Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

I'm holding onto my boundaries with people in my life. I took some extra time off from work because I was sick and because my daughter didn't have school so I feel like I am doing a decent job of putting family first so that's good too. I'm actually kind of relaxed going into Christmas, and I'm usually a stress case so this year... on December 23rd anyway... is better than it has been in the past.

Tomorrow we will see my mother. Plan is for lunch with her and then going to her apartment to exchange gifts. I hope it goes okay. It will have to be quick at her apartment because of the cats and the smoke but since she is recovering from surgery I thought it was fair that we went to her place, as long as we don't eat there. I hope I don't regret that tomorrow.

Anyway, no one is coming here so I don't have to clean. The gifts are wrapped, the groceries have been bought, everything has been done I think that needs done and I can't usually say that this far ahead. So all is good.

Now we just have to get through it. Merry Christmas everyone!!
Holly, attributed to the Drummonds, MacInneses...Image via Wikipedia

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Happy Holidays!

I'm still out here in cyberspace. I've been busy with a weight loss blog, and I have been doing okay with that FOG stuff and boundaries with my mother. Haven't figured out how to apply the FOG to my marriage. Not that my husband is blackmailing me or anything- he's not. I just know that I act out of feelings of FOG sometimes. We probably both do, and you can see it with our finances especially. We both want each other to be happy and we overspend as a result.

Oh well... those are problems for another day I suppose. We're working as a team on other fronts such as our daughter's education which is undergoing some changes during the next few weeks. Things we have no control of are happening so we have to decide how to respond. On Monday night my husband will attend a meeting to gather more information on the situation and then we will have to decide what course of action to take. Trying to practice the Serenity Prayer over and over in my head. Right now I'm feeling like we may have flushed $25,000 or so down the drain. Not a good feeling!

Anyway, life goes on. I am managing my boundaries, trying to stay out of trouble, not doing a great job of losing weight but trying.... and looking forward to Christmas somehow.  :-)

Happy Holidays!
House decorated for Christmas. Jeffreys Bay, E...Image via Wikipedia

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Emotional Blackmail

I am currently reading a book about emotional blackmail. It's not Al-Anon approved literature but it's basically about setting boundaries and breaking yourself out of the FOG (Fear, Obligation, and Guilt). So much of it is common sense type stuff. It's about detachment with love, and coping with the reactions of the blackmailer etc. It's good stuff I think. I'm reading it slowly and trying to absorb it. I don't want to read it while my kid is bugging me every two minutes so I am not finding a lot of time to do the reading, but I'm getting through it. I think it will help me with these boundaries that I am struggling with. The book is by Susan Forward, and there seems to be a lot of write-ups on the internet already about it so I'd guess it's been around for a while.

On the platform, readingImage by moriza via Flickr
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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Calling all Adult Children of Alcoholics! Help me here please!

I feel like I'm really done. I mean it. I'm tired of empty threats from the alcoholic parent. I'm tired of empty threats from myself. I want to be DONE with the drama. She's been bothering me for weeks. I keep stepping back, hoping she's calmed down, and then I pick up the phone and try to reach out to her only to have her go nuts again. She's not that far away right now, less than 20 miles, but I haven't seen her in a while. So at the beginning of the week she left some crazy messages on the answering machine. I waited until tonight to call her back because I didn't want to feed into the insanity. She started right up though. 20 minutes later she's in tears slamming down the phone for the 3rd time and I'm angry that I got sucked into another fight that I wasn't looking for. I want this to END. I know my daughter deserves to have grandparents in her life, but this grandparent doesn't possess the qualities I want her to see. This grandparent is untrustworthy and mean and a huge blackmailer.
So what do I do? How do I make it end? Do I confront her and let her know that I am cutting her off? Do I tell her why (not sure I can explain it anyway, and she's so irrational she won't understand etc)? Or do I just stop returning phone calls and let it "slip away"? My father has been divorced from her since I was less than 2 years old (he says she cheated on him). He says that if I cut her out of my life completely I will regret it later. I don't know. She's been gone from my life before for months at a time (her choice). The difference now is that she is older and not in good health. Well she's never been in good health. That's always been one of her ways of getting at me with her blackmail.. but anyway... I keep asking myself "How much more do I have to take before I am allowed to walk away?" and if I am allowed to choose when to walk away then I want to do it soon and get it done with. There is a CHANCE that she will move away in April or June next year, but it's not a guarantee. So I could wait until then and just let her go but that seems like a long time to wait, especially with the holidays on the horizon.
So if you've got any advice or experience on this, please...!!! I'd love to hear it. I'm exhausted from this roller coaster ride that I've been living on for the last nearly 40 years and I think it's time to get off.

thank you.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I am grateful

I don't post about my gratitude much on this blog. I live it, feel it, mediate on it often, but I don't post it in every post. Someone else has that blog, and it's not me.  :-)

Today I am grateful for rain instead of snow.
I am grateful that I did not marry the drug addict so many years ago. I am grateful not to be living with an alcoholic spouse.
Today I am grateful that I have not yet lost my father. (I hope that day is far in the future. The passing of that final grandparent a few weeks ago brings that thought closer to my heart.)

I am grateful that I can hang up the phone.
I am grateful for a supportive husband.
I am grateful to be reminded of the innocence of youth by being blessed with a beautiful daughter.

Today I am grateful for a home, food, heat in the house, a car, and all the things that we usually take for granted because I know for myself I have not always had these things.

Productos de la gama de Oficina y Comercio, AP...Image via Wikipedia

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I think I can set my calendar now

It seems from looking at this blog that every month around the 24th or 25th my mother and I have an argument. Not necessarily a real argument but she goes off on me and I end up wanting to cry, trying to detach, and asking myself if I have to continue this relationship with her.

On October 24th  my grandmother was being buried. My mom was on the edges then, complaining about me not spending enough time with her. When she realized she'd been outranked by my father's family she backed off.  After the burial my mother went to the cemetery to visit her parents' grave (same cemetery as my fathers' parents) and then she made some crack to me on the phone about how my father's family hadn't put enough flowers on my grandmother's grave. I was speechless at her lack of tact, but I didn't feel guilty because I knew that I had put flowers there even if no one else did. I guess this was her way at striking back at me for not spending time with her.

Then we had my father's birthday and Halloween. Well really, my father's birthday was November 1st, and she couldn't wait. She called me during the day yesterday and left a message. It angered me. I called her back and left a short but simple message that was direct and detached. Today she called again with 2 more messages, plus she managed to run into my father during the day and tried to get him on her side as well. Much to my amusement I heard about the encounter from my father's point of view and was glad to hear he had supported me (even though he didn't know about last night's game of message tag).

SO here we are again. The Holidays are coming. My husband and I have agreed on boundaries for Thanksgiving (we will not have her in our house, and we will not visit hers, we can meet in a public place). My mother is trying to change that, but I have my husband's support and I am strong.

