Posted in Blogging, Goals, Life, Musings, story telling, writing

The Writing Hour

typing

You’ve heard of the Witching Hour, right? Well, I want to talk about the Writing Hour- the magical time of day when I get to write. I get up at 4:30 in the morning, every single day, just so that I can have this quiet, undisturbed time to write.

Every night, before bed, I set up my coffee maker so that it starts my coffee at 4:15, assuring that it will be ready when I crawl out of the warmth of my blankets way before the first light of dawn. It takes me a little time to wake up- somewhere around the dregs of my first cup, I stop reading and commenting on blogs, and start working on something of my own. Sometimes it’s my novel, and sometimes it’s a blog post- on a good day, like today, I might manage both.

Like many of us, I am an extremely busy person. I work full time, I have a small child (and a not so small child, also), a house full of pets that want my attention. There is homework to be done, and housework, laundry that never seems to be folded, and a million other little tasks tugging constantly on my mind. On top of that, I am in recovery, trying to fit in meetings, and doing all the things that take care of me mentally and physically. Groceries need to be bought, dinners prepared, I have to get to the gym, I have to walk the dog. My God, just writing it down makes me anxious. The list literally had no end- once you complete it, if that ever even happens, you go back to the top and start over.

And that is fine, that’s just the way life is. BUT…doing any of these things at 4:30 in the morning would be pretty unreasonable, if you ask me. The only acceptable thing I can think of to do at that hour, besides sleep, is write. Between the hours of 4:30 and roughly 6:30 in the morning, I am free to indulge myself in whatever form of writing pleases me. I can read blog posts at my leisure, or re-read the latest chapter in my work in progress. I can let my fingers fly over the keyboard as I transcribe the crazy events playing out in my imagination. Not even the sky is the limit. It’s entirely up to me.

Could I use a bit more sleep? Maybe. Would my life benefit at all from me staying up later than 8:30 every night? Most likely. Am I willing to give even an inch on this one thing, and give up my magical Writing Hour? Not even a chance. I’d rather yawn my way through the day and count down the minutes to bed time than give up my writing time.

Happy Friday, and Happy Writing!

Posted in Blogging, fun, Life, Musings, random

Three (Cheerful) Things

In an attempt to highlight the more awesome parts of my life, I thought my three things this week should be happy things. So here goes:

cinnamon rolls

  1. I made my daughter cinnamon rolls this morning. I mean, I didn’t make them from scratch or anything, but she was certainly impressed. All I did was open the can (which, as most of us will agree, canned breads of any type are TERRIFYING to open!) and pop them in the oven, but she was beyond excited about the treat. Which made me feel great, and was just an all around awesome way to start the day. I really needed that this week.seaside
  2. The weather here has been gorgeous this week! I mean, I live on the Monterey Peninsula, so even at its worst, it’s still pretty fantastic, but when the sun is shining here…it’s just unbelievable. Seriously, some Disney Princess weather we’ve been having. Birds singing, poor confused little flowers popping up everywhere, little white butterflies. It’s hard to be glum when mother nature is showing off like she has been. I mean, I can do it, but it takes a lot of work.facebook 2
  3. My Facebook Fast in January seems to have worked. I think I actually broke its toxic hold on me. I can get on there, but I don’t have to get on there, and I certainly don’t do it 500 times a day. Maybe once or twice, tops, and I am not posting hourly. I was really out of control…it has left a bit of a hole in my life, though, I’m not going to lie. Facebook gives you the feeling that you have a very busy social life, when in fact, all you’ve got is a busy social network. Those two things are not at all the same. I am trying hard to connect on a more personal level, but it really is going to take time, I think. And I am okay with that. Quality over quantity, for sure.

So there you have it! My three things for the week. I hope the idea of Friday coming up quick is cheering you up, and that you, like me, have a three day weekend coming up! Yay for three day weekends! Definitely in my top 100 favorite things.

