Appreciation

Lately we’ve been listening to a meditation entitled “abundance”. I don’t recall much about it, as it plays while we’re falling asleep but I have it on the brain today.

So full. My life is abundant.

Yesterday I studied math in the sunshine, went for a run, studied in the sun while Lover grilled a delicious dinner, went to a meeting. It was so great.

Even more so because I normally don’t run unless, kickball. (Holy SHIT do I hurt today)

On the way to the meeting last night, we stumbled onto a radio interview with a former baseball player who now does some sort of counseling/life coaching. He was talking about appreciation. It was really interesting, he said something to the effect of “no one ever comes up to me after a talk and says, ‘I’m so over appreciated’.” He said theres a chemical reaction in the brain that happens when we give verbal appreciation to another person, and also that marriages without mutual appreciation fail.

It made me think about my relationship with Lover. Something we talk about is recognizing and speaking our gratitude and appreciation for each other. How good it feels to hear it. And how it is heartfelt when its said. (So many warm fuzzies right now)

I was also thinking of this today when emailing a colleague to ask her to stop copying myself and others on her approval emails. I threw in a paragraph about how much I appreciate her prompt approvals for her orders, and it makes my job easier that she does it. She responded that I made her day. Something so simple as telling her the truth about how I appreciate her work made her day. Which in turn, made mine.

  1. Grapes. Omg…my boss brought in these juicy red grapes and they are so good!
  2. A fantastic GI doctor. We made a plan for treating my stomach stuff that is homeopathic and unique to me. I’m excited, and feel really good about it. Plus. She’s just cool and I enjoy talking to her.
  3. Sexistential Crisis, by Battle Toys. I got a prerelease of their new music and have been enjoying it all morning. I think that song is my favorite so far.
  4. Seeing my girls tonight after a long weekend without them. I miss my girls.
  5. An amazing breakfast from Lover, cooked for me, and eaten while discussing Nothing Compares 2 U. My breakfasts with him make me so happy, and it’s so hard to leave for work. The best part of my day so far.

Now, please enjoy this artwork my two year old did on my phone. I think its great.

Day 61

Today is my 61st day without a cigarette. I’m still getting urges here and there, but it’s not so bad. I see smokers now, and think with surprise oh hey, I used to do that!

I’ve been playing alot of chess lately. I’ve beaten a few online opponents on the app I’m using. I’ve mostly been playing against Lover, who has now beaten me 26 times but I’m getting better…I’m going to beat him soon. I’m also going to ask him to write a guest post as well soon. He has a theory on chess as it relates to life in recovery that is fascinating. I’m hoping he’ll be willing to share it, but of course…he can write about whatever he wants

1. A gym membership! I actually got it a couple weeks ago (thank you Lover) but its helping my seasonal moods by giving me the exercise my body is craving. I feel sore and wonderful simultaneously.

2. Pho for lunch today. Mmmm…

3. Booked a camping adventure with Hannah and my sister in a few months. Hopefully winter will be over in July and we can maybe hike without snow boots. In any case I’m excited…its so fun with them.

4. A delicious cup of root beer, freely provided by customer appreciation at work. So good it’s bad.

5. Getting to see my girls tonight after work. I haven’t seen them all weekend, and I miss them very much.

Also, bonus round…i got an A on my math test yesterday! Oh yeah!

Abundance

I’m sitting in a room, listening to a motivational speaker talking about resilience mindsets. She asks us to close our eyes, and envision our perfect day.

I put aside my math homework (because let’s be honest, I wasn’t paying attention for the first hour and a half) and close my eyes.

My perfect day…I’ve had so many recently, this is easy.

I’m with Lover, and all three kids. We wake up on a weekend, have breakfast. We take our time getting ready. We go to the St. Patrick’s day parade, then to the store for dinner food. We eat a nice meal together. It’s nice out, we take the kids to the park and run and play. We come home, we bathe the kids who are covered in mud, make popcorn and watch the Princess Bride as a family. So much love and happiness surround us.

This is it…life. It’s so good.

****

Lately, my job has been awful. I’m not going to go into details, but I’m crying at my desk or ready to punch something or walk out half the time. Its not good.

Yesterday a couple things happened. Someone I know took a job in the same company I work for, and was asking me questions about insurance plans and benefits. She is so excited- the benefits are really great. She kept saying how much better they are here than what she’s used to.

