Sunday, January 31, 2010

January 31, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

My mornings. There is nothing like waking up at 5:00 a.m. getting my coffee and sitting down, by myself, without interruption. I am so grateful for me time to focus on my morning writing, prayer and meditation and blogging. It really sets the tune for the day. As Jackson Browne sings, that Peaceful, easy feeling.

My true feelings. I am so aware of them today. Today's quote of the day from "A Day At A Time" is to constructively learn to listen to myself. I did use to tune myself out and not hear what I was trying to make myself hear or feel. Today, I will remember to own my feelings.

My lists. I never use to keep a list of things I need to get done. But, the older I get, the harder it is to remember what I have to get done. To make it even more challenging I have multiple lists running. Personal lists, project lists, business list. Soon I'm going to need a spreadsheet and a degree to keep up. Actually, it's not that complicated but I am looking for something to keep me on task besides a calendar. I'm now living without Outlook and I'm working from my iPod Touch to be my PDA. I love my lists because even the flightiest ideas that end up on the list sometimes become really good ideas. If I didn't write them down to remember, I wouldn't have and that idea may have been lost.

Violin music by Midori. She is out of this world. Listening to her music I am able to still focus on what the task at hand.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

January 30, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

My past, present and future. Yesterday was probably one of the most profound experiences in my life that most people will not have the luck to experience. My going away party was like a birthday, wake and kick off to a new life all wrapped into one. Being sober and spiritual has allowed me to to be quiet and listen during yesterday's luncheon and to be shown what I think my life is, and what my life really isn't like in my own head, all at the same time. I know this all sounds much like I am tooting my own horn but I want others to see is how dead wrong we are about our own thinking. If one person reads this and my words makes them stop and think when they are having a bad day that we can't see clearly sometimes. Then it is worth tooting my horn. There were so many times I had thought that I wanted to end my life and it wouldn't be a big deal it would be better for me and everyone involved. I did not know my own life. I was shown that I had an integral part in helping that law firm be what it is today. I am sad for all the time lost by the miserable thinking that I had through the years. I am so grateful for the last 17 months of sobriety to realize that the on the opposite side of my addict there was the person that I am and will always be that did shine through and played the part I was meant to play. To be acknowledge by the two biggest partners in the firm of my contribution was a mircle of God showing me, even healing me, to help me move on to my new life. One of the secretaries put together about a 10 or 15 minute presentation that was so unbelieveable. It showed me and eveyone in the firm our life through the years. I was able to show my gratitude with a little speech. I was stressing over it. but, you know, I don't remember what I said, but I do remember the gratitude flowed out without effort. I had my wits about me through the whole experience. Well, that was until the end when they gave me an unbelieveable gift. They gave me a Nikon d3x. I burst into tears, not really about the gift, but the whole experience. True the gift is something I could never buy myself at this point. But they are supporting my talents as a photographer and telling me if you did what you did at the firm, then you can certainly do for yourself. I will be forever grateful for my life, past, present and future.

Friday, January 29, 2010

January 29, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Wrapping it up. Wow, today is the day. It's the last day of my career as an administrator at a litigation law firm. It's also the start of a career that I have dreamed about for over 20 years. I feel at peace this morning. I have been so fortunate for over 25 years I have learned, experienced, loved, cried and everything in between. I have spent half of my life in that career. I am grateful to have been so lucky to have had people that have believed in me for so long. I am eternally grateful that I have been so blessed in my life. The firm is having a big luncheon for me at 12 this afternoon. The partners are giving me such a nice send off. I feel so honored that they are doing this for me. I have my reservations about being the center of attention, as I have never enjoyed that. However, it is going to give me a chance to truly thank them for everything and to show them the gratitude I have towards them and the kindness they are bestowing on me. They are truly a part of my life I will miss.

Honoring myself. I realized this morning I still lack in thinking I am worth it. I had to stop and think about my past because it has to do with my future today. I get caught up in the I cannot and I'm not able and not me I'm not worthy. I had to look back and think, wait a minute, look what you have done. I have pulled off some pretty miraculous feats during my career. When I was asked to do them I just rolled up my sleeves and did the work and came out shinning in the end. I guess what I am allowing myself to hear today is, the door is closing on my past, and a new door is opening for me. I can grasp the challenges ahead of me in the same way. Even though the door is closing it's not solid, it's glass and I can see through it and see what I have done to remember that I need to honor myself today for the many talents I have been given.

This morning. I wasn't able to sleep with all that is running through my mind with things I have to get done and all the events of the coming day. I woke up at 3 and finally got out of bed at 3:30 a.m. because I couldn't lay there any longer. I got out of bed, made coffee and started my morning writing, praying, and meditating, and blogging. Then it hit me how wonderfully sober I am. Before I got sober I would have started hitting the pipe first thing then off to swallow a few prescriptions to start my day. The clarity I have today is beyond what I could have ever dreamed of. I am so grateful that I crashed and burned and lived to be where I am today.

Love. I feel it all around these days. I get it from my family, I get it from the people I work with, I get it from my drunks and addicts at AA. I have never felt love in my life like I do today. How much more grateful can I be?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

January 28, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

My Father. Today is my father's 79th birthday. I am so fortunate at my age I still have a dad who is still around. My parents live in Baldwinsville NY. I'm not close geographically, but I talk to my parents almost every other day. I really need to visit them soon. Every time I go home I learn more about my parents past that amazes me. The last time I was home, I learned my dad was a bit of a crook when he was young. He grew up with no money. He would manipulate people to do things for him in exchange of goods that he may have acquired through other dealings that were not so honest. Today my dad is nothing like that. He is an upstanding individual with morals. It surprises me that he was a hoodlum type of young man. I can't believe my parents have a colored past. That makes me stop to realize, I have a colored past too, so why should my parents not be allowed to have had a past rich in stories and a life lived? I love you dad, Happy Birthday.

