Cultivating a Grateful Heart

Sitting in front of my computer unable to think of anything to write usually means it’s time for a gratitude post.  God has to hit me upside the head with those bricks less and less often these days.

Dear God –

Today I am grateful for:

  • My sobriety.
  • An opportunity to bring a meeting to our local detox center last night.  It was a good thing.  I’m going to do it again next month.  (Our group does it once a month.)
  • That my knees are healing.  It’s hard to get on them and pray when all the skin has been scraped off.  Good thing my God doesn’t give a rat’s ass how or when I pray…just that I pray. (He also doesn’t care if I curse btw.  My God rocks.)
  • Children who are able to give.  The twins and their friends have organized a fundraiser for one of my BFF’s sister’s son (keep up here) who has Lissencephaly and has beaten many odds to reach the age of 3 and take his first steps.  His parents are just good people who struggle to get him all of the best care available and my kids wanted to help.  They rock my world.
  • A husband who knows when I need chocolate or flowers and will go out of his way to get them for me.
  • A job that I like with people that I love.
  • My health.
  • Great dogs.  Pepper (a Brittany Spaniel mix) and Tasha Marie (a beagle).  Both are rescues with stories that would make you cry.  I look in their eyes every day and see unconditional love and gratitude.  Who could ask for more?
  • A great hairdresser.  This new cut rocks!
  • Spring!
  • Friday!
  • All of my kids and their kids.  You are the reason my heart beats.
  • This blogging community that has taught me that a sense of “community” can come from anywhere…even cyberspace.

Amen

The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!  ~Henry Ward Beecher

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I’m dreaming of a…glass of wine???

Last night I dreamt I was drinking.  Not the first time I’ve done this and it won’t be the last.  I have really crazy dreams, in color, often.  Even when I was drinking I had crazy dreams.  Well…not at the end…then I just passed out and slept the restless sleep of a drunk.

The same thing happened to me when I quit smoking.  I dreamed of smoking for years and would wake up so angry with myself for smoking before I realized I was just dreaming.

My usual neurotic dream is that it’s the last day of college and I have to take an exam for a class (usually math) which I haven’t attended all semester.  Oh and I can’t find the classroom.  And…oh yeah…I’m in a very short nightshirt with no bra (believe me when I say that this would NOT be good) – or some derivation thereof.

Now I get to add having a glass of wine to the above mix of dreamology.  Last night I dreamt (dreamed?) I was on a business trip and my husband was there as well…apparently he had a business trip in the same place which is odd because he’s a retired, stay-at-home dad. 

Anyway, at some point I became a valet and was parking cars for the hotel but when I went to get into the garage to retrieve a car it was the parking lot for the bank I’m trying to get a job at AND I didn’t have the right code to get in. Finally I just went back to our room and poured myself a glass of pink wine (I haven’t had pink wine since the 80’s) in a wine glass which then turned into a champagne flute.  Wait.  What?

My dreams are always like this.  Stephen King says that dreaming is how your subconscious vomits. (Nice huh.  I love Stephen King.)  If that’s the case then my subconscious needs to go on a diet. 

So now, every so often, I dream that I’m drinking.  Always wine and always in some chic chic situation which is “oh so proper”.  I guess that’s my subconscious way of making it okay to suck down the booze.  Or maybe that’s the way I would like it to be. Or maybe that’s the idea of drinking that I carry.  What…ever. 

The important thing is that I no longer wake up longing for a drink.  Now I wake up PISSED!  In fact, many times I get angry in the dream and I start yelling at myself (cause in dreams you can do that you know) and I snatch the drink away from myself and pour it down the drain.  Last night I just drank it and thought – hmmm – this is doing absolutely nothing for me and I don’t need the calories and oh by the way now I have to start all over AND get my tattoo redone…shit.  Progress right?  Who the hell knows.

What I do know is that I was very, very relieved when I woke up and realized that not only did I not drink but I did not have a hangover, my tattoo was in tact and I didn’t have to face my kids and tell them I fell off the wagon right before getting back on and going through all that hell again.

And when I said my prayers this morning I was extra, extra grateful that I was, by the grace of God, still a recovering alcoholic.

