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.

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.

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!

Gas

When you got it, no stopping it. Well, you could but I don’t recommend it.

As someone who has stomach issues that cause horrific gas, my thoughts today have wandered…what are the best places to pass it? And then…Where are the worst?

Best places:

  1. Outside. Especially if it’s windy, bonus for a noisy area where you can be loud and disgusting and no one hears you. Just make sure it’s going to stay noisy. And windy. Nothing worse than one of those hot lingering bombs and it won’t go away outside of all places. (Well kids, we just happen to be downwind of a farm. Yes, I know we’re in the city. Just trust me. It’s a farm. Not your mother.)
  2. Home. I make this second because it’s indoors, and there’s a possibility you can stink yourself and your loved ones out. They may not love you at this point. You may not love you if this happens.
  3. Indoor playgrounds. The possibility of offending other parents runs here, but if it’s a big enough area you can cropdust and blame it on some kid. Because you KNOW at least one kid is running with a full load.
  4. The Car. A moving vehicle with the windows down. Unless you’re in Minnesota anytime between October and April. Then I don’t recommend it.
  5. In line at the grocery store. If you can pull off the silent but deadly, you might encourage someone in front of you to leave. This also requires either an ability to act as though you’re not to blame and also offended by the smell or a complete lack of shame. Own it. 

Next we have the worst places.

  1. First date/first sleepover etc. You want to maybe keep this person around. Maybe you don’t. Let’s assume that you want to keep them around. Embarrassment in front of your boo or bae or whatever the fuck stupid thing people are saying now is not cool. We want to be our best, smell amazing and not be bloated foul creatures like we are at home alone. The point is to not be alone, so let’s break out the Bean-o.
  2. Edit: adding in dance floor. A friend shared an experience where a ten foot section was cleared by a toxic wave emanating from another friend. Although, this could be a good thing too if you’re looking for space from the creepers. Not so much if you’re in the meat market though.
  3. Work. No one wants to be trapped in a small area with an offensive odor. We all know who’s responsible for it, and unless you’re working outside or completely alone it’s just not a good idea. Maybe not even if you’re alone. Once I was working in a locked office all alone, let one go, and then someone knocked on the door. I was seen so I couldn’t pretend to not be there, had to let them in and had a very uncomfortable encounter where we were both trying to pretend there was no smell. The stories go on. I go on. 
  4. A wedding. Unless you are looking for an excuse to get out, then by all means. Light it up.
  5. A funeral. Unless you need comic relief.
  6. A restaurant. Just imagine it…you’re there, you’re hungry, and then this overwhelming stench wafts by from a nearby booth. Ugh. However if you can stand your own smell, maybe it’s fine. Less competition for the wait staff’s attention. This is a positivity blog, after all.

    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.

    Little fears

    How many things am I afraid of? I’m sad to say…a lot. I’m afraid of being late to work, even though it happens a lot. I’m afraid of not making ends meet. I’m terrified of a math class I signed up for in spring semester. Im afraid of being hurt in my relationship. I don’t even recognize these things mostly though, I don’t want fear to take over my life.

    So when a big fear comes along, all of a sudden all the little ones are both more and less at the same time. 

    Odd.

    Fears are just as deadly as resentments in recovery. Acting out of fear of losing something I have or fear of not getting something I want has led me to some ugly consequences.

    I’ve mentioned before about living fearlessly. To me now, that means to acknowledge the fear, and talk about it. I’ve noticed that when I talk about something I’m afraid of it loses some of its power. Then, I pray about it. Letting it go to God is the hardest part for me. I had an incident a few weeks ago, I was having a minor freak out session in my parked car and a voice in my head said, “do you trust me?” 

    “Yes, I trust you.”

    “Then why are you worried?”

    That stopped me dead in my tracks. The voice in my head might have been mine. Might not. But it made me think hard…if I trust God, then why am I so worried? Either I trust or I don’t. Either it all works or it doesn’t, and I believe firmly everything happens for a reason. So, very very slowly I unclenched my mental fingers and let go.

    The results are that I’m free of worry and everything is in fact working out. 

    So as the mental hamster wheel is spinning wildly today, I am letting go. Unclenching the mental fingers, and I feel at peace.

    1. It snowed hard with big flakes and looked like a snowglobe outside earlier. So pretty.

    2. My children were fed, clean, and teeth brushed before we left home. They didn’t fight (much) either.

    3. I have left over homemade pizza for lunch…I’m SO looking forward to it!

    4. A new meeting tonight that I’m test driving for a home group. I went last week, and I’m looking forward to going again tonight.

    5. Seeing Lover after the meeting. I hope… 🙂