Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Marh 30, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

My Memory. I was so busy this morning that I almost forgot to blog. I'm Grateful that I have a clear head and it wasn't chemicals that made me forget. Just old age.

Not taking myself too seriously. This has really been something I am learning. I was always concerned about everything. Now my biggest concern is am I simply happy just being? It's not every second of the day I accomplish this, but I'm working on it.

Being Helpful. I like to be able to be there for my family and friends. I like helping people I don't know. I like to act on the feelings I get when the first thing I think is "They need help!" and I just do it without a second thought about it.

Spring In Houston. I am so Grateful I am in a climate I love.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

March 30, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Family Visits. It doesn't happen that often. It was fun while it lasted. It is nice to get back to my routine.

Spring. The seasons are finally changing to the weather I live for.

Difficulties. I'm Grateful to know that if I set mine down and help someone else mine don't seem to be that big.

Love. I get it all the time and I'm willing to share it.

Monday, March 29, 2010

March 29, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Humility. I'm grateful that I am at a point in my life that I am working towards Humility. From one day at a time. "A full willingness, in all times and places, to find and to do the will of my higher power."

Awareness of how I react. In every situation, I am in control and I can choose how I react.

Having Faith. Sometimes I have to look at faith as having a positive attitude. Having "Faith" that it will work out. Not so much controlling it, more like being in a sailboat and pointing it in a direction and know that if you set the sails right the will will get you there. Not directly, but it will move you to the point you are headed.

Creativity. Yesterday I spent about 4 hours behind my camera. My Faith and Higher Power are showing me I like to box myself in and I need to just keep moving forward. I'm suddenly moving in a direction I didn't really think about.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

March 28, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Listening to my HP. If it wasn't for AA, I would have never known that I needed to focus on something greater than my self. The last 19 months has shown me that I need to listen and I will be able to hear.

Examples. Everyday I see examples of the life I let go and I'm Grateful that I did.

Dave. I was just in Hollister's the other day and I was wondering how to fold a shirt that I had pulled off the shelf to look at.

Work. I think it's slowly coming down the pike.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

March 27, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Set the Past Down. My niece is visiting me and we are having such a wonderful time. With it comes conversations about family members which jar memories I had forgotten. Some not so good. But today I am able to look at them and view them and let them pass. I'm not getting reacquainted with them.

Laugher. It's not often I get to have a good belly laugh. It takes a lot for some reason to really make me laugh. A quick wit will make me laugh with tears. My niece has that natural talent of wittiness. I'm so Grateful she is like her dad with his humor.

Miracles. I'm Grateful that I know every day is one.

The Two Words "I am". I'm learning how powerful they are in my life.

Friday, March 26, 2010

March 26, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Feeling great. There is nothing like waking up in the morning with nothing more than the normal aches and pains of my body that weren't caused from the night before.

The Will To Get Up. I love every day, no matter what. I'm happy and I am Grateful for that.

Helping Others. No matter who it is, it's great to help someone, anyone, it doesn't matter how minor it is. It's a great feeling for me to do it and I don't need anyone else to know.

Surprises. It looks like my higher power lead me some place I didn't expect. I'll wait to see if it pans out.

Beautiful Days in Houston

Thursday, March 25, 2010

March 25, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Sobriety. I am one of the lucky ones and I know it. Everyday I put my faith in something greater than myself instead of into the power of drugs and alcohol.

Visitors. I'm enjoying having my niece here. It's nice to see Houston through her eyes.

Praying and the payoff. I'm seeing the daily miracles of my conversations with my God of my understanding.

Turning it over. It's not so bad or difficult if you just do it and let it go.

I'm Grateful that this freaky bunny stayed at the candy store. I could not handle it in my house!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

March 24, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Easy Does It. Those are the words for today out of "A Day At a Time." I think I'll try to remember that today. I tend to want everything now, hurry, hurry, hurry. I know things are coming along, but I want it at lightening speed.

Family Visits. My niece who is going to be 21 next month is coming for a visit today. I haven't seen her in 3 years. She wants to move here from Syracuse NY. We are going to check out dental hygiene schools. I hope that her expectations are what she expects from Houston. Houston is a very different place than the small town of Syracuse.

Courage. I'm finding if I don't give into the fear I can see my courage rise to the surface. When I resist what I know I need to do I get stuck.

Cupcakes. What can I say. I can eat the whole box. But I love frosting, I love vanilla. These cupcake stores are popping up all over the place in Houston. That is not good for someone like me who is addicted to sugar and sweets. When I binge on sugar in a few days I am crazy as hell. my thinking just goes off the deep end. I'm freakin cupcake crazy!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

March 23, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

My Journey. I'm Grateful that I know I can pick any direction I want to go in. I have to have faith that I will get there. It's the experiences along the way and how I participate in them that will enrich my life.