I have so much running through my head these last few days I am having the hardest time writing clearly. I am in no way in a bad place, my life is so good and rich with positive activity. I don't know if it's the full moon that is so close that is making expression difficult. At any extent, I am very grateful for so much. This week is becoming more emotional than I expected. I have two more days left of work. I feel like in a way I am retiring. I am not, I have a career to start up and bring to life. I am stepping into the unknown, one step at a time as each step lights the way to my new future.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

January 27, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

My Higher Power. Today is one of those days that I need to let go and be confident that I am right where I am suppose to be. I want to fight and let emotions get in the way. The thought for the day from "A Day At A Time" is "God is the architect, I am the builder." It is what I have to keep in mind today.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

January 26, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Learning to be me. Until I became sober and focused on my recover I discovered I had no idea who I was. I didn't have the ability to know what my own capabilities were. I didn't have the wisdom to know that I could be anybody, do anything as long as I put effort behind it. For all those years I wasted. I'm not ungrateful for those wasted years. They made me who I am today. Who knows, today, I may be in a better place than if I didn't experience what I have in my life in the past. I feel like I have a second chance to grow up and this time I have the hindsight to go with it.

Opportunities. They are there and they present themselves all the time. But sometimes I just can't see them. Or I chose not to acknowledge them because it may look like hard work. I am so much more keenly aware that opportunities are there all the time but I have been ignoring them because fear makes them look so unattractive. I am grateful that I am so much more willing to leap when the opportunity presents itself. Strike while the iron's hot!

Computers. I am so grateful for my computer. I am able to do so much. 20 years ago I would not have been able to accomplish what I have been able to in the last few week. I have been able to create a logo, set up my bookkeeping, design business cards, push cards, getting my website in the works. I have been able to find educational and learning materials that has assisted me on marketing. I have gotten in contact with people that are in the business and have had lunch with them to pick their brains. I am so grateful for one machine that can do so much for me.

Service to others. Being there for another human being. Focusing on someone in need. To be there when someone is have a difficult day. In or out of the program. To offer kindness, caring and support during someones time of need. Even just hugging someone can be enough.

Monday, January 25, 2010

January 25, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Change from the inside out. That is today's passage from A Day At A time. I have never been so aware that it all starts with me. If I am willing to change things on the inside, things will get better on the outside. That is so clear to me that it starts with me and it's possible. The hard part is accepting I need to change, and for me, to be willing to change, if I want the peace and happiness I say is/was missing from my life.

The glass is half full. As I was praying and meditating this morning that expression came to me in my thoughts. Then it dawned on me that I don't like that expression. It stops short. In my life, the glass is overflowing. In my mind I use to see a wine glass that was half full. Then I thought to myself that it's a bit small for my life. I have so much. So I changed it to a glass, see through big gulp size mug and it's overflowing onto the ground like one of those fountains you see that has a water tap hooked to nothing but water keeps flowing out of it. My life is overflowing with everything I need.

Sunday Breakfast. The last couple of months I have been going to breakfast with friends after the Sunday morning meeting. During the week I never have been able to go to lunch because I had to get back to work. Sunday is a fun group of people that changes from week to week but typically it's the same core of individuals. It's a new routine that I enjoy participating in. I am grateful to be around such a diverse group. Thanks guys!

Right now. I am grateful that I learned to look down at my feet to concentrate on right now. In five minutes this blog will be in my past. I have to concentrate on this moment. I'm excited about the future, I have lots of irons that I am preparing to put in the fire. But I have to concentrate on right now. Right now is what I need to do to continue changing. Right now is what I have to look at how I can help others. Right now is where I need to be to not pass judgement on others or myself. If I just focus on right now I am learning to stay out of the regrets and away from the fear.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

January 24, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Acceptance. For me it's about who I was, what it was like and how I am now. To accept that life can be so different if I am just willing to change. Of course, I didn't see back then what I could see now. Typical of anything you can't see it sometimes when your smack in the middle of something. Not only did I accept that I had to give up old habits that were not healthy for me, I had to accept that I had to change actions, ideas, my views and everything about me to get where I am today. I didn't loose myself and become someone I wasn't. It's more like I found the person I was meant to be, the being that I was born with.

My 9 year old son Drew. He never ceases to amaze me. We went to see the movie Avatar yesterday afternoon. During one of the heightened scenes near the end of the movie a line was said and he leans over to me and said "Wow, it sounds just like Dr. Martin Luther King." My mouth just dropped. He was seeing and hearing in the movie, which does have so many undertones a message. To me it was very moving that he could connect a message from Dr. King to a movie.

My Spirituality. My ability to see it engulf me, especially in the last few weeks with all the changes going on. I can actually see "What God does for me what I can't do for myself."

One more week. I have one week left working at my current job. I have that scary feeling in the pit of my stomach, but, it's okay. It's just the feeling of unknown. I have more than 25 years of a routine that will no longer be there. Friday will be the last time I have to pull into a parking garage and fight to find a spot. One last time to take an elevator, an escalator and two more elevators to get to my office. No more routines that I grew to dislike and some of the routines working with the people I will miss. I am so grateful I had such a long run at a job I learned so much from.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

January 23, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Realizing that I am not a victim. In the past few months I was really stuck in the notion of "Why is my life like this?" Sober or not, I can view my life as it's happening to me. I never stop to think that it's my own thinking and actions that is making me see my life as a victim. When I step out of this thinking and take action instead of being centered in self pity I find I do have the ability to change. Victim is a state of mind for me.

Yesterday's beautiful day. Friday was an unbelievable beautiful day. The weather was perfect. I went out for an appointment at lunch and took my time returning to work. On the way back to work I went to a pizza place and sat outside in the sun. It was so beautiful. I returned to work and went to a meeting. Packed up the rest of my personal belongings, packed my car and went home to enjoy a run in the late afternoon. Yesterday was one of those miracles.

The Blogging Community. I am so inspired by the communications I have been receiving as well as the new blogs I find everyday. To be able to relate to so many people has been so rewarding for me. Thank God for the similarities, to know I am not alone.

