ROW 80 – Six Years Sober

May 26, 2006 was my first sober day. It was two days before my eldest daughter’s sixteenth birthday.  Saturday I celebrated six years! It has been a roller coaster of emotions, trials, experiences, ups, downs and all-arounds.

I can’t say it was easy all the time.  The first three months were the “pink cloud” of getting clean and sober.  It’s the cloud of high hopes we talk about in the rooms, groups and such.  We all hop on the cloud and say things like “this is so great!  I’ll never pick up again!” and we all mean it. I meant it.

I remember in one group, the counselor asked everyone “if you could have your drug/drink of choice without any consequences, would you drink/use?” A few people answered and said, “yes!” “absolutely!” “hell yeah!”

When the question came to me, I answered “no.”  The counselor said, “but you have no consequences.” I said, “that is not a hypothetical I want to talk about, because it’s bullshit.  I will always have consequences if I pick up.”

I guess I thought, if I start talking in hypothetical mumbo jumbo so early in my recovery, I won’t make it.  And I had to make it.  If I didn’t make it, I would die.

These days, my worst day sober is better than my best day drunk or high.  I have learned so much about myself I continue to be amazed of what I am capable of!  I love to push the limits as I travel my journey never knowing what the next day holds.

And I do it One Day At A Time.

My ROW80 Goals/Progress are as follows!

  • continue to edit manuscript (I am making headway!)
  • AA meeting Tuesday night!
  • get back into Flash Fiction Friday (I just haven’t had any ideas!)
  • Triberr three times a week to share posts.
  • Read a book! (I have so many waiting – I haven’t decided yet)

That is my goal list for the week.  How is everyone else coming along?  Hope you are enjoying the holiday weekend!

ROW80 Update – I Tumbled When I Should Have ROWed

You know how some people are physical creatures (running, water-skiing, dirt bike riding, quadding) and others are slightly more intellectual and then there are those who are some of both? Well, I was once the “both creature” but somewhere along the way I lost my physical edge.

Yesterday (Saturday) I went up to Ashland, PA for an exciting adventure into trail riding.  I had not ridden a quad (four-wheeler) in almost ten years.  I was given a speedy lesson on how to operate the controls, how to steer, yadda yadda.

I lasted seven whole minutes before I could not steer the darn thing to the left away from the hill (and the tree).  I screamed (yes!  I could not believe it either) as I tumbled down the hill, the quad staying with me as the handle bar drove into my pelvic area and I almost hit a tree.  The quad landed on top of me as Andy (my BF) and our friend Steve ran to my rescue.

I broke no bones, I did not go to the hospital and I did not bleed!  So it was a good day.  I did almost throw up from the adrenalin rush as I gingerly walked up the steps to the bedroom to lie down.  I still cannot really move my left shoulder well and my left leg is not moving the way I want.

These are the moments I know someone is watching over me.  I could have broken my collar-bone and my pelvis simultaneously. These are also the moments as I realize I am a writer first and foremost.  My daredevil days of flying down highways (and dirt trails) and risking my life for the “rush” are over.

It was still an amazing day as I snapped pictures of birds, flowers and other oddball things.

Now onto the ROW:

  • continue to edit WIP
  • continue to write in Penzu each day
  • read/comment blogs
  • Triberr at least three times a week
  • AA meeting this week
  • start looking at publishers.

That’s my ROW list of goals.  How is your ROW coming along?  Did you have a good week/weekend?

Row80: When Life Gets in the Way – Push It Aside

I thought life was supposed to get more simplistic as age came along… no? Not in my life.  I am sure there is still hope.

I digress.

My life is more amazing these days than it was this time last year and the year before that, and so on.  Who knows what is in store?  Only God knows.

Exciting.

In writing news, I started back up with my Friday Flash Fiction segments.  I posted the first one last Friday.  It kind of pales in comparison to some of my earlier work, but it turned out just the way I hoped.  If you want to check it out, you can do so by clicking here.

In sobriety news, I will be hooking back up with my sponsor at some point this week.  I hit a meeting last week and will hit one this week. My six-year anniversary is in two weeks.

In life news, I am really doing some soul-searching as to what this life holds for me and where I can tweak it to maximize my usefulness and potential.

I am faced with interesting dilemmas and decisions as far as living arrangements and mental health.  Funny how the two seem to be coinciding.

I was excited to finally get back into editing my WIP today.  I had the whole day to myself, Saturday!  It was great.

