Sunday, February 28, 2010

February 28, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Running. I couldn't talk myself out of running yesterday and I ended up doing the Houston Rodeo Run, one of my favorite runs. I didn't do as well as I have in the past and that is okay with me. I did 1:03:51 for the 10K. But, with almost no training this month I'm Grateful at my age I was out there and running with the other 12,000 people. It was a really beautiful day and I think I would have been sad if I missed it.

Family Time. It was great to spend time with my family and friends. After the Rodeo Run we went to the BBQ Cook off and did the carnival. There were lots of fun people to look at and the boys had a great time.

Isaac's First Birthday. I'm Grateful to be part of my godson's birthday party today. He had a rough start to his life having been born with CAH and then getting pneumonia all within the first month of his life. But the little guy is a fighter and today is as happy and healthy as he can be. He is always smiling and happy. He reminds me of my son when he was little.

Higher Power. I am very Grateful that I have a higher power that I experience on a daily basis. I never would have had that without the experience of my recovery.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saturday February 27, 2010

Today I am Grateful For:

Having Choices. I am so Grateful today to see that I have options. I am clear headed enough to know that there are basically two decisions in front of me at any given time. I just have to know what is right for me at the time.

The Rodeo Run. One of my favorite runs of the year. I'm having second thoughts to if I want to run today. I have no problem running a 10K. It's a bit windy for me. I have COPD which makes it hard to breath sometimes and I end up dry heaving. Not a pretty sight for people standing on the sidelines when ever it happens to me. As I am writing this, my running buddy texted me and she doesn't feel like running either. Although, she is a runner and will make me go. I'm not sure what I am going to do yet. Find out tomorrow!

A sober morning. I can't say enough about that. No drugs and I'm happy. Thank you God, Higher Power, Universe, whatever the powers that be, thank you!

Community. I'm finding that I am so much more interested in being involved since I became sober. I'm more willing to participate. That is such a radical change from my life before. I would isolate and never want to be with other people. I find life is so much more interesting.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday, February 26, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

"What if..." I am Grateful for today's refection from "A Day A Time." I can catch myself saying to myself, "What if I don't make it?" "What if I run out of money?" "What if something major happens in my life?" Thankfully, because of the program, I can stop myself and say "Wait a minute, one day at a time." I can project myself into a frenzy if I don't make myself realize that it is this very moment I am living in, not any further ahead. I have to remind myself of this on a daily basis.

Spring. I dropped my son off at school yesterday and on my way home I had the sun roof open and I could smell the fresh cut grass, the morning birds were singing there quiet morning song. It brought me that feeling of everything is okay. I love those moments of peaceful bliss.

Determination. I am Grateful to keep going. I don't know what the hell I am doing, but I am determined to do it and figure it out alone the way.

Gratification. I am Grateful for the long days of working hard. I am enjoying starting my day early and ending it late in the evening. Sometimes I don't feel like I have accomplished as much as I wanted to in the day. But the idea that I am doing it for myself, sober and happy makes all the difference in the world.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Change. I am so Grateful that I am willing to change. On a daily basis I run into so many people that are afraid to change their views, ideas, or ways of life that could save their lives. My willingness to change has allowed me to grow in ways I could not imagine. By not changing it narrows the happiness and gifts that I receive in my life.

Confirmation. This is my forth week into my new life and of course doubt will sometimes creep in and make me question myself. Did I do the right thing? People won't even notice I am gone. Was I the kind of person I thought I was? All these questions are relatives of fear. I was grateful to get confirmation yesterday when I had to go back to the building I worked in. I didn't go back to my office, because I still suffer post traumatic stress from it. I feel like it's better to keep my distance from there right now. Through my hour there I ran into people who helped me confirm what I was doing was right. I had to pick up carnival tickets at the management office for the rodeo and the people there were very upset about the issues that I had to deal with which now they were having to dealing with. They were not happy about the situation. I am so grateful to have confirmation about my past and the willingness to change and to know I will be taken care of.
Positivity. Truly and undeniably a frame of mind that is necessary to live a life of Gratitude. I am learning to live with my fear and to know everything is going to work out if I just look past it.

