Monday, April 30, 2012


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I somehow (not sure how) grasped onto some spirituality in time to stop drinking back in 2003.  I had no clue what spirituality was but I knew I didn't want to get any on me.  But guess what?  I kept going to AA meetings and it got all over me!  

for a new and better awareness of those who are new to recovery.  I have a renewed desire to meet them and help when I can.

that I am sooooooooo much better about not getting involved in the issues of my friends (unless they ask).  This is amazing to me.  Amazing.

The act of forgiveness is the act of returning to present time.
And that's why when one has become a forgiving person, and has managed to let go of the past, what they've really done is they've shifted their relationship with time.
~ Caroline Myss ~

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Getting Un-Stuck

Take Charge of Your Life - 9 Secrets for Getting Un-Stuck
- Jonthan Lockwood Huie

From the way most people live, one would never guess that humans are beings of free will. Repetition can be a choice, but often it isn't. The athlete or pianist who practices the same routine day after day, year after year, has their eye on a goal. The unending repetition is a conscious choice in the pursuit of a life dream. But what about the sameness of most lives? Observe the morning commute, the after-work drink, the Sunday football game or religious service - how many of those people are consciously following their dream, training their mind, body, and spirit through that daily repetition? And how many are mindlessly slogging through each day out of habit and boredom?

You can take charge of your own life - today. Here are 9 secrets to get you started:

1. Believe in yourself. A daily affirmation may seem to be a silly idea, but give it a try anyway. Write your own affirmation about your abilities, and repeat it each day before you leave your home. Start with the following, and modify it until it fully expresses your commitments, beliefs, and intents.

I am unlimited.
I take responsibility for my life.
My every action is a conscious choice.
I can accomplish anything good that I truly set my mind on.
I keep focus, and persevere.

2. Make peace with your past. In the words of William Shakespeare, "What's done is done." You can't change the past. You can't undo any actions you took or failed to take. Your only choice today is either to waste energy and emotion on regrets and resentments, or to treat your own past like a history book - an interesting, but emotionally neutral, recitation of ancient times.

3. See each day as a new beginning. Don't project your past onto your future. Suppose you won the lottery yesterday, would that mean you will win the lottery again tomorrow? Usually, we are fairly realistic about not expecting a run of good fortune to continue, but when we hit a streak of bad luck, we tend to project that failure into our future and think times will never get better. So you stepped on a banana peel and slipped yesterday, does that mean it will happen again tomorrow? If you got fired or your lover left, it's unfortunate, but there's always tomorrow - a tomorrow that can shine so long as you don't project yesterday's shadow upon it.

4. Look for the best in people. Everyone has good points and bad. Everyone will please you at times and annoy you at others. While there is power in choosing to associate mostly with positive people, there is even more power in seeing the best in everyone. Everyone has a lesson to teach us. Let the impact of an unkind or thoughtless word last only a moment, but bask for a whole day in gentle words and insightful thoughts. The happiest among us have no enemies.

5. Make a gratitude list, and review it often. 
Not everything has gone well in your life, but much has. Too often we focus on the negative and forget our great blessings - health, friends, family, beauty, nature, our body, our mind, Spirit, life itself. Perhaps you have arthritis or your spouse just moved out. Yes, those are big negatives, but your list, anyone's list, of blessings is vastly larger than any list of problems.

6. Design your future. Visualize being in the future you desire. Make that vision so real you can taste and smell it - a three-dimensional full-color motion picture with surround-sound. That is your goal - your destination. Never forget it - never lose track of it. Let what you do every day be done with that vision in mind. Be the aspiring athlete or musician whose every day moves them one inch closer to that three-minute mile or perfect concerto.

7. Either learn how to enjoy your work, or get a new career. Make a list of what you like and what you dislike about your job. Perhaps you enjoy your customers and co-workers, but find your boss annoying. Limit your awareness of the annoying times to the moment in which they occur, but let thoughts of the service and camaraderie permeate your day. If you find that the frustrations of your job outweigh the enjoyment, get a new career. Whatever your interests, there is a way to do something you enjoy, make a difference in the world, and get well paid at the same time. Make a list of all your interests and abilities, and think big. Don't let anyone else's small and limited thinking deter you from your goal.

