The Little Things

This is a "thought bubble". It is an...
This is a “thought bubble”. It is an illustration depicting thought. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There comes a point in sobriety when the pink cloud of perfection and “I got this” dissipates.  Life continues to happen as we settle into our newfound freedom.  We settle back into our old way of thinking if we are not working a good program.

There will always be little things.  Life will happen on life’s terms consistently ( we can bank on that!) and it is up to us to learn a new way of coping to deal with the enigmas of life.

Slogans like, “Live and Let Live” and “Life on Life’s Terms” are important throughout our sobriety.  When we were out there, we let everything bother us. We harbored resentments over a lot of crap.  We were angry at our family, friends, the system and God.  We felt wronged and justified in our anger.

This thought process destroyed us!  It destroyed me for sure.  Some of the things that made me angry were other people, traffic, television, my mate at the time and the weather just to name a few.  It took me years to get it in my head that I was letting people, places and things control me by thinking I could control them.

This makes for one ticked off individual.  And how ridiculous is it being upset over little things we have zero control over. It is the moments of perceived loss of control that the Serenity Prayer comes in handy:

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Once we realize the only thing we have control over is the way we think and that the way we think affects the way we feel, we now have a sense of freedom.

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Talk About It Tuesday – The Most Interesting Women in the World

Image: Guiness Book of Records

Welcome to another great edition of Talk About It Tuesday! Last week we discussed Spiders, Butt Cancer & Ouija Boards. Yep, I seriously cannot make that up.

This week is great because I found an article guaranteed to inspire you.  It will not only inspire you, but it will also inspire that kid inside of you from way back when that decided to settle on the mundane of the expected. What do you think you’ll be doing when you are 75 years old? I’ll wait whilst you ponder the thought.  Okay, now how about when you are 101 years old?

Mary Allen Hardison, who hails from Ogden, Utah, is officially the “Oldest Female to Paraglide Tandem.”  She took up paragliding because she did not want to be shown up by her 75-year-old son!  Like, wowzah.  Who is this chic?

Mary loves being surrounded by her family that runs four generations strong.  When she isn’t wowing the world with paragliding feats, she knits caps for sick children and premature babies.  Oh, wait, that isn’t enough for her to be in the running with Mother Teresa in the “greatest woman in the world” category…  she crochets bandages for leopards in India.  That’s got to be enough to make you say “aww!” and gush all over the place.  Somewhere in India, there are leopards darting around with crocheted bandages made by a paragliding senior citizen from Utah.

In Dale City, Va, 6-year-old Lori Anne Madison, outshined a reporter after winning the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee.  Can you imagine going head to head with a six-year-old girl in a Spelling Challenge and having your butt handed to you? This little girl beat out 21 other kids (her age and older) to compete in this challenge.  Of course, the adult (the reporter) probably thought he had her beat hands down.  I mean, he is a reporter and he is a lot older than the little girl aannnnd he has way more schooling!

Hey! I'm an Okapi!

Well, Lori Anne schooled the reporter when she spelled the word “okapi” (yeah, I had to look it up.  I thought it was part zebra, part hyena, part stripper, but it’s not – and now I want one!).  The reporter was given the word “tourniquet” and failed miserably.  In the omniscient age of computers, iPads, smartphones, word games, and whatever the hell else kids use to get smarter than smart, I am not surprised.  I used to think I was a hot diggity dog when I was a wee lass because my Gram bought me a phonics book at Woolworth’s every weekend (three grades higher than the grade I was in)!  I was such. A. NERD.

I am sure a lot of my blogger friends can relate to this?  Come on, I can’t be the only word geek up in here!

And on a Dumb Ass note (cause we got to have one of those), a Denver woman got busted after bragging about how to get out of jury duty.  Susan Cole, 57 (aka dumb ass) decided it would  be a phenomenal idea to go on a radio show and discuss her fool-proof plan for beating jury duty. She obeyed the summons, and showed up in a “disheveled manner” to make others think she was a nut job and clearly was not able to handle jury duty.  And she’d have gotten away with it if she wasn’t such a dumb ass!

Thanks for joining me for another Talk About It Tuesday.  Enjoy the rest of your week!  And remember – it can be a good thing to read the dictionary.

It’s Better, It’s Worse… It’s Both

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I joined Oprah’s Lifeclass a few weeks ago and I have to say… I love it.  I am about ten classes in and am learning a lot about myself by answering thought-provoking questions that only I can see the answers to.  There is also a Daily Life Question that we have the option of answering.  It is linked to the users Twitter account.