Today. I am so Grateful to have the frame of mind that I have today. I am Grateful for the beautiful, unknown day of gifts and life experiences I will receive in the next 24 hours.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

February 24, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

The threat of snow is gone. You would have thought we were going to have a nuclear winter the way they were hyping the snow. For Houston, we don't typically get snow at the end of February. I live here because we have very mild winters and weather when it comes to being cold and the winter season. I know I don't have much to complain about as the rest of the country, but I know what I like and that's warm weather, bring it on.

Banishing Fear. I live in fear on a daily basis. But I don't wallow in it. I'm learning to let it exist in my life, but I don't have to wrap it around me and stop me from moving about in my life. To deal with my fears I avert my eyes from it so to speak and look in the other direction. Much like when I see a little creature that was killed in the street. It's unpleasant, I know it's there, but I don't have to stop and look at it. I can look in the other direction, pass it and then it's behind me. I'm still driving in my car and it didn't derail me.

How fantastic my life has become. O-M-G! Have I told you how I am so fortunate that I have been given the life of freedom of drugs and alcohol and the gift of communication with a higher power, one day at a time!? Just checking to see if you are paying attention. I love my life.

Being Grateful. To have learned that I need to be Grateful on a daily basis. To actually stop and think about what it was like, what happened and what it is like for me now. To be Grateful for everything and everybody in my life. And I don't mean to be Grateful just in the morning but all through my day. This keeps me centered and happy and away from thinking about the negative, self sabotaging thinking that is based in fear.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

February 23, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Freedom is choosing. This is from today's "A Day At A Time." "We lose the fear of making of decisions, for we realize that if our choice proves wrong, we can learn from the experience." I am grateful that I have gained confidence in my decisions and I realize that my choices are not the end of the world.

Unknown friends in AA. Yesterday I needed physical labor help. What will someday be my studio is currently a storage room. I needed an extra pair of hands to help move things to Charity, garbage or repack to store elsewhere. I was glad that I could call an unemployed fellow AA-er and pay him. What was nice is that we could fellowship about how great the program works for each of us. And even though I didn't know this person it allowed me to trust him, which is something I would not normally do with just anyone off the street.

Work. I am grateful for the work that is in front of me. I'm finding I am working 12 to 15 hours a day to get my business going. The best part of it is that it doesn't feel like work. I don't dread it, I have goals and I don't feel like I have to please anyone and I don't have to wonder if my performance is up to par. THANK YOU GOD!

Friends and Family. I am grateful to have so many people to care for and that care for me in my life.

Monday, February 22, 2010

February 22, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

18 Months of Sobriety, yesterday. I was so caught up in my getting my business going I nearly forgot what I need to take time to think about. I am grateful on a daily basis for my sobriety. I texted my sponsor and told him I wasn't going to the meeting that I normally go to on Sunday morning and he wrote back "Happy 18 months!" I nearly fell over because I forgot. I'm grateful for him reminding me and that I live 3 blocks from the center that I was able to make it. It was 9:13 am and the meeting started at 9:30 am. It would not have been the same to pick up my 18 month chip with any other group of people other than the drunks and addicts I fellowship with.

Prayer. Yesterday's meeting was about prayer in our lives and how it works for each of us. I am so fortunate that I found communication with a God of my understanding which I write in my blog often. The first thing I do is pray and meditate while my coffee is brewing. But I also write to my higher power. Originally, it started off as morning writing to expand on my creativity, which it does. However, I start each writing with Dear God, Universe or whatever it feels like that day. Through writing I feel my focus is more connected to my higher power because I am doing something tangible. I'm a tactile person and that makes it a stronger connection for me.

Follow through. Something that I would sneak away from before. Through my sobriety I have been finding that I follow through with what I say I am going to do. The funny part, I don't even think twice about not doing something I would originally be thinking about how I can get out of it, when I said I was going to do it in the first place.

Loving me. I am who I am. I am just who I am suppose to be. I love who I am, something I was never able to say before. Whatever I am here to do, I am enjoying the journey and have no regrets for the my life, past, present or future.

Now, I don't normally do this, but Annie, gave me an award and I want to honor it. I am suppose to write 7 facts about me, so here goes.