8. Enjoy everything you do, or don't do it. 
Yes, you have to file your taxes and stop at stop signs whether you like it or not. This secret refers to those things you do merely out of habit or to avoid embarrassment. Enjoy that party, or don't accept the invitation. Feel fulfilled by that volunteer committee, or don't join. Believe in that particular charitable cause, or don't contribute. Everything in life is a choice - make wise choices that maximize your happiness.

9. Feel Unity with Spirit and all creation. You are never alone. Your Higher Power, whatever that means to you, is a constant support - never hesitate to ask for guidance and blessing. Remember that Spirit knows better than you what is best for you, so ask for comfort and affluence rather than the affections of a particular person or a higher paying job. Whatever your circumstances, and however often you may have felt rejected, there are many people in this world who live in the tradition of the "Good Samaritan." When troubles weigh upon you, do not hesitate to find and rely upon these people - they are far more numerous than you think.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Perks of reaching 50 or being over 60 and heading towards 70 or beyond!
01. Kidnappers are not very interested in you.
02. In a hostage situation, you are likely to be released first.
03. No one expects you to run -- anywhere.
04. People call at 9 PM (or 9 A M) and ask, 'Did I wake you?
05. People no longer view you as a hypochondriac.
06. There is nothing left to learn the hard way.
07. Things you buy now won't wear out.
08. You can eat supper at 4 PM.
09. You can live without sex but not your glasses.
10. You get into heated arguments about pension plans.
11. You no longer think of speed limits as a challenge.
12. You quit trying to hold your stomach in no matter who walks into the room.
13. You sing along with elevator music.
14. Your eyes won't get much worse.
15. Your investment in health insurance is finally beginning to pay off.
16. Your joints are more accurate meteorologists than the national weather service.
17. Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can't remember them either.
18. Your supply of brain cells is finally down to a manageable size.
19. You can't remember who sent you this list.

AND THE MOST IMPORTANT THING: Never, NEVER, NEVER,under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill, and a laxative on the same night!

Friday, April 27, 2012


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the way things turn out.  This means I have acceptance.

for all of the chances I have to be an example.  Hopefully, I provide a good example more often than a bad one, but either can be a wonderful teacher to anyone who is looking.

for the art of compromise.  Hopefully, I'll get better at it.

that today is Friday.  I get to go to 3 AA meetings.  

Cherish yesterday,
Dream tomorrow,
Live today.
~ Richard Bach (from 'Jonathan Livingston Seagull') ~

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Let's Just Stay Focused

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for all of the things I take for granted, every minute of every day.  They must be too numerous to even imagine.

for AA speaker meetings.  I get to know my friends and acquaintances so much better.  Sometimes, this is what it takes for me to exit my comfort zone and really try to know a person better.

for different formats of AA meetings.  It's done in so many ways, but the end result stays pretty much the same, eh?

Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time.
Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.

~ Betty Smith, novelist (1896-1972) ~

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

at the center

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I woke up at 4:15 this morning and did not have to wonder if it was morning or afternoon

that I am comfortable going places that don't serve alcohol (that DID NOT used to be the case)

that I am comfortable going places that serve alcohol (amazing)

that I absolutely know for a fact that I have a lot more growing to do so that I can become the person I am meant to be

Though no-one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new end.
~~ unknown

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The way it is.

custom-built for singer Bobby Darin many years ago

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for everything that got me here today; both the good and the bad

for the ways that prayer and meditation have evolved so far in my recovery.  I never would have imagined that prayer would EVER become a habit for me.

that Bill W and gang saw fit to let the rest of us have a Higher Power of our own understanding.  This simple concept has undoubtedly saved dozens thousands millions countless lives.

that I have more esteem for myself than ever before

Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant.
~ Horace 65-68 B.C.

Monday, April 23, 2012

back to .... Monday

my new cell phone

todAAy i Am grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the near-perfect weather this past weekend

that I was able to suggest to someone that he didn't have to give advice, other than share his own experience (this certainly goes for me too!)

for newcomers and relapsers (that return) who remind me why I'm in recovery

that I've learned better ways to react to life

Ninety-nine percent of the failures
come from people who have the habit of making excuses.
- George Washington Carver

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Zero-Based Gratitude

Perhaps you have heard of zero-based budgeting as a technique for governments, businesses, and occasionally individuals. Zero-based budgeting is in contrast to traditional incremental budgeting. In incremental budgeting, one starts with the budget for the last year, or other period, and prepares a budget for the next period based on the budget for the last period - incorporating whatever increases, or very occasionally decreases, are deemed appropriate.

