I Choose Peace

Image by Patou Ricard from Pixabay

I’ve been hemming and hawing for weeks (or months), the pendulum swaying back and forth; from feeling as though it’s my responsibility (as a human being) to talk (or keep talking) about current events—to the polar opposite—thinking that it’s the last thing I should even consider.

It’s been harder to write, ever since the virus began circulating and destructive human behaviors began rearing their ugly head. There’s been sickness, stock piling and greed, fear, anger, and chaos… sliding into racism, violence, protests, riots and anarchy. That’s not to say that most of this wasn’t around before the pandemic, it was just hidden a little better. Regardless, how do you go about ignoring all of that—acting as if it’s business as usual—without feeling… well… peculiar?

I’ve considered sharing some new ideas about my New Lifestyle, New Me project recently, but I’ve talked myself out of it because my personal life—and things like my lifestyle change—seem so insignificant, or trivial. So then I wonder if I should just talk about what I feel. And then I realize that I’m not sure what it is I feel, or why I even feel it! But… I think it finally hit me the other day.

I was talking to a friend about recovery meetings. She was asking me questions because she was curious about what goes on inside the rooms. I was explaining to her how all of the meetings are different. Sometimes there’s a speaker, and the rest of the room sits quietly and listens. In book study meetings, we read from certain chapters (of whichever recovery book we’re studying), and then we talk a bit about our thoughts on what we read.

And then there are the “other” meetings—the round robin meetings—where they go around the room, and each person gets about three minutes to share. I explained to her that there is no cross talk (no conversations are allowed to take place back and forth), and that everyone just listens. Once the time is up, the floor moves to the next person.

And then I told her about the uncomfortable moments I’ve had at those meetings, when I’ve watched someone break down. Sad. Struggling. Scared. In pain. Depressed. Sobbing. And then the timer dings. And the next person starts talking, almost as if nothing had happened. The room is tense and uncomfortable for a few minutes, and someone might offer the poor soul a tissue, but all in all, we just keep going—moving right along—as if it’s business as usual. It’s so peculiar!

I think one of the reasons this happens, is that it’s a room full of alcoholics. Ha! All joking aside, that is actually a true statement. Everyone in the room has the same issue. The same sickness. No one is better than the other, and no one is worse. No one goes into those rooms to fix someone else, nor are they even capable of doing that. They go there to fix “themselves.”

Once I got home, after our conversation, I realized how similar it was to how I’m feeling right now. It’s like the world around me has the floor, and it is breaking down. Sad. Struggling. Scared. In pain. Depressed. Sobbing. And here I am, listening… waiting for the timer to ding. My inclination is to reach out and grab the world, and try to fix it. But maybe—just like in the rooms—I can’t do that.

I can only fix myself. And it’s uncomfortable.


That pretty much sums it up. Life is uncomfortable right now. I think the image from pixabay works perfect. Moving forward in recovery and maintaining sobriety requires discernment. Each person is responsible for what they allow into their mind. And today, I choose peace.

Much love to you all!
—Janet

Flowering Plum

Spring is in the air…

Tiny blossoms are springing forth on the flowering plum tree. You have to look hard to find them, but they’re there. I think I’m wrapping up the Garden Art series with this one. It’s time to move on!

Speaking of things in the air… do you ever feel like a fraud? I don’t mean “fraudulent” as in committing dastardly crimes, I mean that strange sensation that you’re not who you think you are.

I’ve been in that kind of a funk lately. I think I’m going to journal my way through it. Not in one night. This baby might take a while. I can’t figure out if it’s that inner critic that I should ignore (the one that always tries to sabotage me) or if it’s that still small voice that I need to heed.

Honestly, I think a lot of it has to do with the two new jobs I just started. They are jobs that I took because they allow very minimal hours, but I have to say that they’re SO not me. Maybe going so far out of my comfort zone is what’s causing this fraud alert thing.

I mean, not only am I doing something that I’ve NEVER done before, I’m doing something that I don’t really care to do. It’s strictly for cash. And no it’s nothing illegal. 😉

I feel so strange when I go to work… like I should be looking over my shoulder to make sure no one I know sees me! Ha! Is that weird?? I don’t know. Now that I’m thinking this out loud, I think I’ll have to finish these thoughts later. It’s after midnight here and my mind is finished.

Has anyone else ever felt this way before?

Anyway, I know these thoughts have very little to do with the featured image, but then again… maybe they have everything to do with it. Spring is in the air! Time for cleaning—to get rid of useless crap. New things are waiting to be born—ready to flourish. That sounds like the perfect time!

If it doesn’t nourish your soul, get rid of it.

Thanks for reading!

I’ll be back to finish my thoughts later.

—Janet

Peace & Love!!

