Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Personal Accountability

It's my Friday today so I am super happy about that. It means I get to watch the Olympics to my heart's content tomorrow. It's been an interesting week at work. I am grateful for the 12 steps and the grace to put them into action. The 4th and 10th steps can help me sort through what is mine to own and what isn't. I tend to either want to take all the blame or none of the blame for shit that happens. It was good yesterday to be able to take a clear headed look at things, being totally open to owning my stuff. I will be running all of it past my sponsor tonight because that pesky ego of mine can be really sneaky sometimes and convince me nah, it's not your stuff when it darn well is. What did she say to me the other night when I told her sometimes I wanted to quit aservice position? She laughed and said, "Ah, you want to take the easy way out." I love her for telling me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear. Anyway I will take this process over my old behaviour any day.

My worst problem at the moment is that the coconut oil I have in my hot cereal in the morning somehow got on the bottom of my cereal bowl. Isn't wonderful to have such piddly problems? Beats having real drama, I tell ya.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Getting To

So, 15 minutes is not enough time to do much of anything online. Even with giving myself extra time I have cut my computer time down by hours a day. Hours. The next time I say I don't have time to get things done I will be kidding myself.

I panic when I take a blogging break that I will be forgotten. I can trace that back to when I was a toddler and one Christmas we were at my grandparents' house. My older siblings and my older cousins were hooping and hollering with new cowboy hats and shiny toy guns complete with holsters. I tugged on my brother's sleeve and asked where my present was. He told me I was too little to get one. Every time I panic that I will be forgotten it's that tiny girl worrying over that not my adult self. Doesn't change anything really but it's good to know where it comes from.

I got up early this morning and did yoga. I just about talked myself out of it. On the way to the bedroom door I reminded myself that people do things every day that they don't feel like doing so get over myself already.

I have a sticky situation at work to get through today. I am grateful that I don't have to get through it alone. That God sees some bigger picture is a great reminder to me this morning. It's one of those days of reminding myself "I get to" rather than "I have to."

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Racing To The Finish Line

Well, it turns out that I like to push the edges of discipline in order to have my way. Yesterday morning I felt like a kid who tried to shove all the chocolate chip cookies in her mouth as fast as she could before they were all gone. That's what it felt like trying to read through blogs, and do other internet stuff yesterday morning. I got to work and realized I never did get to check my email. So I cheated and read my email right then and there. This morning I sat down and thought that I would just check in to my three favourite sites first before I turned on my SAD Lightbox. You know, to get a head start.

It all makes me chuckle because it makes me remember what one of the most punched0-in-the-gut expressions I've read about addiction:
"Addiction is about what we can get away with."

I'm off to do the mad dash today through your blogs now. Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What? No Update?

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. I've been giving a lot of thought to Lent. Had I been raised with Lent or even known about it in some periods of my life Lent would have meant a chance to reform my whole life in one fell swoop...chasing after that elusive perfection in order to feel acceptable in my own skin. I am grateful for the sanity these days that helps me accept who I am in all my imperfections. I don't have to change anything for God to feel any different about me. He loves me as is, always has, always will. I haven't always believed that but today I am graced with believing it in my heart.

There are many little routines in my day that I'm going to miss these next 40 days. Giving them up will more than anything help me have more awareness about how I spend my time and where my focus has been. One of the changes I'm trying is to be online only as long as it takes me to sit in front of my SAD Lightbook in the mornings. I think I will be an even better speed reader as I try to read blogs, check FB and check email all in 15 minutes. Oh, and try to actually post something once in a while.

When I am really pressed for time these four recovery blogs get read first. Before the internet I had no way of knowing what working the steps of AA looked like elsewhere. I live pretty remote, having a choice of one meeting most days and on some days, two that I can attend in the closest city which is 50 miles from home. I appreciate all the experience, strength and hope I get to absorb from reading these blogs and others.

Today I feel grateful for what a great life I get to live.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Piddly, Piddly Problems

I'm typing to the whine of the rug shampooer going in the livingroom. We were both working at it until dearest one muttered that it was akin to wallpapering together. I decided he really didn't need me standing there telling him how to shampoo the rug my way so I left him to it.

I am looking forward to lying on the floor doing yoga this week without inhaling the scent of stale dog pee every time I take a deep breath in and out.

In the whole scope of life what piddly (!) problems we whine about.
Hopefully I'll remember that the next time I come home to a new pee stain on the carpet. If only Yoga Pup actually did yoga maybe he would reform.

Friday, February 12, 2010

I Vow....

" take you as my awfully wedded husband...."

