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Saturday, March 10, 2018
1)  flowers
2)  health (ability to walk, run, see)
3) the amazing little girl that J is truning into
4) long time friends
5) a safe, new clean apartment

A.A. Thought for the Day  March 10th 
My five senses are my means of communication with the material world. They are the links between my physical life and the material manifestations around me. But I must sever all connections with the material world when I wish to hold communion with the Great Spirit of the universe. I have to hush my mind and bid all my senses be still, before I can become attuned to receive the music of the heavenly spheres.
Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may get my spirit in tune with the Spirit of the universe. I pray that through faith and communion with Him I may receive the strength I need.
This is an interesting thought for me.  I have always used awareness of my 5 senses to get grounded and calm my mind.  I like the idea of first getting grounded,though.  5 things I see, 4 things I hear, 3 things I touch, etc. etc. and then once awareness is there, telling those senses to hush and be still, in order to "receive the music of the heavenly spheres."  That definitely appeals.

Prayer for the Day
Higher Power, help me see what is really important for me today. Help me to stop worrying about what’s not.
Action for the Day
When I’m upset. I’ll ask myself, Is this problem really so bad? If I can’t change it, I’ll let go.

There is no king who has not had a slave among his ancestors, and no slave who has not had a king among his.
~ Helen Keller ~
The human race is a huge mixture of dignity and degradation and every man inherits the blend. We can respect the slave in us for his endurance and suffering. And the king in us earns our respect for his leadership and justice. Are we ashamed of who we are or where we have come from? Then we may have to look deeper and ask if we are really different from any other man.
Do we believe we must conform to some mold of acceptability, some proper appearance? Are we so focused on the surface that we miss the deeper values of our humanness? Sometimes we take on a reverse smugness and become judgemental of the person who looks successful or speaks well. We think, “I can’t like him, he’s in a different class.” We all need acceptance and respect, and in this program we are equals from the first day.
God, grant me the self-esteem to accept the whole mixture that comes together in me and in the people around me

I seem to have issues with "class." I felt I was in a certain class and when I couldn't find a job and asked for help, I belonged to a different type of class.  And I have had a lot of difficulty with it.  A LOT!  I loved this message.  "I am enough."  My sponsor told me to put it on my mirror and say it to myself often.  Not better or worse than anyone else, a child of God, with good and bad, just like any other.  I am enough!

At the heart of the simple life is an emphasis on harmonious and purposeful living.
~ Duane Elgin ~
At some point, we all complain about the fast pace and complexity of modem life. We rush the kids to school or day care, and when we get to work, we practice multi-tasking, trying to be more efficient and productive. Driving home from work, we catch up on some phone calls. But somehow, as busy as we are, we are never led to that point of completion with calm and quiet—only to more busyness.
To have a simpler life, we have to consciously choose it. Busily running around and embracing more tasks does not open the door to simplicity. We can decide not to be frantic and scattered in our daily tasks. Instead we can be attentive, present in the moment, and focused on the one thing that is before us. Being in harmony with our surroundings is at least as important as efficiency. When we choose to push back against the hectic pace and move toward simplicity and harmony, we think more clearly, we know ourselves better, we make better choices, our physical health is stronger, and maybe we are actually more productive.
Today I will choose simplicity and harmony.

THIS!!  Love it!  In order to do this, I need good boundaries, as well.

~ WALK SOFTLY AND CARRY A BIG BOOK ~ (Official & Unofficial Sloganeering From the 12 Step Programs) ~
1) It's hard to be Grateful when you're Hateful.
2) Motivate, don't denigrate.
3) Keep the focus on yourself, but once the picture is taken, move on.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018
I think if I could, I would call a friend/family member to take the kids to school and would stay home to suffer.

Yes.  Dramatic.

But, menstrual migraines......... wow!  They are unfortunate.  I don't want to drive or stand up or do anything except lay in a dark room and listen to podcasts to keep my mind off of my pain.  Maybe meditations... hypnotherapy...

Now, luckily..... I will not do that.  I willl get dressed.

"Get up.  Suit up. Show up."  --- our organization's motto

I will get up, get dressed.  drop the kids off, get to work and take some medicine (unfortunately, I left it at work).  And then I'm sure I will get some relief and joy and purpose from a job well done at work.  And if I don't get relief, I can decide from there what is necessary. 

Ok.......... and up.

Thursday, February 15, 2018
I love Valentine's Day.

Yesterday was a day of ups and downs, for me.  I did some things really well at work and parenting and some things not so well.

I need to let go of the bad, learn from it and let it go... and then cling to the good.  And just enjoy it.

I am having a bit of trouble with being a yes person, procrastinating, etc.    So, just things to work on!

One of the most inspiring and encouraging things that happens at Al-Anon meetings is an expression of heartfelt gratitude from a member. For those who are hopeless and despairing, such a message as this gives a foretaste of lightened burdens:
“Life begins to make a great deal of sense to me since I came to Al-Anon. The world is beginning to reveal its beauty which for a long time was obscured by my worrying over my troubles. I am learning to deal with them now, and what makes it easier is that I deal only with the problems that are mine. I am learning I cannot carry another’s burdens, no matter how much I love him.”
One of Al-Anon’s important fringe benefits is that it increases my awareness of the world around me, so I can see and enjoy it. This alone helps to dim the difficulties I had been concentrating on, creating my own misery.
“After a time in Al-Anon, we discover we are acquiring a sense of reality which is absolutely essential to serenity.”

