Recovery Connections Matter

Today I am grateful for the variety of sounds that I am hearing as I pause to take them in. They are soothing in their own ways. I am also grateful for fingers that work as I type.

In a day's time, it is important that I take actions to preserve ongoing sobriety and recovery. Some of those actions are mine to take alone. Prayers and meditation. Writing in my gratitude journal. But connections with others traveling the same road of physical and emotional sobriety make my day when they come along.

Some I seek out, some seek me out. It might be email connections, or a text or video message. It might be people in my neighborhood...a friend who lives a street over, waving on his way past our house. Or my friend down the street. I'll stop by for a hug and a visit in her backyard when I see her out. Or I will walk a few minutes to another recovery friend's house, then we will walk and talk together.

Recovery connections matter. But I also very much appreciate the support I get fo…

Simple Solutions

Today I am grateful for umbrellas, washers and dryers, sturdy stairs, and my five senses.

Yesterday brought simple solutions to two household issues we had. One had been around for several months, the other surfaced in the last couple of weeks. Neither was crucial to the daily operations or safety of our home, but both mattered enough to pursue solutions.

One had to do with replacing a security plate for our front screen door. It had broken, the second one to do so since we got the door a few years ago. By fluke, we had gotten a replacement part last time fairly easily. This time, we tried stops at several home/hardware stores and one online order that ended up being the wrong size.

Finally, we went right to the source, the door manufacturer. I had to wait on hold on the phone for 20 minutes, but did some writing while I waited. A helpful customer service representative helped me place an order that will only set us back $10. The time, gas, and energy we put into finding a replacement…

Good Stewards

Today I am grateful for a new stretch of trail and a bridge just opened on our local trail system. I am also grateful for my sense of sight and the lush green colors I can see this time of the year.

Back in April, some voluntary garbage duty on Earth Day helped me step up my environmental stewardship efforts. Reducing, reusing, recycling have all been things I do, but I am trying to do them more.

Reflecting on my conversation with Cathy Novelli from Listening for America last week, the idea of stewardship came up again and has stayed on my mind. Stewardship of our finite resources; human, natural, capital, labor, production, space.

I am reminded that I need to pay attention and do my part, that we all do, because as Chief Seattle said "We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children."

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines stewardship as "the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care."  That certainly…

A Devoted and Tenacious Father

Today I am grateful for a cooling morning breeze to give us a little break on a sultry day. I am also grateful to my dad and the father and grandfather he was. I  miss him and I strive to honor his legacy and memory.

I have been observing, in action, my husband Darcy as a father for over twenty years now. He was already father to Arthur, now 27, and Emily, now 23, when I first met him. I have been impressed with so much of what I have watched and witnessed in Darcy as a father, and in our partnership as parents to our son Sam, now 16.

He is both devoted and tenacious. He is unwavering in his love for his children and the effort that he gives to supporting them in a wide variety of ways. We don't always agree on everything when it comes to parenting, but we share the priorities of instilling and exemplifying crucial values and in being genuine in our love and support.

This is a recent picture of Darcy and his three children. Some of you have seen it, but it is worth seeing again. I…

Waiting Out the Rain

Today I am grateful for clarity that comes when least expected, for rest and a good book to pull me in, and for my running partner, my husband Darcy.

I often don't post on Saturday mornings because we are heading out for a long training run. But this was the view from our front patio just a few minutes ago:

A steady rain and some thunder and lightning have us waiting it out for awhile. I appreciate the roof over our heads and the weather radar that helps us plan our next steps. And the gift of time. We have a few things that we hope to do today, but we aren't on a tight timeline.
It was already very warm and humid before the rain, so an earlier start wouldn't have been a cooler one anyway.
Waiting out the rain. Ridin' the Storm Out to use the title of an REO Speedwagon song I loved back in the day. And it fits as I continue to ride out this early fifties, midlife angst I sometimes feel pelted by. Sometimes I pelt myself relentlessly. Sometimes life brings unexpected an…

First It Gives, Then It Takes

Today I am grateful for a little time with our grandson Leo to start my day. His energy is contagious. I am also grateful for the peace there is in silence.

First it gives, then it takes. What am I writing about? Addiction. Alcohol. Opioids. Food. Gambling. Meth. Nicotine. The list goes on and on, and on. The pain, devastation, and death go on and on, and on.

First it gives us, the addicts and alcoholics, the high, the escape, the relief we are seeking. That may work for a time, and the shift may be subtle, but then it starts to take. It takes our time, money, relationships, our very hearts and souls. And if recovery and sobriety aren't sought, it is most often fatal or very effective at shortening life and destroying the quality of it.

I get frequent reminders of the pain and devastation of addiction, and frankly I need such reminders. Some days and weeks it comes up more though, and this was one of those weeks. Hearing about another young adult dying of a drug overdose. Talking …

Listening for America

Today I am grateful for unique opportunities and conversations. I am also grateful for the many avenues which I have to honor the process of living gratefully and sharing some of those avenues with others.

Thank you to my friend Liz who helped bring an opportunity my way yesterday. I appreciated seeing Liz, meeting her friend Cathy, having an interesting and engaging conversation, and also being able to share my community's natural beauty with them on a pleasant June day.

As a former Under Secretary of State in the Obama administration, and a Vice President at Apple Inc., Cathy has a wealth of experience and knowledge in the area of international trade. She is currently the president of the non-partisan organization Listening for America.  A key part of their purpose reads:

We are having conversations with Americans from all walks of life about their views  of and experiences with international trade and globalization.

And this blog post written by Cathy further explains the goal o…