Do You Get Bored? How?

I think she’s on to something here…

I don’t understand.

We’re in the midst of a pandemic. Nearly everything is closed save grocery stores, some shopping centers/stores like Target and Walmart, gas stations, and eateries that are open for pick-up only. Okay – these are all places we go to to spend money. All the fun places to spend money like movie theaters, museums, art galleries, bowling alleys, and restaurants/clubs where we can sit down are closed to the public. Even places like the DMV are only open by appointment.

My point – and I do have one – is that I’m seeing, on a regular basis, people comment about how bored they are. I’m simply shocked. Don’t folks know that board games are still for sale? Cards are for sale. So are Redbox rentals, books, adult coloring books, Crayons, Frisbees, footballs, exercise equipment, cookbooks, cooking instruments, paper and pen, laptops, and the list goes on. Yarn. Yarn is for sale. So are knitting needles and the like.

There’s NO GOOD REASON for anyone to be bored. Now, more than ever, we’re all being challenged to use our brains to get off our asses and make the most of LIFE. There are literally hundreds of different things to do to fill one’s time/day/week/month/LIFE. What speaks to your heart? Why aren’t you doing it?

Amiright?!

Where Does This Notion Come From That Once We Get Sober Everything Is Going To Be Right In The World?

It’s not.

It never was. Or maybe it always has been because imperfection IS perfect.

Regardless. We alcoholics missed out on a lot of the drama because we were too busy creating our own by getting drunk.

Life, people, complications at work, our feelings – they come in at us like a tsunami during sobriety whether we’re ready for them or not. I’ve discovered it’s best just to man-handle one thing at a time in order of what’s most important to me. There are some things I just can’t juggle.

New Mexico

A desert nearly identical to the one in the image above is what I hiked through in a dream earlier this morning. Small shrubs, sticky prickly bushes, and cacti surrounded me in every direction. I walked a narrow trail out to what appeared to be several stands made to compose a flea market. When I reached it, I found nothing of interest. Weird ceramic things that I couldn’t identify rested on one of the tables. These tables were being hosted by young kids as their parents watched from the side.

What this event was doing out in the middle of nowhere is anyone’s guess. There was no way to reach it except by foot. I turned and walked back the way I came, arriving eventually at the lip of a cliff. I didn’t recall having climbed up the impossibly narrow and steep trail that led up to where I stood, but there was no other way down. A small town bustled in the distance and in the dream – that’s where I had come from.

I observed, with great apprehension, the narrow trail down the face of this cliff and wondered just how in the hell I was going to make it down. I couldn’t remember how I got to the top. A small Native American family had left the tiny flea market after me and I let them go down the trail before me as I scanned the area for a staircase. Didn’t see one. All I could see to the left was the overhanging lip of top part of the cliff.

As I watched the family walk down the steep trail, they reminded me of gazelle following each other down the face of a mountain on some impossibly tiny path that – from a distance – wouldn’t be visible. They inched down taking sure footed steps, one after the other, and followed each other without any problems. No one fell, tumbling down the cliff. I couldn’t just stand up there all by myself all day. I had to get down, too. So, I started down and noticed that there was absolutely zero room for error. The trail wasn’t much wider than my foot. I couldn’t even skootch down on my butt if I’d wanted to.

Three steps into my hike down I started to slide and I couldn’t stop. There were no rocks to brace my feet against nor anything to grab on to.. As if I was on a snowboard, I slid all the way down the loose gravel to the bottom. Thank goodness I had gone down in a straight line, otherwise I would have somersaulted all the way down the cliff side.

Then the dream changed, though I was still in New Mexico, and I was on a bus looking through the window at a ginormous cloud in the shape of a ridiculously massive UFO. Whoever was flying the ship had forgotten to make the cloud look like a real cloud. Instead, the cloud looked like the space ship it was supposed to be hiding. It looked similar to the ship in that movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It was BIG. As I fumbled for my cellphone to take a photo, the cloud began to dissolve, as though the pilot had figured out that I had noticed them. The cloud began to dissolve and turned into a – wait for it – an impossibly large baby with blond hair wearing a red and white striped Onsie. (I know – right? Dreams can be TOO weird sometimes.)

I took as many pictures as I could before the cloud started to get masked behind poles and a large billboard, as the bus continued to head down the street. I moved my gaze to the billboard as we passed it and on the front was a picture of that same baby, with blond hair, wearing that same outfit. As though the baby from the ship – the ship that turned INTO a baby – landed in the billboard; Onsie and all.