I was a teenager when I said those words 28 years ago today. It was on a Friday, too. Five o'clock in the afternoon to be exact. We showed up at the JP's house rather unprepared. No wedding ring, no camera. We did have a best man (aged 77) but no maid of honour because we didn't know we needed one. By the time I stumbled over my vows we dared not look at one another for fear of dissolving into never ending laughter. Half an hour later we were sitting drinking wine with our best man in a restaurant (the maid of honour turned out to be the JP's daughter, the only other person available on such short notice. I've often wondered how confused she must have been to be called out of her bedroom to witness a wedding just before suppertime.)

This week at work a student asked me how we made it through the hard times, how we kept together this long. I looked at her and said, "Faith." She gave me the most puzzled look and when I tried to explain she looked even more puzzled. How does one explain that in order to get through the rough patches together we had to turn to a power greater than ourselves? That on our own steam we were a mess and without faith in a higher power we didn't have a hope in hell of beating the odds? And that that faith gave us the courage to look at the hard stuff and do the work while leaning mightily on grace and mercy and compassion. The phone rang while I was trying to explain my explanation so we never did finish our conversation. I think she was as relieved as I was for the interruption.

The other day I drove past the JP's house just so I could show it to my daughter-in-law. The little brick house on the corner with its blue shuttered windows looks the same as it did that Friday in 1982 when I got the words "awful" and "lawful" mixed up.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Time Will Tell

So, I'm playing on my hand held computer device the other day and the light is just right that I catch a glimpse of myself in a reflection of the screen. I squinted harder and thought to myself what is that tiny chin beneath the big chin doing there? Granted, I was squinting downward and so all that skin had to go somewhere but hey, it was scary looking. Of course I went running to my bathroom mirror and did facial gymnastics for a while trying to convince myself gravity has not yet reached my chin. Wait, I have that wrong, don't I? Gravity starts at the top and goes downward. Maybe it hit my brain first.

Today my hairdresser and I had a chat about the pros and cons of shaving versus plucking facial hair. I related an experience I had of being in a public washroom and looking in the mirror only to find the lighting made it look like every stray facial hair I had was lit up with fiber optics. I thought to myself why the hell hasn't anyone pointed out to me all that hair in all the wrong places?! And where are a pair of tweezers when you need them?

Who knows, maybe by the time I'm 80 the hair and the skin will all gravitate downward and I will wake up one day to Hobbit's feet.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Lap Time

This morning I unpacked my laptop and plugged it in to update the Internet security setting. I normally only use the laptop when I am travelling. I've never got the hang of sitting on the couch and using it, it just seems odd to do that. Funny how habitual we creatures can be. Who knows, I managed to go from only using a computer in the office to now happily typing away at the dining room table. Perhaps one day I'll be an old lady with a computer on her lap. At any rate I forgot that I have a different set of favourites on my laptop's sidebar and thought I'd share a few with you:

The Idea Of Home. I love her latest post.

Amy. That post made me cry.

Following this woman's program has been life changing for me. If you are sober and find yourself scarfing down sugary things or devouring white bread with the same intensity as alcohol you might identify with what she has to offer. Kathleen now has a blog and I particularly liked this post.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Simple Things Challenge

Chris over at Enchanted Oak is hosting a Simple Things Challenge where she asks that you post a piece about the joy of the simple things in life. Her family will donate $2 to Heartline Ministries in Haiti for every post about the joy of the simple things in life. If you don't have a blog just leave a comment over at her blog and that counts, too.

A few of the simple things in life that bring me joy:

Every time I lay on the couch and watch TV I tell dearest one I feel like I am living a luxurious life. I feel totally spoiled when I do that simple thing. It's a bonus if I keep my eyes open. With the Olympics coming up I'm hoping to indulge in laying on the couch a lot.

Biting into a fresh peach. For all the times in my life where buying fresh fruit was not an option, I feel incredibly grateful when I get to eat a peach.

A drink of cool water out of a stainless steel measuring cup. Whatever that 'bite' is to the taste of that brings me back to my childhood. We had a spring on our land and we would crouch down and pick up that "spring cup" and drink.

The feel of the sunshine on my cheek. Sometimes I just stand there and soak it in, pretending I'm being kissed by God.

When dearest one looks at me with that sparkle in his eyes. He has the most beautiful smile that makes rainbow shaped wrinkles appear above his eyes and sun burst ones around the sides. I know he will grow old with those wrinkles setting in so that they are permanent. Whenever I see an elderly person with wrinkles like that I know they spent more time laughing than frowning.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Here You Go

Here are some links to read today cause I've got nothing.

Brave Little Girl. The sweetness of this little girl made me teary.

And Then We Laughed. I love the way Elizabeth mothers those daughters and the way she writes about it.