Of course Thanksgiving and Christmas both fall in that window of 24th-25th when she seems to come after me. Should make for another eventful holiday season if I don't figure out something out soon.

Monday, October 25, 2010

trying to do my part

The service was on Saturday. We had to wait for out of town relatives, some in their 70s. I took Friday off to spend with family and I was glad I did. Yesterday, Sunday, I did not return to my uncle's house and I felt odd about it. I think it was just a gathering for the others though. A time for the brothers and wives to gather and remember in the aftermath.

When my maternal grandmother passed away last year I was there for my mother. I spent most of a week with her, visiting the funeral home, helping with arrangements, etc. This time it's different. My father doesn't need me as much and I feel a little lost. I am trying to let go though. I am trying to listen and be available and yet not get in the way. It's a struggle, but I am trying.

It's a good lesson Let Go and Let God, and that's what I am trying to do today.

Monday, October 18, 2010

and she's gone

I got to see her one last time. On Friday she was moved from the hospital back to the nursing home. My father was there for her all day in the hospital, and then there at the nursing home to help her settle back in. On Saturday the hospice came, and the doctor, and my dad of course. On Sunday I was finally permitted to come and sit for a bit. I didn't stay too long. My father told me to keep it short and sweet and so I did.

This morning I got the call from him that she had gone during the night. He had gone home in the evening to do laundry, to eat, to do normal things like sleep.

It's funny this thing. I didn't think this one would be so hard. I bought new black boots. My husband got a haircut. We canceled our vacation plans. And now we sit and wait for the date because relatives must arrive from out of town.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

saying goodbye

Tonight I have to go to the hospital and try to say goodbye to my last remaining grandparent. My paternal grandmother is going. I saw her the other night and I thought she was going to be okay, but last night she took a turn for the worst. My father is trying to gather the family around- his 3 brothers are all out of state- and invite any who want to to come when they can. I'm not sure how long she has, only she knows that I guess.

She doesn't have cancer. She beat that already. She's just tired and old I guess. I thought she'd go next summer honestly, but I guess she's decided to go sooner. I'm not really ready for this, and I don't think my father is either. I need to be there for him though so I am doing what I can, which probably won't be enough.

I'm not as close to her as I was to my maternal grandmother, but my dad has taken care of her for most of his adult life in some form or another. He took care of his father too. My grandmother has been in nursing care for many years due to mental health problems, but he has been there advocating for her care. He brings her the candy she likes, the slippers she needs, the news she wants to hear. He has been her best friend I think for so long. I am so sad for him now.

Friday, September 24, 2010

I just want to put my head down and cry

I have felt like this all day. I just want to put my head down and cry. I am so tired of ... everything. Every day we battle with the 4-year old to get her ready for school in the morning. Every morning she nags us about wanting more toys and not wanting to go to school. Every morning it is the same old battle. Yesterday she was on my case because I was trying to do some exercises while she was talking to me. I'm sorry kid, but I am trying to lose weight and I barely have time to go to the bathroom by myself, much less workout. I have to do this stuff sometime. Geez....

My husband's birthday is approaching and not every day, but often I hear about the things he would like to get for his birthday. None of them are cheap. Every day I look at the yard that is a mess. Every day I look at the bathroom that is "not quite finished". Every day I hold my tongue and try not to voice all that is inside me about how I feel about these things. Then he says "Maybe I could build a doll house for Christmas..." Um... honey? Seriously? When would she get that? 2011??? I can't say that though. I just nod and smile for now. When we get closer I can see what he is really thinking.

My mother called yesterday and she never leaves just one message, she always leaves 2. I was reaching for something to eat before the second message even began. Dumb! I stopped myself. After all these years she still drives me to eat, even a message on the machine. My own doing I know, but still it gets to me.

We have a busy weekend ahead, and possibly a busy week beyond that. Meanwhile my 40 free hours on Pandora have run out, and I am having trouble finding music I like to fill the last hour of my Friday afternoon at work. Bureaucracy has left me many times feeling like I should be slamming my head against a wall lately. How am I going to survive the next 20 years here??? I don't know. I can only hope to hang on, somehow, some way.

Sigh. Even though I sleep when I should, and exercise, I still feel like just putting my head down and crying myself to sleep. I can't though. It's only 4:15pm.

Be well bloggerville.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Courage to Change, memories of Step 5

This morning my "Courage to Change" book fell off the table as I was reaching for my hairbrush. I flipped it open to today's reading and saw the page about Step 5, admitting our faults.

I remember doing this many years ago. I had a boyfriend who felt he had been wronged. In an effort to "make things right" I gave him access to my journals and diaries. Big Mistake!! Instead of seeing me as an honest person he seemed to get more paranoid and more upset. I'm not sure why, but in hindsight it was probably the drugs he was on. Nothing I could have done back then could have saved that relationship, but I tried anyway.

I think Step 5 needs to come with it's own manual. Admitting your faults and mistakes to an addict can really backfire. It's not like they are going to reciprocate the favor and do their own Step 5. Instead the addict might take that information and hold it against you for a long, long time. I have learned this a couple of times in my life. I have tried to do Step 5 with my mother, admitting when I was rude or could have treated her better. It does me no good though. She only uses it against me later. "You said yourself you are lousy at...." sigh.

Step 5 is good for keeping me responsible for my actions now though. If I make a mistake at work I try not to cover it up. I try to own up to it "I tried really hard on this but I still screwed it up". "Oh that? Yeah I did that. Sorry.".

So go do your step 5s, but do them with caution. It's dangerous stuff if you've got an active addict on your list.
Also remember there is nothing on there that says you have to admit "the exact nature of our wrongs" to the person we have wronged. You can admit them to anyone, even a stranger on the street.  :-)

Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
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Friday, September 17, 2010

a week already??

Sigh. A week has gone by and I haven't posted. How sad. I did have a couple of brief interactions with my mother this week. Also my brother dropped his Facebook account (again), effectively cutting me out of his life. The only way I have to keep tabs on him is through FB. Oh well. I don't know if it was my fault or not that he dropped it. I might have been the cause. My mother called me in an effort to reach him (supposedly) and I sent him a message on FB saying she was trying to reach him. Then I told her that he was alive at least since he had updated his status at some point over the weekend. Then he pulled the plug on his account. His loss and mine. We aren't close but I like knowing what's going on in his life even if it's just a message that says "I'm all alone and drinking, come on by...". Now I won't even have that for a while.