Friday, January 22, 2010

january 22, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Fear. I know it's an odd thing to be grateful for, but I have a lot of it in my life today. I always have and it's kept me frozen. With the changes that are happening in my life and a future unknown, it lives and breathes as big as life. I'm grateful for it because I am learning that it is self generated. I am learning that I am my own worst enemy that is telling me the worst possible scenarios. Fear lives to tell me I cannot. I am grateful that I am learning that through my Higher Power, God, the Universe whatever that strength is and meditation I don't have to believe in fear. I'm learning to let it be there, but I don't have to entertain it's tactics that it uses on me to run and hide. It's the old endless loops of negativity that I have cognitively become very aware of that fear enters into my life.

Running. It's been a part of my life for over 22 years. I had the most difficult time getting back to running after I recovered because I use to smoke weed and run. I would go out and run 11 miles while most people would sit on the sofa and eat potato chips. After I was sober it made it very difficult to get back into running because I didn't have that little extra kick to get me out there. But now I am back and I am embracing my sober running for the first time. I have found it's a great way to pray and communicate with my Higher Power. It's a good way for me to plan and re-think things I am working on or things that are issues in my life. It also allows me to work towards positive goals in my life. I have the Rodeo Run coming up at the end of February that I love. To be in a crowd of 10,000 people all excited about the same thing is very invigorating for me.

Being Sober. It takes work and when I look back it seemed so impossible. I had the mentality of why would you want to be sober? God put all these chemicals on the planet for us to use. I don't know if I believe God put anything anywhere for us. I think it's more we, as human beings discover things and what we do with them is our own will. Just because they're there doesn't mean I have to use them. There are so many things I could chose to do or not do and what kind of affect they would have on my life. Being sober takes work, it is a disease. Yet at the same time by not indulging in the chemicals of my choice it is like taking my medicine by abstaining for a great life that unfolds every day.

The 12 Principles. Honesty, Hope, Faith, Courage, Integrity, Willingness, Humility, Brotherly Love, Discipline, Perseverance, Awareness of God and Service. I have to say, I didn't know they were lacking in my life. As I look at my life today I realized I had no principles at all and how undirected and careless my life was for me.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

January 21, 2010

Today I am grateful for:

Momentum. As I go through the changes that are happening in my life, I realize that it has it's own momentum. At the same time I realize that I have to pay attention to the speed I am moving and that it can coast and lose speed if I don't keep focused on where I am going and what I am doing. The same goes for my sobriety. I have to keep an eye on it and pay attention to myself. I have to stay in the gratitude of where I am. I realize if I don't I start to coast and my willingness and my serenity changes. For me, I have to continue to keep my eye on the prize and I keep moving forward at a pace that keeps me balanced running smoothly without wobbling to and fro.

My life. I never use to look at it as what a journey I am on. How fortunate that I am learning so much about my life as a human being, I am able to see the importance of how I treat others, my spirituality, how that is connects everything. The bittersweet life I sometimes think I have, but in the larger picture, it is oh so sweet.

Knowing I am grateful. Never in my life prior to my sobriety did I stop to be as grateful as I am today. I superficially knew I had a good life, however, I never was thankful for what I had. Now, through my blogging and my pray and meditation, I am present in my gratefulness. I step away from the negative thinking. That negative thinking moves me into the center of me, opening up the feelings of ungratefulness which for me, pull me into a place I lived for so long in my life that wasn't healthy. Of course, until I got sober, I couldn't be grateful for what I have today.

My family. From my immediate family of my partner and son and my son's nanny that cares for him (and us!) when we can't. My parents. As difficult it is to relate to them sometimes, I am so grateful they are still around at this point in my life. They are both characters that I have developed from, both good and bad. My brother and his family. I wish we were closer, distance -wise, he's a good funny man that can make me laugh. My sister and her husband. They have been estranged from me for the last 10 years. They are both strongly living in their addictions and their points of view. She was my best friend until up until 10 years ago. I pray that she becomes willing to be part of the family. My door is always open, that is all I can do.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

January 20, 2010

Today I am grateful for:

Change. I know I write a lot about this, but I am extremely grateful that I have the power to change. Change causes a domino affect in my life that leads to greater things. I changed from using drugs and alcohol to not using chemicals one day at a time. My life is so much better for it. I changed to handle life as it is presented to me without the need to hide my feelings through the use of chemicals. Life on life's terms. What a concept. By my actions of change, I step out of a place that is unpleasant and allow myself to have the life that I deserve. Does it take work? Sure it does. But isn't it worth it to live a life that can be so grand?

Fellowship. Yesterday was a day that I received two phone calls from AA friends that ended up in really great conversations. They were unexpected and the conversations just flowed without trying. Both of the calls made me feel like I went to a really good meeting. There is nothing like talking to someone who has the same ground work as you that guides the conversation in such a way that both of you totally understand, share and relate on the same level.

That I can just say yes. I've been with my partner for 26 years this May. The running joke in my family is that any time a suggestion or idea about doing something, going places my first instinct is to say "NO!" Then after much conversation and threats that he'll do something anyway, I change my tune, say yes only to find out that I have enjoyed myself. I'm grateful today that I am willing to say "YES" more often and we do not have to go through the song and dance of "NO" to get to where we are going anyway.

Knowing I am provided for. I really do have everything I need. I am grateful that I don't forget this. I have what I need in life. I always have, I just didn't know it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

January 19, 2010

Today I am grateful for:

A Higher Power. It took me a trip to the emergency room and ending up in the cardiac unit of the hospital and severe depression that lead me to rehab to realize a power greater than myself was missing from my life. I was 49 years old and I was already on some kind of quest that I knew something was missing. I was interested in A Course in Miracles and was already being lead to spirituality. It was after I was out of detox and started participating in rehab that I learned that AA was a program of spirituality. I remember thinking, "Wait a minute, I think I need to leave now!" But I was at the end of my rope. I had tried everything else. I was someone who had just started to realize before my downfall that there had to be something out there to help me. But what? How much it would help me was beyond my capacity to understand. I am so grateful those thoughts were fleeting in rehab, and I continued with my recovery. I often realize now, that when I started to believe there was something bigger than myself out there, my eyes opened from a life that I felt like I was sleeping through. I gained direction.