Posted in Addiction, anxiety, Depression, faith, Life, Mental Health, Musings, recovery, twelve step

Life on Life’s Terms

life on life's terms

 

 

I am having the hardest time ever with this post right now. This is the third blog I have started, and I am determined to finish this one, no matter how much I may hate it. Here’s the thing: I am having a shit time right now, for a number of reasons. None of them are big things, but a bunch of little things strung together, causing me stress and a general feeling of unease. I don’t feel comfortable with my life or in my body right now, and it’s bumming me out.

Here’s the thing, though. I understand that this is temporary, just like everything always is. My face has erupted like Mount Vesuvius, but…it is going to go back to normal. Eventually. I had a bunch of unexpected expenses come up all at once, but…they are going to be dealt with. Financial ruin is unlikely. I haven’t had time this week to buy groceries or get to the gym, and it sucks, but I will get back on track. It’s not the end of the world.

In my addict mind (and maybe in normal minds, too, I have no experience with living in one of those) everything is extremely black and white, all or nothing. Every time I get off track, I feel like I have failed utterly, and there will be no coming back for me. Which is ridiculous- I have millions of examples in my own life where that has not ever, not once, been the case. And yet, I persist with this wrong thinking. My mind often works against me, and it can be exhausting.

The solution? I believe it must be to just acknowledge that my wrong thoughts exist, be aware of that, and then work around them. Sometimes, I can think myself right into a corner, wedged so tightly that I can’t even move. Like, moving a muscle seems impossible, seriously. That is when I need to find the strength to haul my ass up anyway, and get some shit done. If I let myself sit in my mess for too long, that is when depression comes calling. And if you’ve ever dealt with depression, you know how hard that can be to get out of, and how scary it feels when it’s breathing down your neck. Inaction is not my friend in this situation.

I keep thinking about how, four days ago, I wrote a post about laughter, and how weird it may seem to any attentive readers that I am now writing about something quite the opposite of that. Maybe you will think I am nuts…hell, maybe I am. But here’s the thing- life doesn’t care how great I felt last week. Life just shows up, and does what it does. What I have learned in recovery is that I am supposed to be living life on life’s terms, meaning I deal with what life serves up, to the best of my ability, without taking anything to change the way I feel. This is harder than it sounds sometimes. Not the part where I don’t take anything, I’ve grown used to that. It’s the part where I cope with it well that eludes me sometimes.

I get nervous. I get scared. I feel like a lot of people depend on me, and I don’t know if I am up to the task. I retreat. I close up. I shut down.

But I always, always, always (so far) pull it together in the end. I always find a way to come out the other side of my feelings intact. I have a 100% success rate so far of not destroying my life completely, as long as I stay clean. I may not be feeling my best today, but tomorrow…who knows? Hell, later today I might feel better. You just never know. My job is just to hang in there, do my best, and wait for things to change. Because they always do, for better or worse.

Posted in Addiction, alcoholism, fun, health, humor, inner peace, Life, Mental Health, recovery, spirit, twelve step

Laughter

laughter

 

I gave up laughter for years.

I mean the good kind, the kind that rolls out of you uncontrollably, the kind that makes you double up, the kind that makes you cross your legs so you don’t pee your pants. The best kind- the laughter that comes out so hard that it makes no sound, just your big open mouth, your shaking shoulders. I can’t even think about that kind of laughter without smiling.

I gave it up, and I didn’t even realize it. Which is weird, because I love to laugh so much! I didn’t stop making other people laugh- I have always been really good at that, and it is an excellent way to distract people from what is wrong. When you can make people laugh, it’s easy for them to assume that you are okay, that you are happy, right? Happy people make other people laugh. I don’t think that is true at all. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I adore making people laugh, but…it’s a show you put on. A friendlier way than my other go-to of crazy anger to keep people at arms length. To keep them from asking too many questions, or seeing me too clearly. Deflect, distract, confuse. Another tool in my arsenal.

I don’t remember doing too much laughing myself. At least, not the good kind. The sad fact is, when you are deep in addiction, you don’t have much to laugh about. It’s not fun. It’s a life in survival mode, just barely keeping your head above water.Then, if you are lucky, and if you work really hard at it, you get clean and shit gets REALLY real. If you are doing step work and working with a sponsor, things come up. Feelings you didn’t feel ten years ago clamor to be felt. You deal with anxiety, remorse, shame, regret, depression, elation, joy, love, relief, exhaustion and peace. But what you might find little room for in your life, while dealing with all this other stuff, is silliness. And silliness is a big ingredient in laughter.

