Thursday, March 31, 2011

no title comes to mind

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for sobriety and my chances of dying sober

that my choices are almost infinite, especially when compared to my last days of drinking

for the guys I sponsor; they keep me alert

for people who call me when they have extra baseball tickets; I got 4 freebies to the Astros/Red Sox game last night and I got to take a couple of friends who had never been to Minute Maid Park (which opened in 2000)

Don't let one cloud obliterate the whole sky.

- Anaïs Nin

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

just chillin'

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I feel good. Emotionally. Physically. And especially spiritually.

for insurance. Home. Car. Life. Spiritual.

for sobriety. From alcohol. From drugs.

for friends. Lifelong friends. Recovery friends. New friends. Future friends.

When it’s Darkest, Men see the Stars. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

by design

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

to realize, as an alcoholic, that sobriety doesn't just happen. Neither does a relapse.

for the consistency and constancy in my recovery program; it's not an accident

that I watched a BIOGRAPHY episode on Pink Floyd last night. Good stuff. I always loved their music.

that I won't get fooled, again

One measure of friendship consists not in the number of things friends can discuss, but in the number of things they need no longer mention. - Clifton Fadiman

Monday, March 28, 2011


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I was able to chair a full and crowded AA birthday night celebration at Lambda wihtout screwing it up too badly; we had 25 people celebrating a total of 274 years of continuous sobriety!

that I like being responsible and accountable

that I'm much better at keeping my (questionable and judgemental) thoughts to myself than I used to be

that people support me and that works both ways

Love me when I least deserve it, because that is when I really need it. - Swedish Proverb

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Green Thing

In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. The woman apologized to her and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”

That’s right, they didn’t have the green thing in her day. Back then,they returned their milk bottles, Coke bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, using the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

But they didn’t have the green thing back her day.

In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks.

But she’s right. They didn’t have the green thing in her day.

Back then, they washed the baby’s diapers because they didn’t have the throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts – wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that old lady is right, they didn’t have the green thing back in her day.

Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house – not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a pizza dish,not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn’t have electric machines to do everything for you. When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used wadded up newspaper to cushion it, not styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, they didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They exercised by working so they didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right, they didn’t have the green thing back then.

They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty, instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water. They refilled pens with ink, instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But they didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar and kids rode their bikes to school or rode the school bus, instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And they didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest
pizza joint.

But they didn't have the green thing back then!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

That's a good thing

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I seem to be really busy this week -- things just keep happening every hour
(that's a good thing)

that I almost always see my part in every aspect of my life
(that's a good thing)

for those who make it back to sobriety after a relapse
(that's a real good thing)

for my new car I bought this week (pictured above)
(that's an expensive thing, but good)

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
- John Lennon

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Taking action

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I got to learn more about a really cool young woman yesterday when she shared her alcoholic story with us. She is a frequent visitor from a European country but an alkie is an alkie.

to know that I know so little

for this little gem heard in a meeting ........
"My attitude is like a flat tire. If I don't change it, I won't get anywhere."

that I feel comfortable getting outside my comfort zone (sometimes) -- action outside the box!

Courage doesn't always roar.
Sometimes courage is the quiet voice
at the end of the day saying,
"I will try again tomorrow.”
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Read this advert!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful
that yesterday, Syd wrote about choices and balance. In recovery, these are the things that I strive for. The choices seem to come naturally since I stopped drinking. A whole new world opened up to me, just by not being drunk. Balance. This is something new to me and it's a daily goal. I've made progress, but still have a long way to go. Maybe this is the journey we talk about, which has no real destination.

for a reminder about my last 10 years of drinking. We read a story about having the morning shakes. Before I could write anything I had to get a beer or two in me. Occassionally even drinking a cup of coffee was nearly impossible, without using two very careful hands. I'll do anything to avoid reliving those days!

