Xing the days off a calendar

I thought perhaps I could trick myself with some brightly colored yarn and a pattern that I would love to knit.  But it aint happenin.

Yesterday my dear sweet sober daughter drove me to the clinic for a colonoscopy.  I haven’t had one since 2002, though I am supposed to have them every 5 years.  One of my dear friends in AA’s wife is dying of cancer.  She refused to have this test and they didn’t find her cancer until it was extremely advanced.  She has lasted two years since her diagnosis, but they have been recently told that there is nothing more that they can do.  Bless them.  

I must return to work this morning.  My hands perspire just writing that.  I am so done with this.  Financially I must hang in there for at least another 14 months.  Emotionally, I would love to walk in today and say “Sorry, I am just not feelin it anymore, gotta go.”  Mentally, I am tired, tired, tired.  And spiritually, I wish I could go to Mass every day, right after an early morning AA meeting.  And spend time with newcomers and sponsees.  Go to coffee.  Have lunch.  An afternoon nap.  

I told my daughter yesterday “I’m not depressed, I am unhappy.”  Luckily, she, cut from the same bolt of cloth as I, knew exactly what I was talking about.  

Oh, and before you remind me, I know I am being ungrateful.  I just can’t THINK myself grateful, but I can ACT myself grateful.  So, here is the plan for today….

  • Turn my thoughts to others
  • Try to reach out to one of my brothers who is having difficulty 
  • Work my butt off
  • Start with a list this morning, because I have been off work for most of the month!
  • Start a new project at work which might be stimulating
  • Come home and get on the treadmill, have a healthy dinner and turn in for another day.

Give thanks in all circumstances says my favorite biblical verse.  I shall try.  

I miss my family.  I miss those little grandbabies with their little clammy hands around my neck.  I miss the days at work when I enjoyed my job.  I miss all my friends who have retired.  

Surrender gracefully the things of youth – when I was 18 that sounded really good.  I had no idea that most of the good things in life are the “things of youth.”

Sorry, I will get over it.  

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It’s been a rough week

The priest listened to me calmly as I cried this morning.  Usually a fan of the traditional confessional, I chose the face to face instead.  Last week I walked out of a Catholic Church having been offended by the (30 minute) homily of the priest at the church in Montana.  Never in my life have I walked out of mass.  Well, now I have.   He chose the mass to talk about politics.  He said nothing I could not have heard on CNN or ABC news.  Nothing spiritual, nothing about God.  Just his opinion for 30 minutes.  

The supreme court decision of Friday is disheartening to me.  I don’t care what homosexuals want to do, but I do care when the highest court in the land throws all their force behind it.  It is not possible to disagree without being labeled as a “hater” or “religious bigot.”  There is no more freedom of speech.  I mourn for our country.

It is only a matter of time before the government will attempt to tell churches who they must marry.  Just like they can tell someone who to bake a cake for.  Religious persecution will come to the US of A, and it won’t take long.  

I have been holed up in my house, talking with no one but family since Friday.  

Usually a friend from AA goes to mass with me.  He is a gay man.  It has NEVER been an issue for either of us until today.  I didn’t contact him to see if we were on for this morning, and he did not contact me.  He would not have wanted to be at mass this morning.  

I must not pretend to agree with something I don’t agree with.  What is this going to cost me?  What is the price?  I don’t want to lose my relationships with gay people (men and women) I love.  

I watched in horror on Friday as my catholic friends’ facebook profile photos turned to rainbows.  Rainbows everywhere.  The word “LOVE” being thrown around everywhere.  Unless you disagree.  

HATER, RELIGIOUS BIGOT.    These are the words of the LOVE and tolerance people when someone disagrees.  

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Back to “normal”

 On Friday morning, this is where I had my morning prayer and meditation.

Now I am back to my house, which I love, but it certainly does not have that view!  

Today I go back to work.  I know I am ready for retirement.  I have no feelings whatsoever of wanting to go back to work today – or ever.  Normally at the end of a vacation, I want to go back.  I want the structure.  I want the people to say good morning to.  I am ready to move on to the next phase of my life.  I am done with my career.

I have another 16 months to work.  As we know, 16 months can fly by.  It also can drag.  It is a matter of attitude, but not completely.  I will be getting a new boss next month as my dear friend and boss retires at the end of this month.  I pray the new boss will just leave me alone.  Everyone has assured me that is what will happen, but I am a little leery of a young man who is full of energy and wants to manage me.  

I gotta get on the treadmill now.  Gained 3 lbs.on vacation.  Lost 2 yesterday.  One more to go.  It is good to be back on a good food plan with no sugar or junk.  

Thank you Lord for this day and all that it may bring. 

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A splendid vacation so far…


Glacier National Park is worth driving 1,000 miles to experience.  Just gorgeous.  

