Upside Down

Sometimes you have to let life turn you upside down so you can learn how to live right side up.

I’ve been having some weird feelings lately. I think I’d call it “lack of joy,” but at the same time I keep reminding myself to stay grateful. What I’m REALLY grateful for is the fact that I have the wherewithal to remind myself of that!

What I’ve been catching myself doing a lot lately is living everywhere but in the present, and I realized today that this is the reason my joy has slipped away. Believe it or not, I still have eleven weeks left in this semester and I’ve spent hours—if not days—trying to plan my schedule for spring. I even met with someone at the university I’ll be transferring to next year so that I could start planning ahead for those classes too!

I know it’s smart to have goals and plan ahead, that’s not the issue. For me, the problem occurs when—in making those plans—I lose sight of where I am right now. Similar to how some people go on “speed dates,” I find myself wanting to “speed learn.” Instead of looking forward to each new day and being grateful for what I GET to do, I start approaching each day as something I need to GET THROUGH. It’s like saying “I want to be there, not here.

Where’s the joy in that?!

So… I took some time to relax and let my brain recalibrate, and I went back to an old shot of our ginkgo tree. I wanted to create something that represented what’s been going on inside of me lately. I guess it’s sort of quiet and serene, with spurts of energy, moments of frustration and anxiety, and a touch of overthinking.

Oh, and it’s upside down.

Believe it or not that started as a mistake when I accidentally hit the rotate button. Not only did I think it look cooler from this new perspective, it’s what got me to thinking about my inclination to live in the future.

It was also a great reminder that sometimes mistakes aren’t actually mistakes; they’re just stepping stones to better places.

Life is good and God is great!
—Stay encouraged—

The Makeover

You can use an eraser on the drafting table or a sledge hammer on the construction site. Frank Lloyd Wright

So true. It pays to fix your errors as soon as possible. Fortunately, there are also times when you can tweak or modify. That’s what I’m STILL doing here. It’s been quite a chore, but it’s also been enlightening. Reviewing some of my past writing has reminded me of things I’d virtually forgotten.

On the one hand, I’m a little tired and stressed out after reading posts that I wrote over a year ago. On the other hand, it’s been a real gratitude exercise! For anyone who is blogging their way through recovery, all I can say is don’t give up! It’s so great to have something to look back at—something to remind you of where you were then vs. where you are now. Plus it keeps you busy!

I also had some serious laughs last night when I came across posts where I was chasing birds, or chasing the wind—and my old Discovering Joy series—how fun that was! I hope to do something like that again, maybe during winter break. I miss some of those crazy times, and I especially miss an old blogger buddy who doesn’t seem to be visible anymore (she knows who she is).

Anyway, the point I was getting at is that I did a little makeover tonight. I realized how much I miss transforming the old into the new—so I pulled an image from one of my rather old posts (Queen of Hearts) and gave it a fresh look.

Five more days and it’s back to the books!

A Lavender Glow

We are one leaf on the great human tree. Pablo Neruda

I’ve given a fresh look to an old image, just for the fun of it. I love the dreamy glow in the leaves.

I really don’t have much to share today. Everything is wonderful and there are lots of things in the works… but I am learning to wait until it’s time before I talk about things.

There is nothing more truly artistic than to love people. Vincent van Gogh

Saturday a dear friend who lives out of state is flying in, and she and I will be hitting the beach, and doing some hiking (I can already feel my calves getting sore!). So… if all goes as planned I will have some exciting new photographs to share.

That’s about all for now.

Life is good and God is great!!

A Peaceful Place

We need never shout across the spaces to an absent God. He is nearer than our own soul, closer than our most secret thoughts. A.W. Tozer

I thought I’d do one image before I head off to bed. I took a very, VERY long nap earlier this evening and I really do hope I am able to sleep tonight! I wanted something to do to keep my mind quiet.

Tomorrow afternoon I’m leading an A.A. meeting, down the street from my house. This means about ten to fifteen minutes of telling my story, or at least share about what’s helped me stay sober. I’ve been mindful not to worry about it… mainly made some bullet points… and I’m staying in the zone of not overthinking it.

Anyway, the image is from south Texas and I thought it looked like somewhere I’d like to be sitting right now, to be quiet and still.  The water looks a bit like mud, but I wanted to keep the colors soft and neutral… so it’s still pretty close to how it looked when I was there in 2011. For the most part.

I hope that your week ahead is a blessed one.

Peace and love!

Shades of Spring

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. Francis of Assisi

I’m not a huge fan of pastels, but I thought this was a good fit for the season. And I’m pretty sure that this is a dove. Pigeons and doves confuse me sometimes.

I don’t know if I shared that quote before, but it’s been my mantra for the past week and will continue to be for awhile. I realized recently that I was getting WAY ahead of myself for a little while. Or way ahead of God I should say. Sometimes I get some grandiose ideas and then I realize that there are still very small things that I’ve yet to tackle!

That’s a bit humbling. And alcoholic thinking.

Anyway, I guess a good thing to remember when walking with God is to walk WITH Him, not a mile or so ahead! What’s funny is I’ve been thinking about that a lot and wanted to do a post called No Shortcuts! Then today, I’m reading In the Grip of Grace, by Max Lucado and I came across this:

“What we consider shortcuts God sees as disasters.”

