Valentines Day should be about melted hearts - compassion for all those people who aren't doing it right and for myself for being so imperfect.  In fact, let's start trend - Valentine's Day is melted hearts day!!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Here's Kristin with her fairy wings she got at the Women's Symposium plus the bracelet that came with her Valentine she got from me.
Sculpture in front of the Performing Arts Center.
My friend Alicia with the four wheel drive in front of the Performing Arts Center.  We made it to the ballet so I made her pose in front of one of the lovely snow piles we have all over Tulsa.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Compare and Despair

"Compare and despair" is a quote from one of the women who used to meet with the women's group that studied the steps at my house.  I've never heard it from anyone else, but she may have heard it somewhere or maybe she made it up.  But that little phrase has been a terrific defense against the judge in everyone's head that gives us a hard time when we see someone we think is better than we are.  There's another saying in the recovery community:  "Don't judge your insides by other people's outsides."  That's another really good defense.

One of the readings in one of my meditation books yesterday reminded me of those sayings and I realized how grateful I should feel that I actually don't compare myself with other people anymore.  I used to think there were people who did everything right most of the time and as a result lived charmed lives.  Then one time I had the flu and was home from work for several days.  I watched a whole lot of biographies on tv, and learned that even those people I assumed would have led charmed lives had many of the same painful experiences in their lives that I did in mine.  Beverly Sills had a daughter who was deaf and would never be able to hear her sing.  Paul Newman had had a child die.  And on and on.  Furthermore, they did not do everything right most of the time.  They had made a lot of the same mistakes I had.

The main thing I learned from the women's meetings at my house (for over 10 years), was that although all of us were very different - in background, age, life circumstances, etc., we were very much the same on the inside.  We had the same fears, had made similar horrendous mistakes in our lives, had had terribly difficult events to deal with, and on and on.  Learning that really helped make me less judgmental of myself.

So today my endless struggles to be more organized, to exercise and eat right every day, to get all my chores done when they need to be done - well, at least I don't kick myself when I don't do everything right most of the time.  Little by little, I get better and am grateful for progress.

Sunday, February 06, 2011


Since all my responsibilities and appointments have been wiped off my calendar by a snow storm, I have the luxury of spending a little more time with meditation.  This morning I read"No longer half-asleep to the wonders around me, I become aware that each moment fairly vibrates with the possibility of healing..." from Hope for Today.  I have the luxury to notice that the birds have completely wiped out the bird seed I put out for them yesterday.  I've had more time to read/study the writing of other writers and learn more about how I want to write myself.  I've reconnected with some friends I haven't talked to in a long time.  Meditation always returns me to the things that are most important to me.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Stuff to be Grateful for While being Stuck in the House in a Snow Storm

"Today I am grateful for everything - even things that surprise me..."  Hope for Today  

I had the makings for vegetable soup.

My hot water works so I had a hot bath.

Friends who offer to get me stuff at the store.

The spider mums I forgot to bring in from the car survived two days and are still in great shape.

Usually I ignore facebook but I like it when enclosed.

My cable tv works,

I've caught up with some friends on the phone.

I caught a mouse.

The way the sun reflects off snow so that it's twice as light in my house.

There's no mail so I don't have to watch the postman struggle to deliver it.

There's no newspaper so I don't have to feel guilty that I haven't read it.

The bird tracks in the snow on the wheelchair ramp reminding me to put out bird food.

I've had time to pray for the citizens of Egypt.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Snow and More Snow

We're not alone - from the weather map it looks like most of the country is in a blizzard.  I was looking forward to the temperature being in the 40s tomorrow, but woke up to more snow this morning.  Looks like I'm going to be stuck here awhile longer.  Luckily I have plenty to do to keep myself from sinking into slug.  What a great opportunity to study, read and write.  I am more and more hopeful about finishing my writing project in the next two or three months. 

I'm reading the same meditation books I've read for probably three years now.  They seem new and fresh every year even though I remember reading them before.  Today in "Courage to Change," the writer says that remembering that "God is not a terrorist" is necessary for serenity.  I guess that some of us think that since God is in charge, any situation we don't like is God's fault.  I'm just guessing but I wonder if there aren't some folks who think this constant cold and snow is God's punishment for something.  Since I believe God is not a terrorist, I'm going to assume that it's all meant for our good.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

New Ideas

One of the things I'm most grateful for is the fabulous new stuff I learned in the beginning of recovery that I'm still using today.  One of them is just a mind set change, really.  If I'm having a problem - especially a problem with another person - the first place I should go to solve it is to myself rather than trying to get them to change.  What a concept.  I had no idea it was possible to solve a problem with another person by changing myself.  Wow!  Of course, at first I thought it was just crazy - if the other person is behaving badly, how could I solve the problem by changing myself?  Well, nine times out of 10 it is possible and so much easier than trying to change another person or situation - which almost never works. 

Example - I was at an event with a friend.  The room was crowded so it started getting overly warm.  The air conditioning went on which solved the problem - except for my friend who is cold-natured.  She began to fuss about being cold - every few minutes.  Finally I pointed out that she had a coat.  She didn't put it on and continued to fuss about being cold.  I just laughed and said, "I guess you would rather be cold and wait for them to change the room temperature than to put on your coat!"  Then she did put on her coat.

The whole thing reminded me of what a gift it was to learn that the easiest way to solve any problem in the world is to change myself.  I used to be just like she is - sure that the people who put the air conditioning on were wrong and wait for them to realize it and change while freezing to death myself.  I sure suffered a lot until I learned that new idea.

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