1. My first language was German until I was 4.
2. I liked to clean at a very early age.
3. I only see with one eye. The other works, but my brain turns it off.
4. I love being creative, but my interests change with the hour.
5. I have always only slept 4 or 5 hours a night.
6. The day I was born, there was a plane crash in Mexico killing 26 people.
7. I was named after Gary Cooper
I'm Giving this award to:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

February 21, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Staying Present. When I was using I would stick my head in the sand and pretend that nothing was going on and totally ignore everything that was happening that I needed to deal with. Today I hold my head high and experience the moments and deal with them with a much more level head. I'm happy to say that it doesn't hurt as much as I use to thing it would.

My Sanity. At least what is sane for me. I'm learning to recognize when I'm getting off track and I can bring myself back to center.

Art. There is so much creativity around us, presented to us as art. Sculptures, paintings, signs, advertising, graffiti tags. It's everywhere we look. I'm grateful to have a hypersensitivity towards art and recognize it throughout my day.

Children. To quote Art Linkletter, "They say the darnedest things." What free creative little minds that they have by not having life's influences affect them to a degree as we older kids have.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

February 20, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Positivity. As I was cleaning out my studio the other day I came across a book in my files called Life is Tremendous. The author claims our conversations are 99.9% negative. I didn't believe it at first but I started to listen to people that I know speak and there was a lot of negative in just normal conversation. I am grateful to have that pointed out to me and I am making an effort to hear what is coming out of MY mouth and to redirect the way I am feeling and thinking about things in a more positive way.

Spiritual Progress. I am so grateful for my spirituality and the progress I am making on a daily basis. I know I am where I am suppose to be today. But to me, I feel like I boarded the boat just before it left port.

My Creativity. I am grateful for how much I have and recognizing that I have so much that is untapped.

Being Kind. Sometimes it is a challenge to be that way, but I continue to start and end my day with kindness. It can sooth the savage beast in the worst of situations.

Friday, February 19, 2010

February 19, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:
Courage. I never knew I had it. I always had this fake sense of thinking I had courage. Through being sober I realize I can get past the fear and move forward. I had no idea that I was able to believe in myself. What a concept for me. As I sit here this morning I have a strong confidence that I am going to be okay. As the old me sheds away, a lot like the skin of s snake, I can see a little clearer the path in front of me. I am aware that I can't see far ahead, but just enough to know that I can take the next step, soberly, happily, confidently. I know I have a place I am going and I don't have to worry about every footstep alone the way.

The Blog People. Reading and sharing online about each life that I follow feels much like a Mexican Novelia. They change from day to day and you never know what to expect. But they contain pieces of my life and offer solutions. There have been so many times I read about things that I feel are happened in my life at the same time as others. Solutions come in unexpected ways.

12 Steps. I know I am moving slowly through the steps but I apply many of them to my life on a daily basis. Since I have been in recovery I finally have plan to follow which has made my life easier to accept and deal with from day to day. I have often said it I am so fortunate to have an addiction because it has allowed me to have a program. So many people would benefit from a 12 step program just to live life. It has shown me I always have choices in my life and that we can choose the next right thing over the next wrong thing. I can decide how I am going to react, positively or negatively, I have options. I have learned to pause and think.

Friday. What a great day of the week. But, now it seems so different in my new life. "Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore!"

Thursday, February 18, 2010

February 18, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Spirituality. Every day I am so thankful that I found my spiritual path. For so many years I was on auto-pilot and didn't even think that there was something greater than myself. I believed there was nothing. Even on my worst day now do I ever think that there isn't something out there greater than me. Sure it ebbs and flows, but I have seen the miracles in my life that I cannot ignore. That is when I sit myself down and look at the proof.

Belief in me. To be able to not indulge in the negative thinking I have done for most of my life about myself. To stop and be grateful for what I have and what I have accomplished, especially in the last 18 months. I am so grateful my eyes have been opened to a better way of life.

People in my life. I am grateful for all the people in my life. Even the ones that rub me the wrong way. They are gifts or lessons in my life. I am learning that they are my higher powers way to make things happen in my life that I can't do for myself. I realize they are examples to learn by. Some people can be an example of how I don't want to be or how I do not want to treat another person. They are the writing on the wall.