New and Improved Coping Skills

I had a shitty day yesterday.  Sorry to be so vulgar but that’s the only way to describe it.

First I fell in the parking lot at work.  Totally sober, no phone usage involved at all.  My heel caught in a small pothole and down I went.  Scraped up both knees pretty bad, tore a hole in the knee of a good pair of dress pants (and I only have 4 pair!) and dropped my phone.  The only thing I was really worried about was the phone and it was fine (silver lining?) but I was bruised, battered and bloody and it was only 9:00 am.  My ego wasn’t doing too well either…

Then I found out that a job I had applied for and was looking forward to an interview for was WAY below my paygrade and that I was grossly overqualified for it.  THEN my boss at my contracting job told me not to come in except when there are meetings.  So today I’m back in my home office (which is fine actually).  Sigh….

Of course now that I’m typing it, it doesn’t seem nearly as bad as it all felt yesterday.  Hmmm….

Anyway, I went home yesterday in a very crappy mood and proceeded to adjust my attitude. First, there was chocolate waiting courtesy of my husband – yes ladies…he’s a keeper. (Of course I had also stopped on the way home and got some just in case.  I’m not stupid you know.)

Next I took the dogs for a long walk where I examined exactly what I was feeling (frustration seemed to be the key followed closely by feeling like a failure to my family because I couldn’t find a full time job with decent benefits for them).  Then I took in a deep breath and visualized blowing all of the crap out of my body and not letting it back into my heart (many, many times).

Then I prayed. 

I prayed for God to keep me patient so that I could do His will and not mine which is a new concept for me and one I’m having a little trouble embracing as completely as I should.  Thank goodness He’s patient. 

I prayed for God to keep my ego in check and not let me get too big for my britches. 

I prayed for a sale so I could get more britches. 

I prayed that I could provide for my family in the ways that are important.  Like adjusting this attitude so I could go home and love on them and be present for them.

Then God answered.  I remembered a comment my daughter made on my Facebook page yesterday that said, “Hey, I was looking at your picture on this timeline…how does it feel to be the caregiver to 11 kids?…you do a pretty bomb ass job!”  Now, I have no idea what bomb ass means but I get the context. (You see Lord – I do listen from time to time.)

By the time I got home my head had been screwed back on straight and I was infinitely better.  I told my family I wanted to be taken care of and babied for the rest of the evening and then I sat my ass down and played with my iPad.  Take THAT crappy day.

And the best part?  Not using a day like that as an excuse to stop by the grocery store and pick up two bottles of wine and then go home and open one early and feel totally justified in getting totally shit-faced just because I had a bad day.  Then wake up the next morning in the same bad mood but now with a sour stomach, headache and no memory of the night before…

Oh yeah…I love my new coping skills.  And I love the people who love me and help me use them.

And if I haven’t mentioned it lately – Yay God!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” ~Jeremiah 29:11-13

Beginner Meeting

Last night I attended my first beginners’ meeting. I know that sounds strange but since it took me two years of sobriety to even set foot in an AA meeting, I didn’t think I belonged in a beginners’ meeting. Like so many other preconceived notions I had about AA, I was WRONG. You’d think I’d be used to it by now.

Anyway, my sponsor asked me to join her in the meeting when it came time for the big meeting to split, so of course I went. (And of course my alcoholic brain made it all about me. Have I done something wrong? Does she think I need a beginners’ meeting. Jeez.) But she said that she likes to attend them from time to time. After it was done, I have to say I agree. I learned a lot in that short 45 minute time frame.

Learning #1 – Meetings Have Rules
I always knew about the “no cross talk” rule but I did not know about the “no double dipping”.  I felt so bad for this one guy (let’s call him T) who was clearly struggling with his sobriety.  He didn’t talk over anyone but he did need to be heard again.  What he said was apparently inappropriate (see Learning #2) but I’m not sure he needed to be called out about it in front of everyone.  The leader did a good job of delivering the message and I know that everyone benefited from hearing it (me included) but I feel there was a better way to handle it.  It was really uncomfortable (and yes – I am well aware that meetings can be uncomfortable but this was out of line IMO) and I was left thinking that he might not come back…and in spite of the content of his share, it was clear that he really needed to come back.