She’s absolutely right. The benefits are really good, and better than I’d get outside my company.

The other thing that happened, was a coworker from another department came up to talk to me and my boss about issues with her department that will affect us in our department. There’s a supervisor that overspent her budget, is extremely hostile to her assistant, and is setting the assistant up to take the fall for her spending. And I’m thinking to myself, it could be so much worse-I could be working in that environment.

So, today has a theme- job positivity!

  1. I have great coworkers. Really. I complain sometimes about so-and-so not doing this or that, but we do care about each other and I truly like them as wonderful humans and maybe even friends.
  2. Great benefits. I have good insurance and retirement. A few people I know don’t have that and I’m grateful for it.
  3. I make enough money. A liveable wage. I’m living close to the edge, but not so close I cant go out to dinner every so often.
  4. I live close enough to my work, and daycare is on the way that I don’t have a huge commute. It’s well located as far as my kids go.
  5. My workplace is very encouraging of higher education, and has paid for me to take classes that aren’t job related. This is an amazing benefit.

I may have a really hard time of it sometimes, but remembering the really good stuff makes it easier to get through it.

VDay

I am so blessed and happy at this point in my life. Today has barely started but is already so full. Lover and I are on our way back to Mn from Hawai’i- a harsh cold and reality of daily life await but strangely I’m not sad. I love Hawai’i. It’s a place I could easily see myself living. But my life is lived where I am…which is currently en route via multiple layovers. Last night I went to sleep on a plane taking off in a storm, terrified to the point of almost vomiting. More turbulence than I’m comfortable with FOR SURE but I had a warm hand to hold and the knowledge if it was my time then I’d go happy. And I’m good with going out like that. Happy, that is. Plane crash…not so much. In any case, we survived and landed at the first layover tired and sore and happy. I can’t speak for him, but for me…just incredibly happy I’m where I am with him. And that life gets to continue in the every day with him in it. (Maaaan… if you only knew how okay I am with how cheesy I sound) Just the simple adventure of being in the same place as the man I love. Today is so special already for the experience I’ve had so far and the adventure I anticipate on the next layover. Happy Valentine’s day to you all. 1. I didn’t die 2. The LA airport is nowhere near as crazy as I thought it would be…but we did land at 5am so there’s that 3. Coffee. I got all sorts of jacked and bounced around the airport for an hour or so. So fun. 4. A delicious breakfast 5. A possible beach on my next layover. Anything could happen. Chaos theory comes to mind, but in a good way. (God I wish Jeff Goldblum was on my flight. I’ve been making so many Jurassic park references lately. Have I mentioned I love dinosaurs?)

Ohana

One of the things I remember most about the movie Lilo and Stitch is them talking about ohana…which means family. I found myself tonight at an AA meeting on the big island of Hawai’i by this name. (Yes, there is a good reason I haven’t posted much haha). Lover and I met some wonderful people at another meeting here, and they told us about the Ohana meeting. It’s an “eating meeting”, we’re told. “Come eat some Hawaiian food.” Sold. We came to the island on a private retreat, to a wellness center. There’s only one place to smoke in the area, everything else is off limits. Me, being the dirty dirty smoker goes off to find that area on the first day…only to find that the majority of those there are smoking the devil’s lettuce. Ok fine. I hang to the outer area, not really talking to anyone. Then I go back several hours later. More people are there this time, and it’s not tobacco in the pipe. They’re much friendlier, and tried to pass to me. Lover showed up right after this, and they tried to pass to him as well. There’s a part in the Big Book where it talks about only being around alcohol if you have a good reason to be there. Lover tells me he doesn’t- he doesn’t smoke so he will no longer join me at the tent. My wheels start turning. Do I have a good reason to be there? Is my nasty cigarette addiction reason enough for me to put my sobriety in jeopardy every time I need a smoke? I brought a long a bunch of nicotine patches for the plane rides, I have enough for the duration of the trip. So I did it. Three days without a single cigarette, and it’s fucking hard. Yes, I’m on the patch. Yes it’s worth it to not be around all the Mary Jane. However I feel like I’ve been in an anxiety attack for the last 24 hours. And that, brings me to the meeting. The anxiety has been building over the last day…it started surfacing about an hour or two before the meeting. We get there, grab some coffee, and sit. I sip my coffee, looking longingly towards the door where I know other sober folk are out smoking. They’d give me a smoke. Then relief hits. Something relaxed inside. I’m home. I’m with my people. AA is where I can walk into the room of strangers and everyone knows me and I know them. It didn’t really hit me until after I left tonight that the meeting name, Ohana means family. Those are my family. I’m still a basket case, I cried some on the drive back to the resort. I might smoke tomorrow. I make no promises. But today, tonight I’m sober and tobacco free. And my family was there giving me hugs and telling me they understood.