For me, at least, it was a long, long time before I stopped being so tense. I had been so on my guard for so long, so careful in the way that I lived my life out of fear of being found out, that it was a long while before I trusted myself to keep going. Believe me when I say that I am not some paragon of ease- I can’t see that ever happening. I am a little tightly wound, as friends and family will attest. Lately, though, I have found myself able to breathe. To be in the moment, to let go, to have fun.

And I have been laughing so much. So much that it has caught my attention several times over the past few weeks. My little daughter, the one I am with the most, has noticed too. She’s the one I’ve been cracking up with the most, and it’s like some kind of medicine, I swear. We laughed our way through Target the other night, being silly as hell, and causing people to stare at us as we giggled and swerved our cart through the aisles. I am not lying when I say that several children looked at us with longing, wishing they were having as much fun as we were.

We’ve been laughing in the car, and laughing in our house, laughing in the morning when I wake her up, and laughing while we brush our teeth. We almost died laughing during a dance off we had in the living room the other night.

I’ve been laughing at work, and laughing in meetings. Last night, at my critique group, it felt great to laugh with my writer friends about writer stuff. And yesterday, when I was complaining about my sudden acne outbreak and my friend asked me why I thought I was breaking out, I pointed to my face and said “Hemorrhoids” when what I meant to say, in fact, was “Hormones”. I literally almost peed my pants. Come on, that’s freaking hilarious.

I missed laughing so much. If you are just starting out on this journey, I promise you, the day will come when your heart and spirit have healed enough to let your guard down. You will trust yourself again, and you will find, without even realizing that it’s happened, you are whole. You will find that you can breathe again, you will find it easy to smile, and I promise you, you will laugh.

The good kind of laugh.

Posted in Blogging, family, Goals, health, kids, Life, reading

Three Things (it’s still Thursday, right?)

three beetles

I know, I know- I’m super late with this post today. Heck, it’s almost my bedtime, decrepit old thing that I am. But seriously, I am in a HEATED Fitbit challenge right now, currently holding the lead, by a hair, in two very serious battles. Well, actually, I am 14,000 steps ahead in one, so that one is pretty much in the bag, but the other one is anyone’s guess. Which is pretty bad considering I am giving it everything I’ve got and barely winning. Anyway, forgive me, I digress. I am tired as hell.

Alright, let’s get on with this, shall we?

  1. Mommy confession: I freaking hate homework. I’m so glad my first grader only gets one page a night, but to be honest, even that is a bit much for me at times. “For you?” you may be saying to yourself, “But isn’t it your child’s homework?” To which I would answer “Do you have or even know any children?” Homework is a family disease. And furthermore, I think it is mean spirited and cruel to send a child home with more work to do…if my boss asked me to take work home after hours, I would laugh and laugh…and then say “Hell NO.” And perhaps add, more quietly, “I don’t have time. I have math to do. Cam does, I mean.”
  2. I have had a really productive, good week. Some time opened up for me unexpectedly yesterday and today- meaning the plans I had fell through, and I couldn’t be happier. I got the house picked up, making it easier to exist in, and I got to sit down and play Uno with Cam last night, and we read together. That’s the kind of stuff that makes me feel like my life is actually working. Running around every night like a chicken with my head cut off is (please forgive me for the terrible pun that is coming) for the birds. I’m a little punchy this evening.
  3. I want to share with you guys how I am entertaining myself lately (besides the bad jokes, I mean) First of all, I have been binge listening to a podcast called Jim Harold’s Campfire, and it’s a wide range of really interesting ghost stories, visitations from the other side, cryptid’s, and odd happenings, told by the people they happened to. I am really enjoying it. I have been watching “The Last Man on Earth” On Hulu, and it is laugh out loud funny. And I have been reading the Throne of Glass series for months now…such great world building and beautiful writing. I highly recommend all three.

That might have been longer than 15 minutes today. I forgot to look. Oh well. Have a great night!