Zero-based budgeting begins with a base-line of no expenditures, rather than the base-line of last year's expenditures. Each and every proposed expense must be justified on its own merits rather that falling back on the argument that it was in the last year's budget, and that everybody expects and demands it.

Most people's gratitude is incremental gratitude. If they receive a raise, a bigger house, a third car, a new love interest, or a healthy new baby, they are grateful. If they lose their job, are forced to downsize, have a tiff with their spouse, or have an illness in the family, they are disappointed and angry. Why disappointed and angry? Because they have not been blessed with as much today as they were yesterday.

Suppose our gratitude could be zero-based gratitude. With zero-based gratitude, we would be grateful for everything we had each day - regardless of whether it was more or less than yesterday. With zero-based gratitude, I can be grateful for a warm comfortable one-bedroom apartment, even if I had a four bedroom house yesterday. I can be grateful for being able to walk, even if I could run yesterday. I can be grateful for all the people, the love, the food, the shelter, the services, the health, that I am blessed with today, regardless of what I had yesterday. With zero-based gratitude, I can be grateful each day for the gift of life itself.

Consider adopting the ongoing practice of zero-based gratitude.

Jonathon Huie

Saturday, April 21, 2012

How it all began ......

In ancient Israel , it came to pass that a trader by the name of Abraham Com did take unto himself a young wife by the name of Dot.

And Dot Com was a comely woman, broad of shoulder and long of leg. Indeed, she was often called Amazon Dot Com.

And she said unto Abraham, her husband, "Why dost thou travel so far from town to town with thy goods when thou couldst trade without ever leaving thy tent?"

And Abraham did look at her as though she were several saddle bags short of a camel load, but simply said, "How, dear?"

And Dot replied, "I will place drums in all the towns and drums in between to send messages saying what you have for sale, and they will reply telling you who hath the best price. And the sale can be made on the drums and delivery made by Uriah's Pony Stables (UPS)."

Abraham thought long and decided he would let Dot have her way with the drums. And the drums rang out and were an immediate success. Abraham sold all the goods he had at the top price, without ever having to move from his tent.

To prevent neighboring countries from overhearing what the drums were saying, Dot devised a system that only she and the drummers knew. It was known as Must Send Drum Over Sound (MSDOS), and she also developed a language to transmit ideas and pictures - Hebrew To The People (HTTP).

And the young men did take to Dot Com's trading as doth the greedy horsefly take to camel dung. They were called Nomadic Ecclesiastical Rich Dominican Sybarites, or NERDS.

And lo, the land was so feverish with joy at the new riches and the deafening sound of drums that no one noticed that the real riches were going to that enterprising drum dealer, Brother William of Gates, who bought off every drum maker in the land. And indeed did insist on drums to be made that would work only with Brother Gates' drumheads and drumsticks.

And Dot did say, "Oh, Abraham, what we have started is being taken over by others."

And Abraham looked out over the Bay of Ezekiel , or eBay as it came to be known.

He said, "We need a name that reflects what we are."

And Dot replied, "Young Ambitious Hebrew Owner Operators."

"YAHOO," said Abraham.

And because it was Dot's idea, they named it YAHOO Dot Com.

Abraham's cousin, Joshua, being the young Gregarious Energetic Educated Kid (GEEK) that he was, soon started using Dot's drums to locate things around the countryside.

It soon became known as God's Own Official Guide to Locating Everything (GOOGLE).

And that is how it all began .....

Friday, April 20, 2012

Read on .....

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the things that AA is not ..........

1.  AA is not for everyone.

2.  AA is not for people who need it (it is for people who want it).
3.  AA is not selling anything.
4.  AA is not cool.
5.  AA is not in the business of diagnosing anyone as an alcoholic.
6.  AA is not "against" anything -- it is not against any other method of treating alcoholism.  It is not against anyone who views AA unfavorably.  It is not even against drinking.
7.  AA is not a quick fix.
8.  AA is not always a bastion of mental health.  People come to it because they are sick, and often they have issues in addition to their addiction, and it can take a long time to address some of them (but at least those folks are in a place where they can try).
9.  AA is not regulated.  There is no governing body as those things are generally defined in other organizations or fellowships.
10.  AA is not a profit-making enterprise.  Books are sold at cost, meetings collect donations from those attending on a purely voluntary basis, and then only to cover the expense of renting a space and providing literature and sometimes coffee, cookies, etc.
11.  AA is not too good to be true, but it can look that way sometimes.
12.  AA is not only the foundation of my life, it is a source of joy and fellowship, and I am grateful that all of the things it is not help make it what it is.  