I Need To Piggyback Off My Last Post (AA – Step 9.)

Just because we want to make an amends and clear the air doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do or that the person we want to make the amends to wants to hear it.

Timing. Integrity. Boundaries – ours and theirs. Dignity. Consideration. These words deserve our attention.

I think a lot of us are in a rush to feel better emotionally and psychologically once we get sober, and one way we rationalize doing this is to rush around apologizing to everyone. While wanting to offer apologies is understandable, it’s not okay for us to shove our newfound sobriety, and how we feel about it, in other people’s faces and expect them to fall over with glee or welcome us with open arms back into their lives.

People can see our apology in action when our behavior changes from drunk to sober and productive and helpful. I think a lot of these people find a way to let us know when it’s okay to approach them. They comment on our new behavior. They express curiosity. They ask us questions. This takes time – and patience on our part – something many of us can stand to learn to become friends with.

AA – Step 9. AKA – O, Shit.

Yeah. Folks feel this way about us.

“Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

What if doing so would injure me? Then what?

What if I hurt that one guy who works at that one store where I got my wine that one time in Geneva?

Common sense dictates that the folks who really care about us already know how apologetic we were. They took the ride with us. They didn’t abandon us. We communicated – usually. How do I figure?

JENNY. I KNOW YOU’RE SORRY. YOU’VE TOLD ME 1400 TIMES. JUST STAY SOBER THIS TIME. MKAY?”

That’s how.

I haven’t made amends to a lot of people and if I had to guess – – – they couldn’t give a shit. They’re certainly not hung up on when they might receive a phone call or an email from me trying to make amends. They have a life and other – more relevant, pertinent, priorities. Thank GOD!

The one thing I will comment on when it comes to apologizing or trying to make an amends – NO ONE wants to hear from us unless we have some solid time in sobriety AND successes under our belt. They don’t want to hear it. They don’t want to hear from us. They already have an opinion of us. Until we can knock their socks off with some UBER impressive news – no, winning the lottery doesn’t count, they probably just

Do.

Not.

Care.

BEAUTY

I want to visit this spot.

My sister is helping me work on a challenge I set up for myself to get me to do two things; write on something new and look beyond my own box. How am I ever supposed to change my perspective if I never try to change my perspective? I don’t always want to see things from my perspective. The way things look through my eyes isn’t always that fascinating.

So, every once in a while I ask her to text me one word. I’ll either journal about the word or I’ll come here and do something mesmerizing with it. 😁

Here I go: This evening’s word is BEAUTY. (I leave names out of it to make the challenge harder.)

Believe

Expect

Answers

Ultimately

Triumph

Yield

~~~

Step 8 ~ “Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends …

An amends bouquet.

…To Them All.” From AA.

~~~~

I’m willing. But how can I tell if they feel or felt harmed? Do I ask – like – everyone I ever knew?

That’s a lot of people – at least 26 to be sure. Alina, Bethany, Cindy, Delores, Frank, Grant, Harold, Iggy, Jake, Kitty, Loraine, Missy, Nadine, Oscar, Pancake, Quiggy, Rusty, Selma, Todd, Ursula, Vic, Wendy, X, Yasmine, and Zooey. I think these were/are their names. These were my peeps back in the day. I’m not sure where they are now – or if they’re all even alive.

Can’t I just – you know – get on with my shit? Be a good sober person? Don’t hurt anybody and maybe keep my fingers crossed that these folks have gotten on with their lives and haven’t been waiting in some dark corner for my apology or for me to ask to make amends..? This step seems like it’s good for nothing more than shaming and bringing up loads of crusty old memories.

Maybe they’ll all see this post. Here – unto you all, I bequeath this picture of a bouquet of flowers as my heartfelt apology and I’d like to make amends. But only maybe because I don’t know any of you anymore and some of you might still be the epic assholes you were back in the day.

I feel so much better. 😶

7th Step

“Humbly asked him to remove our shortcomings.” This is AA’s 7th Step.

Don’t even get me started on why God is referred to as male. Puh Leeeze.

And No Thanks. If I’m going to ask God for something, at the very least, it’ll be something that’s going to help everybody. Like – oh, I don’t know – DIRECTION maybe.