Amen to that. I’ve taken shortcuts for so many years that it’s still a struggle to pause and be still sometimes, but I am definitely making progress! And I’m going to be working on the little things that need to be done. For now. 🙂

I may still write that post. Later. For now it’s time for lights out.

Have a beautiful day!

A Gentle Glow

Today was a really good day.

Although I don’t like to write posts that aren’t uplifting, or bursting with joy, I have to say that yesterday it proved to be helpful. For me anyway.

Something in a comment got me thinking about my reluctance to make decisions. He mentioned that some people actually preferred having someone else make the choice… then if (or when) things turn out badly, there is someone else to blame (Thanks Great to Good).

When I read that, I knew instantly that it applied to me- in a certain area. WORK. Of all things. No wonder I’ve been struggling with taking the next step.

In all the years that I worked for the broker, I was the right hand man. I’ve always thought of it as being the one that got stuck doing everything. You know… being overworked and underpaid, and always feeling slighted- that someone else is getting the credit for all of your efforts. But the reality of it is that I hid behind him.

I had the choice to go out and do it on my own, but I opted for what was safe, comfortable, and secure. I knew that if anything went wrong… it fell on him. He was my safety net.

And then I took my experience, my bruised ego, and my resentments… ran off to Phoenix and started my virtual business. And where did I take that? Behind the scenes again. And not for one broker- but for MANY. More work, less money. A little proof that resentment is not the proper fuel to be used when starting a business. 😉

Anyway, long story short… my work has always involved doing tasks for someone else- who is making the decisions, and taking the hit if things go south. It all really boils down to FEAR.

These days it’s getting easier and easier for me to realize all of the ways that fear has manipulated me, and yanked me around most of my life. I think I’ve already won half the battle right there. The rest is easy.

As Rebecca said… God opened the door to sobriety, and He will open another door, the right door, when it’s time. I just need to trust. (Thanks Rebecca!)

So, today was peaceful. Beautiful weather, the camera got out, did some thrift store shopping, and picked up a few library books to read…

Life is good, God is great, and I’ve got my glow back.

Blessings—
Janet

Feeling Unruffled

Be kind to yourself while blooming. I know sometimes it feels like your soul doesn’t always fit. It’s all a part of the process. Emery Allen

What I found odd yesterday is that when I was doing the mood images, I was unstoppable. There are so many different moods that one can experience—I could have gone on forever!

Now that I’ve moved on to things that I’m grateful for, it’s been slow moving. There are a zillion things for me to be grateful for, don’t get me wrong, but there are two challenges I’ve faced. One is finding images to match, which is no big deal… but the other thing–that is VERY important—is that I FORGET to be grateful.

In my Thursday meeting, I shared about my fears, as well as some thoughts I’ve been having about whether or not I’m doing the right things. You know, like wondering if my actions and motives lately are too self-seeking, and on and on…

Two gentlemen (my brothers, I should say) said a few things that really helped me change my perspective. Firstly…

God’s not waiting for you to be good, He’s just waiting for you.

I need to hear things like that over and over, because I’m always pulling out the ‘shame on me’ card. The next time that card comes around, I’m calling BLUFF!

And the other…

Don’t forget to LOOK at how FAR you’ve come!!

Not too long ago I was taking another Welcome Chip. Too many of those to want to count. But, in 4 days I will have eleven months- and in 34 days I will be taking a cake for ONE YEAR!

It’s not so much the counting of days that helps me appreciate how far I’ve come. I see how far I’ve come when I remember how much I’ve learned, how much I’ve changed, and how- even though my mind can go to the wrong places- I now have tools. I am able to see my stinking thinking for what it is… and call that bluff.

After pondering my friend’s words, I realized this morning that when I self-reflect lately, it’s like I’m a reporter on the prowl… looking for the DIRT! What I’m going to do today, is just be grateful for the progress that I’ve already made. How sweet is that?!?

Anyway, today I have fellowship (in meetings and in church) with men and women who can, who have, and who DO help me.

For that, I truly AM grateful!

Life is good and God is great! ♥♥♥

The Dancer

The music begins as I close my eyes.
I feel the wind,
as the curtains rise.
To my partners arms,
I approach with grace.
I feel his hair brush across my face.
Caught in the moment,
only we exist.
Heads all turn,
as our bodies twist.
He lifts me with ease,
and I touch the sky,
imagining clouds are drifting by.
I’ve choreographed this scene on the stage,
we stop in time,
as I search the page.
A tear finds its way,
things aren’t what they seem.
My eyes are now open.
it was only a dream

Relaxation

The quieter you become, the more you hear.

My mood today is relaxed and I’m going to do my best to stay that way. Last night I came up with a way to address those recurring (and nagging) thoughts that I’ve been having. I’m going to write them as they pop up. Tonight… after I’ve enjoyed this relaxing day, I’ll sit down with and reflect on those thoughts.

Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer. William S. Burroughs

Undecided

It seems that I’m doing this Mood project backwards.  I wanted to do something with the tree, couldn’t decide between the versions, and then decided to find several moods; one for each. I think the idea was to take a photograph that fit my mood. Now I’m adjusting my mood to fit the image!

That being said, I think the mood for the day is: Undecided 

Time for coffee!