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed
by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.
- Mark Twain

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A very old advert

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for step 6, step 6 and step 6

that once I became entirely willing to stop drinking, it happened (and not a minute before)

that simplicity is often in the mind of the beholder

that I still enjoy posting to this little blog/website every day. The dynamics have changed over the years. We used to have a much more close-knit group of recovery bloggers who supported each other through our comments. It was common for me to receive 10-15 comments every day. Some of us even travelled and got to know each other. Most of those guys and gals have stopped blogging. My daily recovery misses them. Today I rarely get more than 1 or 2 comments and really don't feel the closeness that I used to. But that doesn't stop me because I do this for me. If anyone reads it, great.
If anyone comments, so much the better. Feedback is good.

Life isn't about finding yourself.
Life is about creating yourself.
- George Bernard Shaw

Monday, March 21, 2011

Back to the present .........

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for awareness of my own self-will when it runs riot (yes, Ethel, that still happens)

for the speakers I was able to host during this month of chairing a Saturday night AA speaker meetings; this coming Saturday is our birthday night at Lambda Center when we celebrate many sobriety anniversaries

that I will not try to make any money or receive any other type of financial compensation from this blog, or from my recovery

for the fellowship that I am part of; it's so much richer than the bar "friends" I had

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.
- George Washington Carver

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A well planned retirement

*From The London Times:*

Outside England 's Bristol Zoo there is a parking lot for 150 cars and 8 buses.
For 25 years, its parking fees were managed by a very pleasant attendant.....

The fees for cars ($1.40),for buses (about $7).

Then, one day, after 25 solid years of never missing a day of work,he just didn't show up; so the zoo management called the city council and asked it to send them another parking agent.

The council did some research and replied that the parking lot was the zoo's own responsibility.
The zoo advised the council that the attendant was a city employee.

The city council responded that the lot attendant had never been on the city payroll.

Meanwhile, sitting in his villa somewhere on the coast of Spain or France or Italy is a man who'd apparently had a ticket machine installed completely on his own and then had simply begun to show up every day, commencing to collect and keep the parking fees, estimated at about $560 per day -- for 25 years.

Assuming 7 days a week, this amounts to just over $7 million dollars......and no one even knows his name.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Did they really say that?

I received this in an email. I doubt it's legitimate, but I still think it's kind of funny. I hope it's not legitimate!

The following are all replies that Detroit women have written on Child Support Agency Forms in the section for listing 'Father's Details,' or putting it another way...Who's your baby's Daddy? These are genuine excerpts from the forms.

1. Regarding the identity of the father of my twins, Makeeshia was fathered by Maclearndon McKinley I am unsure as to the identity of the father of Marlinda, but I believe that she was conceived on the same night.

2. I am unsure, as to the identity of the father of my child as I was being sick out of a window when taken unexpectedly from behind. I can provide you with a list of names of men that I think were at the party if this helps.

3. I do not know the name of the father of my little girl. She was conceived at a party at 3600 East Grand Boulevard where I had sex with a man I met that night. I do remember that the sex was so good that I fainted. If you do manage to track down the father, can you please send me his phone number? Thanks...

4. I don't know the identity of the father of my daughter. He drives a BMW that now has a hole made by my stiletto in one of the door panels. Perhaps you can contact BMW service stations in this area and see if he's had it replaced.

5. I have never had sex with a man. I am still a Virginian. I am awaiting a letter from the Pope confirming that my son's conception was ejaculate and that he is the Saver risen again.

6. I cannot tell you the name of Alleshia's dad as he informs me that to do so would blow his cover and that would have cataclysmic implications for the economy I am torn between doing right by you and right by the country.. Please advise.

7. I do not know who the father of my child was as they all look the same to me.

8. Tyrone Hairston is the father of child A. If you do catch up with him, can you axe him what he did with my AC/DC CDs? Child B who was also borned at the same time..... well, I don't have clue..

9. From the dates it seems that my daughter was conceived at Disney World. Maybe it really is the Magic Kingdom .

10. So much about that night is a blur. The only thing that I remember for sure is Delia Smith did a program about eggs earlier in the evening. If I had stayed in and watched more TV rather than going to the party at 8956 Miller Ave, mine might have remained unfertilized.

