Thursday, December 31, 2009


I had lunch with a friend near the local marina looking out over the water there were a number of different size boats docked there. It was cold and not much activity except there was one sailboat that they were replacing the sail. It was fresh and white and flapping pretty wildly because only one end was secured. It was beautiful and reminded me of clean sheets on a clothes line.

I have always loved the look of sailboats and have been on a few. My first experience was when I was about 10 we during a visit to my aunt’s house. We made this trip to Michigan every year; she lived on a lake and owned several motor boats. Everyone but me loved take rides across the lake every day. It was too noisy and smelly for me and I couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. One day their pastor brought over his sailboat and offered to take me across the lake. I thought it was the most amazing thing quiet and powered only by the wind. Every visit after that I would try to get him to take me back out. I am a land lover at heart and don’t like to get wet but the appeal of those sails and the beauty of the wind has made at least dream about it.

During this mornings meditations it occurred to me that God is in charge of our lives and our individual sailboats. Sometimes we sail past the people we love and sometimes our own journey is slow because our sail becomes worn and tattered and needs to be replaced. Accepting that it is time to make a change can be painful but if we want to get a fresh new sail we have to let go and let God.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


After writing yesterdays post I wanted to look at something else. I spent my day off watching TV and one of my two favorite movies. I tried not to judge myself about it my house needs cleaning blah, blah and more blah. So I was reflecting on my lost day and this is what came to mind. Spaces, when you hang art in a gallery the vacant spaces are just as important as the art displayed. Without a place for the eye to rest there is too much distraction to appreciate the art displayed.

So this is what I am going to consider Monday as space, space for me to rest a moment and step back so I can see the other parts of my life more clearly.

Steps of Love

When I was four we lived in small house in downtown Atlanta. The house sat on top of a hill and my parents parked their cars at the bottom of the hill on the street. There were 22 steps from the bottom of the hill to the house I know this because I loved to count them. When I would fall asleep on the drive home my dad would carry me up all those stairs and I have to admit that sometimes I would just pretend to be asleep when I wanted to be carried. Looking back I realize that he did this out of love especially when he knew I was playing possum. (this is what he would say)

He is gone now and our relationship changed after my mother died. I would describe him as a kind patient man and a loyal partner. He loved to share the message of god's love to anyone willing to listen and sometimes even when they were not. He had the mind of an engineer and loved to talk. He never met a stranger and was there for anyone that asked.

All that being said he wasn’t able to connect emotionally with me and I interpreted that as something wrong with me. I have repeated my relationship with my dad in my personal life more than once seeking out people that were unable to connect emotionally. I can see now is that those relationships felt like home to me.

With time I have also realized that the same man that was willing to carry me up 22 steps when I was four was there all along. He didn’t know how to show his emotions and I needed that after my mother died. Now I feel I can let that go and be in a place of acceptance. He loved me and I loved him and remembering this has helped to heal the final traces of resentment I have had.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Refrigerator Art

I am dog sitting for my next door neighbor this holiday. It is pretty easy and for the most part I don’t mind going over there and hanging out while they eat. Today I was running late and they were pretend fighting and not eating and I became frustrated. I decided to sit in one of three Lazy Boy chairs. The chairs face three different directions (not sure why) so I plopped myself down in the one opposite of the dogs fighting outside. I tried to meditate for a moment to figure out why I felt annoyed this morning.

I looked straight ahead and on the refrigerator there was a giant A with an angel next to it. In past week I have thought a lot about angels and even bought a book about angel sightings. I have heard the word angel in songs that I have been listening to for years and never noticed.

Does it mean anything, it does to me and that is what is what is important. I do believe that we are being watched over by a power greater than ourselves and if we pay attention we can receive comfort from that power. When we are lost in our own thoughts or busy with everyday life we dismiss the very things that would comfort us it we noticed them.

By the time we find the perfect time to pray or meditate it is too late and we have spent hours or days in an anxious state. Paying attention to our needs first and just taking a moment wherever we are is all that is needed to bring us back to a place of peace.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Dream Book

I was reluctant to write about Christmas in light of yesterday’s post but I have recovered from the mood I was in and would like to share a little gratitude.

As a child Christmas always started for me with the Sears dream book. I spent hours and hours looking through it and circling my deepest desires. I knew there wasn’t a Santa at a pretty early age and my only hope was that my mom and I were on the same page. This was rarely the case. When I woke up on Christmas morning I usually received nothing I had circled. The gifts I got were even better than I imagined and they always required imagination or creativity.