Determination. I have a really strong sense of it today. I have been in my current career in the legal field for over 25 years. Two weeks ago I decided to leave the firm. I make a decent salary, but the environment was killing me. For the last 3 years I have been very unhappy. Causing me to be stuck in an emotional rut. By making that decision to leave has been the most empowering moment of my life. I am restarting my career as a portrait photographer. As every day passes to the end of the month when I leave, I am seeing someone I haven't seen in myself or possible have I ever known. I am seeing determination that has never lived in me. That is sobriety and faith as well as using the tools I have learned through AA.

Kindness. The kindness I have to give and the kindness that I receive. I work at giving it out everyday. I realize I drop the ball on occasion, but I make that my main motive throughout the day. At least on a face to face basis. I'm still working on expletives that come out of my mouth when bad drivers are around me. Even that isn't so often. But the most important person I am working on being kind to is myself. When I am kind to myself, I naturally start being kind to others.

Today. I'm really learning to appreciate every single day. When the day starts it's almost like going to see a good movie. I have no idea what it's about but it's always entertaining. I have a choice of how emotionally involved I want to get with it. Today is all I need to focus on, not yesterday and not tomorrow. One day at a time.

Monday, January 18, 2010

January 18, 2010

Today I am grateful for:

Motivation. What a great and wonderful power to have. When I am motivated anything is possible. I have no doubts of what I can do. At this moment in time, I have a very strong sense of motivation. Just a few weeks ago it took everything in my power to get up in the morning. Just by making a decision in my life has changed the energy level in my being. Motivation suddenly awakens allowing me to realize what can be. This time, I am going to stay motivated with the positive energy. I am learning all things are possible and can continue.

Friendships. Old and new. I'm realizing that I have to nurture the ones I have and put myself out there to gain new friends. I was talking with a friend yesterday who is in the program. We have been friends since we were 12 or 13 years old. It was good to talk and to be there for her and she was being there for me. Interestingly, we could talk in a very different way, program wise, laced with how much we know each other, it was heartwarming. She is an unbelievable person, a true gift in my life. I'm still not the greatest at making new friends, but I am willing this time. I was so busy isolating for years that I now realize it takes work. All good things come in time.

My healthy body. I am thankful that I can get up and run 4.5 miles at the age of 50. When I look back I don't think my father could have done that. I am grateful that I have decent health and to know that I am taking care of my body.

Meetings. Interestingly, yesterday's meeting was about one of the Promises, number 8, "Self Seeking Shall Slip Away". I had to stop and think for a minute. I realized that is obviously something that I was doing, without realizing I was doing it. Someone then linked it to the third step prayer, "The bondage of self" and I then suddenly saw my part. I saw that my complaining about my miserable life was keeping me dead in the center of self. The best part of it was that I was seeing that my moving forward was changing that. It also hung a bell on it for me to stop and realize when I do it. Then a moment later I started to think of my blogging. What are my motives? Is that not in the middle of self, by publicly writing about me,myself and I? Then I looked at it as I don't care. If there is someone that relates to my life on some level then I have done my part. I am grateful for that. I am publicly sharing my healing and changes in my life. I want to know others can be inspired by their own lives as much as I am by mine.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

January 17, 2010

Today I am grateful for:

Sanity. Okay, I realize that's all within reason. Sure, I still have my crazy moments. Now I can see the calm, slow, thought-out process that typically was not involved in my day to day thinking when I was really insane. First, I'm not focused on when I am going to get high next, how can I ditch the family and what scripts do I have left and where can I get more? Then in the evening I would drinking wine to cover up how I was acting. Not that I drank everyday, but most days. It was a very busy process to go through everyday. That was like a full time job. Drugs were everyday with me. As a drinker, I am more of a binge drinker. Not daily even. Just all of a sudden out of no where, I would drink to excess, unable to control it. My reasoning was so I could cope with the terrible life poor me had. How nuts is that? Second, I don't have to deal with the stupid arguments that were part of my daily routine in the family. Insane arguments I was sure I was right about. I look back now and just can't believe my actions through all that.

Pause. I remember when I would always have to get my say in. I had to be heard, I had to be right, if you would just listen to what I say, you and the whole world would agree with me. I'm learning, you can feel a certain way and you can let it go. You don't have to tell someone they're being unreasonable, evil, unkind, two-faced or whatever. I'm learning to pause and walk away. Because it's none of my business. If someone asked me directly I still pause for a moment. I wait a minute and then I try to work from kindness. I'm learning we all have our own paths and our own time to learn. Through pause I think I am gaining clarity, caring for others and wisdom. I'm not saying that I am perfect, as we all know, it is progress, not perfection. "Grin and bear it " can be the best action I can take.

Skills and talents. Remembering I have these gifts. For a while there I forgot who I was. I was so stuck in no wheres land that I forgot that I have all kinds of skills and talents. I think I will make today the day I am going to focus on what I have to offer myself. Instead of telling myself all the things that suck in my life. I have given this thinking up, but I am going to realize all the great skills and talents I have to bring to the table so to speak. As I move forward I have to be positive about what I have and how each of those skills and talents are blessings that are going to be useful in a very positive way. I am really grateful I have so many talents.

My past. The good, the bad and the ugly. The ugly parts and the bad parts lead me to where I am to day. I really don't think I would be as spiritually connected if I didn't have all that past to reflect on. The past to me also means memories, because all of it is just a memory now. There are a lot of good memories, the ones I can remember. Those are the memories I need to focus on today. For example, the picture below is of our first dog. His name was Mozart. He was just like Marmaduke. Every time you would ask him if he wanted to go to Walmart, he would turn his head like in the photo. That dog taught me how to be a good the good parent I am today. I miss that sweet boy. But, such is life.