The Excursion

This morning I drove into Pasadena. It wasn’t a major excursion, but it was in the opposite direction of where I normally travel and everything was unfamiliar. I wish I had taken my camera. It’s the perfect place for street photography, but it was just TOO hot! I wanted to get in—and get out.

I went there to pick up the kit for my drawing class. I’m already enjoying the course. It’s not so much that I’ve learned anything yet (it’s only been two days), or that I even see the possibility of getting really good at it. It’s the fact that I’m putting aside my fear, putting the pencil to the pad, and making an effort.

Continue reading

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!

Continue reading

New Perspectives

Oftentimes I tell the people I meet about my transformation; how much I’ve changed since entering recovery and coming to believe. The way I usually describe it is that all of these changes are internal… they can’t be seen. Well, aside from the fact that you won’t “see” me drinking anymore.

Sometimes I refer to it as a “new attitude,” and other times I say that a lot of it has do with “gratitude.” Even so, I still find myself complaining or whining at times (especially when I play softball), but I’m able to recognize my behavior, pull out my tools, and work on fixing the problem.

While pondering the word angle—I realized that looking at life, myself, and others from different perspectives is probably one of the KEY factors behind my transformation. My new attitude stems from seeing things from new angles, and the ability to do so keeps me grateful.

One of the greatest things I learned in recovery was that I need to look at my own reflection when something is bothering me, because… as they say: No matter where I go, there I am.

It’s easy to feel discouraged, hopeless, irritated or angry when you believe that everything ‘outside of yourself’ is the cause of your condition. When you learn that YOU hold they key, and that you have the ability to change how YOU feel or react to these things… well… suddenly the world looks totally different!

—Janet

RDP Tuesday: Angle

Life is good and God is GREAT!

Smoke and Mirrors


My featured image, and something that’s been on my mind the last couple of days is Smoke & Mirrors. I know… it looks like a bird and a cloud. 😉

I took both shots yesterday, separately. The crow was surrounded by the haze above the city, and the cloud was right above where I stood. I pieced them together and did a little liquefy near the corners, so it looks a little like smoke. Continue reading

Unteach Me

I titled my story Unteach Me because I’ve learned throughout the last two years, after finding God, that I’d always been looking at life wrong. Not only did I have a lot to learn, but I had a lot to unlearn.

The following was written before I started my blog, so I shared a piece a day after I decided to share my story. Just in case anyone would ever like to read the story in it’s entirety, I thought I would add this table of contents to make it easier to navigate.


  1. IN THE BEGINNING: Looking back, I can clearly see that this would have been the perfect time for me to find God. Instead, I found alcohol.
  2. REWRITING YOUR STORY: The very first drink I took fixed everything. I was no longer tongue-tied. I felt comfortable in my own skin. I was courageous!
  3. THE AUTHOR OF MY LIFE: I was always STRIVING. I strove to be ultra-independent, to make money, and to be totally self-reliant. Then I strove to be stress-free so that I could somehow be happy and content!
  4. SWEET SURRENDER: Nearly two years ago, in the throes of a downward spiral, I fought to hold myself and my business together- by a thread. The harder I held onto that thread the more everything seemed to unravel.
  5. HEARING GOD’S WHISPER: Whenever I talk about finding God, I always wonder how people perceive that. You know… like… I wonder if they think I saw a vision (or thought that I did).
  6. A LIGHTER LOAD: Whenever I quit drinking before, it was merely that. I quit picking up the glass. I would continue on…just as I had (but with a clear head).
  7. GIRL TALK-PART ONE: I hit my first DETOUR in June of last year. I was living in a studio, and had just started a part-time job that would keep me there.
  8. GIRL TALK-PART TWO: The world around me had groomed me in such a calculated way that I was fooled, and I was just beginning to see things in a new light.
  9. A SPRINKLE OF FAITH: I began with a blank piece of paper, and had absolutely no idea how it would all turn out, but I set my sights on a glorious future. The possibilities were boundless.
  10. THE COMEBACK KID: After getting back on my feet, both in sobriety and with the broken ankles finally healing, my journey got real. Stupid real.
  11. FIGHTING TO WIN: When I mentioned “taking down the enemy” in my last post, I was talking about sobriety…and my own spiritual battle. I wasn’t declaring war on men.
  12. THROUGH GOD’S EYES: Perhaps imagining how people look through God’s eyes was helping me grasp that things aren’t always black and white. I was learning to appreciate the bigger picture, where the two extremes merge together to create countless shades of gray.
  13. THE GREAT ESCAPE: I realized that my things were holding me hostage. I had created my own prison, trying to hold on to all of that stuff, and now the shackles were coming off.
  14. A STEP FORWARD: If they hadn’t challenged me, I might still be up on my diva-like pink throne… daydreaming about another fish to fry and buying time until my next fall.
  15. A CHILD OF GOD: How I saw things now was that a curious young girl stood before me… full of intriguing thoughts and questions about life… and I silenced her.