My Dog Ina. Yesterday I had this feeling of Gratefulness as I looked at her. She was so happy. She spent most of the day outside in the yard, laying in the sun, chewing on a big bone. Barking continuously at the neighbor's dog. I flashed back to the day we picked her out at the pound and how unhappy and sad she seemed. She didn't bark for the first 4 months she lived with us. It's a good feeling when you know you have given an animal a safe, happy home.

Staying Positive. I'm still doing it every day. I'm not sure what I am doing, but I will continue to figure it out.

Love. I have a ton of it in my life and it can't get better than that.

Monday, March 22, 2010

March 22, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

A Good Weekend. It doesn't feel like I did much, but it was nice to have a weekend with the family.

Recognizing the changes within. It's really nice to be able to see for yourself how much you have changed. For me I can see I am totally a different person today.

Not having to have the last word. I've been witnessing this a lot lately. I don't have to have the last word and I don't have to go out of my way to prove I am right, you're wrong.

Getting Back on Track. Yesterday was one of those days that I couldn't seem to get it together. However, today, I'm back on track. So far anyway, it's early in the morning, but I don't feel drained like I did yesterday morning. Here is to a productive week.

Since we have a choice every moment of the day, choose to be happy.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

March 21, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

The First Day of Spring. It's hard to believe when it's 37 degrees in Houston, but I'm going to go ahead and run with it. I'm Grateful that the cold only lasts hours in Houston.

Being Drug Free. I have been working on my pool and I am having an issue where I have a pipe that is struck and I can't get it loose. I threw my back out trying to un-stick it. In the past I would have used the pain as an excuse to do whatever drugs I could to feel better. Now I just take an anti-inflammatory and rest. I don't even have a desire to take the strong stuff.

Looking Onward. As frustrating marketing is for me, I continue onward. I do sometimes feel like throwing in my hat, but I will continue until I build a good, solid client base. That's where I have to understand I can't control anything. It will happen when it happens.

Old Friends. It's interesting to visit with someone you haven't seen in a while once you have become involved in a program like AA. I can hear echos of my old self in his conversations. Ways I use to be and how Grateful I am that I am willing to change. I think in the past, I didn't realize I could change.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

March 19, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Morning Stretches. My back is killing me today. I'm Grateful that a few good stretches can make me feel better.

Third Step Prayer. I am so glad that I have it worked into my morning routine. It's a great reminder for me that life doesn't revolve around me and I can be an example to others by my actions.

Serenity. I am Grateful that I know I have it. I never stopped to think about it during my addiction.

Blogging. A healthy addiction. I wake up and sometimes say to myself, I'm not going to blog today. Then I find I can't let the day go without posting something. I'm Grateful to have a place to let the universe know where I stand each day.

Friday, March 19, 2010

March 19, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Time off with my son. My son and I went to Galveston yesterday. It was only 63 degrees, but we went to the beach. He actually went into the water and collected shells. I laid in my chair freezing and watching him while snapped a few pictures. We had a really nice day together.

A little break. It was nice to have a little break from working and the continued focus on my business. It was nice to not think of marketing and photography at all for a day. (At least try not to anyway.)

My Intentions. I'm Grateful that I have positive intentions towards others throughout the day and that I and my higher power know that. I don't have to worry that anyone else's opinion of me matters. (It's none of my business.) I strive to do the next right thing.

Morning Meeting. I get to go to one more early morning meeting today. It's nice to meet a new/different group of people and to experience fellowship with a different group.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

March 18, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Sleeping in. I love to get up really early most mornings. But then I notice all at once, one day, I am exhausted and I need to sleep in one day. This morning was the morning I was able to sleep in. It's what I call my recharge sleep. I'm usually good for about a month and then I'll have to do it again.

Learning WordPress. Yes, I know I Blog my Gratitude's on Blogger, but I am building my websites on Wordpress because my web host has a way of installing it on my site. I'm hoping to do more blogging for my photography and WordPress offers tons of plugins. I'm amazed at how much I have learned just by Googling if I don't know how to do something. I'm Grateful that my clear sober head and positive attitude allows me to gain knowledge. I'm not hitting the pipe and using letting the world pass me by.

Patience. I'm in one of those places that I could beat myself up, but I'm not. I'm totally aware how I could go off the deep end and say life sucks. But I'm not. Yes, I am aware of my board of directors aren't saying nice things to me and they're good at telling me what a failure I am. But I'm not. As I write this I am having tingly goosebumps about how fortunate I am. I will be provided for and taken care of. I know my higher power doesn't have a scheme for my life, because every step I take changes it, I am given choices. I know today, right now, I am okay. It really is a kind of wait and see experience.