Learning #2 – Reminders
So T shared his experience and talked about how he was a binger and not an everyday drinker and so he didn’t really consider himself an alcoholic but knew he had a problem and blah…blah…blah.  He was struggling and it was likely a conversation that was more appropriate to be had with his sponsor but once again the leader called him out in front of everyone and said that she would like to remind him that “we” try to focus on what is the same about us rather than the differences.  Again – she was right on the money…especially in a beginners’ meeting but man…it was really uncomfortable.  And what if he doesn’t have a sponsor or someone else who will listen?

Learning #3 – Honesty is not, necessarily real honesty
All of this makes me question whether or not you can really be honest in these meetings.  What if this guy doesn’t have a sponsor yet and is left with out anyone to discuss these issues?  I know when I first got sober I had a very hard time accepting the fact that I was really an alcoholic because no one knew the extent of my drinking.  On the outside I was a high functioning individual in a demanding job raising three teenage boys and taking care of my ailing mother.  On the outside it looked as if I had it all together but at the end of the day a drunk is a drunk no matter how they got there.  If I hadn’t had my husband and my “drunk books” to work through this issue, I would have probably never set foot in an AA meeting and I would have stayed a dry drunk forever.  I hope that one of the “old-timers” in the meeting reached out to this guy to offer an ear and some support.  I really do.

Learning #4 – Being the leader of a beginners’ meeting is hard
After T shared and was reprimanded, a woman came in very late and sat down to listen.  Within about 2 minutes she had begun to share and was totally off topic, rambling (which is common and okay by me – sometimes it takes a while to get your thoughts together) and then began to cry.  Actually I think she was drunk but I can’t be sure.  Anyway, the leader had to gently steer her to a close (the end of the meeting had arrived) without being insulting or condenscending.  I watched because she treated this woman much differently than she had treated T.  I’m still pondering that one.

I learn something new everytime I attend a meeting.  This time it was about human behavior and the rules of the road.  I know I’ll learn something at my next meeting as well since I’ll be going with a group to take a meeting to a detox center.  I’ve never been in a detox center so I hope I can add value in some way (other than just being a girl – they needed women to attend and so I volunteered).  I know I will not cross talk, double dip or show up intoxicated and ramble on however. 

Step Four – Complete

I’m done!  Woo-hoo!  I feel such a relief and somehow…lighter at having completed this step. 

Last week I bit the bullet and just jumped in to do the work to finish the step.  I had done my mom and got sad.  Done my dad and got mad.  Did my grandmother and her “boyfriend” who had the nerve to molest me at a very young age and got…confused?  I don’t know but I got through that one too.  Did some friends and some outlyers and really didn’t feel anything – actually felt more like I was just making shit up to avoid the big hairy gorilla sitting in the middle of the proverbial living room.

Her.

She of the addictions and the torment.  She of the damaged and broken and unable to heal.  She of the taking it out on everyone else, of blaming everyone else, of hurting everyone else because she can’t fix her own hurt.  See?  Just being able to type that and not feel angry is a HUGE accomplishment for me.  What do you know – this AA stuff ACTUALLY WORKS.  Who knew?

Seriously though while the actual process went rather quickly it really wasn’t very easy.  I poured everything out on that page and when I was done I felt…well…done.  Not really sad.  Not even angry.  Just…done. 

My sponsor said that once I had completed the work on Step Four that I would know.  God would fill me with a sense of accomplishment and I would just know.  She was right.  After I was done with her I knew.  It was over.

I never have to spend another minute in anguish over her unless I choose to – it will be my choice and not hers.  The days of me letting her “push my buttons” are coming to an end.  I can feel her power leaving me and mine beginning to grow.  I am not her and she is not me and just because we were born sisters does not mean that I have to love her, like her or even tolerate her.  She is no longer a part of my life and even if she got sober tomorrow, unless she did some real, heartfelt and honest step work, I would still choose for her not to be in my life. 

I’m not sure about the forgiveness thing – I’ll have to get back to you on that one.  I can say that I forgive her for what she’s done to me and for now, that will have to suffice.

