No News is Good News

The Journey Continues…

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated my journal. On the one hand, it means that nothing exciting (or newsworthy) has been going on. On the other hand—and more importantly—the old idiom rings true: No news is good news.

Today marks 1,229 days of sobriety… so that’s good news!

What’s interesting is that the self-awareness I’ve gained through the program has been keeping me on my toes; my conscience is an ever-present observer (and judge) of my behavior. Sometimes it’s annoying and I wonder if it’s some kind of disorder; like I just enjoy casting guilt upon myself. But, the fact of the matter is… it’s a necessary process. It keeps me from straying (too far) out of bounds.

It’s not drinking that I worry about, either. It’s every other lure that catches my attention and cries out to me; “I am what you need, and you need more, more, MORE… of ME!” In other words, I can become addicted to anything. Food, bargain shopping, internet use, even blogging… wait… what?

I just wish it worked with healthier things. I joined a gym several months ago and thus far I’ve only set foot in the door once. And that was to pay my bill!

Speaking of the addictions, I wrote an essay for my English class last semester, Electronic Media: Entertainment or Enslavement. The question addressed was whether or not internet addiction should be added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). In doing the research, I stumbled on a little gem that I’ve stashed away; something that has helped me with my own ‘self-analysis’ when I’m worried that I may be walking one of those fine lines again.

Mark D. Griffiths PhD* said that the question he is asked most often is what is the difference between a healthy excessive enthusiasm and an addiction? Griffiths’ response is simple, and—if you ask me—the magic formula:

“A healthy excessive enthusiasm adds to life whereas an addiction takes away from it.”

That being said, when I’m taking my inventory and self-reflecting, the question that I ask myself now is not “am I doing too much of THIS?” Rather, it’s “am I neglecting too much of THAT?”

It’s been working for me. It’s not always easy to see you’re becoming addicted to a behavior, but it’s fairly easy to recognize that you’re NOT doing certain things. Things are getting pushed to the wayside; falling through the cracks; spiraling out of control. You can’t miss that!

So… that’s the latest news. That’s where I am today.

School starts in one month and I’ll be too busy to self-reflect or write about the details of my journey once that gets going. That’s ok though. I’ve already registered for my classes and I’m SUPER excited. I’m taking that Web Development class that I mentioned before, and I’ve also added The Bible as Literature. Regrettably, reading the Bible is something that falls to the wayside too often, so I’m excited it will be part of my curriculum.

Everything is moving along!

Now if I can just get myself to the gym. 🙂

The featured image is something I played with recently. I guess you could call if a foot-trait. Ha! It was actually a jogger on the beach. There wasn’t much excitement in the frame as a whole, but I thought it was cool to see her feet against the sand. It looks as though she’s on a very peaceful journey… something I can relate to!

Life is good, sobriety is awesome, and God is great!

—Janet

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: News

*Article mentioned in post: http://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-excess/201605/the-myth-the-addictive-personality

Yesterday’s News

What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it’s supposed to be.

—Author Unknown

I’ve been thinking a lot. That’s what happens when I have time on my hands (did I just say that in an earlier post?). What I’ve noticed lately is that—in certain areas—I’m a bit of a control freak. Nothing huge, mind you, just little nagging issues that bother me.

keep reading

Be Real

Be unique. Be awesome. Be you.  

Do whatever it is that is true.  

Take chances. Make mistakes. Step out.

No one else knows what you are about.

Encourage. Give a hand. Be kind.

Speak gently, of what’s on your mind.

Do what’s right, when others go wrong.

You matter. You’re here. You Belong.

Being phony will fracture your soul,

So be real. Be authentic. Be whole.

—Janet

Word of the Day Challenge: Phony

Nurture

RDP Thursday:

Nurture

verb: care for and encourage the growth or development of.

noun: the process of caring for and encouraging the growth or development of someone or something.

My featured image is kind of random! I did so many assignments in the past semester that the rebel in me has been fighting to break free and do something that’s just “because.” No judgement, no grade.

read full post

In a Flash

I finally got around to deleting my calendar that was counting down the days to my 3 year sober anniversary. It’s about time, since the date flew by almost three months ago!