On a more personal note, as I posted before I am trying to lose weight. I am surprised (or not surprised) to see some commonalities between the weight-loss and Al-Anon. The website I am using is very much of the "take what you like and leave the rest" approach. Everything you do is really up to you to do it. There is a lot of middle ground. Don't want the diet, then leave it and eat what you want. Want to track what you eat? Great, here's how to do that. Community, health, nutrition, fitness, etc... it's all there if you want it. Message boards, teams, challenges, friends... take it or leave it. This is good for me. I'm not "failing". I can go at my own pace and take what I like and leave the rest without spending a dime. So far I'm liking a lot of it, but I'm doing my own food. I'm leaving their diet alone because it doesn't work for me. The pounds are coming off though, at least for now. Here's hoping I can keep it going because it's a long, long road. I want to be healthy by the time I'm 40.
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 04:  Stephanie Wi...Image by Getty Images via @daylife

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Saturday, September 11, 2010


Not sure if that is the right title for this. I'm still kind of working on it. "Freedom" is not what I'm looking for either. Someone might say "Selfish" fits.

Today is 9/11 and I could say a lot about that, and the history of 9/11/01. Or I could talk about 9/11/2009, the day I buried my grandmother. I'm not going to talk about that.

Live in the moment. Live in today. You can't change the past. Today. Today I had a plan. I refused to let my plan be taken from me. I refused to stay home and miss the fun. Instead I left my husband at his friend's house and I took our daughter to the fair. Then I did the unthinkable. I LEFT THE CELL PHONE IN THE CAR for nearly 6 hours while we had fun at the fair. I didn't do it on purpose initially, but when I realized what I had done I didn't go back for it. If I needed to know what time it was I simply looked for someone with a watch. I knew my husband was on-call and his beeper could go off and he might need the car. I also knew he had friends with cars and he was with them. So I relaxed and my daughter had a blast I think. She told me she loved all of it, and she really wants to go back tomorrow. I think my husband wants to go tomorrow too. I think he's curious about what he missed. I might just indulge them. I had fun too.  :-)

There was a certain freedom, a certain independence in leaving that phone behind. No email, no phone, no one could reach us, and yet we weren't alone. If WE had an emergency we were absolutely covered being in a crowded place with lots of emergency staff on hand if need be, etc and I could always get back to the car if I had to. When we were done at the fair and got back to the car I called my husband and went to get him (he wasn't where I had left him) and the three of us had dinner together and came home. So I didn't ditch him permanently, just in case you are wondering. ;-)  But wow, a whole afternoon having fun with my daughter and no one could reach us and make us do something different. We did what we wanted to, and mostly we agreed on what to do. Only a few arguments, but that is typical with a 4 year old. She was so happy when I told her at the end of the day that she had been a good kid and I'd had fun too.

This little piggie uses his cell phone #111Image by Nemo's great uncle via Flickr

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

for Teresa- my nightmare

I just read Teresa's blog here.  It brought back instant memories and nightmares. Recurring nightmares that I still have. In addition to the normal nightmares about being back in high school or back at an old job, I have nightmares about finding my way home. Often there are cats that need to fed. Sometimes in the nightmares I have been away for months or years. Sometimes I am living with my mother and my brother, and sometimes my daughter is part of the dream as well. It changes from time to time, but theme is the same. I'm lost and I'm trying to find where I belong. Doesn't take an expert to figure this stuff out for me. I'm hoping some day the nightmares go away, but for now I'm stuck with them, and the lack of sleep that goes with them.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


I posted that Hazelden link as much for myself as anyone else. I stumbled on it at work and I wanted to make sure I had access to it from my computers at home and elsewhere. So I stuck it here.

It's good stuff I think. I saw a quote there today that I like it said:

"Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
  —Abraham Lincoln"

Reminds me of a book I saw called "You can choose to be happy", which is pretty much something my father has said to me from time to time. He says it mostly about other people, like when I'm worried about someone else's depression. He said it about my grandmother who was depressed after my grandfather passed away. He said again when my daughter was adjusting to new day care. I remember the first weeks of sending her there. It was so awful to leave her at the center and see her cry and know that she just sat on a bench all day watching the other kids play. I felt like the worst parent in the world, but I couldn't quit my job. My dad said "She'll be happy when she wants to be happy." He was right. One day she just got out of the car without having to be carried in. She put her stuff away and joined the group. She was like a different person, like someone had flipped a switch. She had chosen to be happy.

Today my husband, my daughter, and myself encountered my mother in the parking lot at the grocery store. My husband saw her first, and ducked his head back in the car and said "Your mother is 2 spots away, putting her groceries away." My daughter said "Quick! Let's hide from her." My husband whisked her out of the far side of the car and into the store. Meanwhile I stayed calm and went over and said "Hello". I told my mom that my daughter had an urgent potty mission. That wasn't a lie, but I left out the conversation that happened in the car. I chatted with my mom briefly and pleasantly and promised to buy her some flower bulbs that she can plant in the cemetery. That seemed to make her happy. Then I rejoined my husband and daughter in the store. A brief visit on neutral ground seemed to be about all I could handle of my mother. She wasn't mean this time, but that doesn't mean that she won't be awful next time. Focus on today though, and today was okay.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Thought for the Day -- Hazelden

Thought for the Day -- Hazelden

Just a quick post

So the big day of weight loss came and went. I read with sadness about the death of a married 29 year old woman with 2 kids who died. Once again she is/was a friend of an acquaintance. I did not know her personally, but reading her Facebook page I can tell that the death came suddenly and my suspicion is that it was a suicide or accidental overdose. Meanwhile memorial services were held today for the other woman who died. One of the services was right outside my window at work, in the courtyard garden. I watched but did not participate.

Next week will be the anniversary of my grandmother passing away. It's hard to believe that it's been a year already.

My husband and I are struggling to find... something that we've misplaced between us. I don't want to post about that. I feel like I've got a lot of negative inside me and it's my stuff and I need to work on it, but then at the same time I have to keep putting one foot in front of the other and just get through my daily life. Really I'd like to withdraw from the world and have a good cry, a long drive maybe, or a long walk or something... it's not going to happen though. I need to be here. Now.

Lunch is over. My paperwork awaits me.

BusImage by LEMBOT via Flickr
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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What happens when we aren't paying attention

Thanks for your comments about the Burning Man link that I posted.

This is what happens when I'm not paying attention. I actually have 3 blogs now. (I just started a new one this week.) I had MEANT to post that link on one of the other blogs. If I had done that hardly anyone would have seen it probably, and I doubt I would have gotten any comments. Instead I posted it here even though it had nothing really to do with Al-Anon, and look at that... some of you liked it!  :-)

So now I have your attention let me tell you about the third blog. I'm not going to give you a link and tell you to read it though. It's about taking care of me. Today is -1. Tomorrow is September 1st and I am setting goals for myself to lose weight and eat better. Tomorrow I begin. I've been warming up to this for about a week, but tomorrow is the official start date. The ice cream is out of the freezer and chips are no longer going on my plate. By the middle of March I want to see a lower number on that scale. I have a number in mind of course. I don't know if my plan is drastic enough to get to that number but I guess time will tell. My third blog is about losing that weight and it is tied into the website that I am using to help motivate me in that direction.