11. I am unsure as to the identity of the father of my baby, after all, like when you eat a can of beans you can't be sure which one made you fart.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Time does matter

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for many birthday greetings yesterday -- somehow, I've now managed to live for over 57 years

for Step 5 - "Admitted to God, to ouselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs." When I first did this with my sponsor at about 8 months sober, it taught me about being open and frank with someone. As rigorously honest as I could be. I learned about trust. And I attempt to continue that trust with the people with whom I work.

for the text on step 5 in the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. It talks about the relationship between isolation and loneliness on page 57. I really identify with this writing.

for a long, slow recovery

A person acting from a motivation of contribution and service rises to such a level of moral authority that worldly success is a natural result.
- Marianne Williamson

Thursday, March 17, 2011


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I seem to have developed a really good defense against taking that first drink. I believe this is the single most important tool for an alcoholic to remain sober. And there seems to be an almost infinite number of ways to achieve this.

to know that my boundaries need to be for me, not against any particular person

for people who are honest with me

that I'm honest with others (I dislike making amends)

What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.
- Albert Pike

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Rule #62

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for sponsees who are hungry to move forward (but not too fast)

that I get to choose the direction of my life, but I don't need to hold the compass

for fun and laughter in sobriety; we are NOT a glum lot (unless we choose to be)

that my days of being restless, irritable and discontent are rare, but I know there's a solution, just in case

Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.
- Benjamin Franklin

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

on a roll!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm often wrong about people when I make assumptions; one would think that I'd learn mot to make assumption, eh?

for the formal education I received as a youngster

that I no longer have to struggle to remember the bad things I might have done last night

that we got a little rain yesterday - finally!

Here’s a question that was posed to the Dalai Lama:

"What thing about humanity surprises you the most?”
His answer was as follows: “Man”
Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.
Then he sacrifices his money to recuperate his health.
And then he is so anxious about the future that he doesn’t enjoy the present,
And as a result he doesn’t live in the present or the future.
And he lives as if he’s never going to die, and then he dies having never really lived.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Thoughts about Gratitude

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for our speaker Saturday night at Lambda. He came from Austin (a 3-hour drive) and brought a 6-man contingent/support group with him. They are all very inspiring.

for all the things I have, beginning with my life, my sobriety and my friends. These things are so much more appreciated and held close to me when I watch the chaos that is happening in Japan and in Libya. I'm an avid watcher of news and world events, so it's really staying in the front of my thoughts.

for those who "get it" and those who are hoping to "get it"

The struggle ends when the gratitude begins.
- Neale Donald Walsch

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, Thank You, that would suffice.
- Meister Eckhart

Gratitude is the memory of the heart.
- Jean Baptiste Massieu

Appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder and even ecstasy, however stale these experiences may have become to others.
- Abraham Maslow

Sunday, March 13, 2011

10 Tips to Feel Happier NOW!

Ten Little Tips to Feel Happier Right Now

1. Smile. Raise the corners of your mouth. Soon your smile will become genuine. The smile that begins as an effort and a pretense quickly grows to become genuine, and given time, a habit of happiness. In the words of Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, "Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy."

2. Breathe deeply and slowly. Focus your entire attention on each in-breath and out-breath. Imagine drawing new clean energy in through the top of your head on each in-breath, and expelling old stale energy out the soles of your feet on each out-breath.

3. Take a quiet walk by yourself. Focus on each step and on your breathing. As stray thoughts enter your mind, thank each one, and quickly release the thought and return to a focus on your breathing and your steps.

4. Count your blessings. Make a gratitude list. You have thousands of reasons to be thankful. Be thankful for those who serve you. Make a list of those you depend upon. Everyone has many people who help along the way. Don't forget those who grow and deliver your food, keep your electricity and telephone running, provide emergency medical care, and protect the safety of your community and your nation.

5. Forgive someone for something right now. Release the resentment and anger. This practice is for you to become happier. Telling the other person that you forgive them is completely optional, and is merely a bonus.

6. Stretch your body. Do yoga, do qigong, or just stand and stretch. As a simple stretch, stand and hold your arms out to your sides forming a cross. Gently bend each hand back at the wrist until the fingers point straight upward. Twist each hand and arm in a wringing motion as if you were operating a screwdriver.