Have a great Sunday, do what you love.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

January 16, 2010

Today I am grateful for:

Yesterday's meeting. It was really great. Criticism both from me and back at me. It was interesting to listen to the shares. To see how people took the word criticism. Being criticised or doing it to others. I'm one of those people that gets criticized by everyone and I criticize myself along with me being critical of others. In the last few weeks I am realizing that I'm giving up on that negative, crazy thinking about myself. I don't have to do it and I don't have to believe it. I can believe all the good that I have to give, do in life and that I am capable. No matter what the endless loop says. I'm learning that I can replace that negative stinkin thinkin, with positive, loving thoughts that can move me forward. I'm also learning that my defense mechanism is judgement of others. Maybe I do that because I feel less than something inside comparing myself to them somehow? Not sure why I do it. What helps me is to realize lately that each and every one of us has a soul, every one of us, and they all came from the same place. To me that makes us connected. So what I do to others, I do to myself.

Service. I was able to hand out chips yesterday. When I was asked if I would hand them out took them and said yes. I didn't even hesitate. It made me see how far I have come. In the past, I would have sat there through the meeting and worried about it. I didn't, I actually forgot that I accepted the service. My confidence is growing and I am comfortable. I don't know if it's learning what happens during meetings and knowing it's just part of the program. I like to believe it's the change in me with the comfort of all my friends in the room. It's the ability to not criticize myself in front of everyone.

Movement. Oh how wonderful life is when I am unstuck. I was stuck for so long that I forgot that I could move freely. I started therapy a few weeks ago and just by that action to help myself has caused an amazing turn around in my life. I asked God, the Universe, whatever you want to call the powers that be, for help by way of a third party that could help me. I found a wonderful person that is spiritually like me. I am grateful I found her. I am also grateful for my sponsor. I was pretty much at the end of my rope not long ago. Being sober for about 14 months and not really having a sponsor wasn't helping me along. I am grateful I found someone that is guiding me in a way that makes me feel comfortable. Through the movement of finding a sponsor it led to my therapist. These two people help me move in my life. I don't have to be stuck in a place that was so uncomfortable that I wanted to take drastic steps. These two people are the miracles in my life that released me. To help me move freely in my life. Much gratefulness to you both.

Art and Music. Yesterday morning, during my morning writing that I do. I write 3 pages, long hand about anything and everything. Something that came up was that I don't do enough Art with my son. I decided that I was going to get every crayon, colored marker, pencils, paint, clay, paper we had in the house and put it into one room. I decided that he and I are going to have an hour a day of Art of some kind. He likes to play on the Wii, computer and Nintendo DS during his free time. That's all well and great, but it's not tactile. I believe he needs more than the isolated realm that he lives in when involved in electronic games. When I got home from work I gathered all that material and brought it to the dining room. (Man I am obviously a compulsive Art shopper, we had a lot.) We sat down and started on our own projects. He was hesitant but drew a picture. Then he had to stop to practice his violin and then after dinner we started to do more work. He didn't want to do it. He so wanted to watch TV or do the Wii. I had to stay strong, be stern and tell him we could have a lot of fun. He complained he didn't know what to do. I then decided to put music on. We played the Black Eyed Peas, "I gotta a Feelin" and that started the ball rolling. Suddenly his inner-architect came out. He decided to build a city, named after himself of course. He cut out buildings, taped them to paper making them 3-dimensional. I worked on my Juvenal like vision board, but it was fun. The words from magazines were jumping out at me. We both had a lot of fun, singing, arting and getting lost in time. When the time to go to bed rolled around, he didn't want to stop. I had to promise we would pick up where he left off in the morning. That is a grateful feeling to know that it was worth the effort I had set out to accomplish. Quality time, with my son that was enriching both of us.

Friday, January 15, 2010

January 15, 2010

Today I am grateful for:

Life on life's terms. Is that not a difficult one to swallow on some days? However, the more I accept that the easier it is to experience life as it plays out. To be able to let the day happen and whatever is going on, flow with it, it makes all the difference in the world. It's funny how words that you hear can resonate in your head, I think they call them ear worms. The expression "It is what it is." makes me a little crazy. I hear it in my head from someone and it lights up like a neon sign in my head and stays on. It makes me realize that I have to let life play out, "it is what it is" and I have no control over it. Once I realized I have to be thankful for whatever happens in my day it made life so much more easier. Step 3 is always evident in my life.

Love. It is so strong in my life. I am engulfed in it. My partner loves me and I him. My son loves me. And I love my son like I have never felt for someone. My family and my friends love me. It's amazing how I can forget that sometimes. That is one of the main, strongest God given emotions in our life. How can I sometimes forget about it? Because I have a self-centered ego. Plain and simple. I am so glad when I can step away from the center to be able to express and feel Love.

Blogging. This has been an outlet that I have needed for some time. I need it to just put feelings and emotions that runs through me out there. By sharing through blogging I hope that I can help someone who is going through similar things in life. Staying sober and drug free is my main objective, or at least that was the first intention when I started. That is always the basis, but I am now realizing I need to express everything that ties into my life from that, showing I can move forward in my life and oh life is so good, no matter what. It's random, at best. I never know what I will post. But it is bringing a new freedom that I had not expected.

Random acts of kindness. I think I am going to put that on my list of things to do today and remember to do it everyday.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

January 14, 2010

Today I am grateful for:

Warmer weather. It is amazing how the temperature changes and so does everyone's mood. At first cooler weather is welcome, but we all know that the warm weather is what really makes us happy. I choose to live in this climate. I know what it's like to live where the sun doesn't shine and it's -50 degrees and everyone is miserable. I am so grateful to walk outside, feel the warm sun shinning down on me. I feel the energy of the sun rejuvenating and recharging me.

Miracles. I never believed in miracles. I never realized how they happen everyday. I always thought that a miracle was something grand and only happened for the masses to see. I never realized that they happen for us each individually on a daily basis if we are just open to them to realize it's God's way of communicating with us to let us know he's listening. I suddenly can say, Ah ha, it's no doubt in my mind that something just changed or impacted me by my willingness to see and understand what just happened. Miracles come in all sizes and shapes. Miracles come to you by way of the radio, conversations with people that gives you goosebumps. They cause Joy to flow through you like you never felt. Miracles comes by way of actions of others or as simple as reading something that brings a deeper meaning to the words on the page that you never felt before. Miracles are answers to prayers. Miracles to me are God letting me know I am heard.