To be able to say yes. I write about this a lot because I am the king of saying no. I am learning to say yes and I am seeing how it is having a positive influence in my life. When I say no, it's attached to the old me that would just turn around and go put chemicals into my body and dream of bigger things that never came. I am slowly realizing there are hidden opportunities when I say yes. It may not be directly in when I say yes at that moment, but it appears it's just a door opening up for more. I am so grateful I willing to change.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

February 17, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

More sleep. I had a very heavy dinner last night which seemed to make it impossible to sleep. I fell asleep really fast, but then I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep. The good part of it was since I couldn't sleep I was was able to watch tutorials on Wordpress for my website and got a lot of answers that I was wondering about. I was only able to sleep in until 6:30 but I feel great.

Friends in the program. I met with a friend after the meeting yesterday and we had lunch and talked. It was the best thing for me to do. She helped me realize how much I have actually accomplished in 3 weeks. I have gotten a lot done. I have been beating myself up and telling myself it's not enough and I can't do what I think I can do. But that lunch made me realize yes I can do what I put my mind to.

Ass backwards day. Because I haven't followed my normal routine this morning, everything is ass backwards today. And you know what, it's working out just fine. I don't think I want it this way everyday, but it's okay.

My partner and son. I'm going to miss my partner today, he's off to Mexico on business for the next two days. I am so lucky to have him in my life and he is so good to me. On the way to drop my son off at school he exclaimed how happy he was. He's always happy. But I am so glad he is verbal about it. It's a good feeling to know that the negative parenting I think I do may not be true.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

February 16, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

A new day. Yesterday was a great day, but at the end of the evening I was ready to put it away. I am grateful for the challenges that were presented to me and how I was able to handle them without the need for drugs and alcohol. Today is a fresh and free of yesterday and has no idea of tomorrow.

Prayer and meditation. I'm still learning what works for me. How I talk and how I receive information. At times it seems futile, and I think why waste my time. But it's those special moments of too many coincidences that have happened in my life that show me something bigger than myself is giving me what I'm asking for. Not always in the pretty box I want it to come in, but it shows up just the same.

Answers. I am grateful for what I have and what is coming to me in my life. When I get a little frustrated I have to review the chain of events to see it is getting me where I want to go. Not exactly as I design it, but the changes are happening all the same. That is when I have to be sure I am aware of my higher powers presences and let go and have faith life will work out as it should.

After re-reading what I have written I can see a theme here. It may be redundant, but I am happy to share it just the same.

Monday, February 15, 2010

February 15, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Sleep. I am grateful for the sleep I have been getting lately. I'm learning to allow myself that it's okay to sleep when I feel like I need it. Sometimes I torture myself to keep going not allowing myself one of the basic needs of my human condition. I am realizing that if I wear myself thin I'm not able to accomplish the goals I am working towards.

The beautiful day yesterday. It was a teaser, but all the same, it was beautiful. It made it up to about 71 degrees and sunny. Then the north wind blew in and dropped the temperature about 25 degrees. But I am so glad I was able to enjoy the day.

Music. This weekend was a weekend of classical music. We went to a really great Roco conductorless concert at St. John's Church performed by classical musicians from around the country. They performed Bach's piano concerto in D minor, Beethoven's fifth symphony, Jacob's old wine in a new bottle and Chen Yi Shuo for Chinese New Year. Their special performer was guest pianist, Simone Dinnerstein. We had seats to the left of the stage with a flat screen right in front of us to view the performance up close. I am so grateful to have witnessed such beautiful music in person. Then on Sunday, my son had his performance with the Houston Youth Orchestra. He was picked as one of the lead violinist in his section which was a really great honor for him. He amazes me. I want to be just like him when I grow up.

In the moment. I'm grateful that I do not regret my past and I try to live right now. I can throw myself into a tizzy if I think to far ahead. I am so grateful to be much more aware of how I think and what I am doing to myself at times. I just tell myself to look down at my feet, because that is where I am right now.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Love. I am so grateful for my partner and my son and to have them to celebrate Valentines Day with.

Music. My son has a performance with the Houston Youth Orchestra. I like to see him be nervous before a performance and the watch the calm come over him when they perform.

Blogging from my iPod. I slept in for a change so my day is a little out of sync. I blogging on the fly. Please forgive spelling and grammar errors.

Sunday morning meetings and breakfast at One's A Meal with friends.