We talk a great deal about working the steps the program. Actually what we do is to practice what we’re learning. It’s like studying a second language. A student reads books and attends classes, but this only gave him technical knowledge. To be able to use the language he must be around those who speak and understand it. He practices listening and speaking while continuing to read. If he stays with it, in time it will become a lifelong skill.
So it is with many of us. We begin with little knowledge and many misconceptions. We go to meetings, learn about alcoholism, and study al-Anon literature. But to actually be able to use this knowledge takes time, patience, and effort. We spend time around people who speak the Al-Anon language, especially those who are making a strong commitment to practicing Al-Anon’s principles in their own lives. We continue to listen, to read, to learn. In this way the Al-Anon way of life sinks in until it becomes second nature. Then, because we are constantly changing, we have opportunities to learn and practice some more.
Today’s Reminder
If I want to become skillful at applying the al-Anon program to my life, I need to do more than go to an occasional meeting. I must make a commitment and practice, practice, practice.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence , then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle

Tuesday, February 13, 2018
I wrote this yesterday but just never published.  I actually had a fantastic day yesterday, but these thoughts were part of my authentic journey, so I'll leave them in.

I woke up cranky and resentful.

Yesterday was such a beautiful day.  But, I was resentful of the fact that I chose to sleep in the kids' bed last night.

J has been scared lately - totally developmentally appropriate.  And she wanted me to sleep with her once I went to bed (even if she was already asleep).  I told her I would.  Yet, she didn't even know I was there because she was deep asleep, by the time I arrived.

She woke up at 4am, asking me for water.  And I felt resentful.


Those are the feelings, I am not proud of.  They are my children....  my babies....  They are so young and so little.  Of COURSE, they are going to need me to take care of them.  And if they are asking me to do something for them that they COULD do by themselves, they need my instruction and support to get that autonomy.

There are lots of ways to solve this problem.  I think the number one thing is not to tell her that I'll sleep in her bed.  Saying you'll do something that you don't want to do from the joy of your own heart.... yah, it's not wise.

And then, second, is just put a water bottle in there, which we often do anyways.

And third (which, really is first) is t work on my self care.  I am cranky because I am not taking care of myself.  I am tired.  This is why I want to sleep in my own bed.  And I have been binge watching a show.  which is REALLY fun, but I'm dong it to avoid the parts of my life I'm not loving.

I want to own it  I need to own this beautiful life that I have.  Decisions that I've made.... ofr me and my family...

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change.  (like the decisions made up to today)
The courage to change the things I can (like staying on a path to reach my future goals)
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time (ONLY today)
Enjoying one moment at a time (I can choose to enjoy THIS moment)
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Today I have a chance to make a contribution to my sense of well-being. I can take some small action that will strengthen a relationship, pursue a goal, or help me to feel better about myself. I don’t’ expect to dramatically alter my life. My goal is simply to move in a positive direction, knowing that major strides often begin with very small steps.
Perhaps I will ask someone to become my sponsor, reach out to a newcomer, or try a different Al-Anon meeting. I might get some exercise, make an appointment for a check-up, listen to some music or clean a closet. I could write a letter to a friend I’ve neglected or spend some time alone enjoying a few minutes of peace and quiet. Perhaps I’ll do something I’m afraid to do, just for the exercise. I might pick up groceries for a sick friend, fix a wobbling table, read a book to stimulate my mind. Maybe I’ll meditate on one of the Twelve Steps or share my experience, strength, and hope with someone who wants to hear it.
Today’s Reminder
There are so many ways in which I can improve the quality of my life. Instead of fretting about what I can’t have or can’t do, I’ll take action to create something positive in my life today.
“To improve the golden moment of opportunity, and catch the good that is within our reach, is the great art of life.” Samuel Johnson

LOVE THIS!!!!  What great tangible examples. 

1)  Last night, we had an amazing Bible Study.  I was just ready to call that Bible Study quits and then a new person came and brought up some amazing discussion.  The passage we discussed was really amazing too.  And it went from being surface level to super real.  I am so grateful for that.

2)  So grateful for my new sponsor person.  It is such a gift to have someone so actively working their steps and trying to improve themself, guiding me.  

3)  Today, I get to attend a college fair.  It is different than the norm and should be fun.  Hopefully, I will get some sign ups!

4)  The pool at the YMCA

5)  These cleanliness checks that we get.  
Somehow, it makes my own burdens easier to live with when I hear the stories of others at Al-Anon meetings. Sharing experience, strength and hope acts like a medicine on the spirit, giving us a perspective on ourselves and our woes. We see how much worse off others are, and are able to help them by listening and giving them some of the strength we have gained from the Al-Anon program. The coming together of various personalities and points of view, responding to each other in the light of the Al-Anon philosophy, is a very real therapy.
When I am “too tired” to go to an Al-Anon meeting, do I realize I am depriving myself of stimulation and refreshment of spirit? I may miss hearing a single chance phrase that would throw new light on my own problem; or I may miss an opportunity to help someone else.
“I pray that each day may advance my steps on the road to understanding; that I may leave nothing undone that could have changed the course of my life for the better.”

I really really like that last quote.  And I am grateful that I almost always am appreciative of my meetings.