A Great Day. I'm Grateful that I have today, I have a wonderful family, I have friends and I have the ability to change my mood at will.

May you have a goose-bumpy day!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

March 17, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

My Role. Just trying to figure out who I am, where I am and how I fit into the whole thing. Just letting go and letting me become who I am.

Early Morning Meeting. I'm fortunate enough to be able to go to the 6:30 am meetings this week because my son is on Spring break.

Gratitude. I'm so glad to be able to stop everyday and be Grateful for what I have. I see so many people who never stop to be Grateful even for a minute. They are also not the happiest people I know.

Quiet Morning Moments. I love my time in the morning. I'm alone and I have time to pray, meditate, think and plan my day. No interruptions.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

March 16, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Early Morning. I woke up early because I have a lot running through my mind. I'm Grateful I woke up with a clear head, clean and sober.

Moving Forward. As hard as it is sometimes, I keep going forward. Dave says fear is a mile wide and high, but paper thin. I'm still working on breaking through it. It feels a bit like a rubber balloon.

Meetings. I'm so Grateful they are a part of my life.

Friends. Because of my sobriety I actually have friends that I can count on.

Monday, March 15, 2010

March 15, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Life as it is today. I am so Grateful for seeing the difference in my life today compared to what it was like before.

Different Opportunities. There are more options out there than I sometimes allow myself to believe. Nothing is finite.

Laughing. I'm reminded everyday it's an important part of my recovery.

Getting through the Fear. I'm not at the other side yet, but I keep looking it in the face and sticking my tongue out at it. I'm not as afraid of it as I use to be.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

March 14, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Unbelievable Weather. This weekend was meant to be spent outdoors. I like it warm, but I can really appreciate the spring in Houston.

Getting Un-hacked. I was working on my studio website yesterday and my site was hacked in front of my eyes by a so called "Turkish Muslim Group of Hackers". The funny part was I changed my password to my host to a very strong, safe password only to be hacked anyway. I'm grateful they were able to return it back to normal in less than 8 hours. I guess I better look into backing up my site. :)

Being Sober. I see everyday as a miracle.

A New Day. Everyday is like a chapter in a new book. Sometimes it's an easy read, sometimes, not so much. But I still manage to get through every chapter and look forward to the next.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

March 13, 2010

Today I am Grateful For:

Serenity. The past year and a half has been such a learning experience of where to find my peace and happiness. To search within myself has been a place I never wanted to look. It seemed like a messed up place without direction. I find it so interesting now to realize that my calm radiates out of me. I'm learning to shift my thinking into a better place. The chemicals and alcohol clouded so much of my life and perspective. Today I am learning to slow down and to enjoy the moment I am in, not rush to the next thing.

Everything turns out okay. 6 years ago I had a carpenter banging on the outside of the house all day working on the house. It stressed my dog out. My son was 3. At the time, he was into things like pompoms, mops anything that flowed. I was high and not paying attention to him or the dog, pealing potatoes at the sink. He had a rag-mop in his hand that had a piece of metal in the middle of it. He hit the dog in the head. She was so stressed and hurt by the mop that she reacted by biting him in the face, ripping off the lower lid of his left eye. Thank God she didn't get his eye. In a split second life changed. Within minutes I was sitting in an ambulance. My partner and I would be in for a very long night, leading to 3 surgeries. Everything turned out okay in the long run. But I live with a guilt that I have let go of, for the most part, because I can't change it. But it makes me so aware how there is a chance I could have made things different if I wasn't using. I have regrets, but I am Grateful to realize today how I am in a better place. My judgements are more balanced and less focused in self.

New Air Conditioning. I am so Grateful that we are finally replacing our HVAC. It's been dying for 3 years. We were fortunate enough to have someone who borrowed money from us years ago decided to come clean and pay us some of it back. It could not have come at a better time. I'm looking forward to the money we will be saving in electricity.

Organizing. There is something very cleansing about organizing and getting rid of stuff. So far I have organized my studio, dining room, yard and it is leading to a feeling or control in my life. I have two more major areas to attack, the workshop and the attic.

People in my life. I'm grateful for the people I am meeting in my life. When I least expect it, my HP is leading me to people that have an affect in my life and I in theirs. They lead me to new ideas of what I am capable of.

I am so Grateful for my life.

Friday, March 12, 2010

March 12, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

12 Steps. Even though I'm working through them for the first time, I'm glad to have a plan to follow. Many of the steps just come naturally on a daily basis. As I have said before, I think everyone could live by these rules as a simple guideline to living.