Happy Valentines Day. Love yourself.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

February 13, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Laughter I love to laugh. I am one of those people that doesn't act right in situations that you should. Even when I'm sad, I still have a pretty good sense of humor. My partner and I were at a memorial service one time. We were at the point where everyone was standing and praying. I happened to notice that his fly was down. I leaned over and told him with a grin on my face that his zipper was down. We broke out in uncontrollable laughter that we had to mute to to the best of our ability. Another time we went to see Yo-Yo Ma with a friend and we had second row seats. There was a pause in the music and my friend leaned over to me and said "I think he forgot what he was playing." That sent us both into hysterical laughter. I thought Yo-Yo Ma was going to fling his bow at us. The point is, that laughter is such a great release. I don't get those kinds of laughs to often and I am grateful when they happen.

Another day sober. I'm grateful that lately it hasn't been a struggle to be sober either. A few weeks ago, not so much. I never really want to use, but I feel like I've gotten to the point that I don't even think of using as a option. I am grateful to see all the good that has come from my sobriety and the serenity that I have even when life is hectic. I don't want to mess with that. Clarity is a wonderful thing.

Love. I have more love in my life and I'm so much more willing to give it away. That I am grateful for.

Being Supportive. I was at a meeting yesterday and I just said a simple thing to someone at the meeting. Later I received a text from them saying thank you for being supportive. I love those moments when I can help someone without even thinking about it.

Change. As scary as it is for me right now. I don't know where I am going, but I am going no matter what.

Friday, February 12, 2010

February 12, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Surprises. This morning when I looked at my email I had a Facebook notification from someone I have know for years that friended me. I haven't seen him in a long time. The surprise I am grateful for is that it looks like he has gotten sober. Yeah for him. I haven't had a chance to talk to him, but I will and I hope life is good for him.

My Blogging Friends. It is so great to hear from you all and to be able to read what is going on in your lives. It's really wonderful to witness the experiences you all are having on a day to day basis. It's great to be a part of your lives in some way.

The continuous rain we are having. I'm appreciating that my lawn is green and any plants that make it through this Houston winter season will thrive from all the water they are getting. I am grateful I am not on the east coast under numerous feet of snow. I can complain I'm wet and cold, but I'm so glad I'm not out there shoveling snow.

The here and now. It's not what I plan it to be, but I'm okay with what it is.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

February 11, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Sleep. I usually always get up at between 4 and 5 in the morning. I forgot to set my alarm last night and I had the fortune of sleeping in until 6:00 a.m. Normally I would have freaked out and would have been in a panic. Today, I was grateful to get the sleep I needed. My body had the chance to sleep through the night uninterrupted and get the rest it obviously needed.

Being Sober. I still can't believe how nice life is without the influence of drugs and alcohol. To have sober clarity is just something I couldn't image when I was caught in the depths of my addiction. Of course life isn't all sunny days and happy endings. But it is so much more than it was before. I'm not sitting around thinking this is happening to me, I'm experiencing what is happening and looking at my options and making the better choice. I'm not trying to make square things fit into round holes. I realize that's impossible and I don't need to bother trying because it just doesn't work. Being sober allows me to look at things a little more logically and not to not react so emotionally to everything. It really does give me serenity.

Today. For all the unknown things that I am going to experience happen today and the things that I will be accomplishing.

My dog Ina. She is sweet and loving. I am grateful that she likes to keep and eye on me during the day and stays close to my side.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

February 10, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

My son. He brings me so much laughter and happiness. He is amazingly happy all the time. I strive to be happy everyday, but this child wakes every morning in a happy, good mood. I think back on the day he was born and the nurse said to us "That child is a miracle because he should not have been alive when he was born." The umbilical cord was around his neck twice, it had a knot in the cord, and he had defecated before he was born. He was active and going the second he was born. He hasn't stopped since. I always tell him he is an example of how I want to be.

Opposition. With every step I take I have to take one step back. And it's okay. I see how I am learning from it. As frustrating as opposition is it allows me to still move forward. Being sober has allowed me to keep going when in the past I would say "I can't" and quit.

Northern Winds. I love when the wind blows from the north, I can hear the trains that are about a mile away from my house. My son is a train fanatic and has been his whole life. Because he is so into trains I have become so aware of them. I love laying in bed and can sometimes actually hear the metal of the wheels on the tracks as well as hear the whistle blow when it crosses intersections.