Prayers and more Prayers. Michael was a great encourager to me in my early days of blogging. It was also through his other site that I found this blog and eventually found my way into recovery from sexual addiction.

I like a good laugh and I like to think. It's great when one blog does both.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Crunching My Way To Humility

And how do you like your crow?” he asked.

”Well done, “ I replied.

I heard a barely restrained self satisfied laugh on his end of the phone while I felt my face turn brick red on mine. Several months ago I’d sent him a good natured, yet firm inquiry, about a detail that he'd promised me he'd see come to fruition. One that once taken care of, would help me in the day to day operations in our office. He apologized graciously and said he’d fix it right away. A few weeks ago I was still waiting for the matter to be resolved so I called to see where things stood. Puzzled, he told me he had taken care of it immediately after our last conversation. He sounded a bit flustered and said he’d look into it. I am at the bottom of the pecking order when it comes to company hierarchy. He is at the top of one of the rungs. I've spent a goodly amount of energy in my life with an "I sure showed them, didn't I?" attitude. I thought that was behind me.

Apparently not.

This morning I looked inside our last inter office courier envelope before I slipped my documents inside. Once a week these envelopes travel several hundred miles between us and our head office where Mr. Apologizing Graciously works. Staring me right in the face was that envelope I’d called him about two weeks ago, my name in bold black letters on the front.

Um, yah.

I estimate it took me 2 months to get to the bottom of the pile of envelopes.

I thought about taking the easy way out by emailing him, letting him know it had been my mistake that had prompted my last phone call to him. I instantly knew the right thing to do was to pick up the phone and fess up. I also knew there was a good chance that today’s courier might hold a replacement envelope and I really hoped I didn’t have to eat a double helping of humble pie. I phoned him and said,

I’m going to have to eat crow so go gentle on me, okay?

I explained what I’d found this morning. There was a missed beat or two before he chuckled. Damn, I deserved that laugh. I told him it was a good thing he had no idea how deeply I blush because my face was brick red as we spoke. He graciously told me the conversation would self destruct as soon as we both hung up the phone, never to be spoken of again. I wouldn't blame him if he high fived someone the moment he put down the phone.

Eating crow is crunchy and tastes awful.

But it does wonders for keeping the ego in check.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Soaking It In

"I need to go back and say hello to her."

I was no more than 10 steps into the mall when I recognized her bleached blond hair and the way she was smiling at someone in the hair stylist's chair. I was making a beeline for the bathroom and after I walked past her some of the lines from "Just For Today" ran through my head. It amazes me how I will ignore that which I don't want to pay attention to, like going out of my way by extending kindness to someone I dislike and then spend enormous energy fixating on some thought that I would be better off ignoring, like that fleeting pain I had in my side three weeks ago that I'm sure is really cancer and how it's going to kill me before the month is up. Lord have mercy.

I've been trying lately to listen to those little nudges instead of thinking it's just another case of me imagining things. I wonder if the Holy Spirit gets tired of being mistaken for paranoia. Or disgruntled by how much selective hearing I can muster.

So I went back and said hi to her. Her eyes sparkled when she saw me. She has no way of knowing I've purposely walked way around her in times past so that she wouldn't notice me in public. She tends to have loud, gushy shows of emotion that make me embarrassed to be seen with her. I've always chalked up those displays to the brain injury she suffered in a car accident before I ever met her, although that has not helped me be one bit more gracious towards her.

She used to be the girlfriend of my brother-in-law. I've had a long history of not trusting her, for really good reasons, but I don't have to be rude to her, either. The night my brother in law was killed, when a drunken friend ran over him, she had had words with him about his drinking. It was an argument/ultimatum they'd had many times before. The next morning it was all the police could do to restrain her from running to his body as he lay on the ground. In dearest one's family, where being discreet while showing emotion is prized, I've always admired her outright wailing at his funeral. I think we'd all be a little better off if we could allow ourselves that freedom in grief.

Yesterday we talked about my brother-in-law as we do when we meet. I imagine we always will. Maybe one day we will grasp that he really did die such a horrific death. There was a settledness and good will about her as we talked. She was kind, as always. Happy to see me, asking after the kids and dearest one. I think I was present in a conversation with her for the first time in my life instead of counting the seconds until I could walk away. I stood there soaking in her genuine warmth and kindness, accepting it instead of dismissing it because I have a huge ass resentment towards her (which I only recognized as one as I wrote this...blogging can be dangerous for one's mental health.)

I battle my ego nearly every time I try to listen to that still, small voice inside of me. There's something a little ironic about taking action while simultaneously patting oneself on the back.

I walked away from our conversation humbled by her kindness to me.
Lord have mercy.