The Third Step Prayer. I have been saying this prayer for over 16 months practically everyday. It's also a prayer for some reason I cannot memorize. I'm working on it. I remember when I was in rehab I found this prayer and it was one of those miracles. I could not believe it was about my issues, right there on paper. How I was really living so centered in myself trying to control everything. It's been a long journey letting go, Letting God, being an example and helping others.

"God, I offer myself to Thee--to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!"

Progress not perfection. I have to remind myself this everyday. It's my goal for the day to realize that if I look at the work I have done so far I can definitely see the progress. Progress, I am no longer that heap of a mess, feeling worthless and undirected. I have progress and I am thankful to be able to see it.

Pray for the people of Hati. If you would like to help go to the link below.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

January 13, 2010

Today I am grateful for:

The Rothko Chapel. For inspiration I was going to take my self on an artist date yesterday afternoon to go to the Houston Center of Photography and the Menil Museum. Oddly enough, both places were closed. As I was returning to my car I saw a sign that said Rothko Chapel, and it pointed in the direction to where it was from where I was standing. I got in my car and went to the chapel. I haven't been there in 20 years. It was nice to be lead there on my own. I went in and sat down in front of the darkest of all the art pieces being displayed. I relaxed closed my eyes and tried to get centered. I was amazed at the amount of noise and chatter that was going on inside of me. Even though I meditate in the morning, it made me realize that I need to get centered half way through my day. It made me realize that I push the go button once I'm out of the house making the afternoons seem like too much to do. I could see that by calming myself there it made the afternoon a little more organized. Note to self, "What's the hurry?"

Networking. I am thankful that I am willing to talk to others I don't know and listen. I had about an hour and half conversation with a photographer on the phone that gave me hope that I knew I was doing the right thing. She was a wealth of information, and inspiration. I look forward to meeting her in person. She helped me realize or see exactly what I am going to be all about.

Sobriety. I am so unbelievably grateful that I have no desire to turn to drugs and alcohol as I go through this change, journey or whatever it is that is happening in my life. (The reality that I am creating for myself.) In the past it would have been an excuse to use and abuse. It would have been so the opposite of what I am doing now. I would have been a disorganized mess of grandiose. It would have been so self centered that I couldn't take a step out of the circle that I was spiralling around like water going down a drain.

Because I can. Plain and simple. Even though I was told I could, I never believed it. I was frozen in non-action because that is what I believed. You truly can change but you have to be willing, truly willing to do it. I held myself down and believed it was impossible. Now I believe anything is possible.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

January 12, 2010

Today I am grateful for:

Seeing my life unfold before my eyes by my will. I don't think I have been so keenly aware of my ability to have control of my life and see it unfold by my action as I planned it. There is serious gratitude running a-muck in my life and I am so glad I have it. As I take every step I do not fear it. I have never been so confident that I am doing the right thing. I have never been so confident about my decisions. I know that I will be provided for with exactly what I need.

The Internet. There is so much information at our fingertips today. The Internet can give you the answer in a minute. I remember as a child I would wonder things and would have to ask, or look them up in the encyclopedia. For me the Internet is an encyclopedia, dictionary, science lab, space center, universe of everything. I would be lost trying to find what I have been able to obtain through my journey. Since the explosion of the Internet I rely so heavily on it. From recipes to shopping. In two minutes I can figure out what I am going to make for dinner next week, order a new pair of pants to wear at said dinner as well as invite everyone without leaving my house or picking up the telephone. I can't wait for 10 years to go by to see how the changes it will go through.

My Health. I am very grateful that I am so healthy. Sure, I have my aches and pains to go along with the years. But I am healthy. I feel so much younger than my parents appeared to act at my age. I an fortunate that I don't have to take the handful of pills my parents did/do. I take one. I'm not saying medication is bad. I am so glad that there is better living through chemistry. I am so glad that I have a youthful mind that keeps my body going. My favorite run The Houston Rodeo Run is coming up in February and I am really looking forward to it. To be healthy enough to be in the run keeps me grateful.

Friends. How fortunate to have friends. This year has been a real focus on friends. I am gaining them and I am grateful. I was so busy for years doing drugs and isolating that I had very few. (Thank God for them.) Friendship is something that helps you share life. By sharing your life you experience your life. If no one is there to experience with you, how do you know it's even real or happening? Friends validate your life, and you validate theirs.

Thankful for you, peace throughout your day.

Monday, January 11, 2010

January 11, 2010

Today I am grateful for:

I am alive. Yesterday I was at a meeting and a few people mentioned someone that had ended their life. I had no clue who they were talking about. Another person I know mentioned them in their blog earlier in the week but I had no clue who it was. Then, at breakfast I made the connection and time stopped for a moment and sadness overwhelmed me. Tears started to fill my eyes, but I didn't want to go there. My typical way, I controlled it and stayed with the changing conversation and forgot about it almost as quickly. Later I reflected on it. It truly filled me with sadness. This person seemed so happy to me. Like I had been acting on the outside. From what I could tell, he was a sweet little guy. After our Round up play I sat next to him at a meeting and told him that he had such a great voice for singing and that he should do more singing. He had talent, he had kindness, he was a good person from my interaction with him. But he had what we all have, the horrible things in the inside that no one can relate to. I am sad that he is not around anymore. I am sad that I didn't make a better connection with him. I am not thinking I could have done anything to change his journey, but it makes me keenly aware that I still am guarded, I was with him, I remember acting that way. He is an example to me that I need to be not so afraid of others, be social and enjoy every moment. I think the bigger connection I am feeling is because in the same week, I was running the loops in my head that suicide is the answer. But, in a weeks time, my life changed and I waited long enough for the miracle.

Laughter and flexibility. There is nothing so funny as a 1944 sister act that can make you laugh. My son's uncontrolled laughter while watching the Ross sister's do their thing. He is a happy sole. I have not quite seen anything like them, not in a sister act anyway. If you want to see how you can limber up and take it on the road what this video.