So… for this week:

  • continue to edit WIP.
  • walk 20-30 minutes a day.
  • get to an al-anon meeting.
  • continue to look for a reasonably priced car (my car is dying).
  • journal, journal, journal.  I have been doing this a lot and it is really helping me find out about who I am and what I want.

I hope everyone had a great week and that this coming week will be even better than the last.

The Rickety Row 80

Ok, so this past week has not exactly gone according to plan.  I seem to be in a funk when it comes to getting back into my WIP.  I haven’t really read many blogs and my excited energy of getting into May with a bang has deflated.

I have been doing a lot of journaling and reflecting.  I have been writing in upwards of about 400 – 500 words a day in terms of Penzu.

I have been on Triberr when I think of it which has been about every other day.  I have “liked” a lot of posts and read a few.

My biggest concern now is my daughter and myself.  I have deep concerns about the direction of my life and my dependency on my boyfriend.  It is way too personal to get into here, but my reflection has been strong and my honesty at times overwhelming.

I am at a crossroads and as I stand here looking in all the directions my head is swirling with anticipation and doubt.

What does the future hold? Not sure, but I think it is going to get exciting!

My goals for this week:

  • continue to reflect and journal.
  • get to an AA meeting.
  • write a flash fiction piece.
  • read/comment at least three blogs a day.
  • get on Triberr once a day.

I hope everyone else’s goals are coming along… y’all rock!  🙂

Stay true to yourself and never settle.

ROW 80 – Back On The RowSkeeDiddle

I’m Baaaaaack!!  (screamed like Steven Tyler of Aerosmith in the beginning of “Back in the Saddle” – go listen, it’s awesome)

I took a week off due to brain cramp over load.  Over the last six days, I didn’t do anything except journal, do a lot of walking and reflect on my life.  I fell short one hundred words on my 750 word a day challenge, which devastated me.  I totally thought I wrote 750 words that day. I kept true to my word and donated twenty dollars to cupofjoe.com.

I will rejoin the challenge in June.  This Merry Month of May I have to get my arse moving on editing my novel and keeping up with my blog.

I found a new gym to go to – close to my work – so I will begin working out again.

Here are my goals for the week:

  • journal every day.
  • read/comment up to five blogs a day.
  • give manuscript a solid read through – make changes.
  • continue to get at least twenty-five minutes of cardio in a day.
  • challenge my self internally by doing something that scares me.

That’s my ROW80 list.  How is everyone else doing? It’s great to be back!

ROW80 – Funny Farm or Bust!

The last twenty days have been a complete roller coaster of physical. mental and emotional whack-ed-ness. Tax season is over (yay!) and I can finally get back into focusing on my goals. Between family, writing like crazy and dealing with work, I was contemplating checking myself into a nice little padded room for a few days.

Luckily, I made it through the last two weeks (three and a half months) unscathed.

My goals remained unaltered for the most part, but I totally bombed on Script Frenzy.  Yeah, I won’t be entering into any more so long as I work at an accounting firm.  Something about trying to write three and a half pages of script a day and dealing with tax deadlines resembles milk and orange juice.  They just don’t jive.

Trust me when I say, giving up on something is never something I do with shrugged shoulders.  It pains me to admit that I cannot continue Script Frenzy, but I must be realistic.

The A – Z Challenge will be over in eight days.  This one I will finish. It has been a lot of fun finding random words associated with positive mental health to blurb about.  It has been even more fun visiting other blogs.

I have been getting in more exercise. I stopped walking in the park after my co-worker passed away last year (they needed me at the office)  and I quit smoking in November.  You know what that means!

Yep.  I put on A LOT of weight. Not cool.   They day after tax season, I decided I was going to walk in the park for at least twenty-five minutes a day (M-F).  I have done it so far. As well as made it a point to go bicycling at a local park for an hour an afternoon.
Modified goals to go forth with:

1. continue to read/comment blogs
2. pull out WIP and begin edits
3. continue Flash Fiction Friday
4. thirty – forty minutes of cardio a day
5. review budget (I need to save for a car)
6. re-organize menus for the day – get rid of sugar loaded foods! (yogurt pretzels are not good for me!)

That is it for me my fine friends…
How are your goals coming along?
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday! 😀

ROW80 Update – The Rowing is the Hardest Part

Image: http://www.kkbn.com

Yep.  This picture pretty much depicts my world as it stands right now.  Everything is driving me nuts and I am feeling burnt out.  I was journaling on Saturday and kind of came to a realization that I may be depressed. Now, not like crying in a corner surrounded by Twinkie wrappers depressed, but more of an I don’t feel like doing sh*t and I would rather just fade into the dust depressed.  Not sure which one is worse.