Gina. We were friends since we were 16. She died about 3 years ago this month. Her drug and alcohol use got to her before sobriety could. She was one of the examples in my life to make me realize I was not headed in a good direction. I miss her. I think of her now and think how lost she was. She got up one Sunday morning and put her head down at the computer and died with a glass of wine and a bowl of weed next to her with 19 different prescription drugs running through her system. She was in the middle of sending a joke email to friends about the difference between and Irishman and his wife and a six pack of beer. I don't know the joke, but it's ironic that it was a joke about alcohol.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

February 9, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

How fortunate I am. I am so grateful for all I have. I have a house to live in, a warm bed to wake in and food in my fridge to provide food for my family. I have clothes to wear that I pick because I like the way they looks versus anything that will keep me warm. I am grateful for the electricity and gas that provides warmth and comfort. My life is so good and I am provided for so much. I will always be grateful for what I have.

Being Kind. I've seen it work so many times for me in the last few months. When I interact with anyone, I will always be kind. I am grateful to know that if you give kindness, you get it back more often than not.

Growing. Everyday since I quit my job I am seeing where I am going and how to get there. Yes, it's taking work, but I can see that my planning is coming together. I still have a way to go, but I have a goal that is falling into place. I am learning that even when I feel like I need someone to help me if I persevere I realize I don't need anyone and that I alone can accomplish anything.

Faith. I see it working every single day. Faith gives me strength to aim for what I want and to focus on the prize and to continue to move towards my goal. I don't try to control anything. I just have a goal. How I get there is left to the faith and I let my Higher Power guide me to it.

Monday, February 8, 2010

February 8, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Differences. In "A Day At A Time" this was the topic for today. Interestingly I didn't know what I wanted to blog about today, but that hit a good point for me. I get caught up in the opinions of other people and I can end up letting their opinions affect how I think or go through my day. Those were the reasons I used drugs and alcohol because I would take their opinions or their differences of how I think to heart. Today I am learning that people are always going to have opinions how I should be going through my life and how I should be living my life. I would begin to doubt my plan of action because they didn't believe I was capable to follow through with my plan. During my addiction, they were probably right. That's where the negative thinking would start to fester in me and I would slowly loose sight of whatever path I was following. Today I am learning that others can have their difference of opinions for my life, but I have to stay steady with my faith and desire so that I can follow through on my journey in life. I understand that I don't have control of anything, and if it's God's will, then so be it. But I do have the capacity to chart my course and the winds will blow me in the direction I want to go. Sometimes it requires me to change my tack as I move along, but I will end up at the point I am headed for.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

February 7, 2010

Today I am grateful for:

Animal Advocates. Yesterday I had the honor to photograph people and their pets with an animal, no kill rescue group Scout's Honor which was started by a friend of mine a few years ago. I volunteered my free service of photographing people and their dogs or their dogs by themselves. I even got the opportunity to photograph some toddlers too. ( I might as well work my market, no!?) Scout's Honor has placed something like 1,700 dogs and cats in the last 3 years. What really saddened me was the cruelty that is out there. I had the good fortune to meet wonderful dogs that were treated so badly but fell into the wonderful care of the the volunteers of Scouts Honor Rescue. I met dogs that had been shot in the shoulder and through the neck, another dog that had acid poured on his head and down his face (Evidently, this is something they are seeing more of.) and a dog with a broken limbs from being hit by a car and the owners just threw the dog away because they couldn't afford to fix it. To see the joy in the dogs and the owners hearts made me happy that I was providing my service to them. The images weren't the quality that I was hoping to provide, but it was a learning experience all the same. I hope to continue my service to them on a monthly basis and improve what I have to offer.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

February 6, 2010

Today I am grateful for:

Opportunities. By my willingness to change and move forward in my life I have been so fortunate that opportunities have been presented to me. On a day to day basis I am give numerous opportunities, to learn, work and enjoy my life.

My partner. I look back how I was in my addiction and my mentality was so him against me. The word partner was lost. It wasn't about us together it was about me thinking he was judging me and telling me what I was doing wrong. It wasn't until I sobered up did I realize that my thinking was askew from reality. I can see now how much more we work together as a couple raising our son, and living together as a couple. I am so grateful that he didn't give up on me when he could have.

Who I am today. I like myself. This is the first time in my life I feel like I know who I am, I am confident about who I am becoming and I am happy with my life as it is unfolding. I am at peace when I look at myself, without being negative and miserable.