Family Time. I really enjoy when our family is together doing nothing.

Being Creative. Using the gifts I've been given.

Determination. There are so many times I just want to give up. I'm learning to work through what I think I can't do. It's that old co-dependant thing that I think I need someone to do whatever it is I need to get done that is hard to do. Alone is a hard way to work at something. But I think the big payoff at the end is the success of knowing I got through it.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

March 11, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

My Blog Friends. I really enjoy hearing from everyone. I'm so Grateful when I open my emails and see that I am not alone with my thoughts and the issues I go through. There is always a common thread amongst us. By hearing from you helps me know that recovery was the best choice I have ever made for myself.

The Serenity Prayer. I have my 18 month chip in front of my computer to remind me everyday. My son came up to me the other day and said, "Papa, what is that saying? God grant me," so I started saying the prayer and he started to repeat it to me from memory.

My son. I see God's gifts in him. When he was a baby I had a couple of people I didn't know walk up to me in the grocery store and tell me he had a special light about him. He is so gentle and kind. His talents amaze me. For 9 he has a musical ability that is beyond me. He is very good at the violin. He has been wanting to learn the piano. So my partner bought him a book on basic chords. The boy opened the book and started playing two handed within 5 minutes. He has gone through 20 pages in two days. He has perfect pitch and can already tune his violin by ear. I thank God everyday for this person and what he shows me. I want to be like him when I grow up.

My Sponsor. I'm so Grateful that I have one. I went too long without one. He is someone I can relate to in many ways. His gentle words this week in my stressed moment were what I needed to hear. I worked through my fear and frustration and did come out on the other end. Things did slowly fall into place, not the way I expected them to, but we all know the reason for that. I cannot control anything. Life will play out as it should play out.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

March 10, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Independence. I'm Grateful to learn that I don't need to be dependent on others. Through this creation of my new studio and business I have continually felt I need someone to help me. I'm learning I don't. I have been managing to do everything on my own. I have asked for input from others, but the work has been done by me alone.

My Higher Power. This week has been one of those weeks that I have been Grateful to have a HP to turn to. Not so much to pray to in a time of need, because I pray everyday. It has more to do with I have comfort in knowing that I am where I am suppose to be and my God, Universe, whatever that is that is connected to me is supporting me in ways I don't understand. I know it will work out in the end. Having faith in my HP so that I know I don't have to have control. I just have to have faith it's all going to be okay. There are times I don't believe or trust and that's when I have let go.

Networking. I'm not the greatest at it, but I'm working at it. I'm the king of isolating. I'm learning not to do that. I'm learning to reach out and communicate. I'm reaching out to other photographers I don't know and asking them to lunch and by golly, they are going. (Maybe because I'm buying! :) ) I'm learning about their business and listening to what they have to offer. I would never have done that in the middle of my addiction. I still have a lot of growing to do, but I can already see how far I have come.

Letting go of Judgement. I am Grateful to see that I don't need to be so judgemental. I don't like it when I do it. I have learned in my life that the people I would judge and think I don't I like them, I end up really valuing their relationships with me. It's the people that I like right away that I end up finding things in the friendship that actually make me isolate from them. I practice everyday not to judge anyone even when I hear judgement come out of others mouths about that person. I have to admit, that makes me judge the judger as well. It's like a double edge sword. I'm Grateful to be aware not to judge.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

March 9, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Prayer. When ego and life get the best of me.

Frustration. As much as I dislike it, if I keep going it will show me I can find the answers I'm looking for.

A happy son. He has an ability to enjoy his day even when it's not so keen for him. I keep trying to model him.

The big book. I am Grateful that it is there for me to read. Page 63 is going to get worn out. I'm glad I have the electronic version too!

Monday, March 8, 2010

March 8, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Prayer. I've been doing a lot of it lately. Yes, I admit, I pray in a time of need as well. But I still pray everyday. I pray for my Gratitude's and I through everything else in as well.

Life. I'm so Grateful for my life. I know it won't play out the way I expect it to. I'm letting go and letting it happen the way it is suppose to. I have to admit, sometimes it's a frightening ride.

Breathing. Just the action of letting in a positive air and exhaling negative crazy energy can be helpful through my day. I'm Grateful to have such a simple action to utilize when I get a little crazier than normal.

Painters. I am unfortunately one of those people who can't paint a room. I had to break down and hire painters to paint my studio. I've got 3 colors going on in that room as well as latex and oil. They will have it completed in two days and it will look right. If I painted the room it would look a mess. I hopefully will be ready to move in in a couple of days.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

March 7, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Blind Faith. Just closing my eyes and believing.