I’m officially on summer break now. I was going to take a couple of online classes, but I decided that my brain needed to rest and reset. My life has been whizzing by in a flash, and it’s time to slow down and enjoy the simple things for a while.

The image I’ve featured here sort of represents how it feels to race through life, full of wild excitement and eager anticipation. When you stop and look around, you realize that nature offers you something wonderful, even if it’s in the simplest of forms; colors, shapes or lines. That’s how I see it anyway.

That’s about all for now. I just wanted to say I am back!

I’m looking forward to a long, enjoyable summer—catching up on reading your posts, writing some new stories, and (hopefully) sharing some new images taken with my new Nikon. 🙂

Peace & Love!

Eclectic Thoughts

How does one decipher,

Mixed messages conveyed?

Go where there is no path,

But be careful not to stray.

Reach for the stars is guidance…

That often goes around,

But can this be achieved…

When keeping both feet on the ground?

Am I shooting for the moon…

If I aim to rise above the crowd?

Or is this evidence…

That my head is in the clouds?

Unraveling ancient proverbs,

Double edged, their meanings dual,

Will knowledge bring me power…

Or the wisdom of a fool?

—Janet

Written for Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Eclectic

Balance

Rain taps the window,

Inviting us out to play,

Childlike dreams return,

Cares melt away in each drop,

Balance is being restored.

—Janet

Written for Your Daily Word Prompt: Inviting, & RDP Tuesday: Balance

Rain is like macaroni & cheese to me. It’s my comfort weather. The fire goes on, blankets get piled high, and I have an excuse to stay in bed with a good book (guilt free!). A day like that is a great way to restore balance.

I wanted to share some exciting news about school. After working as an unpaid graphic design intern for two semesters, I’m going to be official this semester. I will actually get paid for my work!

Helter-Skelter

The midnight oil is burning. Scribbled words on shreds of notepaper litter the floor beneath my seat. I let out a yelp as the computer warns of pending doom: “Online storage approaching maximum capacity; purchase upgrade for more space!

Perhaps I shouldn’t write tonight.

Shuffling through images from my past, I contemplate long and hard about which ones to retain, and which ones to throw out. Some of the photos seem so sad, so grainy. I look beyond the flaws, and into the memories that they bring. Perhaps I should save them all, it’s so hard to let go.

Attempting to consolidate only creates more commotion, more chaos…

I’ll finish tomorrow.

Weekend Writing Prompt #91: Helter-Skelter
Word Count: 111

Word of the Day Challenge: Yelp

I don’t know if it’s cheating the 111 word count to go on like this, but I’m a rebel anyway so who cares. 🙂

I wanted to say something about my collage. I actually thought about writing a Haiku for this, because it reminded me of how little boys dream… usually about what they will be or do when they grow up, and how—once they reach a certain age—they tend to dream about being young again.

Anyway, my grandson and son are actually a part of this creation and I’ve shared both images in different forms. That’s what got me thinking. I worked on it for hours last night, and again this morning, and finally decided it was time to move on to the next order of business.

That’s all for now. Today is softball Sunday, so off I go……

Peace & Love Everyone!
—Janet

Behind my Veil

Do I deceive myself?

Does this thin veil protect me,

From your copious attempts,

To whisk me away into the night,

Penetrate my covering,

Steal my heart,

And leave me vulnerable?

Or do I deceive you?

Hoping that you’ll instigate the affair,

So that I can watch,

As you search hopelessly,

Allowing you to believe,

That my heart is actually hidden here?

—Janet

Fandango’s One-Word Challenge: Copious

Word of the Day Challenge: Instigate

This isn’t really my style, but I had some revealing thoughts recently, about the roles that I’ve played in some of my ‘tragic’ love stories. I guess it’s true what they say… it really DOES take two to tango.

It’s not always beautiful to see the truth about ourselves, but we’ll never be able to change what’s wrong until we do.

Anyway, I thought the poem went well with my art. This was an accidental piece, and it lit a fire in me to try some new techniques… so I hope to do some more experimenting today.

That’s about all for now—
Peace & Love Everyone!

Keep Dreaming

My dreams are vivid, they’re bold and alive.

The colors run deep, as they spin and they jive.