My husband has done quite well in losing the pounds, and if he can do it I know I can do it too.I am going to miss my friends Ben, Jerry, Bart, Breyer, and a few others but I know what I want for my birthday and it's up to me to make it happen.
WASHINGTON - JUNE 18:  Capitol Hill staffer Lo...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
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Monday, August 30, 2010

Recommended viewing

Check this out folks. Today is Day One. Looks pretty windy.

Burningman 0033Image via Wikipedia
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I saw a man in the office supply store yesterday. He had 2 kids with him, one in the cart seat and the other one walking beside him. Probably both under the age of 5. A dad out on a Sunday with his kids, maybe buying back-to-school stuff, not sure.

Then I saw the man's leg. It was metal.

I'm not sure what his story is and it's none of my business. It's a reminder though. Life could be worse for me.

When I am soaking in the self-pity I need to remind myself, and I need to be grateful that whatever his story is, it isn't mine. Attitude of Gratitude, one day at a time.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Suicide or accidental death

One of the student workers died this week. I just got the news today. I also knew some friends outside of work who knew her. The whole story isn't out yet but it sounds like she overdosed on prescription medication. Whether it was accidental or on purpose I am not sure. Speculation is on both sides, and it doesn't really matter because the outcome is the same. The young woman had lost her boyfriend a month or so before when he committed suicide so I am sure she was depressed.

Whenever I hear a story like this it reminds me of those times when I have been down myself. I have attempted suicide more than once but it seems like a lifetime ago now. Whenever a doctor asks me if I've been that depressed I lie and say no because it really does feel like a different life since I met my husband. Still today I am remembering standing on the wrong side of the bridge that goes over the river, and swallowing too many pills. The pills didn't do what I wanted them to do, obviously, and I chickened out on the bridge thankfully.

Somewhere, somehow, a higher power had a different plan for me. I am grateful for that today. "There but for the grace of God go I..." as the saying goes. Today I may not always have serenity but I do have gratitude.

My heart goes out to the family, friends, and coworkers who have lost one or two friends this summer too.
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Thursday, August 26, 2010

I've been invited to another fight it seems

I came home from work today and found a package on my steps. Inside the bag were small photo albums that I had made and given to my mother over the past 4 years. There were also some in frames. Most are photos of my daughter, and a few are of me, my brother, my (late) grandmother, and my mom. The letter explains that some of these are duplicates, but I know I only gave her one "Christmas 2008" album.
Christmas in the post-War United StatesImage via Wikipedia

The letter also says things like she wishes we could be friends in spite of our differences but she doesn't want to get too involved either. She says something negative about her own mother which of course I disagree with. She says she misses her granddaughter.

Really??? Then why did she come over to the house and return all these pictures that we sent her as gifts?
I think she expected me to call her, and part of me thinks that I am "supposed to" call her. That's the polite thing, right? I am too angry though. I can't think of anything nice to say. It wasn't nice of her to give back the gifts we gave her. I don't feel like saying "thank you" for that. So I haven't called her. I don't want to fight. The package seems to have a dual message to me. It feels like she is saying "I hate you" and "I miss you" at the same time, and I don't know what to do with that.

I have to remind myself that we aren't speaking for a reason. She lies to me, she called me bad names, she is dishonest and mean. I can't trust her and I know she will hurt me. Even though she seems to be reaching out to me I have to protect myself, and my family. So the phone stays silent and I feel guilty about it.
Dorothea Lange's Image via Wikipedia

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

the last post about this I think

I know I've posted a lot about the home improvement project, and you're all probably a bit sick of it. This project has been in the planning stages for a long time and it is so wonderful that it is finally happening, and now nearly complete.
Home ImprovementImage by Eyes4guys via Flickr

We came home Saturday and the weekend was rough. Things did not go smoothly Saturday morning and we had to call a friend for help. On Sunday we realized that the old toilet was leaking and a new one had to be purchased at the orange store and installed. Luckily we got a great deal on it.
ALGONQUIN, IL - AUGUST 19: Customers leave a H...Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Anyway, things are functional again. There is still cleanup work to be done, but we are home and are settling in. 8 days in a hotel has taken its toll on all of us. It wasn't really a vacation and my husband and I are both pretty tired and fried. Serenity has been hard to find.

I did manage to get out Saturday with our daughter and listen to some good music and see my dad. That was fun! I don't have much real fun in my life, and I was glad I made the drive and did it.

Back in the "real world" I need to buckle down. I've been catching up on reading some blogs although I haven't commented much. Sorry folks. I'm not as good as Syd is about that stuff, but I am out here and I am reading. I am trying to get back to normal, whatever normal is. Easy does it.
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Friday, August 20, 2010

The light at the end of the tunnel

We finally started to see the light at the end of the tunnel on Wednesday night or Thursday morning. With the subfloor in place, and the tub in place our house began to feel whole again. On Thursday I did the floor, not perfectly I admit. On Thursday night my husband fixed some of my mistakes but let others stay. A reminder to us someday that this project was done by us, humans, not perfect, just learning as we go.

A typical stall shower with height-adjustable ...Image via Wikipedia

Tomorrow morning we will leave the hotel. I think we are all homesick by now, and rather looking forward to it. I'm not looking forward to the mess of home, but I am looking forward to having a kitchen and a yard again. It will be nice not to have to plan an activity and a restaurant every night. As much as I like swimming every day, I am ready for a break.
IMG_6560.jpgImage by Sarah and Jason via Flickr

When we get home we will need to finish the tub and the toilet. Hopefully the child will cooperate. Then we'll go do some fun things that we want to do. I'll let the husband hang with his friends, and I'll take the child to a small-town fair probably. The tub will dry. Eventually we'll need groceries, a shower curtain, and a few other things. Eventually it will get done.

In the meantime life goes on. My mother has left messages on the home machine which I have not returned. I figure I don't need to since I'm not home and not really hearing them. I'm just getting the news from my husband. Also a visit to my doctor's office this week told me that the "tests came back fine". They can't find anything wrong with me, but if I want to see a specialist for the pain a referral is available. What to do?

For this weekend I plan to just go with the flow. I'm looking forward to pajamas on a Sunday morning, maybe with coffee and pancakes. On Sunday I don't want to have to be anywhere or have anything planned.  :-)
A photo of a cup of coffee.Image via Wikipedia
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Still breathing...