You see my mom knew me better than I knew myself. She knew that the toys I picked out would never keep my attention for very long. That holds true for me today sometimes what I want isn’t really what I need. I have to trust God to know what will really make me happy. Just like my mom he knows what is right for me even if I don’t know myself.

Once you get what you need the catalogue is a distant memory.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

If Wishes Were Horses....

We would all go for a ride. This was my Grandmother Bryant’s version of the rhyme. That is how I feel today. Wishing things were different today and not in a place of acceptance really. People move in an out of our live for various reasons and at the holidays it seems especially noticeable who is missing.

I always have new people in my life and for that I am grateful. Someone recently told me that you don’t make real friends after college. I didn’t go to college until I was 40 so that would really leave some lonely times. I enjoy my friendships old and new but I am feeling a little melancholy today.

Staying in the moment can be difficult this time of year and even if you don’t buy off on the Christmas marketing the wishing can still sneak up on you.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Man in a Sea of Words

I met a man a couple of days ago that owns a huge used book store. I went there a year ago before the election and he was full of venom and made the assumption that I agreed with him. I didn’t go back until yesterday because I like to stay away from any kind of negativity when I am feeling down myself. Now that my own depression has passed I felt I was up to it. I went with a friend, who is walking sunshine; to do some Christmas shopping I knew this would infuse some positive energy into the visit.

When we started to pay he started the same negative talk. I said I think that is same monologue you had this time last year and my friend said maybe you need some new material. That was it really. I went back yesterday to spend more money and he was like another person. He even gave me a book, one of his favorite as a Christmas present.

Sometimes we get stuck and don’t realize it. It is easy to do when we spend so much time in our heads. We are all susceptible to getting lost in our thoughts and those thoughts can be negative or positive our choice really. Should I have said something? I don’t know but I didn’t plan it. His negativity has kept me away from his store for a year. I love used books and he obviously loves them too. I felt like I really met the man yesterday behind the negativity and unfortunately for my pocket book I will be back.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Bewitching problem

Character defects or assets this decision can depend on your point of view. I have realized that I like problems and I like solving them. In the business world this can be an asset of the best kind. I am willing to take on problems that no one would go near. It was about the challenge the before and after effect. This goes way back to early childhood I remember watching Bewitched and how I loved watch Samantha turn her messy house into perfection in an instant. I definitely can do the before in my own house and wait until it get pretty bad so I can enjoy the dramatic after effect. There is no drama in clean as you go.

With work I could always be counted on to get the job done and without complaint, well maybe sometimes. This asset served me well and I have excelled in anything to do with earning a living. The defect comes in when I try to apply this to people. In the arena of love I chose more complicated and sometimes wounded people. After the program I didn’t try to change them but I would always be optimistic about the possibilities. I was never really could see how their problems could effect me.

Outside of love I have do have a number of friends like myself who have overcome many obstacles in their own lives and don’t back away from anything really. With their help I can sometimes acknowledge that some situations and people aren’t good for me. It is hard for me to watch someone in pain. I can step back now and know that I am not always the solution and God has his own plan for the lives of others. This is not to say if someone I care about is drowning I won’t pull them out if I can. Sometime without them asking but if they decide to go back in they are on their own. Maybe...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

My Intentions

I have been focused on the negative lately and the fear of future. All the things I fear are real possibilities but so are all the potentially great things that could happen. I don’t spend much time dwelling on what wonderful things are in store for me in the months and years ahead. So why do I expect the worse it is the same odds right. Why do I spend so much time preparing mentally for the worst?

I create my own pain even before the potential disaster happens. I think that I do this because I want to be prepared, not get my hopes up in case things don’t go my way. So on top of the disaster, if it comes, I also spend some additional time being unhappy before it gets here and if it never comes at all then I wasted time in fear of nothing. That sounds crazy just writing it but this is how I manage the fear of the unknown.

I have decided to start a policy of writing down the best case scenario instead of thinking the worst. When I focus on all the possibilities, it helps me to imagine what I want not what I don’t want. It is a gratitude list for the future and it makes me realize just what is possible.

Miracles-Step Two

This is the season for miracles and the celebration of the ultimate gift. It is hard to relate to that kind of gift in this day and time but there are miracles that happen every day in Alanon. I went to a meeting today that was chaired by someone with only 18 months in the program and he said he lost his wife to alcoholism 8 months ago.

He went on to talk about how much he had grown and what the program had done for him. Without bitterness or defeat just open honesty. I had seen him at other meetings and would have never imagined he was going through such a difficult time. He stayed after the meeting and talked with some newcomers.

The program gives us support and courage when despair is all we can see for ourselves. Came to believe a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Who is narrating my Life?