The funny thing is that God and the Universe move every day to place things in your life exactly when you need them.  My nephew came home.  I was able to plant a new seed of goodness and light in him that will hopefully grow and replace all the dark and ugly she’s been cultivating all these years.  It will take time.  But for now he’s returned to the mid-west and decided to enroll in college.  COLLEGE.  I know I shouldn’t say this but…I win.

And that victory has really helped me to understand that God is with me and what I’ve done all these years to fight her ugliness and hurt has worked.  My niece is a mess and has an awful lot of the crazy gene in her but at least she’s not addicted to anything and may, with time, actually grow up.  But dealing with this Step Four work has also helped me deal with her better.  I can take what I love about her and leave the rest.  Now that’s progress.

So tonight I’ll meet with my sponsor and we’ll talk about this and I will move forward.  (Don’t you love that phrase…move forward?  It just feels so…right.)  And I will go to bed tonight and thank God for AA and my sobriety and the wisdom I’ve gained by doing this work. 

Today is Cathy’s 47th birthday.  Happy Birthday to my sister.  May you one day find peace.  Until then, may I hold on to mine.

Holding on to anger, resentment and hurt only give you tense muscles, a headache and a sore jaw from clenching your teeth.  Forgiveness gives you back the laughter and the lightness in your life.  ~Joan Lunden

Friends

An old friend is in town for work and will be coming over to my house tonight for dinner and to spend the night.  Whenever any of my friends are in town for business I try to open my home to them for a home cooked meal and a comfortable bed if they need it.  I remember how much it meant to me back when I was traveling to leave the hotel and restaurants for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (with wine of course) in someones home.  Another friend used to do that for me so I’m just paying it forward.

This friend and I have had an interesting journey together.  We started out working together first and shortly thereafter she became my boss.  During the 8 years I worked for her, to say our relationship had it’s bumps would be an understatement of epic proportions.  There was a time I would have done anything to get away from working for her and I think there were times she would have fired me if given the slightest provocation.

But the world moved on, as it often does in banking, and our roles changed.  She moved up to an executive position and I moved into her job.  We had always cared very much for each other on a personal level so once this move happened, we began to build a friendship.  One that was based on knowing each other very well, warts and all, and deciding we liked – even loved – each other anyway.

Those are the people I find mean the most to me in my life.  The ones who love me when I’m ugly and acting like a spoiled brat.  Those who can see past my bravado to the insecure little girl inside.  Those that will call me on my bullshit and not let me intimidate them.  The ones who let me also see that side of them so that I can love them equally as much.

I have a girlfriend, no…actually she’s my sister from another mister.  We now live fairly far apart but it doesn’t really matter. We don’t even speak to each other (other than the occasional email, text or FaceBook message) very often but that really doesn’t matter either.  We live in each other’s hearts and minds and no matter what, when we are together it’s like no time has passed at all.  I am Godmother to her oldest and she is Godmother to all three of my boys.  And when an event happens to either of us – either good or bad – we call each other first, before anyone else, to share the news.  I love her.

I have another BFF that lives close.  She’s the eHarmony one I mentioned in a previous post.  She’s also a sister from another mister but she’s a little sister.  The one God forgot to give me growing up so He decided to give her to me now. She’s younger but sometimes wiser than me and she fills my heart.  I love her too.

I have another friend that I keep up with on FaceBook and email that I’ve known since junior high.  We were in each other practice weddings.  We have history that no one else shares.  I love her too.

Another woman and I became close many years ago and really never kept in touch.  She came to town a couple of months ago and it was like no time had passed.  We went shopping, jabbering away at each other, and then she and her husband came to dinner and we jabbered away some more.  I cried when they left.  I love them both.

One lives across the country.  We speak once a year.  Usually for two hours.  Then we’re done.  But I’d be there in a New York second if she needed me.  I love her.

One is my daughter.  Only 10 years my junior she is definitely wise beyond her years.  I loved her first as a daughter and now as my friend.  There are not words to describe the place she holds in my heart.

Some are just acquaintances and some who were once very good friends have drifted away.  One I suspect because she drinks too much and doesn’t want to talk to me.  One because her life has just taken her in a different direction…for now.  Doesn’t matter.  I love them.