Things did not go well. I started getting the updates right away on Friday. The biggest problem with the home repair project is that the previous owners didn't remove the old flooring, they simply built on top of it. Their laziness has caused my husband many, many hours of extra work. Losing power due to a thunderstorm didn't help things either. Whatever the reasons are, they don't really matter. The reasons, or excuses as some may say, are out of my control. I have to accept what IS. I have to remind myself that it doesn't matter how we got here, what matters is dealing with where we are now. Anger will not help. I am allowing myself to feel disappointment. I think that is acceptable. I am disappointed, very disappointed, but I am not angry. What I am doing now is working that Serenity Prayer and pulling at it. What can I change and what can't I change. What do I do next?
Angry Talk (Comic Style)Image via Wikipedia

On Monday morning we checked out of the hotel, got the kid a special lunch from Panera to bring to school, and returned the rental truck (sad to see that go). Then we went home together, just the two of us.

I had been warned. I knew in words what I was going home to see, but seeing it was still hard. Before I even got out of the car I was holding back the tears. After surveying the situation, and having the power go out while we were there in the house, we left. I brought my husband to work and found a place to do laundry. At the laundromat I used the internet to find another hotel. I booked it without checking with my husband first, and I booked it through until Friday morning. I don't know if that will be enough time. We might still need it Friday night, but we can extend the reservation if we need to I think. It's not the best hotel, and I'm afraid of the swimming pool because I know that at least one person has died in it. However it does have wireless internet and a microwave and refrigerator in the room (which our weekend hotel did not have). Really, I want to go home. I'm tired of eating out, I miss my yard, and I'm tired of entertaining a child. Thank goodness she's in school during the day at least.

Home repairs are never easy. Being married isn't always easy. Being a parent isn't easy. Trying to do all 3, plus work full-time.. not easy. We will get through this. We will survive. It could be worse. Soon this will all be a memory. I am still breathing.
A swimming pool.Image via Wikipedia

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Breathe in... breathe out

This is one of those times that I'm caught off guard. I didn't expect this to be so hard and yet here I am. My husband and I are pulling at each other. I am constantly reminded by myself and by him to detach and let go. This time it's letting go of my husband. We have a home repair project that as I write this is probably underway at least a little bit. My husband is in charge and is doing most of the work himself. However I keep butting in. "Shouldn't you be doing this? Did you think about that....?"  and his reply "Do you trust me or not honey? I told you I can do this, now get out of my way and let me do this. You have your own list..."

and he's right of course. My job is to stay out of his way for the yesterday and today. Then tomorrow I take orders and help out as needed. Then Saturday and Sunday my job is to keep the child away from the house and entertained. I got to pick the hotel at least. :-)

Today my husband called me at work a few times and told me of the "discoveries" he was making. Added layers of work, added money to be spent at the big orange store, added time spent doing the work.

I plan to leave our house on Friday afternoon, after helping him for the day. On Monday I hope to return to a functioning home, that functions the way that it does today with all the things working. In the meantime I need to be practicing and practicing my letting go and letting god, my detaching, trust, the serenity prayer, and living one hour at a time.

Of course it doesn't end there either. On Saturday and Sunday I'll be mostly in "single parent mode" and I will be negotiating with our child what we will do, where we will spend our time, where we will eat, etc. It will be a seesaw ride of trying to keep her busy while not wearing myself out too much. She's got more energy than I do I think, and it can be hard to keep up.  :-)

It's all worth it if things go well, and if things don't go well... well I don't want to think about that yet. I just need to get through the rest of this afternoon first. This moment, here, this blog post, etc.

Austell, GA, November 2, 2009 -- A contractor ...Image via Wikipedia

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Can someone help me?

I was trying to clean out my blog reader list. There are some blogs I had that hadn't been updated in a LONG time. Somehow though I managed to let go of one that was current, one that I like to read. I can't remember the name of it. All I can remember is that the last thing I read said that the blogger's mother was "dancing her last dance" and that the blog would be quiet for a few days.

Do any of you who read this know which blog this is? Can you help me reconnect to it? I am so sad to be missing this.

Thank you!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Will anyone believe me?

So I'm meditating at work again today, and the thoughts are swirling around in my head. Yesterday I impulsively called the doctor's office and was lucky enough to get a late afternoon appointment that same day with a nice nurse practitioner. I told her my age and my symptoms and we both had a hunch of what the diagnosis would be. She ordered some tests. One I was able to do right away, the other will have to wait until next week. She seemed to believe me in the office, and we seemed to be on the same page.
Then today she called me to tell me that the test results from yesterday had come back and didn't show anything. This worries me a bit. If the test results don't confirm my suspicions, then what? Will I be a deemed to be a hypercondriac? Sometimes I think my primary care doctor thinks that of me. I tell her I have arthritis in my knee, but the tests don't show it. I tell her I am high-risk for breast cancer since it runs in my family, but I'm not 40 yet so we don't test for it (I guess the insurance won't pay for it). I hope that yesterday's visit and the lab work don't end up being a waste of time and money. I hope that we can find out what is causing my pain. I worry that it won't.

And this whole line of thinking seems so typical of someone who has been not believed as a child, doesn't it? Isn't it sad that the scars of childhood linger to this day, even as I try to block them out. A "healthy" person would have more faith, more self-confidence, more conviction than I have. Instead I worry about not being believed. I think this is the curse of being an adult child of an alcoholic.

On another note, I saw a website by chance today, for literary agents. The site said not to send unsolicited manuscripts, and that querys should include 3 chapters...etc etc... and credentials. What credentials do I have as a writer? None. That's what. I have none, and I'm not ready for an agent yet anyway, but I wonder if I ever do get the novel done will I be able to get it published?  I have a song written somewhere, stored away, and I wonder if I will ever live to see the day when that gets recorded too. I know it may never be a "hit", although I think that it could be if it found the right recording artist, but I hope it doesn't lay lifeless in a box buried in my closet forever too.

It's no laughing matter ladies... Monthly brea...Image by zpeckler via Flickr

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To Twitter or not to Twitter? I do have an account that I use mostly for following others, but I have not really made use of it for posting anything myself. Should I? If you have a Twitter account, do you post your real name on your profile or do you use something else?

Anyone want to weigh in on this? I know some bloggers do use it. Others use Facebook. I'm pretty sure that I don't want to start using my Facebook accounts for Al-Anon related stuff. I use them for work and personal stuff. My Twitter account is open though. I haven't used it much, so I could use it for pretty much anything. Is there other social media that people in the Al-Anon blogging world use? Is it helpful? Is it fun?
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Friday, July 30, 2010

Depressed again

Swimming in the Mekong in Cambodia.Image via Wikipedia
I can't explain it. I've been depressed this week. Today I had that old thought in my head, the one I have to bury every so often that says "Just shoot me already". Not healthy thinking. A couple of nights ago I felt like running to my room, diving under the blankets and hiding from the world. My daughter pulled me out after about 30 seconds. She thought I was playing "hide and seek", and we were supposed to be getting ready for swimming.

