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… 🙂

Thankful

It’s rare I’m feeling gratitude while standing in 7degree windchill while filling a tire that repeatedly goes low. But there I was this morning, freezing my fingers off while I filled my tire with air using a contraption that a very thoughtful Lover loaned to me a while ago so I didn’t need to keep paying money to use the air at a gas station.

And all I felt was gratitude. That I could do this conveniently. Outside my apartment, when I needed to and I didn’t have to worry about having enough quarters or if the pump at the station worked.

Of course, I still have another tire to do. But I know, when I go outside next, I’ll have the opportunity to do it, because someone was kind enough to make my life a little easier.

1. Sugar cookies. Loads of them. Frosted by lovely children who were covered in colored icing and didn’t want to eat lunch but it’s okay, because how often do we make Christmas cookies?

2. Ice skating. I had to opportunity to go to the Holidazzle festival today with my kids and sister and niece. We saw Santa, and A and niece E went ice skating for the first time. E had a hard time, but A did great. It was super fun…the first time I’ve been on the ice in 20 plus years. I want to go again!

3. Two tired, snuggly little girls who want warm cuddles under blankets on the couch.

4. Homemade pizza for dinner. Yum!

5. Having my niece all weekend. She’s so sweet, and A loves playing with her so it’s almost like having less children. It’s weird how that works.

I’m tired, and warmly snuggled with the kitty and girls watching Masha and the Bear. Things are good.

Today is good

Writers block. I have started and not finished two other posts since thanksgiving that no longer seem relevant so I’m leaving them be and just wanted to share good today.

Last night I went to a tincture making class, and really enjoyed it. I went with two of my girlfriends and learned….alcohol isn’t necessary to make one. Which is great news for your favorite recovering alcoholic. (No ego on this girl) I’m pretty excited about tinctures and herbal remedies, and feel much better today after yesterday’s cold having sampled some of the cold care remedies in class. Also, got a great line on where to purchase herbs locally.

1. Easy morning with the girls getting out the door. Happiness in the little things!

2. Graveyard Club. Their music is awesome. 

3. Pho. Mmmm

4. Warm December days. La Niña is my friend this year.

5. Plans of some sort for the evening. Not sure yet what those are but I know it’ll be awesome.

Thanksgiving

My stars, it smells so good in here. I’ve just finished the pies for my mini thanksgiving and I want to just sink my face in them both. Pumpkin pie, made with coconut milk and love, and a chocolate pecan pie, made with earth balance and some sultry melted soy free chocolate chips. I’ve not done that before so I’m hoping it turned out. From the smell of it I’d say it’s going to be pretty goshdarned delicious. I hope I have room for this turkey I’m brining.

Also on the list for tomorrow are green bean casserole made with homemade mushroom sauce, candied sweet potatoes, and stuffing. The stuffing is from a box but who cares. I get to eat stuffing. 

I’m tempted to make rolls from scratch but I think I might over extend myself. 

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Home

It’s cold out. I’ve had a pretty chill day, but haven’t been very busy which meant I had time to get inside my own head.

So dangerous.

I took on a new sponsee, who was supposed to come to a meeting this morning with me, and didn’t show when I arrived. So instead of going to the meeting anyway, which is what I should have done, I went home. I’m not feeling great physically, and had things to do but ended up hanging out and thinking about what I wasn’t doing. 

Never a good idea.

However, my sponsee called, and arranged for a later meet up. Which is how I ended up at the Alano club where my home group is, going to a meeting. 
I’ve called a lot of places home before. I’ve lived in many places (although they were all in the twin cities) but I feel like the term home has a different meaning to me now. When I go to my alano club, I feel like I’m home, in a way I haven’t felt like since I was a kid growing up. I don’t feel like that when I go to my residence, or my mom’s house, or even to the place I grew up. I get that feeling when I’m with my kids, or my lover, or with my best friend, but most intensely when I’m going through the doors of that alano club to be with other sober alcoholics.

I think it comes down to home being where you know you are loved unconditionally by people who know who you truly are and love you anyway.

1. Slept in, and made myself eggs on toast. Mmmm…

2. Bought new glasses. They’re on order. I’m scared shitless of the price…I never spend that kind of money on something and I’m debating taking them back. But… I look so good. Hmmm…

3. Made daiya mozzarella garlic toast for lunch and ate it with spaghetti sauce. 

4. Meeting and working with my new sponsee. If you havent done it, it’s amazing. Like nothing else in the world. 

5. Adulting is done for the day. Laundry folded and put away. Dishes done. Apartment (relatively) clean. Its beautiful.