So this is my gratitude list for this Friday.  I am grateful for all of the women that have entered, left or stayed in my life.  Thank you God for sending me these beautiful and wonderful women. I could never have become the woman I am without them and I would never want to try.

Yes’m, old friends is always best, ‘less you can catch a new one that’s fit to make an old one out of.  ~Sarah Orne Jewett

Remembering

My son has another chorus concert today.  Last night at about 11:30 pm (teenagers!) he texted me to ask me to iron his tuxedo shirt in the morning so he would have it for the concert. (Yep – we had to buy him a tux…his father doesn’t even own a tux! And yes – he texts me at night after I’ve gone to bed to remind me of things because he knows I’ll check my phone first thing in the morning.  Most of my family lives a very tech-savvy life…most meaning everyone except my husband – but he’s trying.)

So ANYWAY – I got the text and responded, “Of course I’ll iron your shirt. Now go to bed and let me sleep.” 

This morning I woke up and didn’t even have to look at my phone because I remembered that he had asked me.  While this doesn’t sound like a big deal to most folks – it’s a huge hairy deal for this recovering alcoholic.

At the end of my drinking days I couldn’t remember shit from the night before.  My children would have long conversations with me about…well..I can’t really remember…but when they would talk about it later and I would give them that blank stare they’d say, “Mom – don’t you remember?  We talked about it last night?”
I HATED that.  I would make up some lame ass excuse about how I was getting old or that I must have been watching TV or how my mind must have been elsewhere, knowing full well they KNEW why I couldn’t remember.  At the end I was just saying, “Hey guys, don’t tell me anything important if I’m drinking wine because you know I won’t remember. Ha ha.”  Somewhere in my alcohol soaked pea brain I thought that telling them this was acceptable!  <cringe>

I dropped the ball too.  There were things they needed for school or just because that they mentioned and I not only didn’t remember but even if by some miracle I did, I couldn’t drag my hungover ass out of bed early enough to get it done.  This was the worst because I do not, ever, want to disappoint any of my children or let them down in any way.  I hate that look of disappointment and I know that feeling all too well.

I lived in the land of disappointment.  I never had what I needed for school.  I was the one who’s lunch was never right.  Who’s clothes were never ironed.  Who never had enough money for whatever activity was happening that day.  That feeling of not belonging, of being on the outside, of never being prepared was something I never wanted my children to feel.  So I’ve always gone WAY overboard to make sure it didn’t happen.  So much so that sometimes you could hear them begging me to please stop and let them breathe a little (just a little mind you – and always with a smile and a kiss)…that is until the drinking got so bad that I made myself believe that they didn’t need me and that they were old enough to fend for themselves or that their dad could handle it.  All so I could drink more and longer and isolate…  Oh.  My.  God.

But now I’m back and in the interest of doing what any good guilt ridden, recovering alcoholic making amends will do…STAND BACK KIDS…mommy’s back in town.  Clothes will be ironed.  Cookies will be baked.  Sheets will be changed and clean towels will once again magically appear in your bathroom twice a week (why don’t men care about these things?).  Girlfriends will be shopped for, conversations will be had (and I will remember), birthdays will once again return to the level of spectacular they once were.  And if you can’t breathe?  Tough shit.

This is why I love this blog…because it gives me the opportunity to use something as simple as a text written at an ungodly hour to remind me why I’m sober and help me stay that way.

Thank you God.

Amen.

Happy Birthday Sweetheart

Today is my husband’s 64th birthday.  He’s not old however because his philosophy is that you are only as old as the best time in your life.  He’s perpetually 18.  I am a very lucky woman indeed. 

I met this man at my first full time job in 1979.  He was a “manager” while I was just a clerk typist but I liked him immediately.  He has the kind of calm, confident air about him that makes you feel at ease as soon as he walks in the room.  EVERYONE loves him. 

I did some work for him for the next couple of years as our careers changed and grew and we became, sort of, friends.  I worked under a very hierarchical mindset at that time, which meant that I call him Mr. ________ instead of by his first name (to this day I call him by our last name – even after we started dating I couldn’t get used to using his first name so I just called him by his last.  It stuck.).  This meant that being friends for real was out of the question for me.  But I loved working with him (he was so NICE) and he respected me so it worked.