From the Cambridge Dictionary: SHORTCOMING – fault or a failure to reach a particular standard

WHOSE STANDARD?!

Think about this – what on earth would you do with yourself if God removed your shortcomings? You wouldn’t have anything to work on. I mean, color me wrong here, but if I had to guess – I’d say even the Dalai Lama considers himself to still have a shortcoming or two.

Thoughts?

Moving Out And Moving On ~ Chapter 27

There’s no other feeling like it.

The following is an excerpt from my memoir, Saturation.

My divorce from Dick finalized on 17 November 2006 and about two weeks later I decided to move out and go back into treatment. This time, going to treatment was my idea. There was nothing ‘Court Appointed’ about it. For toxic reasons unbeknownst to both of us at the time, we continued living together throughout our divorce. Like I mentioned before, Dick was as addicted to me as I was to alcohol, and I found him and our relationship convenient. We’d been married two weeks shy of 18 months.

A couple of days after Thanksgiving, I hired a storage company to deliver a storage unit to the house. It arrived on 6 December and a friend of mine stopped by to help me pack my things. This until was picked up the following morning and I was supposed to check into my new treatment center that evening. The only items I kept out of storage were the things I planned to take with me. I’d be gone for 30 days this time, unlike the 20 days during my first rehab stint. I’d finally reached a crossroads and had concluded that the life I’d been living with Dick was no longer an option.

He tried to convince me to leave my things out of storage and spoke about remarrying after I got out of treatment. “No.” I said. “No, to what? No to leaving your things or no to remarrying me down the road?” “No, to both.” I could only look at him. His suggestions were pathetic and ludicrous. I might have felt sorry for him if he didn’t fill me with such revulsion.

I knew that if I didn’t move my things out first, I’d have to see him again once I got out of treatment. I’d rather lose a body part. Dick offered to take me to treatment in my car so he could keep it and drive it on occasion to prevent it from going rusty. “No, you can’t keep my car.” Then he offered to keep my dog. He suggested Rumi would feel safer with him and his dog than anyone else. I’d already taken Rumi to visit the most highly recommended boarding kennel in King County and had reserved a space for him for five weeks. “No, Dick. You can’t keep my dog either.”

On the morning of the 7th, after Dick left for work, I got up knowing I’d never sleep another night in that house and this stimulated me. I felt like I was about to leave prison and head of on some great adventure. This sensation was similar to the one I’d experienced walking out of jail on the day Dad bailed me out. My enthusiasm was nearly tangible…

AA Step 6 ~ Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

Entirely ready? God’s going to remove all of them? What if I need one later?

What if I remove my defects myself through the practice of honesty and self-awareness, doing my best to make right choices and acting in integrity? Then I could say I’m actually in the process of working on this stuff – taking care of this removal business by being a productive person in my own life.

Wouldn’t God rather we do this ourselves anyway because s/he/it is on our team and is cheering for us in the same way we cheer on our children when they try to do something new by themselves? Don’t we encourage our kids to get up and try again when they fall down? Why does God need to be any different? Why should God do things for us that we can learn to do for ourselves? If God is going to remove our character defects, we don’t really need to be down here on the planet in the first place, do we? And if s/he/it has just been waiting our entire lives for us to ask for our defects of character to be removed – couldn’t we have just been born without them in the first place? Seriously – what is the point of having us ask? That’s just seems exceedingly arrogant.

Isn’t life a process with multiple opportunities to learn how to become more and better and bigger – on the inside – over and over and over again? Life is like school. It’s a learning experience. The whole thing.

Nobody is born perfect. Right? Nobody dies perfect. Right?

Why do soooo many folks out there agree with the idea of handing over their power? There’s a term for this…it’s called LAZY. Mental laziness is just as harmful for us as physical laziness. Why are folks so inclined to let others choose for them? To blindly accept other people’s judgements, criticism, opinions, and even beliefs without at least thinking independently first?

What IF, by having stopped swallowing alcohol and becoming mindful of my existence on the planet, I’m already doing 1000% better than I ever was as a drinker. Did I – by stopping drinking – wipe out a character defect or two all by my lonesome? Which ones are gone through the act of getting sober and which ones do I still have?

Said who?

What if I’m okay with who I am because I know I’m always changing and evolving? What if I think my defects of character will resolve themselves over time as long as I stay sober and do my best to live in integrity?