Being here today. There were times when I didn't think I could make it another day.

Common Sense. I'm Grateful for sometimes having it.

Love. I'm grateful to have more than many.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

March 6, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Hard work. As much as I like to run from hard work, I also like to do it. Once I get in the frame of mind to do it, I am like a machine. I am so grateful that the fruits of my labor to get my studio up in running is starting to show.

Being Sober and knowing this is the life I want to lead. As I have been working on my studio, I have been coming across pieces of my old life. I found a box of cigars that I had brought back from Holland that I use to smoke when I was smoking weed and having a few glasses of wine. As I was trashing stuff I pulled out this cute little tin with the cigars in them. I opened it and saw these little cigars and I thought, I could use these and I set them aside. Then I stopped myself and said to myself "What the hell are you thinking?" If I found drugs, would I lay that aside too? It took me about 5 minutes to realize what I was doing to myself and I and threw the cigars away. I know they're only cigars, but that alone with the health issues is reason enough to trash them. To me it just shows that I have a disease that can sneak up and fool me in the sneakiest kind of way. I am so grateful I didn't run across any of the drugs I use to do.

The weekend. I'm grateful to have a few days to slow down on working and relax with my family.

Fellowship. It's so great to get phone calls from friends in the program who just want to check on me. It's a great feeling and it always ends up in great conversation.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, March 5, 2010

March 5, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Relief from the bondage of self. I am grateful when I can feel my self-disrespect lift. When I can stop pounding myself to the floor. For the last 2 days I have been wallowing in pity and self centered-ness. Laying it down and walking away from it is the hardest thing I have to do sometimes.

Networking. I am so grateful I found that group of photographers that meet up once a month. The meetings are great, interesting, and informative. There are so many interesting people in my new community. It's really great to be with a group of photographers who want to share and don't worry about client stealing etc. It's like AA for photographers.

Meetings. There is nothing like a good meeting when you need it. Yesterday really helped me with the rest of my day. Thanks Lambda!!

I am right where I am suppose to be. Knowing that can be the hardest thing to accept.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

March 4, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Spring like weather. It was really beautiful out yesterday. The image below is of my neighbors Tulip tree. It is so beautiful this year. Normally it looks like a dead tree with a few blossoms on it. I am really ready for the hot weather we live in for 4 months out of the year.

Knowing life isn't perfect. Yesterday as I was standing in Starbucks, waiting for my coffee, I felt this shift of a depressive mood. It normally hits me just like that. It's a strange feeling for me and then I can fall into a place that is very difficult for me to get out of. I realized that I just have to let go and let life happen as it should. I'm frustrated because I feel like my focus is off. Things aren't going exactly as I plan. But, in the big picture of life, does it really go the exact way as we plan it? This is a real third step issue for me. "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!" That prayer was a daily prayer and lately I haven't been saying it. I'm glad to bring it back into my routine.

Paper and a writing stick. I'm so grateful that I have a place to jot information down all through the day. List, list and more lists.

Friends. I have so many friends that are important to me. I'm glad that we have affects on each others lives. I'm glad they accept me as I am even when I can't.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

March 3, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:
My sobriety, my higher power and knowing it's okay to take a break from blogging today.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March 2, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Being Busy. I am so Grateful that I have so much to do. I wish I could divide myself up to accomplish everything I need to. I do what I can and keep adding to my to-do list.

My journey being sober. There is just no way I would have believed that life could be so good. I can't believe that I am as happy as I am being free of chemicals in my body. My travel down this road could never be explained to me how it would be. It can only be experienced. The idea that life is so terrific being sober seemed so dull and straight.

Laughter. There is so much of it around my house. We have so much fun. I love when tears run out of my son's eyes because he laughs so hard.

A new day. I'm Grateful to start everyday like a new book, excited to see what every moment will bring like reading a great novel.

Monday, March 1, 2010

March 1, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

My 100th Post. It's hard to believe I have done 100 blogs as of today. I'm so grateful that I have enjoyed blogging my gratitude's. I'm grateful for all the people that I have come into contact with through my blog.

Business. I'm grateful for the business I have been getting. It's starting slow and I am grateful for that. I'm not ready for a big rush of anything at this point. But, keep it coming.

Sleep. I don't know what it is, but I have been getting really good sleep. I have never slept like I have been, ever. I go to sleep at about 11 and don't wake up until around 3:30 am. That is unbelievable for me.

Living in the now. I have to practice this on a daily basis. I can easily get worried about the future. I have to stay right where my feet are planted, that helps a lot. I can't change anything but this moment.