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

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Young, Old and everything in between

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for all the young people I know in A.A.  They see a problem and are doing something about it.  That's certainly NOT my story.  Even at the age of 49, I had no clue that my "heavy" drinking had anything to do with the problems I was experiencing.

that I've learned to deal with those problems without needing to get drunk

that I got to lead an AlAnon meeting last night.  Generally, I talked about learning to Live and Let Live in my personal relationships, especially at home.  My need to control people is slowly diminishing.

When you arise in the morning,
give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength.
Give thanks for your food, and the joy of living.
If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies with yourself.

- Tecumseh

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

It's good to have you back today

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I don't feel a need to be "on" every day but I do need to be sober every day

that I visited my friend in the hospital who tried to shoot out his brains 2 weeks ago.  While still in critical condition, he's stable and is now showing some positive brain function.  He recognized me and attempted to say something.  Whatever happens with him, I sure hope he can find the will to live.  

that I'm OK.  I am an introvert; it works for me.  I like something I recently heard .... An extrovert needs to be social in order to recharge.  An introvert desires some alone time in order to recharge.  I really identify with this.  Comments?

Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves
for they shall never cease to be amused.

- Anonymous

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I can't think of a title, so .......

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I attended 2 really good AA meetings yesterday.  One was about arrogance.  The other was about Step 10.  hmmmmmmmmmmmmm........

that I have so much work to do on myself, but it can last for the remainder of my life and doesn't need to be completed by the end of the week.

for the changes I can readily see in myself compared to my past (drinking) life.  Some are really obvious (people, places, things) and others are quite subtle (my thoughts and the way I think).  

Just stop it. Seriously.
Whatever it is. Just stop it.
If only for an hour, a day, a week.
Stop doing it long enough to get a glimpse of what the change would actually look like.

- Mary Anne Radmacher

Monday, April 16, 2012

All or Nothing

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for another nice, quiet stress-free weekend

that I no longer wake up with cigarette burns in my sheets, blankets, floor, etc...

that it's been 8 1/2 years since I got up in the middle of the night and decided to have just one more beer

that NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, I can choose not to drink about it

If you come to a fork in the road, take it.
- Yogi Berra

Sunday, April 15, 2012

To thine own self be true ...

If Bill Wilson were around today, I think he would appreciate hearing the flight attendant say, "Put on your own oxygen mask first." Before any of us can be of service to others, or provide valuable council, we must empower our own lives. Only as happy, fully self-expressed individuals who set an example of living a great life, can we presume to suggest to others how they might improve the quality of their own lives. We are most powerful when we set an example.

Consider a parent who says, "Look at the sacrifices I'm making so you can have a better life." Contrast that with another parent who demonstrates living a great life every day. Self-sacrifice is not a virtue. Living a great life and sharing that life with others is the noble way to live.

Here are 5 ways to make a difference in the world by being true to yourself:

1. Set an example for your children and others. Live a life you hope your children will emulate.

2. Aspire to a successful career. You can't contribute money or material goods to any worthwhile cause if you don't have any. You best set an example by being successful AND generous.

3. Generate your own happiness and radiate that happiness into the world. People enjoy being around happy people, and they become happy themselves as a result.

4. Set boundaries. When you reach the limit of what you can contribute while still maintaining your inner peace and serenity, say NO to additional requests for your time and energy. Whenever you let urgency compromise your happiness, you lose your ability to set an example by leading a great life - as well as losing your own happiness.

5. Think for yourself - don't blindly follow tradition or the conventions of your family, community, or religion. Making your own choices gives you the opportunity to live a life you love, and to set an example of open-minded thinking and compassion.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Tour the Universe

Take a tour of the Universe.

click here

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday the 13th

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm not superstitious

that my emotional sobriety is in a pretty good place right now.

for a clearer recognition of who and what I am.  One thing I cannot do anymore is successfully multi-task. I was quite adept at it during my working career.  However, I think my last year of drinking destroyed that ability.  I seem to have done a lot of damage to parts of my brain.  Sure glad I stopped drinking when I did.

that my connection to my own Higher Power gets all the credit for me being here.