Hopefully, I have just had enough of working Saturday’s, Form 1040’s, 1120S’s, extensions, estimates, BPT’s **AIIIIEEEEEE!!!!**

Hopefully, this crap will drift into the sunset on a homemade twig raft, glued together with my burnt out brain matter,  and I’ll wake up next Saturday feeling refreshed because I don’t have to drag my ass into the office.

I am 99.9% positive that this is the case and that after April 17th, I will exhale and chin up a bit.

I won’t list the goals I have achieved, because the only one I am keeping up with is the 750words Challenge and the A – Z Challenge.

Everything else? Blah.

So my goals for the coming week:

1. 75owords.com challenge – keep up the good work.

2.  A – Z Challenge – keep up the good work.

3. Starting Wednesday – walk twenty-five minutes each afternoon on my lunch.

4. Edit my freaking manuscript!

5. Read/comment blogs (I was doing like 15 – 20 a day, but I got burnt out!) up to ten a day.

That’s all for me, ju ju bees.  What say you?  How is your progress coming along?

Happy ROW80ing!  😀

A – Z Challenge ~ J is for Journaling

Image: thecampingjournal.com

How much fun is it to journal?  Maybe something happened that excites you so much you need to make a written memory of it.  That way, there is a note to go back to so you can relive it again and again.

I have been journaling since I was about twenty-four years old or so.

I wish I had all of my old journals.  They held some fantastic emotions along with amazing descriptions of dreams and delusions.  I do have my journals from my first year of sobriety – they are interesting years later.

Journaling is a great way to get it out or hold it in.  It is a great way to dream big or start small.

Do you keep a journal for your thoughts?  How about a journal for your characters in your work in progress?  Maybe you keep a weight loss journal or a food journal.

Maybe you put little sketches in your journal or cut out positive quotes to stick in there for prompts.  Maybe you buy stickers at the dollar store and after your entry, you place them just so to frame your thoughts.

Whatever the case, journaling can be a lot of fun.

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How does journaling help you?

A – Z Challenge ~ I is for Idiosyncrasy

id·i·o·syn·cra·sy

[id-ee-uh-sing-kruh-see, -sin-]

noun, plural -sies.

1. a characteristic, habit, mannerism, or the like, that is peculiar to an individual.
2. the physical constitution peculiar to an individual.
3. a peculiarity of the physical or the mental constitution, especially susceptibility toward drugs, food, etc. Compare allergy ( def. 1 ) .
How awesome are idiosyncrasies?  I mean, they are what make us, us!  They make you, you and me, me. 😀
Have you ever been out in public and noticed the idiosyncrasies of others?  Maybe you’ve seen the same guy at the local coffee shop every morning and noticed he stirs his coffee clockwise ten times.
Or, perhaps, you always have to put your left sock and left shoe on before the right.. no exceptions.  Or maybe your cat will not eat his food out of his bowl.  Instead, he drags it out to the floor with his paw and eats it (this is what my cat does).
We like to think we are just an average bear that does nothing out of the ordinary… but, we all have our little quirks. we all have our little idiosyncrasies.  The main character in my WIP always counts the steps she goes up or down. I cannot sleep without socks on.
What are some of your characters’ idiosyncrasies? 
Are any of their quirks actually your quirks?
Do you notice other people’s quirky habits?

A – Z Challenge ~ H is for Heart

Image: graphicsfuel.com

Heart is something we all have.  The Tin Man traveled all the way to the Land of Oz to get his, which it turned out he had all along.

Besides the long description in the dictionary of the physical heart (the aorta and all the other valves and such), there are other definitions.

1) The center of the total personality.

2) The center of the total emotion.

I find this utterly fascinating.  What does that mean?  The heart is the center of our being.  We cannot live without a heart. A heart breaks, aches, flutters and skips a beat.

How many songs have “heart” in the title?  A few of my favorites:

Janis Joplin – “Piece of My Heart”

Motley Crue – “Kickstart My Heart”

Def Leppard – “Bringing on the Heartbreak”

I put my heart into everything I do.  Don’t you?  When you’re real passionate about it… you put your heart into it.  When you’re not feeling it, it goes.. “my heart’s just not in it.”

Thought for the day:  What do you put your heart into?