Jan 11

Today wasn’t great. 

Actually, that’s an understatement. 

I don’t want to sit in misery, so here comes some positivity at ya!

1. I was (slightly) early to work today

2. I was provided a lovely breakfast by Lover, scrambled eggs with spinach, green peppers, mushrooms and toast. I wasn’t able to finish it, but it was delicious. 

3. I got my lunchtime errands run, through a blizzard, and wasn’t late back. Freaking impressive! 

4. Celebrated J’s 2nd birthday…she scarfed down pizza, ate cake and ice cream and loves her new toy. I just want to cry….she’s so big. I’m amazed and delighted with both my kids, they’re turning into people and I love it. Miss the baby part, but love my little people.

5. Managed 1.5 hours of homework. I still need to check it. I think I’m behind but I’m being thorough so that’s good, right?

And now…bed. Another positive.

The year in review

Best described by the music I lived in…

January

One word…Phantogram. I must have listened to Cruel World and When I’m Small 3x a day at least. I was gearing up for leaving my ex, and these were the emotional songs to do it. Electric Love from Borns just came out and I wanted a love like that so badly.

February

It’s done. The marriage is ended. Human, by Rag N Bone Man. Love N Hate by Michael Kiwanuka is also on the playlist a lot.

March

Adjusting to new realities. Making new friends and connections. Hot Thoughts, by Spoon, Paisley Park by Prince, Soothing by Laura Marling.

April

More Phantogram, You Don’t Get Me High, and You’re Mine. 

May

Ubu, by Methyl Ethel, Feel it Still by Portugal The Man, Wes Anderson by Alex Lahey. Although, I must add in that I understood what Alex Lahey was talking about months later when Lover and I became a thing. Ran, by Future Islands releases and I download and play it on repeat. For weeks.

June

I’m homeless, divorce papers filed and stressed to the max. I take it out by hula hooping and starting a 30 days of positivity. Hula playlist includes lots of Har Mar Superstar, Clearest Blue by Chvrches, Wake Up by Chastity Brown, and The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness by The National. I’m living like I hadn’t lived since before the ex and I’m remembering what it feels like to be me. In a good way.

July 

I’m letting go. Nothing is working so I just let go. And amazing things happen. Like J-Boy by Phoenix. Swish Swish by Katy Perry. Everything Now by Arcade Fire. Gimme Sympathy by Metric. Angry Johnny by Poe. Lover and I start dating. Life feels so good. 

August 

Linger, by The Cranberries on August 4th during the best date of my life up to that point. Eclipse month. Carnival by Natalie Merchant. Fatal Gift by Emily Haines and The Soft Skeleton. Lover and I are seeing each other weekly by the end of the month.  

September

Don’t Delete the Kisses by Wolf Alice makes me think of Lover every time I hear it. I move into my new apartment. A has a hard time adjusting, but we made it to the other side and things settle down. Got to see Spoon play a show and it was everything a concert should be. 

October

A blog post about listening to music in a dark twisty bar triggered a lovely memory. So many fun experiences this month. Saw Battle Toys perform, went dancing for my birthday. Halloween parties. Fresh Blood by The Eels. The Silversun Pickups album.

November

No Roots by Alice Merton. I fell madly in love with  Deadly Valentine by Charlotte Gainsbourg. So much baking. Dance classes with Lover start, and it is so much fun.

December 

Eartha Kitt dominated my holiday playlist with Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith. The Wombats released Lemon to a Knife Fight. Beach House’s Space Song will forever hold a memory of a late night and the scent of lavendar.

2017 has been the most eventful year in my life since I was 20 and moved 5 times in a year. So much has happened, good and not so good. I’ve felt all the feelings, and am learning from all my mistakes. I am truly happy to be right where I am in life now.

Here’s to 2018!

December 28th 

So it occurred to me, as I was speaking of my day on the phone a little while ago that I was being pretty negative about a day that wasn’t really so bad. I thought, I need to do some more positivity. 