Without my character defects, will I become a shining beacon of perfection at some point? I mean – seriously – without character defects, I should be GODLIKE. Amiright? What else could possibly be left inside me except supreme grooviness?

Perfection seems to require an awful lot of responsibility. Like – if I have no character defects am I allowed to ever make a mistake? What if I do? What would that mean?

How about if I just do my own thing and quit second guessing every fucking thought I have and move I make? What about that? Could it maybe be okay if – instead of trying to have all my character defects swallowed up by some dude out in the ether – instead – I just get my groove on down here and do my best as a sober person?

I stopped swallowing alcohol and didn’t lose my mind over that choice. I concluded that drinking alcohol is not good for me. We’re not a good match. And then I got on with my life. Life’s alright. Not knowing all the answers seems to be the best way to navigate it. Too many answers and too many details are confusing. But learning to trust my intuition rather than what other people think or have to say about God feels right – as though maybe God speaks to me – through me. I just have to learn to listen. I like to think everybody can do this.

AA Step 5 ~ Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongdoings.

Blurbdabdabda.

What?

The EXACT nature of my wrongdoings? What if I don’t know what they are – exactly? What if my list is really long? Like – who wants to listen to all of that? Wait. Do I even want to get into all that bologna? Seriously – what’s the point? How am I supposed to be present in my own life if I’m having to swim through all that muck in my mind? That could take a really long time.

What ifinstead – I just start doing my best – sober – and behaving in a way that I find respectful and can be proud of every night? What if I start being honest with myself, and others, and living in integrity? What if I 1st start treating MYSELF the way I want to be treated by other people? And then, 2nd, WHAT IF I start treating other people the way I start treating myself? With integrity and respect and patience and kindness …

How ’bout that?

Oooh! Oooh! I Discovered A New Analogy!

Okay!

You know how when you’re driving along, looking through the windshield, you say to yourself (pretend if this doesn’t apply to you, okay?!) “Damn, I can’t see shit!”

Well, who knows for how long icky, greasy, gunk has been building up on the inside of your windshield, and because you only clean the outside, you’ve become used to not being able to see well. And you think it’s normal! Until YOU CLEAN IT. And suddenly you can see clearly. And then you say, “Well, Shit! All I had to do is clean the inside and I can see just fine!”

Take that example and apply it to life. We perceive things that are clouded over by our emotions and preconceptions and filters. But when we take the time to consider another person’s point of view, this is cleaning the inside of our internal windshield, the world looks clearer and sharper because we’ve expanded our awareness.

Just a thought.

First I have To Find Them – Then I have To Stuff Them In There …

Buster and Starla

Usually, one of them, Starla, is hiding under the couch (see photo below) not on the floor, but inside the bottom of the couch. They’ve shredded it. Buster likes to play chase with me when I’m ready to get him in the stroller. He doesn’t chase me – he runs away. By the time I catch him, I consider that at least half of my workout for the day.

Getting them in their stroller is sort of like getting my butt into an old pair of jeans I fit into before I got sober. Just because I can hoist them up doesn’t mean they fit. I manage though – and so do they. It’s a snuggly fit.

They get all cozy-like and stay that way for about 100 yards down the bike path before they start trying to claw their way out. I just bought their stroller about two months ago. However, you would never guess this by looking at it. The sheer destruction they’ve unleashed upon it is impressive.

Purchased 12/20

I won’t declaw them though because it’s my understanding that this is a very painful procedure. Plus – if I declawed the cats, I wouldn’t have a good excuse to buy a new couch all the time. Below is a photo of my most recent purchase with half of the guilty party just waking from her beauty nap.

New couch – a trim just doesn’t undo the damage.

Who can afford to buy a new couch every three months?! Not me! So I go with Wayfair – cheap and cute! And they deliver!

You might be saying to yourself, “Why do I care about this?” I’m asking myself the same thing. You probably don’t. 😁

Why Do So Few Children Catch The Corona Virus?

It looks sticky.

What have we, as adults, LOST within our immune systems that children, apparently, still have? Why aren’t our kids catching this virus? What is so special about them that no one is talking about? I don’t get it. It isn’t even suggested that children wear masks. There’s newscast after newscast about children and schools and reopening’s and teachers, but nothing about WHY the kids aren’t getting sick.

I find this missing truism bothersome. Anyone else share this nagging curiosity?

Feel free to email me at Lumen9095@gmail.com if you think you know why kids aren’t catching the virus like adults are.

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