There was a whole paragraph here but somehow I wiped it out. I love the weather of summer, but my work is incredibly slow and although I have work to do it is not the work I enjoy doing.

I'm obsessing about things that I don't need to obsess about simply because I've got 8 hours of boredom on my hands every day. Boredom that will go away hopefully in a few weeks when the fall semester draws nearer. Hopefully. It's not a good time to be in my line of work right now, but I'm trying to hang in there. We don't have disability insurance and I'm not sure I want to put my resume together and try to find something else. I'm a long, long way from retirement so I know I need to suck this up and hang in there. Meanwhile I'm tired, depressed, and feeling stuck.
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Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I am looking for inspiration today. I want to write, and I want to post, but I'm not sure what about. I wish I had some magic song lyrics or a poem to quote. Where does one find song lyrics about Al-Anon anyway? So many songs about drinking and boozing, but what about about recovery? Where do I find music like that? I guess I should Google these questions, huh? Maybe I'll come up with something.

The kid slept in her own room last night, the first time in a while. I cleaned it first and made it welcoming, and then hung out for an hour after she fell asleep just to be sure she wouldn't wake from the washing machine. Then I went to my own room, surfed the web a bit, and finally fell asleep. At 4am she called for my husband. I woke him, and then went back to sleep. I like nights like that!  :-)

My dad has had a rough week so far I think, but I am hearing about it from his girlfriend. He is being quiet and private like usual, not wishing to share much with me. I am trying to respect that, and am meditating about him in peace.
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Monday, July 26, 2010


This blog has been quiet for 6 days. I hadn't realized that until just now. My mom hasn't left any messages on the answering machine during the past week, which surprised me. Maybe she is unwinding, maybe not. I stayed busy for my part. Spending time with my husband, my friends, doing things we enjoy and not worrying about the rest. Life is too short for the wasting with the other stuff. Just focusing on myself and not worrying too much about my parents.

A nice weekend that got busy as we added to our plans, including an impulsive trip to Keene, NH yesterday.

So breathe in, breathe out. Taking it one day at a time and enjoying the calm after the storm.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sharing and experience

Someone posted on her blog about the difference she sees between sharing a problem and sharing a solution. When I first read it, I took it rather personally. Since I have recently been blogging about a specific situation with my mother, I felt like maybe her post was a response to mind. Now that I'm thinking it over though, I'm (almost) sure that's not the case. :-)

Anyway, for me I have a different experience. There are times when I want to blog about the "solution" and post about the slogans and the steps, and the recovery things that I am doing. Then there are other times where I feel it's important to identify something specific. I do this for 2 reasons. First of all, it's helpful to me. It helps my recovery and healing to put it all out there where I can see it, to process it, absorb it, and own it as my life. Second, I feel that in this sharing someone else might say "Hey, that's me too! I'm not alone in this!"

Many of us have crazy mothers. When I was in high school  I thought I was the only one. Well, okay, I knew someone else who had a crazy mother but she was crazy in a different way. She had a lot of headaches and was sick all the time. The apartment had to be kept quiet and dark, and my friend was on his own a lot. My mother was different though. I felt very isolated in dealing with her. No one else I have ever known has had a parent quite like mine.

So I post both about the flareups that we have, and about how I am coping. A lot of days I am simply putting one foot in front of the other, living in the moment, and taking things one day at a time. I'm enjoying the little things like a cup of coffee with my husband this morning at Panera, child-free. I focus on the good, my family, and my friends. On some days I struggle though, and those are the times when I am more reflective, and likely to spend a long time writing out a blog post.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Something from the ACOA site

I said something yesterday, quoted it actually, and I'm going to repeat it here:

"Our actual parent is a Higher Power whom some of us choose to call God. Although we had alcoholic or dysfunctional parents, our Higher Power gave us the Twelve Steps of Recovery." 

Now I've been meditating on this a bit. We are all God's children, or children of the universe, or however we choose to define it. I have heard often the expression "Anyone can be a father, it takes someone special to be a dad!"  But we don't seem to have an equivalent for mothers, do we? I haven't heard it.

So this person who gave birth to me, and who has abused me for nearly 40 years is my biological mother. I have never had a "step-mother", although I've wanted one. She is the only "mother" I've known. However if I remember that we are all "God's children" then maybe that will help me to detach, to let go of that fear of abandonment.

okay, that's it. Just a quick one for now.

Detach, detach, detach!!!!!

It wasn't enough. Giving my mother what she wanted yesterday only led to her asking for more. Instead of being satisfied with what she got, she called up this morning screaming for another fight. On the phone though it is easier for me to step back. She's not in my house or my car. All I have to do is hang up. So I answered her question politely, and repeated myself several times even though I knew she wasn't listening. Then the kid needed my attention and I excused myself abruptly. A few minutes later I called her back and she refused to answer the call. Later she called again, but this time I was out. She claimed she wasn't home when I called her back, and then she started in again about something else. When the message got too high strung I deleted it without listening to the rest. I don't need this insanity in my life.

After dinner I talked to my husband. I asked him some "what if I do this and she does that..." and a few other things. He told me what I wanted to hear. He told me it was okay to disengage even if it means a loss of material items. Sanity is more important.

I made a quick attempt to reach my mother and got her machine, no surprise. I don't think she really wants to talk to me. I think she just wants to fight. Now she is asking me for something she knows I don't want to give her- time and commitments. I won't go through all the details in the blog here. I can't explain nearly 40 years of history to someone who hasn't known her.

One person who does know her is my father. He was married to her for less than 3 years, but because of me and his own personal goodness of character, he has been around this woman for longer than I have. I am grateful for that. So I called him and talked for a few minutes. He is a great man when it comes to this stuff, much better than anyone else. He sided with my husband and said it was okay to detach and disengage. If my mother does something rash because I refuse to meet her terms, then that's her decision, her life. It's not for me to feel guilty about. He reminded me of the time many years ago when she and I were riding in a car and she just flat out hit me across the head while she was driving. He wasn't there, but I told him about it. I've mostly forgotten about it now, but it wasn't the only time. She likes to hurt people. Putting myself in her physical space is putting myself at risk for abuse of many kinds. I'm not the only one she has hit. My father reminded me of that. We briefly shared memories of witnessing her assaulting her 3rd husband. It's good to remember that it's not me. It's her.

So many things in my program help me here. First of all I have a right to protect myself and my family. Anytime abuse is involved the answer should always be "Get out, get somewhere safe." How often do we go back? Over and over again. Whether it's to a relationship with a man or a woman, or to a parent or a child, we keep going back. I am stupid like that, and it's been proven repeatedly.