Often they fade, to black, and to white—

Others appear in magnificent light.

Sometimes in shadows, or a dark silhouette—

They wait as I cling to the fear of regret.

One dream can splinter, into two, even three—

I’ll never stop dreaming of all I can be.

—Janet—

Weekend Writing Prompt #89: Silhouette

Word of the Day Challenge: Splinter

Well… in spite of the predicted rain, I’m heading to the beach tomorrow for a four day stay. I’m so excited! I’m taking along my camera, and dreaming of some great shots… but even a few mediocre ones will do!

Speaking of photographs, I have to mention something about my featured image. My son and I went to the Phoenix Art Museum years ago, and I’ve had this photograph of him for years. When I saw the word silhouette today, I decided it was time to get creative with it.

Not everyone wants to see “family photos,” but I’ve always loved this image so I wanted to experiment and transform him into a silhouette. With Sneakers. Ha! Today I am grateful for Photoshop, that’s all I have to say.

Have a beautiful week everyone—
Peace & Love!

The Enigma

This photograph has been in my folder for a while now, and I didn’t know if I would ever use it until I saw the One Word Challenge: Enigma. It’s definitely an odd little piece. I could tell you what it is… but then the mystery would be gone.

On another note, the long anticipated day is here… a fresh start to a brand new year. No matter what everyone says, and no matter how hard those resolutions are to keep, I’m still making my mental list—and even writing some of them down.

One of the things I’ve been avoiding—probably due to fear—is buckling down and learning more about photography. That is probably at the top of my list. It’s fun to use Photoshop, but sometimes I wish I could just go out, shoot a marvelous image, download it to the PC and post it. That’s something I’m really shooting for this year.

Anyway, I won’t go on and on about my list… it’s a new day, the wind is really howling here, and I think I’m going to “get outside” and see what the afternoon has to offer.

Peace & Love!

Melting Time

I’m actually getting a late start on word prompts tonight. I really do enjoy those, but trying to fit multiple words into a poem or story is—to be honest—exhausting me.

I think I need a word for the “week,” so that I have time to digest it, and ponder what the word really means to me. That rush-rush to get it written in one day gives me a weird adrenaline rush!

Anyway, I thought I would give the mind a rest tonight—so I did an image for the word Segue: to make a transition without interruption from one activity, topic, scene.

It’s a bit abstract (duh!), but it’s a really cool tree that I visited at Christmas, with lights dangling from it, and fireworks exploding behind it in the night sky—celebrating our segue into the new year.

I’m actually happy with this one! If I ever had to settle on any specific style, I think I’d do more of these crazy pieces.

That’s about all for tonight! We have 2 hours to go here, and there’s a 50/50 chance I’ll still be awake to welcome in 2019.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!
(… and that’s the last time I’ll say that this year)

Peace & Love!
—Janet

Finding Harmony

I think winter break is starting to take its toll on me, and I’ve only been out of school for a week now! I’m not quite sure what to do with myself some days—I find myself overthinking a lot—and lately I’ve been questioning my decision to major in psychology.  

Fortunately, I’ve been visiting my sister the last few days, and being away from my ‘normal’ surroundings has given me much needed stillness and some peace of mind. Continue reading Finding Harmony

Transparency

This is my take on another photograph from my recent trip to the zoo. It was actually a moving light that shone on the concrete walkway to form what I believe is a rose, or some other type of flower.

I used a paint effect to accentuate the lines a little. It’s not one of my favorites, but I thought it went really well with the Word of the Day challenge, the word being kinky; as in “having kinks or twists.” Continue reading Transparency

Moonstruck

moon·struck/adjective
1. unable to think or act normally, especially because of being in love.

Inspired by the Word of the Day Challenge.

Every now and then I check out the word of the day challenge, hoping it will inspire me to start writing poetry. As you can see by my recent posts… that hasn’t really worked out for me!

Anyway, I was inspired by today’s word: Moonstruck, and now it’s a half hour before midnight and I’m barely getting started! I wanted to do the featured image first—and it took me much longer than I had expected—so it looks like the poetry will have to wait. I think the image captures the “moonstruck” mood though, so it’s all good.

Have a beautiful week everyone…

Peace and Love!