Then he left the company to work for a much smaller company.  I can honestly say that was one of the saddest days I can remember in my career.  He was married and so was I so there was nothing romantic but I knew I was really going to miss working with him.  I was right.

Then I separated from the man I affectionately refer to as my “practice husband”.  When I told my boss (who was a mentor as well), she said, “You know…Mr. D is single now too.”  To which I replied, “So what?  He’s so old!”  Um…he was 34 at the time.  Hey!  I was only 21!  To me 34 WAS old!  Anyway, she pushed and pushed and I finally went out with him and the rest, as they say, is history.  29 years of history as of April 13th….more on that in April I’m sure.

What I want to convey today was how much I want this to be a good birthday.  This man is the most giving and selfless person I have ever known (which really isn’t saying much coming from my family – but I’ve been on the planet a long time so it is an accurate statement).  He never thinks of himself and he taught me the most important lesson I’ve ever known…to love unconditionally. He deserves the best of everything.  I can’t give him everything but I can finally give him the best of me.  I think it’s what he really wants.

I used to always say, “I’ll love you forever” to which he would reply, “I’ll love you at least until tomorrow.”  It drove me batshit!!!!  Why couldn’t he just say forever?  What was so wrong with forever?  Didn’t he love me the same way I loved him.  Eventually I got used to it but I never liked it.

Fast forward 25 years to a friend’s garage/sports bar sign…Free Beer Tomorrow.  I read the sign and didn’t think much of it until I was explaining it to my son one day.  We were sitting in the parking lot at Target (Mecca to me) and I said, “You see…tomorrow never comes!  That’s what makes the sign so funny!”  It finally clicked.  I started shouting, “AT LEAST UNTIL TOMORROW…TOMORROW NEVER COMES!!!!  I GET IT, I GET IT, I GET IT!  HE WAS SAYING FOREVER!!!”

What can I say…sometimes I’m a little dense.

So happy birthday my one and only love.  I’ll love you forever…or at least until tomorrow.

Amazing Grace

My beloved Chesapeake Bay

I grew up without.  Without the right kind of love.  Without nurturing.  Without security.  Without proper clothes.  Without proper nourishment.  Without a “normal” family. Without…without…without…  Which means I grew up to want what I didn’t have…which in my child brain was everything.

I used to want.  I wanted for everything.  A bigger house.  Nicer furniture.  Granite countertops.  More land.  Less land.  A smaller body.  A fitter body.  New clothes.  Nicer cloths.  Bigger diamonds for my ears.  A nicer car.  Sobriety.

When you grow up without and you learn to want, an interesting thing happens.  You begin to seek out that which you do not have.  Except most of the time you don’t understand that it’s something within you rather than a material possession that you can obtain with the right amount of time, money or other resources.

And so I obtained.   I obtained everything I wanted and many things I didn’t know I wanted until I saw them.  All of it, except a few choice items, I didn’t really need…but I wanted so I obtained.

I obtained myself right into alcoholism, obesity and debt.  And still I wanted.  It was never enough.  In fact, there wasn’t enough to fill the hole.  The one I later understood and began to describe as the hole in my soul.

Then I got.  I got the one thing that triggered an understanding of why I wanted so much.  I got sober.  The farther I move into sobriety and, more importantly, recovery, the more I understand that what I want isn’t a material thing.  It isn’t a mood altering thing either.  It’s just…peace.  The kind of peace that comes with serenity and forgiveness and time spent with your HP…for me that’s God…in quiet contemplation and meditation and prayer.

Now I have.  I have everything.  A wonderful home.  Furniture that fits the needs of my family in spite of the fact that it’s worn around the edges and a little faded – it has character.  Land – just enough that we aren’t slaves to it on the weekends but can still have a mean cookout.  A body that has birthed three children and nutured countless others and still makes my husband’s heart go pitter patter from time to time (personally I can’t figure that one out – I’m just grateful).  Clothes in every size thanks to the search for the perfect body.  Perfect diamond studs purchased by my husband eons ago that hold many memories in their sparkly facets.  A little Civic that gets 42 mpg and with gas prices as they are – it’s the perfect car.  Sobriety. 