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.
- Mohandas Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

not just words

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I do my best to use these principles as my guide to living sober .........


that I had 500 blog hits yesterday.  Not sure why.  This seems to happen once or twice every year.

Nurture your mind with great thoughts,
for you will never go any higher than you think.

- Benjamin Disraeli

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the rewards of getting sober and staying sober

for flexibility ---- both physical and behavioral.  My physical flexibility has definitely decreased with age and weight gain while my behavioral flexibility has increased with my sober recovery.

that my high-class problems are solvable

People do not seem to realize that
their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

here and there

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for AA meetings that are centered around a particular step.  On Monday's, I attend a noon step meeting.  Yesterday it was step 9.  I can talk about this for way too long.  Suffice it to say (now) that when I first did this step with my sponsor, my life changed.

that because of the steps of AA, there is absolutely no person that I want or need to avoid at any time

that doing the next right thing so often produces comfortable results

that my Astros are off to the best start of a season in quite a while.  But as a realist, I know it's a looooong season.

Nearly all men can stand adversity,
but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.
- Abraham Lincoln

Monday, April 09, 2012


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I knew I was powerless over alcohol even before I entered the rooms of A.A., but I had never heard it called that.  All I knew was that once I got started on any given day, I probably wasn't going to stop drinking until I absolutely had to (but no guarantees even then) or unless I passed out.

that I trust myself to act properly in all situations

that I'm so less judgemental of others than I was in "my past life"

Power is of two kinds. 
One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent
then the one derived from fear of punishment.
- Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Acceptance, Faith and Action

How to Cope When Life Lands a One-Two Punch?

Maybe you got fired, you can't find a job, your bank account is overdrawn, and life looks hopeless. Maybe you or your family is suffering a health crisis, or your spouse left your long-term-marriage. Whatever the specifics, when they attack, troubles seem to gang up on you. One problem leads to another until you feel your world is ending. The loss of job, health, or marriage leads to loss of financial security, and any sort of crisis leads to emotional depression. How to cope when life lands a one-two punch?

Respond to the crisis with a three-phase counter-attack:

1. Acceptance: Before you can recover from a crisis, you have to acknowledge that the devastation before your eyes is real. When life broadsides you, your first instinct is to look at the flaming crumpled wreck in disbelief and think, "This isn't real, this can't have just happened." But it did happen, and you can't move back the hands of time and ask the director for take-two. This isn't a movie, it's your real life. As William Shakespeare said, "What's done is done."

True acceptance requires giving up all resentments and regrets. Blame is not going to fix anything. Screaming at your ex-boss or ex-husband or sticking pins in their voodoo doll isn't going to change your situation, and it will make you feel even more upset.

The key to acceptance is forgiveness of everyone, especially yourself, for everything that has ever occurred. Forgiveness is for yourself - so you can release yourself from the fires of anger and hatred that will otherwise burn your spirit to a cinder. Adopt an attitude of forgiveness - not so your ex-boss or ex-husband can sleep better, but so you can transform your own nightmares into sweet dreams.

2. Faith: If you are deeply religious, you know what this means. In any case, have faith in your own abilities and in your future.

3. Action: Acceptance and faith are important, but they are not enough. Believe in the future and don't worry, but also keep taking action.

When you get hit by a sequence of challenges, such as job loss, financial worries, and depression, you need to respond with all three: Acceptance, Faith, and Action.

by Jonathon Huie

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Man vs Woman

Men Are Just Happier People
If Laura, Kate and Sarah go out for lunch, they will call each other Laura, Kate and Sarah. If Mike, Dave and John go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Bubba and Wildman.

When the bill arrives, Mike, Dave and John will each throw in $20, even though it's only for $32.50. None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back.
When the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.

A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.
A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't need but it's on sale.

A man has six items in his bathroom: toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel.
The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify more than 20 of these items.

A woman has the last word in any argument.
Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.

A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't.
A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change, but she does.

A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the trash, answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail.
A man will dress up for weddings and funerals.

Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.
Women somehow deteriorate during the night.

Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams.
A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.

Note:  I didn't write this.  I just re-posted it to piss off a few of you.  LOL