7. Turn on happy music and dance. Don't stop 'til you're tired. Dance with someone or dance all by yourself. Choose music that makes you want to move and keep moving such as Latin Fitness Dance music.

8. Spend some time with a furry friend. If you don't have your own, borrow a cat or dog to love today.

9. Be of service. Find someone who has worse troubles than you and do something nice for them today.

10. Have a conversation with God (or whatever you call your Higher Power). Approach the conversation with an attitude of gratitude rather than neediness.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011


And thus, dear students, we have arrived at the basic formula for understanding women.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I remain honest, open-minded, and most of all, willing

for those who started the recovery journey and those who are teaching me

that I have so much to learn and even more to change; I hope I live long enough LOL

that things seem to be working out in ways I can accept (sometimes reluctantly)

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
- Lao Tzu

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Habitually mine

If something is truly important to you, make it a daily habit. If healthy eating is important, make it a daily habit. If exercise is important, do it daily. If prayer is important, do it daily.

What you don't do daily, you probably won't do weekly either. What you make a habit of putting off just keeps getting pushed away again and again.

If something is important to you, attend to it immediately, and regularly. If something is not really important to you, that's great also - just scratch it off your to-do list forever, and never worry about it again. Choose how you invest your time, and honor your choices.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that to be happily sober, I had to change some old habits -- and I did!

that when I stopped smoking, more old habits just disappeared. Things that I thought would keep me from being able to stop smoking, such as what to do with my hands, how could I possibly not smoke after eating? etc...

for my lifelong habit of waking up early, ready to face the day. Even at the height of my drinking, this was always the case. It has served me well.

for Steps 6 & 7 which are terrific aids in my recovery from bad habits

We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
- Will Durant (commonly attributed to Aristotle)

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Easier than it seems

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I do my very best to see good in people these days; that's NOT who I used to be!

that my future doesn't have to be part of my past, unless I choose it to be

that I am usually a very law-abiding citizen (sometimes I drive a little too fast, but I catch myself and slow down)

for new beginnings

People often say that motivation doesn't last.
Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily.
- Zig Ziglar

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

just a couple thoughts ...

todAAy i AAM grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I can stay sober even when going through my own mental anguish

that I no longer think about drinking and I don't think about not drinking

that I keep my side of the street pretty damn clean

for reruns of All in the Family

He who rejects change is the architect of decay.
- Harold Wilson

Monday, March 07, 2011

the way it is .......

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a wonderful experience this weekend. We had a fundraiser at Lambda Center and my homegroup (6:30am AA meeting Eyes Wide Shut) participated with an entry. Each entry (team) had to build a small Mardi Gras-type float using a grocery store shopping cart as the chassis. We spent about a month planning and buying materials and costumes and putting it all together. Our entry won the competition by raising the most money (from the crowd).
Winning is nice, but the fellowship and teamwork we had was incredible. I can't include pictures because of anonymity issues, but trust me, the float and the costumes were out of this world!!

that Step 3 has really been in my face lately (that's a good thing, a real good thing)

for the awareness that most of my troubles are of my own making (damnit!)

that even though I'm staying very occupied, I am still fighting the tempatation to isolate. Not sure why.

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
- Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Letting Go and Moving On

How to Move On - How to Let Go
- by Jonathan Lockwood Huie

You can learn how to let go of the past. Whether you have experienced a break up with someone you cared for deeply, whether death has taken a loved one, whether you have had a feud with a friend or family member, whether you have lost a job. Learn how to move on and let go -- life can be joyful and rewarding again.

First, let's take a look at what people often do in time of loss that actually makes the situation worse, These are some things to avoid...

1. Don't spend too much time or energy mourning what has happened. Let a broken romance or friendship go. Let a lost job become an experience and no more. Even with death, there is a time to mourn, and there is a time to renew and to move on with your own life.

2. Don't over-react to your loss and take any sudden actions without time for careful contemplation. If you are feeling desperately lonely or frightened, don't take actions based on those emotions. Seek support in the short term, and only make significant commitments after you have restored a sense of being centered and confident.

