Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Booze - Me = Still Me

I was sick again for the past few days. Strep throat this time. My dearest pen pal extraordinaire Belle reminded me to be extra patient with my sad sick ol' self. And I wasn't. I was mad. World? Do you see that pissed off person? It's me. And I'm mad at you.

In one of life's little "the joke's on me" ever since I quit drinking I have been sick pretty much the entire time. Very funny universe. I mean WTF? Dear, sweet, noble me has decided to get it together and now I feel like shit all the time? Ahem. How DARE you?

Here's the thing: wasn't I sick and feeling cruddy all the time before? This should feel like normal, not like a slap in the face. I realized I'm carrying around all these secret resentments I thought would magically go away because I got sober. Could you move please? My unicorn can't get through.

I thought I was going to lose weight since I quit drinking. I thought my face would be glowing and blemish-less. I thought all my money problems would melt away. My marriage would be the stuff of songs. Life would be...better. Easier. I wouldn't have to deal with so much emotional junk. I would be a better mom. I would be able to concentrate. I would take up sewing and the guitar. I would have so much extra time since I wasn't dedicating it all to either being hungover or getting drunk. There would be space in my brain for new stuff since the broken record finally actually broke. 

Part of the reason I drank was to get away from me and my "hard" life. Because I didn't like who I was, my life would never mold into what I thought it should be. I was never good enough just because I was me. 

Take away the booze and guess what's left? Still me. 

Me and my crazycakes belief that life is supposed to be easy. I really thought that at some point you get there. Sometimes I still do. Like you're on a rafting trip. Just around this next bend and over this waterfall and then I'm thinner, richer, and more beautiful than ever. Just around this next one I guess. Or this next one. OK, maybe one more.

When you are never satisfied there is always another bend. You never ever feel content. There, finished, and easy are when you're dead.


One of the great things about sobriety is that you're aware of it all. One of the suckiest things about sobriety is that you're aware of it all.  

There's a way to find the balance of seeking and satisfied. To let the old stories in your head go, for good. For real. To stop wishing for not impossible things, just the wrong things. To put all that wasted energy into things that actually work. To change not only that inner voice that shamed you daily for drinking, but to change the chorus behind it.

Lead singer: "You suck because you drink..." 

Chorus: "And you're an unsuccessful fat ass too!" 

Change to:

Lead singer: "You rock because you're sober..."

Chorus: "And you made fresh lemonade too!"

Change the stories in your head that just aren't true. Change the lies you've been telling yourself. Be brave enough to see the truth. The real truth. Even if it makes you out to be a pretty decent sort. It's OK to be you, and be proud too. Right now. 

I thought getting sober was going to 'fix' it all. Since that didn't work I'm pretty sure having a number six in the waistband of my jeans and more zeros at the end of my bank balance won't do it either. Looks like I'm just going to have to keep going around the bend. Again. And again. And again. 

p.s. Life IS better. Tons. Boatloads!

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Early sobriety

Last night I listened to my first Bubble Hour podcast. I liked it. It made me think different thinks. It made me think about being lost with no map in sight. It made me wish for flashlights and compasses for everyone. It made me want the way to sobriety to be as easy as one two three Google Maps. It made me want to be a guide, with senior helpers.  It made me think about Hansel, and Gretel.

My path to sobriety was littered with breadcrumbs every day. Not a day went by that my inner mama/guide didn't drop crumbs on my way. Hints, suggestions- sometimes loaves of them. Most days I would just keep trudging along, ignoring the crumbs and searching the forest for other things instead. (Look! A forest! But I can't find the trees...) I couldn't be bothered with simple breadcrumbs- I had bigger messages to get, and they were all at the bottom of my wineglass.

And every day those little bits were there. Every day I knew what I needed to do. I needed to follow those crumbs, which were parts of my heart. Every day that I drank I tore off another piece of my heart and left it lying there on the path for me to see the next day. Every day I tried to save myself. Every day I looked away.

I don't know what made me look the day I did. I tripped over a heart loaf and fell. Hard. And while I was down there, lying on the path, I saw all these bits of me waiting to be put back together. I got hungry. I was tired of the sea of trees. I could not go a step further until I looked down at the path to see where the heck I was going.

So I looked. I started picking up those crumbs and going the way my heart and soul wanted to go.