We are having a nice journey together, my sober daughter and I.  

Today I shall see my little grand babies!

Thanks be to God.

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Alpine Hike

         A lovely day on the mountain.  Thank you God. 

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Sunday Morning

 More roses in the future…

My right hand is wrapped in a filthy bandage which won’t be removed for another 10 days.  I am trying to clean my house and cook and do yard work with a left hand and a painful dirty bandaged right hand.  No, I am not feeling particularly gracious about this.  But, I do realize that vacation is not as ill-timed as I may have thought.  I will not be cooking or cleaning.  I will not be pruning, mowing, or clipping.  I will be sitting in a car and walking around beautiful places.  I will be holding small children on my lap.  I will be hugging children of all ages.  It will be good.  

I went to confession yesterday afternoon.  Many think confession is all about guilt and self-recrimination; asking a priest for forgiveness rather than God himself.  To me, it is such a blessing.  I went to confession because I missed mass last week.  I was sick, but I went to have coffee with a friend, so how sick is that really?  So I went to confession.  I also threw in the “not being kind and loving and feeling angry” part that I feel like I always confess.  The priest was so wonderful when he said that these things do not happen overnight and that I can do one concrete action every day… like calling someone who could use an encouraging word.  Something simple.  Something doable.  What a freaking great idea!  So I wrote some letters this morning.  I will make some calls later.  I can definitely do that every day.  I am grateful for that simple suggestion.

For us in AA, that ought to be so simple.  But as time goes on, it becomes less and less simple.  I look at the new people in my group and I am so happy for them.  There is a whole herd of them who came in around the same time last year.  Some of them have already celebrated a year.  Some have had relapses and are at 6 or 9 months. One of them died (drunk) over the Memorial Day weekend.  They have each other.  Those relationships are so important and so valuable.  They learn together.  They learn from each other.  A sponsor or some other elder is wonderful, and necessary, but those peer relationships are the glue that hold it all together.  

For me, I think there are only about 10 of us left from my home group in those early years.  Some moved away, some left AA.  Sadly, I think most of them are dead.  I have some dear friends from those early days and I treasure those relationships.   My sponsor has no one left – except her husband.  After 42 years of sobriety, they are the sole survivors.  So sad.  And wonderful, don’t get me wrong.  Sober for an alcoholic beats all alternatives.  

I am grateful for Max.  He told me to form strong relationships with the people who were new with me.  Thank God I didn’t hang on the coat tails of the long-timers – I would have no one now!

It’s time for exercise: treadmill or trail?   Believe it or not, I’m picking treadmill because I don’t want to fall or anything with this hand.  I need to healthy come Wednesday.  Hit the road day!


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Another Rainy Morning

 This is my most beautiful rose.  This year’s first bloom is a little bit hail battered, but still beautiful.  I just went outside to take a photo for the blog and there it was.  So, there I was, kneeling in the garden, in the rain, in my pajamas, taking its picture.  

I’m going back to work this morning after 5 days off.  I will work for 4 days, and then be off for another week.  I’m glad.  My work e-mail pops up on my phone and I didn’t stop them for the 3 days off for surgery.  Late yesterday I saw that someone made a very vague complaint about my department to the biggest of all shots.  Right up there at the Governor level.  And their complaints are hitting the newspapers.  But I have DATA.  I have asked my staff to run it first thing this morning.  I can prove their complaint to be not applicable to my department.  But I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.  Last night I had to fight a feeling of impending doom.  That might be one of my least favorite feelings in the world.   
Trusting Infinite God rather than our finite selves….  that will allay any fear I may have.  Worst case scenario?  My own little domain will be made a public disgrace, I will lose my job, and instead of a retirement party at a time of my choosing, I will pack up my office at a moment’s notice and have safety escort me out of the building that has been my second home for the last 21 years.  I will leave in shame.  

Well, as you can see, I am very good at filling in all the details of the worst case scenario.  But, if I trust God, I can know that he has a plan for me.   I can rest assured that there is a reason all of this is happening.  I may not like it and it may not be pleasant, but I can walk through it with the help of God.  

You see, I am not one who believes that if I am a believer, God will spare me of all difficulty in life.  I read the lives of the Saints, and their lives were not sunshine, rainbows, and abundance!   

In my life, I have had plenty of difficulties, and I know that it has all turned out “ok” so far.  There have been twists and turns I could never have anticipated.  Most of the things I have worried about have never happened.  But plenty have.  Worry has not impacted that in the least, it has just wasted my time and ruined precious hours.  

I will get dressed for the day, and look as good as I can.  I will march into work and snap into action.  At this moment, I have no doubt that I can have a report in my hand by 9 a.m. that will prove that the allegations made may apply to the “other” hospital, but not to mine, and that my department functions at a very high level.   And I will trust God that it is exactly the way it should be.  

❤️, mc

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