Connecting with my family. It made me feel good to be there for a family member who desperately needed to talk to someone that would listen to them. For me to be able to give suggestions of their options that might help guide them to follow their path in life. It's amazing to see how we can all end up in places that sometimes seem hopeless and deadended. Not being able to see the forest fore the trees. But, if we keep walking forward everything opens up.

Friday, February 5, 2010

February 5, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Miracles. Seriously, I can't call it anything but. I am being so helped along in my life I cannot call it coincidence. Being that I have changed careers I am working diligently 8 hours a day focused on my photography. Starting your own business can be lonely, especially because I know how to do the photography part of my job. But getting the business up and running and off the ground is a whole other animal.

I have been reading a book explaining the ins and outs of marketing for photographers, written by Mitche Graf. I have been sending emails to photographers offering to take them to lunch so I can ask them questions. I've managed to have lunch with one photographer and an hour and a half conversation on the phone with another.

Now, here is the miracle, which I will call it that happened yesterday. For grins I was searching for studio space on Craigslist and nothing came of it. I then went to the web and Googled a random search for "studio space in Houston." I was lead to a sight that was looking for someone to share studio space. The problem was that it was back in October. I then started looking at her sight because I liked her images. There was a picture of an Indian wedding that I found interesting because of the mans face. So I decided to write her to ask her to lunch. She didn't have an email on her website, only a form I could fill out. I don't like using forms for a lunch request. So I decide to go ahead and write an email to her and I would just make up the email address by using her domain name and her first name and hoped it would work. I wrote the email asking her to lunch, I pushed send and I didn't get an email back saying it was invalid. So I waited, still nothing. Then I went on about my morning working. Now this is the part that shows me I am so right where I need to be right now. I'm happy, I'm sober and life is good. I looked at my email and I had a reply from her. Unfortunately, she is not available for lunch for the next two weeks, but, the first Thursday of every month she has a meeting in her studio with photographers to share information and usually a topic of discussion. She invited me to come and it starts at 7:00 p. m. last night.

By 7:30 p.m. last evening I was sitting in a room with about 30 photographers. It felt just like an AA meeting to me. They even said that at one point. The connection of a miracle gets even closer. As she is talking about the topic she is talking about a seminar she went to and the person holding the seminar asked her, "what was her hook or what drove people to her as a photographer?" She gave her answer, which was "Geek Brides" and she said Mitche Graf just looked at her because he had not ever heard an answer about a bride described that way before. Mitche Graf is the author of the book I am reading. And for me to end up in a room with all these photographers, all at once. It was totally amazing and a miracle to me.

As a topper, my business cards that were suppose to arrive on Friday arrived Thursday morning, I mean, come on, Miracle is spray painted all over it.

Life is Sweet!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

February 4, 2010

Today I am grateful for:

The start of my morning. Every morning I get up around 4:15 or there about. I turn my alarm on, but I usually wake up on my own before it goes off. I have my routine of praying and meditating, morning writing and then blogging. But the best part of each morning is I can set the tone of how I want to tackle my day. I am grateful I wake up without a chemical hangover. That's one less thing that will affect me through the morning. I pray that I look to my day as a learning experience and I handle it the best way I can. I pray that I am helpful to someone who needs my service, whatever that may be. I am also grateful that I am aware I am on a journey of some sort. It's not pre-defined, with every step mapped out. It's a journey where I am learning as I move through my life. It's up to me to be keenly aware of how I want to act or re-act to situations that arise. I am so grateful I am where I am today.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

February 3, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Yesterday's Gratitude Meeting. It made me realize that I am on the right track with my life. It was interesting to hear people who have been sober for many years that didn't practice daily the gratitude that they have in their life. Listening to what they shared showed me how unhappy they were. The simple act of being grateful for what I have versus what I don't have accounts for my daily serenity, peace and happiness. One of the biggest is being sober. The simple act of being present physically and emotional is a major gratitude for me.

The work ahead of me. I feel like I am back in school. I have so much to learn right now. Unfortunately, I have a short time to do it. I am so grateful for the full days I have right now, putting all my ducks in a row. As every day passes I see more that I need to learn. Accounting, marketing, daily business practices, more about photography. I'm realizing that I am just scratching the surface. However, it is the first time in my life I recognize I can.