Eating. I am one of those people that doesn't eat when I get all worked up over something. I have lost 10 pounds without trying, a small gift I know many people would love to have. However, with that comes craziness. I see how not eating spirals my life into a place that is not good, which turns into a catch 22. I am so glad my apatite is back. Sanity comes back.

Happiness. I think I have written more than once about this. I will continue to. Happiness grows from control of my life. It grows from believing in myself, something that I never allowed myself to do. It came from firing the committee in my head, clearing the boardroom and hiring new members. It doesn't come easy. It requires work on my part to stay on the beam and keep focused on one step at a time. It's okay to know I have a mountain to climb. I don't need to worry how am I going to get to the top? I just have to know I am going to get to the top and have faith I will get there and the view is going to be spectacular.

Enjoy your day.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

January 10, 2010

Today I am grateful for:

Prayer and meditation. First I want to say how thankful I am to have realized what was missing out of my life. I still flinch when I hear people say they pray, they will pray for someone or they ask me to pray for someone. It was something to me that right-winged conservatives did, not me. I didn't need it. It was a bunch of malarkey, they were wasting their time. Oh, how wrong I was. What I didn't realize it was as simple as the act of drinking water. We all need to do it. We need to stay in contact with the Higher Power, the Universe or whatever that connection is out that that does give us direction and does allow us to have strength and enlightenment. I still warble and sometimes it feels really un-natural for me to do it. Making it part of my life, makes it come easier. It's a routine that is learned and practiced. Like anything I, as a human want. I have to practice it, be it music, sports, learning, kindness, you name it. No one told me before that if you pray and then wait and really listen, you will hear the answers you seek.

Saturday's meeting at 11:30 am. It was a really good meeting. There was a new person in the room. It made me aware after the meeting that I need to be more aware of people and talk with them instead of isolating in my seat before the meeting. After the meeting began and after he announced he was new I watched him because he was sitting next to me. His nervousness, his shyness but the need to be there was so evident. He knew it and I pray that he continues and follows through with his new journey. I got the feeling that he found that he was home. I remember that when I got to Lambda. There is nothing like being in a place where you don't know anyone but you feel like you fit in. I did act on my need to do service work after the meeting. It showed me I am getting better and learning to do the next right thing.

Peace. Oh, what a wonderful way of being I am just learning about. I never knew I didn't have Peace. I'm not saying I'm Buddha and you're welcome to rub my belly. But it is slowing becoming something that I realize I had no clue what it was and that it was missing from my life. I am realizing the steps I am taking both in AA and in my life are the key factors why I stand where I am today. The crazy chatter that continued to loop in my head is slowly being replaced with nothing but calm. Peace comes with action. Peace also is possible because if my first gratitude today.

My willingness to learn. Until the day that I leave the planet I will never say I am too old to learn. Throughout my career I have heard many people tell me their brains are full they can't learn anymore. That is a sign of giving up. Considering we only use a portion of the brain (10% approximately, but I know there are different theories on that percentage.) we have the capacity to have endless learning potential. Learning allows me to empower myself. Learning also comes in different ways. This week alone I learned more about myself than I ever expected. I am learning new possibilities about a business I have been in for over 20 years. I am learning about the good and kindness that is out there. I am learning about Love.

Follow your dreams to reality.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

January 9, 2010

Today I am grateful for:

Gratitude. Just the point that I can feel gratitude so overwhelmingly today. There are so many times I have to fake it until I make it. The force is strong today. I am moving along a path where I am cognitively making changes in my life. I am letting go of the fear attached to the unknown. I am letting go and letting God do what I could not do for myself. Seriously! I have never felt such an empowerment in my life.

My therapist. I have been seeing different therapists off and on for 30 years. I have always felt they just end up sessions where I sit there and whine and I can't stand it. I never felt like I got anywhere with our meetings. I never felt like I walked away with tools I could use. I have found someone who is exactly spiritually aligned as me. This helps me in so many ways. When I can start with my higher power and then work out the rest of my life through the tools I am learning it brings so much clarity to my life. Unbelievable. I am so grateful.

Amazon Kindle. Seriously! I have Kindle on my iPod. That fact that I can get books in seconds and start reading is unbelievable. I am reading "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. I can't put it down. She is a recovered alcoholic for over 30 years and an artist. I am so fortunate that the teacher presents them self when you are ready.

To be able to listen for the Words of my God that I hear through Friends, Children, AA, Youtube, billboards, TV, Radio, and places I never thought I would hear them speak. I just have to be willing to hear what I need to hear. And I am willing.

I am so grateful for this moment. It's not a pink cloud kind of thing. It's a feeling of truly feeling my connection with my Higher Power. I feel Peace, Happiness, Love and a smile is on my face. I am shedding that old miserable way. I am vibrating and it's not the coffee!

I wish you much love through your day.

This is an added note. I had a comment yesterday that I didn't see until after I posted this blog. I am re-editing it. AKAAnnie suggested that I read the book I started reading. Is that not God talking out loud or what?!

Friday, January 8, 2010

January 8, 2010

Today I am grateful for:

I'm really learning that my life is not by chance and it is by choice. So many times I don't want to believe I have anything to do with my feelings or situation.

Let go and let God. This keeps showing up in my blog because it's a lesson that has to be reinforced with me. It's new to me in the last 16 months. This isn't meant to conflict with my first gratitude today. It's like riding a roller coast. You want to ride it because it's fun. Then you realize when you're ready to go down that steep curvy slope, "What was I thinking!?" You have no choice but to go with it, it's fast, it's uncomfortable, you think you are going to die. Before you know it, you're off the roller coast, walking around laughing. The experience is past and you're feeling more alive than before you got it. But the positive attitude through the ride is my choice while I'm speeding out of control. (At least that's what it feels like to me, even though I know I'm not going to die.) Think about it.