Second, I am powerless over this. I am powerless over her. No matter what reaction I give her, she will do what she is determined to do. It doesn't matter if I give her what she wants today, or not. She is on some kind of roll and she's not going to stop until she hits her own personal wall. I don't exist. She is just going to go full speed until she breaks. Or whatever. It doesn't matter whether I say "yes you are right" or whether I say "No, you are completely wrong", she is just going to twist whatever is said to meet her own agenda and then she is going to follow that destructive path that is hers to follow. I cannot stop this. I am powerless over her. No amount of guilt is going to change that.

Third... God grant me the serenity to change the things I can, ACCEPT  THE THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE.... .... and the wisdom to know the difference.

Am I talking in circles yet? The arguments with my mother aren't over yet. I suspect they will escalate until we are not speaking to one another. She will bond with my brother while this is happening, no doubt, because she cannot stand to be on bad terms with both of us at the same time. My father reassured me tonight, my husband reassured me, and will probably have to continue to reassure me daily and often, and I have to turn this over to my higher power. Whether it's alcohol, drugs, or brain damage that's to blame the result is the same.

I wish she was a different person. I wish I could depend on her to be loving and kind. I know that side of her exists. I wish I could count on her as being a grandmother that my daughter could love unconditionally. However I have to accept that she is not going to change. She is 60 years old, and even if she gave up drinking she will never be "sober".

NOW I'm talking in circles. You may see more on this as the week goes on. I've said more here than I usually say about her. I try to keep this blog about me. I hope you all see that. I am struggling with my reactions to her behavior;  the split between "being a good daughter" and trying to protect myself from my abuser.

"We were dependent personalities, terrified of abandonment, willing to do almost anything to hold on to a relationship in order not to be abandoned emotionally."
"Our actual parent is a Higher Power whom some of us choose to call God. Although we had alcoholic or dysfunctional parents, our Higher Power gave us the Twelve Steps of Recovery."

And then of course I need to keep repeating steps 1, 2, 3...  I admitted I was powerless, I came to believe, I made a decision to turn it over to my HP.

And this is why this blog is here folks. This is getting close to the root of it.

May you have peace today.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

winding up the week

Well I said yesterday that the week had been ups and downs and absent my mother. Ah but the powers that be couldn't let that one sit, and a call came from her last night and an urgency of "see me now!! Dammitt!"

So this morning I dutifully waited until 8am and then called her with her wake up call to be ready at 9am. The mission was to go to the bank to get me added to her safety deposit box "in case something happens to me". We had time for a couple of quick errands on the way, and started off pleasantly. This changed in the bank. Quickly tensions between us mounted, and when I was told that I needed to not only sign the form, but also be in possession of one of the two keys, we hit a wall. My mother did not want me to have the key. This I do not quite understand. I refused to sign until she promised me the key. The poor bank lady pretended to ignore the heat building between us, and the form was signed quickly for her sake. Out in the parking lot though words flew. My mother saying the worst of them. She called me "nosy" and more. Her biggest weapons began with "B" and "C". I hate the "C" word. I really do, it just gets under my skin. So finally I just pulled over and offered to let her walk herself home when we were within a reasonable distance. I continued for a while and then pulled over again and called my husband. We went over the situation briefly, and agreed that I'd be home an hour later than promised so that I could go back to my mother for Round 2.
When I entered her apartment she was on the phone with my brother telling him how awful I'd been (to put it mildly) but she quickly hung up. I asked if she was done with her ranting yet, and she wasn't quite, but she settled down quickly. I let her show me her living will, which I had seen 5 years ago and already have memorized. I let her show me life insurance paperwork, which I really don't need. I let her ramble about what furniture she wants to give me next year, what she wants my brother to get, when she'll move to Florida, and where she might go.... I let her do her thing for an hour. This is what she asked for. She just wanted my attention for an hour. I choked and gasped for air, but I was doing that in the car with her anyway, and we finally got through everything she wanted to say for now.
When I left she seemed calm and okay again, and I felt relieved that I wouldn't have to worry about her hurling rocks through my windows or causing some other kind of trouble. I'm really not sure what she planned to do if I hadn't turned around and calmed her down. Her threats were so vague.
What it really comes down to, and I have lived with this for so long is... she wants to be #1 in my life, and she's not. She can't be, and she won't be. My husband and my daughter come first, and she knows it, and she's jealous. She called me a rotten and lousy parent.
For my part, even though she's calm, I'm not sure when I'll see her again. I feel like she's been looking for a fight for a while, and she got one. She said some mean words, and she meant them, and I'm not going to heal from that. And yes, I said some words too, and yes I meant them. Anyone who has known me closely knows that she has inflicted pain and abuse into my life that no child or adult should have to endure, and there is no reason to forgive that.
We'll see what happens tomorrow. I'm not saying I'll never talk to her again. I'm just saying I'm not in any hurry. I know I was not at my best, and maybe I didn't use "my program" but then again maybe I did. I stood up for myself. I didn't let her walk all over me. When something was important, I held my ground and didn't cave in just to end the conflict and in the end I think she felt like we had worked things out.

Oh, and then... to make things bittersweet, like they were the other day... I went home to my husband and daughter, and in between "I love yous" and "lets get ready to go to that birthday party" my husband asked what had happened and I tried to answer him. He assured me that I was not a lousy parent and my mother had no reason to call me that. I am grateful for his love. Then my daughter and I went to a birthday party for a classmate of hers, and had a great time. Fun and sun and happy kids, with only a few typical 4-year old tears.

So the day ended on a good note for me, tired and happy child asleep before bedtime. My husband went out, as is his normal routine, and I settled down for a dinner alone and some time to myself.

May my higher power be with me tonight. I could use some goodness and guidance in my dreams.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Roller coaster week and my mother's not even in it

It's been a roller coaster of a week for me. I don't know if it's PMS, depression, or what. The week started with a real "bleha...." I don't like my job right now. Okay, who does? My husband HATES his job. So I guess he's got it worse than me. Then I went up to a nice "hey, I can take Thursday off and have fun!" And I did! I kept my daughter out of school and we went to a big park with lots to do, and met with friends old and new. I got to see an old high school classmate, and spent some time chatting with her, and then later a friend who I've known only online caught up with us, with her 2 kids. Her daughter and my daughter really hit it off, and became instant friends. So that was great too. Then we came back to reality, tired and hot from the sun. Met up with my husband who told us he'd been sick that day and taken himself to the doctor's office but not told anybody (like his boss!). This is the same old thing as before. I'm tired and frustrated, and not at my best to begin with. So I came crashing down from my high to his level. I tried to perk up by going out last night anyway, but I was just too tired and drained, so I turned around and came back home after giving my apologies to the people I was supposed to meet up with.