When I am stuck in a low place I like to watch one particular movie over and over again. I like to do this because there is no real commitment. I can fall asleep and wake up just in time for my favorite parts or I can sleep through the whole thing.

I was trying to figure out what it was about this movie that gives me comfort when nothing else can. It came to me that the movie “Stranger Than Fiction” combines all the things I love in life love, food, writing and dry ironic humor. He is an IRS agent hopelessly lost in a mundane life. He starts hearing a voice narrating the monotony of his life an then she states that something he has done will lead to his ultimate death. Until then his life was enough.

It is the perfect story the idea of dying throws him in a panic and he starts to change. He meets the unlikely love of his life, a baker he is auditing and decides to do something about it. He has nothing to lose so he starts changing. Breaking out of the sameness of his existence and deciding what he really wants to do each day.

I can relate to this story because I feel I have been asleep for a lot of my life. I never thought I chose that for myself but it has slipped up on me more than once. First with I make small concessions and then before I know it I don’t recognize the person I have become. This is my own doing, no one ask me I volunteer. I know this now and with this awareness I realize I have to look for what gives me joy in my life. Sometimes I forget that I am choosing to accept less and that I have to consciously pursue joy.

The character in the movie gets a reprieve in the end and the narrator doesn’t kill him. Every time I realize that I am the narrator in my own life I get a reprieve I can make a choice to do something different to not accept things as are but as they can be.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Memories and Music

With the holiday season upon us it is hard for me not to think about the people that are not with me this year some by choice and some because their time here on earth is over. My thoughts were there this afternoon while I listen to the one Christmas cd that I own.

The ones that are not with me by choice, how do I reflect on that without seeing it as a negative? I always want to blame myself in some way instead of accepting that nothing stays the same good or bad. People make choices for themselves and sometimes their choices can change the course of your life. Looking back now I can see for the most part I am better off. It doesn’t mean I don’t feel sad sometimes but mostly because I miss the feeling of being part of their lives. I struggle with the loss of the safety I thought I had in those relationships.

The loss of those people in my life that left not by choice. This really is about mostly my parents. Mainly my mother she died when I was 11 and this was a loss that also changed the course of my life forever. It is also why I have spent most of my life trying to create a safe relationship where I thought I belonged. Trying to be a part of someone else’s family doesn’t work and when they leave they take their family with them. I have realized, over the past year that my family consist of the people that have been there for me during a time when I thought I wasn’t going to survive.

Do we ever really know who will be in our lives this time next year we only have this season. I can choose to spend my time in regret or I can enjoy the day and the people that are with me now. For me and my family every day seems like a holiday. We make time for each other and I think this is what every one tries to do at this time of year. It is important but almost impossible to squeeze between Thanksgiving and New Years without a lot of stress

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Content to Stand on my Head

When I was eight my mother signed me up for gymnastics it wasn’t the gymnastics of today. Back then our parents were just trying to keep us from wrecking the house in the afternoons. They didn’t think any of us were headed to Olympics just to the dance recital at the end of the year. The problem was that I had or have a short attention span and the only thing I had learned during all those classes was to stand on my head. Just like today the recitals were serious and held downtown in a big theater and I was terrified.

Participation is the key to harmony so the dance teacher, as suggested by my mother I am sure, choreographed a routine where I basically stood on my head in front of the stage while everyone performed the routine behind me. I was relieved they had found the perfect place for me.

I remember the day of the big recital I was so excited to wear my lime green glow in the dark body suite and my mother had given me Princess Leah hair. This was before Star Wars, I looked stunning. I stood on my head for the entire five minute routine even while the 99 bobby pins my mother used fell out. I wasn’t about to let that stop me.

I was watching a dance show tonight and this memory came to me. Recently I have felt like I have been standing on my head while everyone else is performing the routine behind me. Oddly enough I can still stand on my head for real. So just for today I will be content to stand on my head.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Serenity is ultimately the place I find when I am not distracted from the reality of life. It is in spite of what is happening and being in the present moment. Do I have everything I need right now? I have found when I start looking to the future with all its uncertainty that I can imagine all the perils lurking around every corner. I have to consciously decide not to go there to the dark side. If I stay in the moment it keeps the focus on the now. One of the readings in Courage to Change says that it is just as likely that something good will happen as something bad. If I can remember that simple phrase I can keep the fear a bay.

Today’s picture was taken at my favorite hiking trail. I like this photo because there is no sign of human existence except of course I am taking the picture. The beauty here fills my heart with hope and I feel closest to all things spiritual there.