Photography

My Latest Obsession

I’ve taken tons of photos lately. Spider webs, a fountain, weeds, flowers, even an orange we discovered in the orange tree that never seems to bear fruit. Oh, and a bee! I captured a bee! (More to follow)

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But I’m smitten with this darn tree, so I thought I would share it; my latest obsession. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I still say it looks like it belongs in front of a haunted house or something. 

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In other news… I’ve been elected as co-secretary for my Thursday night meeting; I’m officially being of service for the next six months. That’s exciting! And the topic for our meeting was JOY. I had to chuckle about that after my recent JOY ornament fiasco.

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Art, Family, Photography, Road Trips

Back at the Ranch

I took this photograph on the way to Tennessee; at Cadillac Ranch. I found the place on google when I was searching for things to do on the long ride across the country. It’s worth seeing—if you happen to be passing through Texas and haven’t been there before.

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What’s funny is that I really wanted to do a travel blog when we took that trip, but I never did it. I didn’t feel like spending time on the computer after doing all of the driving and having so little time to visit the sights.

Anyway, I had some fun with this one in both color and black and white.

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The Journey, Unteach Me

A Step Forward

There’s a term pink cloud that refers to a state of mind in early sobriety, characterized by extreme happiness and grandiosity, in spite of problematic conditions. The newly sober person feels high on life because they’re experiencing emotions that were previously numbed by alcohol.

Once I read up on the subject, I knew it was time to take a harder look at myself. Not to mention the fact that a couple of my longtime sober friends expressed their frustration with me, uttering cries that I “wasn’t getting it!”

Needless to say, I was booted off of my big cushy cloud. Fortunately I didn’t plummet and hit the ground exploding, but I DID crash land. Rather uncomfortably, I might add. It appears I don’t handle criticism very well.

After I picked myself up, I realized that I’d been holding onto an optimistic delusion about recovery. Every time I managed to “get” sober, I considered the crisis over, and deemed the problem solved. I’d frolic around—reveling in my sobriety—and never REALLY attempt to change. Given my previous track record, it’s obvious that this was NOT accurate thinking.

Getting sober is indisputably something to celebrate and be joyous about, but there’s endless toil involved in staying, and living sober… and I continually refused to deal with it by hiding out in a cloud of denial.

Gil suggested, numerous times, that l focus my efforts on community—rather than romantic interests—to help combat my loneliness and cultivate a healthier lifestyle… but I kept sweeping that whole notion under the rug. Did I mention I’m stubborn?

Not surprising, lack of a sense of camaraderie was the underlying reason I felt so isolated. What I had failed to recognize was that being part of an assemblage was not just something to consider, it was NECESSARY.

My friends did me a HUGE favor by confronting me about my lackadaisical attitude. Their rigorous honesty turned out to be my saving grace. 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.

I started attending meetings and gained a sense of connectedness that I had never felt before. The loneliness that had tormented me was diminishing. I guess you could say that God blessed me with WAY more than a desire to quit drinking. He provided an entire rescue team. Like-minded people who want to stay sober, and help others do the same.

And my foot was in the door.

Next Up: A Child of God

Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip toe if you must, but take a step. Naeem Callaway

 

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The Journey, Unteach Me

The Great Escape

It may seem odd that I always look on the bright side of things, but that’s how I roll. I’m an optimist ninety-eight percent of the time.

I don’t enjoy writing the other two percent of the time, when I’m feeling down and out. I don’t even like thinking about the times when I wanted to give up. The nights when I wondered why I was still breathing. It seemed like my life was meaningless, and I had nothing left to offer.

That’s how I felt when I had to move. I had lost my job that paid my rent, and I had no other options. I don’t think I need to explain why I lost my job; it’s pretty self-explanatory.

I hated the idea of moving. I had spent a year and a half decorating my place with second hand treasures, and I was SO proud. I LOVED my things! I never spent enough money on things to merit paying for storage though, so I knew I’d have to let so much of it go.

I cried for days!

But…I was miserable living there! My friend Sherry pointed that out to me, and she was right. 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. I gave away almost all of my furniture to family, friends, neighbors and the Goodwill.

The day that I watched my son’s truck drive off, full of my old belongings, the sun peeked through the clouds and lit up my face. It felt SO beautiful! I realized how long it had been since I had enjoyed the outdoors, and I felt a remotely familiar feeling. That feeling that I get when I’m on a road trip…

Like the morning that I woke up in Colorado, when it was so eerily quiet that I could hear a pin drop… and I realized that tiny snowflakes had silently covered the entire landscape overnight—with a beautiful white canopy. And that moment when I was sitting on the trailer porch in Arizona… and the night suddenly looked like day as thousands of lightning bolts lit up the sky at once. Or while driving through Utah, when my car was swallowed up by deep canyons, sheer cliffs and majestic rock formations.

That feeling that life is just as it should be. No tangible explanations, no concrete answers… just an awe-inspiring, indescribable understanding that everything outside of that moment is insignificant, and that God has everything under control.

So… with palms up, I looked to the sky and offered a silent prayer of gratitude.

I was ready to soar.

Next Up: A Step Forward

But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

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