As I read some of the answers (a lot of them anonymous) I shuddered at some of the things a lot of people have been through usually in great part by their parents.  I saw remnants of abuse, both physical and sexual, mental anguish, alcoholism, abandonment… 😦

It just got me thinking.. like.. what the hell do I have to bitch about?  Ok, yeah.. my childhood wasn’t the greatest.. I have always been socially awkward and put a lot of my worth on my physical beauty (but am too lazy to do any upkeep on it).  I tend to talk way too much when I get nervous and yes.. I am an alcoholic.

BUT – I am sober!  I AM beautiful!  I grew up poor.. but I have character.  I have small boobs.. but I have a great butt!  I can be very indecisive, but when I know what I want.. no one is stopping me.

It is so important for me (and you!) to look at the silver lining in the dark, looming clouds that hover over our heads from time to time.

We have all been through our own share of hell.  I remember years of self-pity, beating my head against the wall as I cursed and screamed “WHY ME?!”

Well, why not me?  Bad things have happened to me because I have the ability to help others.  If all I can do is take my experiences and share them with another, then whatever I have been through is not in vain.

Whatever doesn’t kill you – makes you stronger. 

What experiences have made you stronger?

Going With The Row (80.. that is)

I feel so much better when I achieve my goals!  My WIP progress is coming along slow but steady.  It took an unexpected turn and I liked it so I went with it. 🙂

I did not make it down to Philly this weekend.

Since it is Sunday, that means a lot of football!  I’ve already had a delicious lunch (home-made chicken pot pie).

I watched a lot of documentaries yesterday.  Now, my WIP progress is not documentary related.  However, I felt like watching documentaries really gave me some great ideas for characters.

I made my goals of word count, reading/commenting blogs and blog posts last week.  Since I did good, I will continue my pace the same.  The only difference is that I am working 2 extra shifts this week at the store.

How is everyone else coming along with their goals?

Happy ROWing!

The Gratitude List

I just read a tweet from a fellow tweeter.  I got the impression she was down in the dumps… she said she felt, “out of sorts.”  I have felt like that many times in my life (I’m sure most people have).   I replied to her tweet and told her to make a gratitude list.

Then I thought, “Darlene!  You’re a genius!  You should make one.”  So I am.  Right here, right now.

I am grateful for:

  • my sobriety
  • my children
  • the ability to use all five of my senses
  • music
  • the gift of writing
  • nature
  • green lights
  • coffee
  • my cats
  • my genes
  • a sunny day
  • a Sunday morning
  • making some one smile
  • a brand new notebook
  • that I was born exactly when I was born
  • Tyler State Park
  • other people’s opinions
  • tolerance….

These are just some of the things I am grateful for.  But, I want to hear from you.  What are you grateful for?  What makes you say thank you.  What helps you through your day?

I Need One Of Those Thingies – Ya Know… That Doo Dad Thingamajig

It has come to my attention (through running around like a mad woman and having twenty-nine pieces of paper in my purse) that I need one of those planner thingies.

I currently have a little notepad, blank index cards, post-it notes and pieces of ripped paper.   This method is not working!

“I know I wrote that down,” I say as I rummage through my larger than necessary purse, filled with lots of stuff I do not need.

These items include:

  • Kindle
  • wallet
  • cup of gum
  • hair band
  • hair spray (I never use it – why is it in there!)
  • notepad
  • 2 tubes of hand lotion
  • keys
  • 27 pieces of paper (I threw 2 away)
  • 3 highlighters
  • 7 multi-colored sharpies (those great pen ones)
  • my other much bigger wallet
  • the wonderful letter my daughter Sarah wrote me when she was about 17 years old
  • 2 tubes of lip gloss
  • change purse
  • bottle of fast release Tylenol
  • hand sanitizer (which I never use – and I rarely get sick)
  • dental floss
  • loose change
  • 4 lighters
  • 11 dollars in cash
  • 3 post-it notes
  • a pack of matches

Ok, I think that is it!  I need one of those little day planner thingies.. but not so much a calendar, but one to write other stuff down.  Maybe it has pockets or something for my little papers.

I also think I need to trade in my large (very pretty) Maize colored purse for a much smaller some other color purse.

What do you carry around with you?

Songs That Make You Happy

Music feeds our emotions.  Often, when we are sad, we put on sad music.  We wallow in our sorrow as we play songs like “The Final Cut” by Pink Floyd or “Candle in the Wind” by Sir Elton John.

If we just had a fight with our significant other we may put on something like “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” by Smashing Pumpkins or any number of Slayer tunes (my personal fave).

But what about music that makes us happy?  This post comes via hearing a song that could interpreted as sad, but makes me very happy.

“Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd. That opening G chord makes me forget the troubles I am  having.  I take a deep breath, turn the radio up and just know everything will be okay.  There are many others… but this is the one is at the top of my top ten.

What songs feed your emotions?