It's never enough for someone to say "Sobriety is so much better" and "You'll be so much happier" or even "Follow the breadcrumbs". You have to do it yourself. You have to trust the signs you leave out for yourself in the night, in the dark, in the hope of your heart. The way to get your inner compass to stop spinning is to take the clues you're given. You follow and trust and hold virtual hands with other people who are trying to stop spinning too. People who come back for you even though it's raining and dark and you wandered away again. You believe you can do it until you are look ma no hands! doing it. You are Hansel and Gretel. And you are doing it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Give it Up, Give it Up Again...

A blog friend recently had a relapse. That sounds so clinical, though, doesn't it? It sounds better to me to say a blog friend recently chose to drink after a little over a month sober. And we all get it. If you're reading this you probably have, at least once, told yourself that you were going to quit drinking. And then you probably drank again. I have promised myself to stay sober and then drank myself silly. Again, and again, and again. Until that last time.

I can't make guarantees that you will deep down believe since you haven't known me long. And some days I don't believe that I will never, ever, EVER??? drink again. I haven't known me long either. But in my heart I know. I know I can't. I know I just plain flat out don't want to. I don't want to. At the end of a hard day, or a sunny day, or a day that I'm alive there is just not a reason for me to drink. Period. I don't crave it, I don't want it. I don't miss it.

I don't miss it.

I'm reading this great, great great book by Augusten Burroughs called This is How. He talks about a lot of different things. I'm on this part now about drinking and he says basically this: It is not hard to quit drinking. You just don't drink. You decide that sobriety is more important than being drunk. Period. And if you drink then you've decided that being drunk is more important than sobriety. And that the past is the past. It doesn't make you who you are today. I think I drank for as long as I did because I believed that was who I was: Amy who drinks and wishes she could quit. That was the core of my identity. It was all I thought about. Either drinking, or quitting. Every day. Over and over and over. Years and years. And fucking years. It was my second job, all that thinking about drinking.

Surrender is a funky kind of word. It can mean you throw back your arms and head and let the world come at you like a breeze. It can mean you become small and lose yourself to fear. It can mean you give up every belief you have about yourself because maybe, just maybe you were wrong about you. I was wrong about me.

Surrender means you give up. Here though: have another perspective. Instead of surrendering to booze, or surrendering to the idea that you are powerless (NEVER, ever, ever are you powerless over booze. EVER.) Surrender to sobriety. Surrender yourself to strength. Don't surrender to a higher power- be a higher power. And no, I don't mean start calling yourself God. But I do mean create a universe. I do mean create days and nights. And light. I do mean make a life. And on some days rest.

I'm gonna tell you this: If you will not or don't want to surrender you will find a reason to drink again. You will find an excuse. You will reason it out in your head all the whys why it's OK this one time. And you'll get drunk and you'll be sad about it later. Or even while you're doing it. You'll pull out the powerless card and throw it on the table alongside your glass of booze and cry inside "But I need it!!! I can't live without it!!! Why can't I have it?" Surrender. Because you can't. You just fucking can't. Give it up. Out of all the glorious things in life there is only one thing you cannot have: alcohol. Drop that shit like a bad habit. Cede from the land of booze. Abandon that baby. And don't look back.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

HIGH FIVE Sunday 2.17.13


High five Sunday today. I'm going to tell you good stuff about my week, and how many days I've been sober. Then you can tell me stuff too and I'll cheer for you. Right here. Online. And I also do some cheering outloud. Which scares the dogs a little until they realize it's good and then tail wagging all around. Myself included.

This week on Monday, Tuesday, AND Wednesday the kiddos and I watched no TV. We played outside, we played cards, we went to the library. We had a fucking great time and everyone behaved beautifully. (Mostly) I think TV sucks the creativity right out of them and would throw it out the window but then how would I watch the Shah's of Sunset Reunion tonight? :)

Trust. Big thoughts on the horizon.

I have still not made any decision about job stuff. Because I'm practicing that waiting-on-it stuff.

I still cannot spell becasue right the first time. Ever. I cherish these little tiny opportunities to laugh at myself. It's our own private joke. And y'all's too.

I cleaned the dining room and put all the dusty wine glasses away in a cabinet. I was drinking my seltzer treat out of them for a while, then without notice or fanfare I was drinking it out of our regular drinking glasses. Well. Heh heh. Progress.

I'm seventy three days sober. Yee-HAW! Sobriety rocks. Thanks for reading , and commenting, and letting me be me. Sometimes there ain't enough gratitude in the world so THANK YOU.

And HIGH FIVE!!!! Wha-POW!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Investing in Commitment

I'm reading a book by Peter Buffett called Life Is What You Make It. I picked it up randomly at the library the other day during the six minutes I had to browse before the boys get bored and the library cop comes to me with Hampton since he's been playing with the water fountain. So four minutes then. It's a really on time find- he discusses career, and choices, and other cool life stuff. (The subtitle is Find Your Own Path to Fulfillment.) I love shit like this. It's kind of like a decoder ring.

Here's this quote: (attributed to Goethe)

"Until one is committed  there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance  of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never have occurred  A whole stream of events issues from the decision  raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now."

In the back of my head I've been pushing around my label. What I call why I don't drink. How I explain it. I don't feel like an alcoholic now. I don't feel like an addict now. I don't feel like I need to struggle and yearn for freedom every day because I am enslaved to something much more powerful that  me. I don't feel like I need to promise myself that I can drink one day but just not today. That doesn't work for me. To me that's like the eat all your dinner and you can have dessert promise. Forced reward. Blegg.

Then I read that quote and zing. That's what you call what I'm doing. Commitment! Until one is committed  there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. That was the problem all those times I tried to quit before. I wasn't committed. I was toe in testing the water, not jumping in letting the safety net close over me.

My sobriety has been entirely about readiness. I was not ready until I was ready. I was ready to commit. To make a promise to my lifelong partner (me!) that I would  love and cherish her all the rest of my days. For richer, for poorer. In sickness and in health. For better and for worse. Is sobriety like getting married? Could be.

So I think that means I don't even have a label. I just have a promise. Between me and me. I'll worry about how to explain it when it comes up. It means that I cannot renege or hesitate. The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. There are clear expectations. No one is wandering around in the dark looking for a wine glass because there will never be one. That makes me feel safe.

Ah. Take a breath.

Sometimes I want to have all the answers. And then sometimes I get one.

"Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now."

Friday, February 15, 2013

Middle of the Road

Ahhhh, life and curveballs. Just when I start cruising along feeling all in charge...zing! And me, being me, I get all wound up and start thinking and trying to manipulate things into the way I think they should go and waking up in the middle of the night just so I can think some more.

Yesterday I had a lovely walk and talk with a friend who is also a manager at the company where I work. She's suggested I apply to be her right hand woman, although I have no experience with her department and she's having a baby in six months so I would be in charge of things at the busiest time of the year. The challenge would be amazing, and hard, and the schedule totally does not work for my family. Seeing as how I want to be part of it. 

Taking this position would also mean I wouldn't go back to school. Which I still may not do anyway. Trying to decide on what I want to be when I grow up is a complicated tangle. 

Yesterday I was feeling anxious about the talk, and then we had it, and then I came home and ate all the rest of the children's Valentine's candy. Well, not all, I did leave them both one piece. And they didn't know about the two caramels in the mailbox from a neighbor. And then I broke off a chunk of the candy bar husband bought me (My favorite 85% kind- the kind that is so NOT the" I'm stewing on something and need to feed the beast" kind.) and ate that. All while I was making dinner. 

I should have stopped, and fixed myself a nice ginger seltzer. I should have sat down on the couch for a minute and said a real hello to the kiddos. Taken a breath. 

Not built in a day.

One of the cool things about early sobriety is that you start to realize that things take time. And that THAT'S OK. And that eating nine pieces of chocolate may not be the smartest thing to do, but it won't make me black out or feel like a miserable wreck all the next day. It did make my eight year old cry when I fessed up (I didn't tell the four year old- I'm not completely nuts) but he forgave me. "It was my candy Mom. MINE. And YOU ATE IT. But, if you let me use my Nexus before bed I'll forgive you." And then we played Crazy Eights, and read stories, and life rolled along. And I was forgiven.

Sometimes you have to forgive yourself when you don't know the answer. When you don't know which way to turn. When that road looks good, but this path is cool too....and look there! Sometimes maybe I just need to sit down in the middle of the road and look around. People will beep, wag fingers, yell at me to move. Oh, people. Always trying to tell people what to do. 

I will make myself a ginger seltzer. Sit down. Take a breath. Think it through. Put on a seatbelt and a turn signal when the time is right. Press the gas and move when it feels right. Move right along. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013


This is kind of the way blogging and living has felt for me this week. My brain is in stuck mode again. I know what it is. I don't know how to remedy it, but I know what it is.

I'm too busy. I don't have time to think, or sit, or be. Or if I do I spend it worrying that I don't have anything to write, or it isn't mindful enough, or that I want to watch junk TV instead of read the book I got from the library about living a better life or whatever. I found myself gulping my seltzer ginger drink last night while I was making dinner. A sure sign I need some love and care. And a little more sleep.

There has been a lot of other people's lives big stuff going on. A friend I worked with years ago lost her partner to cancer two weeks ago. Randomly this friend and I went to the one and only AA meeting I've ever been to together. I wonder if she's drinking still, if she is drinking more. Then a woman I work closely with lost her partner to cancer just a few days ago. Both were diagnosed at the end of last summer, and now. Gone.

I have two friends who are early pregnant. Hopeful and worried something may happen.

It's hard not to take on other people's shit. I can be such a fixer sometimes that I even try to figure out what the dog is thinking and then try to make it better. This is kind to no one. I know, I know. It doesn't even really make sense. I'm white knuckling it again, trying to control it all. Not playing God exactly, but maybe a low ranking assistant.

All those years I spent being numb. Drinking. Not thinking. Now I feel like a hamster in a wheel. Churning out thoughts on the assembly line. Analyzing. Not analyzing. Amazing! Nonsense! I can. I can't! All these deep thoughts are hard on a woman.

I have big-ish job decisions to make. We're looking for a new place to live already even though our lease isn't up until July. Is it ever time to relax and let life just roll gently along?

Maybe it's that I don't feel very safe. Secure. Consistent.

One reason why I love to write this blog is the way things get clear while I'm sitting here.

Open ended futures scare me. I'm in trouble then hmmm? But I don't mean I need to know the end, I mean more like I want a place to live where we'll stay for years. I want a job I can cultivate and grow into something that allows me to make a living and feel proud. And I want the patience to allow these things to happen as they happen.

Back underwater. But not to hide. To listen to the silence for a while.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

For the Birds

I see London, I see France...

I haven't written in a few days which means I have too much to say and not enough time to organize it all. I found this picture when I was searching for a completely different picture.

And I love it.

Be your own bird, y'all. Even if people stare, or think you're weird.

Be your own bird.

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Little Something Funny...

This morning in my email among all of my beloved "New Post" notifications was this from Amazon:

"Best Selling Wine Books!"

Uh, catch up, Amazon! ;)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Curse Show

I'm not sure what it is about sobriety that makes me want to cuss like crazy. And not like "Awwww, fuck." Like "Fuck yeah!" or "Holy shit!"

Yesterday on my run my ego started whining, "This is kind of hard. Shouldn't we slow down and get comfortable?" And I spoke up, "Fuck you! RUN! It's supposed to be hard!" Then I chanted "Fuck you, run fuck you, run, fuck you, run" until I finished my last mile really fast for me. And then I walked and beamed and felt great since I gave that ol' ego bastard a beat down.

Oh, life. Aren't you funny? When I got home the dogs were filthy. Beaming at the back door, hair all stringy from the mud. Only their heads we a little dry. And us with a broken shower dog rinser thing-y. Cue ego: "Oh, no. This is haaarrrrddddd. What will we do? Let's just avoid this situation." I was noticing a trend here. Things get hard, ego hands you the easy card. Or a wine glass. Fuck you. Deal.

Instead we made a dog pen in the dining room so they could eat, drink, and dry off. (Side note: Dogs still messy. You should see the dirt on the couch from it drying and falling off while Jelly slept. Holy shit.)

As an encore life had this one last thing while I was two minutes from finishing dinner: "Mom? Hampton just threw up all over the coffee table." (my oldest said this so casually I thought he was kidding.) I walked in to the room to look. Yep. Barf. Coffee table, rug. And then all over the kitchen floor where he tried to make it to the toilet. Ego: "Waaahhhhhhhhh!!! Whhhhhyyyyyyyy?????? Who will clean this up?" I actually considered for a brief millisecond calling my husband at work so he could come home and clean it up.

And then I handled it. Fuck you. Big girl boots. Clomp. Clomp.

Sobriety. It's this cool place where you suddenly get to decide. You decide you can do hard things, and then you do them. It's this place where you have to yell strong words like 'fuck' and 'shut the fuck up' to that whiny part of you that's such a damned coward. It's where I get to feel like a superhero because I do hard things like run fast, handle dirty dogs, and mop up vomit.

It's where, in the night, I can go to my little sick four year old son. I hear his tiny voice "Mommy? Mommy?" and I'm there. I'm all there. I can rub his back, and look into his olive brown eyes. Push back his dirty blond hair. Hold the trash can while he barfs. And I'm not drunk. I'm not drunk.

Fuck yeah. :)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

If You Are Just Starting Out

Two months ago today I woke up hungover. I use the term "woke up" loosely as I really didn't get up, more like stared blearily at the kids as they placed the plate of french toast beside the bed then promptly went back to sleep.

Two months ago today I ached inside and out from the toll booze was taking on my body. On my mind. On my life.

Two months ago today I got fed up.

Two months ago today I got saved.

By saved I don't mean Jesus came in and smacked me on the forehead and I saw lights and Bibles. By saved I mean I tossed the life raft to my soul. And I caught it. I pushed it down onto my waist. Nice and snug. I started dragging myself back. Back out of the rough waves. Away from the evil undertow. Towards the warm sand of the shore.

You know how waves are. Just when you think you've almost made it they suck you back out again. But I was brave, and no longer afraid of water and so I just kept swimming. I still do.

I do not envy anyone just starting out. But then again I do. This journey is hard, and magic. You will weep and bitch and laugh and be so grateful you have to cry because you never ever thought you could feel so fucking good. You will look in the mirror and smile. You will wake up and get dressed and not feel ashamed. You will feel pissed that you can't drink. You will learn to tell yourself that that's OK, but like an errant child who needs a "no" you'll give your inner drinking buddy one too. "NO" you'll say. You will make seltzers with grapefruit and give yourself little presents like sweaters and time. You will lean into your life like it's the wind and it will lean back to support you. You will feel free.

I have lived a life in these two months. I have changed so much, or maybe I've just come back around to being me.

Sometimes when you're in the ocean you can't tell where you are. So you swim and you fight the current. You wish for the shore. And then you get tired and you wonder how deep it is. If you can touch the bottom. You reach your feet down and feel the sand. You stand up and either laugh or get pissed because you've been swimming so hard and the whole time you could have just walked right out of the water.

If you are just starting out, stand up. And then keep swimming. And stand up again. Do it every day until I'm reading your blog and cheering for your three days, then ten days, then fifteen, then thirty. Reach out. Try not to be ashamed. Or afraid, even though you really really are. Be gentle and kind to yourself and your own biggest cheerleader. Be imperfect. Be sober.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Growth Spurt

This picture is what sobriety looks like to me. That first one- the radical one? Right on. Then in the middle the hyper part. Then that taller wearing a hat part. Then the stretching up part . The shedding of the shell part. The look at my beautiful leaves part. And don't forget the roots. Extending. A little hairy. Just like life.

A seedling is such a fragile thing. So is a newly sober person. And then, sixty days go by. You start to get really really really great ideas about your life. You start to get unafraid. Suddenly there are chances to be taken. Dances to be danced. Hair to be let down. How cool.

I started thinking about how I want to spend my life. How to earn money since I need to work unless we want to live in the car. What will satisfy the bill collectors and my soul. Before I would have immediately told that little self to shut up, none of that "pie in the sky" stuff for you. Plod along. Make decent money. Good benefits. Give your soul to the "man". Be a minion. A playing it safe sycophant. Please- don't rock the boat.

But I started thinking about what I could do that would make me feel "real" on the inside. I got really brave and thought things like "go back to school" and "master's degree". I told my parents about it and they acted like I'd said I was abandoning my husband and children and going to join the circus with the bearded lady.

Things were said like "Too old" and "Children! Responsibilities!" There was crying. Yelling. Leaving.

I'm forty one years old. I know I don't need their approval. I was looking for encouragement and found quite the opposite. (Giant life clue: This could be part of my problem. Stop trying to get everyone to like you and what you do. Approve of self.)

So I left and didn't call. My mom wrote me and said sorry. We talked and I stood up for myself. I didn't try to soothe her, and it hurt to hear her cry over the phone, but I said my truth. Mine.

What surprised me the most of how strongly I felt that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. That I don't have to be afraid anymore. Life doesn't have to be this grand ship I'm waving to from shore. I don't have to wonder about all those lucky people, I can be one of them. Or I can be a total fucking failure at something and then hop on another ship. People on boats are especially friendly.

God. Sobriety is such a magical place. I can compare it to this: I have been a seed in a packet. You know a seed is just a seed. It can roll around in the bottom of the drawer just being a little round seed. Until you give it some love. Until you plant it with intention. You put it in the ground and grow it. You grow. You don't ask all the other seeds if you're doing it right. You don't try to be like all the other seeds. You don't settle. You push your tiny seed-y self towards the sun as hard as you can. You grow.

You grow. Up.

Monday, February 4, 2013

All's Well

All is well. I hate it when things get busy and I can't blog. But tomorrow! La la!

I went for an awesome run and I'm 60 days sober today. :) I rule. So do you!!!!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Gobstopper Days

My dear pen pal/sober blogess extraordinaire Belle posted about being curious about who's hanging about reading her site, days sober, and quit dates. Well, I had to pull up the calculator (which either says "Wow, you've been sober for a long time" or "It's hard to add 25 + 33 at six in the morning"...) I always remember that I have twenty one days in December. Except I have twenty-FIVE days in December. Please pass the coffee.

That's a grand total of 58 days. Did you hear a little pat pat pat? That was me, gently patting myself on the back. Almost two months. How about that. *crooked little smile*

I am floored by this- but not because I feel like "Whoa! That's such a long time." More like "Really? That's it?" I feel like I've lived a year in these past almost two months. That's what happens when you remember your life I guess. It seems longer because it is longer. There aren't these giant holes of hours where you've been living, but in a vacancy. The days stretch and last in good ways and bad. I know what happened last night every morning. I'm living, and not drowning. Everlasting.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Ten Random Things

This morning my brain is like pea soup. I had a good idea for a post, but then I promptly forgot it. So I thought I'd share a few things about me. Since y'all know what I'm really in my head thinking about almost every day, you could know some other stuff too.

1. I spell "because" wrong every time I type it. "Becasue". Every time. There's probably some fancy computer solution for this, but now it's my own private joke with myself. Which I also almost always spell wrong. "Myslef".

2. I can't stand it when the pencil runs out of eraser and the metal part scrapes on the paper.

3. I love drinking water.

4. I dream of having my own cabin-y in the woods-y place one day. With a big kitchen, a garden, and a winding driveway.

5. I want to learn three things: how to knit/sew, how to play piano/guitar, and how to kayak/kayak. Maybe that's more like five or six things.

6. Zinnias are my favorite flower. Fresh flowers in the house are such a treat.

7. I hate it when I burn my tongue. I drink my coffee/tea lukewarm (even though I like it hot) becasue I don't want to burn my tongue. (See? I spelled becasue wrong. And again.)

8. My perfect day would be: getting up for coffee and writing. Some yoga. Breakfast. A long hike in the woods with my family and the dogs. Lunch. A nap. A long solo run. Reading in the hammock. Making something arty with the kiddos. Cooking dinner with family. Lolling around after bath time for stories on our big bed. I'm surprised by how simple that is.

9. I sing and dance a bit when I run. Mostly people look away. Sometimes I catch a smile. It's interesting how people are embarrassed that I'm having fun.

10. I'm not sure if y'all know it, but every person that reads this blog makes me feel so special. You care enough to read what I wrote? Wow!!! I have wanted to be a writer as long as I can remember. I love to look at my "Blogger Stats" and see that someone in Poland has read my blog? Holy shit! (Hello to you Poland!:)) This blog keeps me sane and sober. It is a bright spot at the beginning of every day. Sometimes I can't sleep past 3:30 AM becasue (see? so ridiculous) I have a blog idea or I want to read what everyone else is writing. I could not be more grateful for the time I invest writing and reading all of our words that help us keep on keepin' on. So thank you.