3. Don't spend a lot of time alone. Although you may feel the urge to avoid interacting with your friends and family, it is crucial in a time of loss that you keep up social contacts. Try not to lose the friendships and support network you have built, but if you do find yourself isolated from previous connections, focus all your energy on building new (non-romantic) connections. Although these new connections may eventually provide the path to a new job, new romantic interest, or new best friend, don't hurry that process or abuse your new acquaintances. Let your new casual connections remain casual, and friendly.

4. Don't complain about what has happened, and don't listen to your friends' complaints. It is better to focus your thoughts on positive matters. Why spoil your day complaining about a backstabbing ex-friend, ex-lover, or ex-boss. Keep your attention on building a bright future.

So what will help you move on and let go? Try these tips...

1. Keep busy with enjoyable activities - especially group activities. Continue with those groups and activities you previously enjoyed, and add some new ones. To the extent possible, focus on groups and activities that include members of both genders, but are not dating related. Best of all, find activities that have a physical aspect. Try a book discussion group, a church or community committee, yoga, Qigong, hiking, biking, cooking classes, wine tasting, classes of any sort. Don't limit yourself. Fill your time with many activities -- both old and new.

2. Have positive conversations with your friends and family. Talk about anything other than your loss. Keep the conversations positive and focused on the future. If some of your acquaintances persist in bringing up your loss or being negative, spend less time with them and find more positive people to spend time with.

3. Be of service to those who are less fortunate than yourself. There is no better way to get over feeling sorry for yourself, than being of service. Volunteer at the Red Cross blood bank, the local hospital, the library, your church... The possibilities are unlimited -- just do it. And besides, service organizations are a great place to make professional contacts, develop friendships, or meet your soul-mate.

4. Get inspirational support daily... read an inspirational book or quotations, meditate, do yoga or Qigong, perhaps light a candle and contemplate positive thoughts, or begin the habit of daily journaling.

5. If you have lost your job, naturally you will want to search for a new job or career, but first make sure you are in a good frame of mind by following the previous tips. You will be far more successful in a job search if you are feeling positive and courageous - and you will be enjoying a higher quality of living. Be creative and persistent in a job search, but never allow desperation to take control of your life.

Have patience, keep your thoughts positive, and soon you will be over your sadness and anger and moving forward into your new life.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

The President's Speech

If you liked The King's Speech, I think you'll appreciate this ....

Friday, March 04, 2011

As this week comes to an end .......

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the things I get to do today, just because I'm not gonna be drinking. In my drinking days, if I didn't get it done by about 9am, it probably wasn't going to happen. I'd be drinking by 9 and wouldn't be able to drive for the rest of the day. I certainly would not have the incentive or ambition to do much around the house. It would interfere with drinking. My whole damn day was consumed by ... consumption!

that I'm able to pass along wisdom learned from others --- to others

that I don't have to apologize for being the person I should be

that spring training is well underway in Florida and Arizona -- the 2011 baseball regular season begins in just 4 weeks!

You know you love someone when you know you want them to be happy,
even if their happiness means that you are not a part of it.
- Anonymous

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Made a decision .......

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for positive examples of recovery

that, unlike Charlie Sheen, I couldn't stop drinking by mind control

for the power of Step 3 in my daily life. Without it, not much would be different than my drinking days.

for Herbert Spencer. Do you know the quote attributed to him?

Don't let anyone else take the measure of your worth and capabilities.
Always stand proud in who you are!
- Margaret Spellings

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Mid-Week GrrrrrratiTude!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

as today begins, I can't help but thank all of the people who will teach me something today. My job is to pay attention.

for people in the program who are willing to do whatever it takes to recover from the disease of alcoholism

for those with courage and integrity

that I haven't found a reason to misbehave today (yet). Of course, it's only 5am.

Simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.
- don Miguel Angel Ruiz

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Welcome to March!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I truly have an open mind (I think)

that I have learned (sometimes, the hard way) to monitor my actions and behavior

that I deserve to be treated with respect

that I'm NOT Charlie Sheen

Each one has to find his peace from within.
And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.
- Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi