Showing posts from July, 2013

"Detour got you steamed?"

Today I am grateful for the memories that come when watching our wedding video. I am also grateful for lessons learned, sometimes the hard way. When we left for Illinois last Wednesday. We decided to take the scenic route on the first portion of our trip. We had our reasons for doing so, and had discussed it together. It didn't go well at times, but I must say the scenic route did offer some beautiful views. We had to keep reminding ourselves of that as our travels were slowed and the hours passed. First, it was a road construction detour that took us miles out of the way. Then it was many miles of curving, windy roads that kept us well below the speed limit. Then it was my speeding ticket a little further down the road. Followed by more curving, windy roads. Situations like this don't bring out the best in Darcy and I.(Yes, even after 15 years of marriage.) Second-guessing, blaming, frustration and the like were bubbling up. At one point on that road construction detour wh

Happy 15th Anniversary!

Today I am grateful for some quality time with my son Sam yesterday. I am also grateful for my husband Darcy and our fifteen years of marriage. We were married at 8:30 p.m. on July 30, 1998 at Upper Tuthill Park in Sioux Falls, SD. Here is a picture of the gazebo where we were married:     Picture this same scene, only at dusk. It was a beautiful, clear evening and we each had family and friends there for our small ceremony. I had already ordered a wedding dress because we had planned on getting married the following year. When things fell into place and we decided to move the wedding up, I needed a dress right now. Some would shudder at this next statement, I am proud of it. I found my wedding dress for $30 at Sears. It was a nice dress and I treasure it in my "clothing archives" today.   I also treasure that my parents were both there to "walk me down the aisle" between rows of flowers and benches. It was one of the last times I saw my dad. He died

Exhilirating, Terrifying, Gratifying, Exhausting

Today I am grateful for safe travels over the last few days, plenty of ideas for blog posts, and for my stepchildren and son. The title of my post today refers to the various emotions that come with being a parent and stepparent. My stepson Arthur is 22 and newly married. He and his wife Alyssa just moved to Normal, Illinois where he will begin graduate school soon and she begins her job today. My stepdaughter Emily is 18 and will be leaving for DMACC in just a few weeks to begin her post-secondary education. Her two jobs here will come to an end, hopefully replaced with a part-time one at school. I have known Arthur and Emily for over 15 years. I am grateful to be in their lives now and grateful I got to be part of their growing up years. Our son Sam is 11 and approaching 6th grade. He's excited to start football next week and plans to get his 4-H projects completed this week for judging at our county fair on Saturday. I love my son. I love my stepchildren. Being a parent an

Twins and a Foe

Today I am grateful for the luscious breeze we enjoyed yesterday. I am also grateful for the many connections I have with other people in addiction recovery and how much wisdom they share with me. Many quotes in my gratitude journal lately have been speaking to me and hitting home. Here's another one: "Gratitude is twin sister to humility; pride is foe to both." (James E. Talmage) The twins of gratitude and humility are what I need. Learning about humility and being more humble, less ego-driven has been crucial not only in my recovery from alcoholism, but in my life overall. I often say that gratitude and self-pity cannot coexist. The same is true of false pride (the dangerous kind) and gratitude. When I stay in the gratitude, I am humbled by my good fortune and blessings, and I thank the sources that brought me said blessings. (Sources like other people, nature, the Higher Force at work in the world, and so on.) That makes me less likely to take the credit myself.

Keep Counting

Today I am grateful for a cool morning, a bike ride, and the sun and shadows it created. There are many ways to view ourselves. How often do I pay attention to shadows? I am also grateful for my counseling colleagues at work and for a chance at some social time together yesterday after several hours of work. There was plenty of food (as always) and a chance for a boat ride. Thanks to all! Paying attention. That is what being grateful is all about. As I wrote about on Sunday, gratitude goes beyond counting blessings. It is also about making those blessings count. I am prone to overlook the most obvious blessings. We all are. My job is one of those. My family is another. Of course, those most obvious can also present the most challenges. But that is part of what makes them blessings. My job is certainly that way. It is both a blessing and a curse to have been at the same job for 13 years. It's a blessing to be familiar with a place, to have built relationships with co-workers,

Parade Atmosphere

Today I am grateful for a clean house (and having the time to clean it.) I am also grateful to have been a parade participant yesterday. There's something about a parade atmosphere that is just fun and energizing. And it's not something I observe or participate in that often in a given year, so the novelty makes it interesting as well. Our local community held our annual community celebration this weekend, with a key event being the parade. Our son's 4-H group volunteers to help out a local creamery by walking the parade route and handing out free milk. Yesterday started out cool and with some needed rain. But it dried out in time for parade-goers to get set up, and it warmed up, but nothing like earlier this past week. The conditions were great, which doesn't always happen in mid-July in Minnesota. Our job included riding in the back of a refrigerated truck with numerous crates of milk for a few blocks to the staging area. We got a ride back with all the empty cr

Make Blessings Count

Today I am grateful for a good training run yesterday . . . three hours of leg time, time with my hubby, and time with myself. I am also grateful for the countless blessings I receive each day. The quote in my gratitude journal a few days ago said this: "We should certainly count our blessings, but we should also make our blessings count." (Neil A. Maxwell) As I read this quote and pondered it, I thought of the blessing writing has been in my life. I consider it to be a huge blessing. It saved me from self-destruction in my teens and twenties. It helped me first find a voice as a poet, and now expanding to an essayist, blogger, and columnist. Writing has helped me process painful emotions and challenging times, as well as helped me chronicle the details of joyous memories throughout my life. It has helped me become more vocal with what I have to say, via words. I have journaled my life story for my entire adult life. I have been writing a journal to my son Sam since