Text messages. The connection I have with my fellow AA's and text messages is almost devine. I have more than once received a message that could not have come at a better time. It is a great connection tool. I enjoy going though my contacts and just sending a message to check on someone to let them know I too am thinking about them and I'm there if they need me.

The kindness of the people I know in the last few days. I have so many wonderful people in my life. I love them all. There is positivity in life.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

January 7, 2008

Today I am grateful for:

A meeting yesterday with loads of drunks and druggies. A member telling their story and the bits I could relate to.

A quiet evening at Riva's with my family. The food is always good. Although I have to say with all the Christmas lights and mirrors it was a little overwhelming on the eyes.

Follow through. Finding a new path and going down it one step at a time. Letting go of my job and starting my own business. I think I'll just look at my feet and think about what I have to do right now. I know there is fear in there, but that is me looking at the future with a negative point of view.

Truth and Kindness. I have to remind myself that not everyone out there is truthful and kind. The bigger part of the whole equation is that I make a point of me being truthful and kind. I have to concentrate on keeping my side of the street clean and swept up. Although, I am going to have a garbage can without a lid on it on my side of the street and if you come to visit, please pitch your shit into it.

God will if you can't. And he did it to me.

My new mantra through the day - "I love you, I'm sorry, Please forgive me, thank you." It is another way of cleansing negativity that is right there when you feel it. From the book "Zero Limits".

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

January 6, 2010

Today I am grateful for:

Following through with my will to change. I have been unhappy at my job for so many years. I have been married to the paycheck. I have decided to leave the firm and pursue photography and to use my talents I have been given.

The support of friends and family.

Moments of clairity.

Letting go and letting God do for me what I couldn't. Amazing.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

January 5, 2010

Today I am grateful for:

Running. I have forgotten how much I love running. For so many years I would use drugs and go run. (I know, hard to believe.) I would become so focused on running that nothing else matterered. Or so I thought. I know use my time running to pray and mediate. To feel the ground under my feet. To say hello to people I don't know. I am so grateful I can run.

Knowing that I do take myself too damn serious and that in time things will get better. I just have to be willing.

Learning to let go and let God. it's a daily struggle. Interestingly enough, it comes up in so much of the reading I have been devouring lately. Note to self: "Do you think God is trying to tell you something??!!"

Family and true friends. I have to remember that I am not alone. That is a selfish thought on my part. As horrible as I feel I would cause a lot of pain if I was gone. It isn't all about me is it? Thanks Laura.

Finally working the steps.

Monday, January 4, 2010

January 4, 2010

Today I am grateful for:

Learning rule 62. "Stop taking life so serious." Letting go of negative, ill will thinking towards myself.

Photography. My talent that I forget I have. When I am lost in photographing, time means nothing.

Having honest conversation with a friend. The good that was felt after the conversation knowing they felt lighter and better about it. Simply by being honest and truthful can release so much.

The journey to find out what it is really like to love myself.

Having spirituality. I was so lost before by ignoring my basic need.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

January 3, 2010

Today I am grateful for:

I am so thankful for another day being drug and alcohol free. Being surrounded by people of "AA" that help me understand that I am not alone and they have the understanding that non-addicted people just cannot relate to or conceive.

I know I mention this daily. Choices. I'm still learning that I have choices and my life is how I decide to play it out. Getting unstuck has been a major realization in my life that I have been in a mood of not moving, changing and making choices. I have been talking the talk, not walking the walk. These choices of change are happening with the new year, but not because they are resolutions. I am committed to change through my life, not at the beginning of a period of time.

Loving me. Plain and simply. I don't do it. I am totally starting to understand my insides need to match my outsides. I had not been thinking very highly of myself. If I can't do that, then how can I think highly of anyone?

Laughter. The last time I remember laughing so hard I nearly pissed myself was in rehab in 08. I'm not sure what makes that happen for me. I love when you laugh so hard you cry. It's almost cleansing. I'm grateful for realizing I haven't done that in a while and I am going to put it on my list of things I need to do more than just once.

I am so grateful that I am learning to express myself through my gratitude list.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

January 2, 2010

Today I am grateful for:

I am learning that action is something I have to take. It involves me actually doing something instead of just thinking about it. Actually putting the keys in the ignition, starting the car, putting it in gear and pushing on the gas appears to be a new concept to me.

1 day at a time. Who'da thunk?! You can apply this to anything. I realize how much of a future thinker I am. Try as I might, living right now can get away from me.

Progress, not perfection. The more I think of this the more I start to wonder who I am trying to be perfect for?

Being sober allows me to enjoy my family without the urgent feeling that I have to leave now so I can get high.

This gratitude list to keep me focused on what I have, not the have nots.

On a side note, I want to put out there a prayer for the person(s) who broke into our car in about 7 minutes at Edwards theater off Silber, without damaging the doors or windows, neatly removing the stereo and locking the car again. First, I am thankful we didn't walk up on them where we could have gotten hurt. Second, I am so glad I don't live that life. Can you imagine? Chances are drugs are the reason they have to take from others. I pray they hit their bottom sooner than later and realize that their life can be so much better. I don't care about the stereo, we can replace that. It does bother me how my son reacted and how scared he was. That concept never crossed his mind that people take from others. With the best parenting skills I have, he understands about drugs and the actions people take to get them. (Assuming that drugs are the reason they stole the stereo. Considering 85% of the people who are in jail are incarcerated because of issues related to drugs and alcohol.)

I am grateful we just shrugged our shoulders and moved on!

Friday, January 1, 2010

January 1,2010

Today I am grateful for:

Celebrating bringing in the New Year with my son. We were banging pots and blowing horns walking down the street. The neighbors little girl was having a sleepover with 5 other girls. My son got to jump on their trampoline with 6 beautiful girls to bring in the new year. He was so happy. What more could I ask for?

Sometimes you have to ask for help. I did and I am grateful that I found someone who is spiritually connected like I am.

Knowing that I can get unstuck if I try.

Learning I have a story and I can change it at will. What story do I really want to live? That is truly the answer I must continue to realize.

People who love me and the people I love.

Happy New Year.