So here we are! Lynn is being positive again.

1. Therapy appointment for A. She was excited for it and talked alone to the therapist for a bit. I feel really good about this, that going forward we can adjust to her working alone with him and thus us good news for everyone.

2. Went with the kids to see some old friends of ours I haven’t seen since September. It was good, I’ve missed them. 

3. Took a long nap. It wasn’t on purpose, but I needed it. J actually napped and I fell asleep during meditation and slept for 2 and a half hours. I’m hoping to go to bed early tonight too. 

4. Showered. In the evening. Wet hair in subzero temperatures are no good so I’m on top of it!

5. A wanted braids in her hair…just like mommy. She looks so pretty and it’s such a wonderful compliment that she wants to be like me. 

Not every day of parenting is going to be easy…today wasn’t but there were definitely bright spots all over and today I choose to look at those.

On inventory

Fears are a big theme here…

I’ve had two major anxiety episodes in the last week over things that were, well…nothing to get excited about. I think about the time I spent crying and thinking of all the worst case scenarios, and what was the result? God had it handled already. 

I have a big imagination. Always have. Over the last few years, my family and friends have pointed out that I border on paranoia. In my childhood I wrote stories, in high school I wrote songs and poetry and the imagination was put to good use. Fears and selfishness led to my drinking, I got sober, did inventory and stopped writing. For a long time I didn’t put the imagination to good use. I didn’t have a creative output for a long time, and then my thoughts centered around the “what ifs”. 

So dangerous.

I’m working on another inventory which was themed around the divorce, boundaries, and an inability to say “no”. Talking to my sponsor about it, she tells me my inability to say no stems from fear. Huh. Never considered that I might not say no to something I don’t like or want because I’m afraid of the outcome. 

Yesterday I started texting myself some of my most major fears at that time. It helped. I know I have far more to go, and I’m not close to being done but I’m working on it. Making progress. 

1. Got up on time, meditated, ate and showered and was at work on time! Early even!

2. Discussions with Lover about needs and making daily needs work in the day to day life. I’m really happy I can have open honest conversations about what we need as individuals. I feel like this is incredibly healthy and makes me feel good about where I am in life.

3. Homemade chicken soup for lunch…

4. Hopefully going to wrap gifts tonight! I’m pleased that my shopping is almost done and that with a small few exceptions I can be proud of what I can give to my family this year. 

5. Knowing that the home I’ve made and life I wanted is finally here. It’s not perfect but it’s amazing and more than I expected. Life is so good today.

Unprepared

I constantly tell people what a disaster I am. “I can’t get out the door on time! I’ll never remember to bring snow pants for both kids every day! I’m a disaster! I burned the cookies. I’m a disaster. I spilled (insert liquid or edible here) all over myself. I’m a disaster!”

Then, my friends tell me how awesome I am. Lover calls me Wonder Woman. And I think…why would they think that? I don’t have anything together. I forgot to scoop the litter box last night and put water in kittys dish. I realized the water was empty when kitty started drinking out of the toilet when I was getting ready for work. Filled his water dish, and promptly forgot again about the litter. There is folded laundry all over my living room that needs to be put away. 

Do these things really make me a disaster though? When I tell people I am, or tell myself I am, does it then become a self fulfilling prophecy? If I’m late to work regularly because I’m “a disaster” am I excusing myself from the responsibility of being on time? 

Not sure what the answer is, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t to continue saying negative things about myself, to myself and others.

1. Medical testing done this morning shows nothing of concern. This is good! My “big fear” from my last post is not to be concerned.

2. Delicious toast on fresh bread made with love by Lover as I was flying out the door this morning. Yum.

3. My travels this afternoon take me by my favorite tamale joint…I am so excited!

4. Dinner plans with an old friend. We used to use together, a lot. I ran into her after 14 plus years at an AA event, where I found she was also sober now, and I’m really excited to reconnect with her in sobriety. Its so amazing when that happens.

5. Finished writing inventory that I’ve put off for months. It feels good to be done with it, although I’ll feel better after I 5th step it. I’m not sure I’ll be able to meet with my sponsor anytime soon but I have a backup in place should it come down to it.

Here are some of the delicious cookies my girlfriends and I made the other night. Feast your eyes, because the cookies have all been eaten already.