My iPod touch. I have to tell you, that little piece of electronics is a work horse. I use to have a Blackberry for years and my iPod dances around that thing. Sure, the only way I can get emails is to have a wifi connection, but I have found I am never far from wifi if I need it. It allows me to access the web, carry images, books, my to do lists, calendar and contacts. It even acts as a phone if I have wifi access using Skype. Not to mention music, movies and I even download AA recovery podcasts from iTunes for free. If you don't want to buy an iPhone, iPod is the way to go. Oh yeah, did I mention I'm a geek?

Learning to be positive. I am so grateful for my positive attitude and happiness. To be grateful for whatever happens is not a concept I have entertained most of my life. By practicing one day at a time, it has allowed me to move into a place that is comfortable and somewhat easy. I'm not saying there aren't challenges, believe me, there are. But it's how I decided to tackle them makes all the difference in my day. I can let it eat my lunch, or I can walk away from it with a positive attitude that it will allow me to work through it and take the next right step.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

February 2, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Being Supportive. I ended up spending 6 hours at the hospital yesterday waiting while a friend of mine had a heart procedure done. It was good that I was there to support of my friend who was in the waiting room and for the support of my friend who was having the procedure done. It was not where I wanted to be, but it was where I needed to be. I actually witnessed in my self the calm that allowed me to know it was the right thing to do. It was a very good day.

Saying Yes. Jim Carey came out with a very bad movie called Yes Man. The movie itself was not well made. But the basic idea of what the movie was to say "Yes" to everything. It was a message that I needed to hear. I always say no to everything. Even before the sentence is complete, I am ready to say no to the question I am being asked. It's the joke in the my immediate family, that I am going to say no. I am just like my mother that way. Since I am changing my life I decided to make a grander effort to say "Yes" to more and see what happens. I have seen the positive side of it. I'm just waiting to say yes again.

Sobriety. I can't be more grateful for this. I don't have to start my mornings drugging 5 minutes after I wake up. It all seemed so normal and okay to do that. It's amazing what you will tell yourself. I don't have to spend time laying in bed with the phone balanced on my ear trying to keep conversation with someone because I thought I was going to die if I didn't keep talking. I look back now and think of how close to the edge I was. I am so grateful I don't focus my day on am I running out of prescriptions? Do I have enough weed? Is there wine in the fridge? That was all a good day. That's how skewed life was for me.

The love of my dog. She has her own agenda, but I'm glad she lets me be part of her life.

Monday, February 1, 2010

February 1, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Being there. I am so grateful that I am able to be there to support my family. I am slowly learning how to get away from the self centered mentality that ruled me for so long. I love that I no longer chose to pick battles all the time with my partner and I have learned to listen. I've learned to pause before speaking which has always been a large malady of mine in our relationship. I've learned to hear what is being said, versus what I am hearing in my own head as criticism. I'm thankful that I take the time to react (most of the time, progress, not perfection) with love and kindness.

Friends. How much more grateful can I be? Every one of them. From old friends, to, friends within and out of the program. It is so great that I have so many people supporting me.

Faith. You know, I really didn't have much Faith in anything. I never believed it even existed. I really have to say that only in the last few weeks have I been shown that Faith is alive and well in every one's life. I have been shown that through the desire to change and the willingness to have Faith that I can be heard. I didn't think I could continue through a lot of the emotional stuff that was going on in my life for the last 6 months or so. But I had faith, in what? I wasn't really sure. I did what I was told, I faked it till I made it. That saying sounds so inane to me. But it's expression that is true to it's word.

HP. Whatever it is? God, the Universe, Higher Power, Buddha, whatever it is? I'm just glad I finally welcomed the idea that there was something greater than myself into my life. I don't bother trying to put a face to a name anymore. I sum it up to I don't need to figure it out. No more than I have to understand oxygen. But I sure do believe in it. I'm told it's there, I'm told I will not exist without it. I am part of an intelligent species that is able to know it's there. Like my dog or any other breathing mammal, they don't know it's there but they use it to carry on with their little lives without question. That is how I am about my God in my life. I sometimes call it God, sometimes I call it HP. That comes from my disbelief in today's current mentality of the christian's. I don't want to be lumped into the same group. All I need to worry about is what I think and do and how I act. I don't care what others do spiritually, they are on their own path. They will get it when they get it. I'm just so grateful that I found what was lacking in my life through my sobriety.