I need to find a way to apply the 12 steps to my marriage I guess, or find a way to get counseling. I'm not sure how I could fit counseling into my schedule. Having only one car means I can't even get to Al-Anon meetings now. My husband is not an alcoholic or addict, but he seems to have some kind of mental illness. Or maybe not. Maybe it's just normal to hate your job, get stressed out about it, and be the way he is. He's not hurting us, he's not abandoning us, he's just a stress case. Detach is what comes to my mind immediately, but I don't want to abandon him. I just don't have the answers. And I have to think of our daughter too, which I do think about constantly. I really don't think I can put this stuff off for a year, until we have 2 cars either. I just don't know how to "fix everything".

My high school classmate and I touched on corners of things, but didn't dig deep. We are both adult children of alcoholics. We weren't close in high school but it was fun to see each other. Still, even touching on things a little bit reminds me that sometimes those old wounds can bleed easily. They are old though, and I need to leave them buried. I need to live in the present because the past will get me no where.

So I am trying to turn things over to my higher power because God knows I need some help. I cannot do this alone. Step 1.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Well the dinner with my dad actually went okay. My dad and I exchanged books which was fun. He gave us many more than I gave him, but that's okay. My daughter's behavior was not perfect, but no one was too upset and the restaurant was pretty empty by the time we left anyway so no harm done there.

Last night I went to a new writer's group. Unfortunately the only ones who showed up was me and the facilitator. The thought of whether to stay or go crossed my mind many times over the 90 minutes that I stayed. Whether to return next week is still a question. If I go and I am the only one there again, will I feel like I am wasting the other person's time? If I don't go and no one else does either, how will she feel then? Honestly, I could write at home I think, especially after my daughter goes to bed. So why should I go for my own sake? I am happy that my local library is providing the space for this group, but if no one else comes then what good is it?

Believe it or not this leads me to "Service". The Facilitator of the group is also on the "Friends of the Library" board and immediately launched into me a spiel about how I should get involved with the group. I held my tongue and did not mention that we do give money to the library as often as we can. I did let myself mention that my daughter was still a little too young for most of the programs that the library offers. We do check out books and DVDs and request things through ILL, but we don't attend most of the programs that are offered.

Anyway, being of service... and how we do that. At our preschool we have chosen not to be on the Board of whatever, although we have been offered a spot. We discuss it every time we are offered and have declined so far. We do GIVE money and time. We do volunteer to help out with things, but we don't want to be on the Board. We give the service that we are comfortable with, and I hope the teachers and director are happy with that.

We also give money and items to other charities of our choice, including more than one library. So I feel like we are being Of Service, and as our daughter grows and our schedules change and our life changes there are things on my list that I hope to be Of Service to in the future. We do what we can. So why do I feel like I'm not doing enough? I guess when I hear a plea like the ones I hear I feel a little guilt, but when I talk to my husband he reassures me that we are fine. We do more than many folks do, and I should not dismiss the impact we are making in ways that not everyone sees. Sometimes when we are of service we do it anonymously, and that's worth something to all too.

Remember when you hear the calls to volunteer you don't have to sign up for something big. If you pick up the trash you find on your daily walk, then you are being of service. If you watch out for the kids who are playing in the street while mom and dad are busy talking on the phone or making dinner, then you are being of service. You don't have to give a million dollars or attend 40 hour weeks of meetings to be doing what needs done.

We give. We give a little here and a little there, and it all adds up.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I'm not sure why this word is striking me today, but perhaps it's because I see it all around me. Today a coworker greeted me with a "Hi, how are you?" I replied back "How are you?" and didn't even answer her question. She kept walking though, and didn't answer mine. Guess neither of us felt like being honest with each other or something. I don't know.

I'm having dinner with my dad and his girlfriend tonight. I'm dragging my husband and daughter along. This is a postponed Father's Day thing. Really, my father and husband probably would be fine if we didn't even do a father's day thing, but I feel like we SHOULD and I've got a gift from my daughter that was too big to mail so we're getting together for dinner. I'm sure my daughter would rather go swimming instead. Oh well. I feel the "insincerity" in this too. No one wants to do it, but we're doing it anyway because life is short.

And I remember that I haven't taken my mother's picture in a long time. I often think to take pictures of my daughter, but I don't always remember to take them of my parents, and I should. I really should. Sincere in that one.

It's hot, I'm tired, and the internet at home is keeping me awake at night past my bedtime. I don't want to work but I can't afford to take the summer off either. Sigh. So here I am, trying, trying to think of something to say because the blog has been quiet for a few days.

I need to be sincere as often as I can because insanity will find you all too soon if I don't.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Thank you!

I see that the number of followers is gradually increasing. Thank you, thank you! I just got internet at home today, so I am hopeful that I will be able to post more often here, and post more thoughtfully as well. I won't always be so squeezed on time trying to do things on breaks at work or from a library parking lot or coffee shop or whatever. So thank you all for reading what is here, and inspiring me to keep posting. My gratitude to you all!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

It's been a busy week!

We had a great camping trip over the weekend. It ALMOST took my mind off of my supervisor retiring. Unfortunately the real world was waiting for us on Monday morning. Monday night we had to do the errands that didn't get done over the weekend. On Wednesday I left work early for a dentist appointment and a hair cut. Splurged a little on shopping for myself too. We ate out for dinner on both of those nights. Tonight we're going to stop at the local library I think, and if I'm lucky we're going to see a concert before dinner. I know I'm pushing my luck with that one, but it's free music so I'm hopeful. Tomorrow we're going to cut out of work early to get a squeak in the car checked out. That should put us in line for more music and possibly viewing some fireworks. So we'll launch into our 3-day weekend... Yay for July! If only it doesn't rain.

In times like this I don't read as much as I should. I'm not spending time with my parents. I'm just busy with the daily life of my job, my husband, and my daughter. One Day at a Time. Trying to enjoy things in spite of the tantrums that a 4-year old brings in between. Enjoy the company of friends too.

Oh, and I pulled the plug on the tv this week!! We'll have internet access set up at home soon, and I'll get some dvds from the library or from Netflix (signed up for that too). My daughter is not happy about the lack of tv, but my husband and I decided that it was time to let it go.

The lack of drama in my life this week... Grateful for that!!
If I don't get to posting tomorrow, have a wonderful Fourth of July!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Words of Wisdom

My supervisor and mentor at work is retiring tomorrow. She's been packing up this week, and this morning we had an "open house" gathering to say goodbye to her. The director presented her with the usual retirement gift, and speeches were said. As I write this, she is probably already in a Connecticut casino enjoying herself. She said she'd come back tomorrow for lunch at least and to finish clearing out. I'm going to miss her.

As she was leaving today, after the party, she gave me a piece of paper "A few rules to live by" and it's mostly for work, but the first and last lines are definitely words to LIVE by. She said "Don't assume anything. Always check."  and  "Speak less. Listen more. You'll never learn anything new if you're doing the talking."

Common sense stuff, but so true, and I know she meant the last line directly. I do talk too much!