And here’s the funny thing…I haven’t spent a dime.  I had everything all along – I just couldn’t see it.

Was blind.

But now I see.

Monday Musings

I love me some Calvin and Hobbes..plus, this is my mood today.

I’m stuck.  I’ve made it through my mom and dad in my Step Four work but now my sister’s up to bat…Lord how I’ve been avoiding this.  I originally dedicated the weekend to working on it because it’s not something I wanted to do during lunch or on breaks at work.  I know it’s going to be ugly and that I’ll likely be in an ugly mood for awhile when I’m done so I thought doing it at home would be best.  Except that I didn’t.

And the funny thing is I didn’t even try to rationalize it away or pretend I was too busy or anything…I was fully aware that I was avoiding it and so I did.  Progress right?

Sigh…but it isn’t going to go away and I know that this one is the one that will help me to get better the most.  The woman is vile.  She is evil personified.  But she is also sick and a product of the same environment that did so much damage to me.  But, and this is a big BUT, since I’m pretty sure the statute of limitations runs out on parental crime about the time you turn 25, she’s got no real defense for all that ugliness and hatred she carries around.  Hmmm…this is going to be interesting if I ever get around to doing it.

On a brighter note…my son participated in the All State Chorus Concert this weekend.  He had to try out and was the only one from his high school who made it.  THEY WERE AMAZING.  I’m talking bring tears to your eyes and even cry with goosebumps popping out all over good.  If you ever get an opportunity to go and listen to one of these things do not pass it up.  These kids rock it all the hell over the place.

Another bright note.  Granddaughters’ Cheer Squad took first place in a huge competition this weekend with the two of them also earning accolades for individual work.  Oh and ahem…did I mention that my daughter is the coach of the aforementioned squad?  Yeah…that’s right…she rocks too!

Did some yard work this weekend too.  Not too much since we still have a threat of frost (southeastern US) but I did manage to mulch some trees, do some weeding and move some ground cover.  We also took the railing off our porch.  It’s ground level and when I moved in I asked them to put the railing on because I thought it looked more “southern”.  But then I added furniture and realized it was WAY too narrow for the railing AND furniture.  5 years later and I finally had my husband and the boys take it down (I could have done it myself…in fact I had to show them how…but why do what would be difficult for me when I have strapping men that WANT to make it happen?). 

It looks amazing.  It improves the feng shui so much because it’s not blocking the windows and now you can actually sit on the porch, stretch out your legs and even get up and go to the bathroom without feeling like you’re in a movie theatre.  It’s kind of cool how you can take something away and it makes things infinitely better…you know…like removing alcohol from my life and making it a whole lot better. 

Too bad I can’t learn when to shut up.  My BFF was over this weekend and she’s been hanging out at eHarmony with limited success.  She always starts perusing the site when she’s over and starts talking about how there are no options out there and I always have to add my two cents when I should just shut the hell up!  This is not my life it’s hers and the choices she makes are hers and not mine.  But when she complains that there is no one out there and then starts talking about what I consider the silliest things to use to discount a potential friend or lover, it ends up making me crazy.  Now boys and girls, let’s focus on the operative part of that sentence, “things I consider silly”…that’s the part where I need to learn to shut up.  Doesn’t matter what I think now does it?  I’m going to call a truce in this regard and ask that we just don’t talk about her dating life anymore.  I hate feeling like I’ve overstepped my bounds and obsessing over whether or not I made her feel bad or embarrased her in front of anyone.  No more talking about people with penis’.  (What exactly is the plural for penis?)  Well, unless we’re talking about our families that is – we got a lot of penis’ in our families…

My wonderful husband’s birthday is Wednesday and because of baseball practices and games around here, the celebration we were going to have on Friday is turning into a bust.  Sunday is likely out for the same reason and Weds night my oldest will be at college (he comes home on the weekends).  Sigh…oh wait…maybe I should ask HIM what HE wants?  Yeah…that might work. 

Ran into the trash can on the way out of the driveway this morning.  No damage but I hope there weren’t any kids within earshot cause the expletives flew for a short time.

Meeting tonight and I know a conversation with my sponsor…maybe she can shed some light or give me some suggestions on my step work.

Have a wonderful Monday everyone!