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.

News

I have a serious lack of inspiration when it comes to blog posts lately. I feel like I could write about everything- so many wonderful things are going on in my life but when I sit down to write, my mind is blank.

The piano is going really well. I feel so good about where I’m at with the class. I finally see progress. I can sit down with sheet music (to my skill level, of course) and read it and play it. There is a thrill in this, and it makes me happy and want to play more.

The math is going well too. I need to study more (that should be my mantra) but I feel good about where I’m at with that too. I’m really enjoying it…its like a puzzle. Except memorizing the process on solving the puzzle isn’t coming along so great. But I’m getting there!

And there’s some more big news…

Lover and I have decided to officially move in together!

I know. This is huge.

I feel so good about this. I feel ready emotionally. My girls love him. His son is great, we all get along so well together. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. But I don’t think it will.

This is the best relationship I’ve ever had, things are so good and I feel confident in it. I’m in love with him, and he’s in love with me. Little hiccups happen and we work them out. I am so happy.

Life is good on a level I didn’t know existed. My friend Stephanie told me once, “this is what it’s like to be happy. We aren’t used to it. But this is what it’s like to be a happy person and so enjoy it”.

It feels good.

The daily

Tonight, my cat jumped to bat the chain for the door lock (5 feet high!) And while doing so, flipped the light switch off.

This might be the most interesting thing that’s happened all day.

Upon my return to normal life after the vacation 5 weeks ago, Lover and I both got sick with some awful cold virus that we still can’t seem to kick. Did all the things. Tinctures. Dayquil and Nyquil. Afrin Nasal spray. Steam out the apartment. Advil cold and sinus. Sudafed. After a couple weeks of this, mine turned into a double sinus infection with bronchitis and Lover had a sinus infection with a wicked cough.

Life is hard when you’re sick. Not sick enough to not work (or in my case out of sick time at the job so therefore must work unless dead) but sick enough for no energy and daily life is a struggle. I feel very fortunate that Lover and I have been able to depend on each other to take care of each other through this. Truly, it’s not as awful being sick when you’re sick together and taking turns taking care of each other.

Positive notes:

  1. Discovered Rick and Morty. Yessssss
  2. Lover makes delicious ramen and peppermint tea and stewed apples
  3. I make crazy delicious chicken soup
  4. All the children survived sick parents and somehow managed to not get sick themselves
  5. After 5 weeks of being sick I finally have energy back.
  6. It’s nearly spring! In less than 1.5 hours it will be the spring equinox. It’s about time. I’m so fed up with cold and electric bills and not having the windows open.

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.

Musings while in line at the car wash

In Minnesota, any day above freezing there are lines at every car wash in town, as everyone races to wash all the salt and dirt from their vehicles before it freezes again. It’s like a gas rush, but with the car wash.

I’ve got three sleeping children in my car, listening to Yours by Now Now. I love this song. It just feels so good every time I hear it.

 One car moves forward…5 more to  go  

We just got back from sledding. I decided that letting the kids sleep a bit before waking them up was a smart decision. I’m hoping they’re worn out from fresh air and exercise. We met Lover and his son at the hill, and probably got in an hour and twenty minutes before someone got bitten and I decided we were calling it a day.

 Four cars left before it’s my turn. The suspense is killing me. 

Here’s some positivity for your viewing pleasure.

1. Slept in til 7am. This is good for a weekend with the kids. J could have been up at 530. I’m totally good with 7.

2. Had coffee with sister #2 before she went to work. That was really nice.

3. Got a lovely breakfast of eggs, sausage and toast.

4. Sledding with Lover and all the kids. It’s pretty warm out for MN in the winter so this was just what I needed.

 3 cars to go 

5. So many things to choose from. I have all sorts of food in my fridge, with options all over for dinner. Two happy healthy little girls who are sleeping peacefully along with my nephew. A new vacuum cleaner to test drive at home. Today is pretty amazing. 

 2 cars 

 Oh the vacuum cleaner. Funny story about that.

So A decided to vacuum the other day. I’m so happy and proud, my kid wants to clean?! This is great! I have her pick up the floor, looks good, she starts vacuuming, I’m damn near in tears I’m so proud of her and then…

The magic smoke comes out and it’s making a noise like a strangled cat.

 1 car to go 

So I asked Lover to take a look at it, and the motor is literally starting on fire every time I turn it on. Apparently some idiot zip tied pieces of the motor, it got overloaded and started on fire. Who designs something like that? So he pulls off the melted plastic, has me plug it in to see if it’ll work (mind you, it’s all taken apart on the floor) and blue fire is leaping out of it. Yep. Game over. I bought a new one. That’ll teach me to keep the paperwork for the warranty too.

 My turn!

By the Moonlight

“Did you get the song I sent you?” I asked.

“Yeah. So I’m on your mind, am I?”

“Yeah.”

“So you have feelings for me?”

“Yes” I responded uncomfortably. A moment passed. Another conversation started. I broke in. “Is it returned?”

“Is what?”

“The feelings. Are they returned?” My voice cracked. I’m terrified of the response. 

Silence 

” What do you mean, are they returned? Of course they are. How do you not see it?”

“I don’t know! I guess I was trying not to read into anything.” 

A couple hours later, he calls me back. He says his mind is on fire. It’s bothering him that I didn’t know he had feelings for me. He comes over. My children are sleeping, so I meet him outside. We hold each other for a little while.

“So, you know what I think?”

“What?” I ask dreamily

“I think you’re falling in love with me.”

I’m shocked. I stop, and twist up to look at him. “That’s not fair!” I sputter. 

” Is it true? He asks with a little smile. He starts backing me up towards my car while holding me.

“Yes” I say reluctantly. I’m backed up against my car. He’s kissing me. I pull back.

“Do you feel the same way? You just left me hanging here. I feel incredibly vulnerable right now.” I’m upset. I feel more vulnerable with him than I’ve ever felt before. I just admitted something I was only aware of a few days before and he just called me out and gave me nothing in return. 

He sighs. “I’ve been falling in love with you for a long time.”

Relief, then emotion floods through. We’re kissing, and then moving across the grass. The moon is full, and he lifts me and we’re laughing and kissing and dancing through the yard. At some point we stop, he’s behind me with his arms around me, and we’re looking at the moon.

“I feel like I’m still falling. Like I’ve been falling for some time and I don’t know how far or deep this is going to go.” I say.

“Me too.” He responds. We stand there for a while. Just experiencing the whole of it.

At some point he leaves. Neither of us want to part, but he can’t stay the night. I feel like I’m in a dream. I lie awake for hours thinking about every detail. Did this really happen? Could I have imagined the whole thing?

The next morning, I see two sets of footprints all over the grass. ♡