From Fun

A is for Acceptance

Acceptance is a difficult concept to deal with, even if we’re not talking about alcoholism. None of us wants to be unacceptable, or excluded from a group, whether we’re small children, adolescents, or older adults. The synonyms for acceptance are many, among them approval and recognition. I know a young woman who is gay. She has found a woman she loves, is very happy, and engaged to be married. Most people she knows are very happy for her happiness, but not all are as accepting. Some are even judgmental, saying she and her partner would always be welcome in their home, but they would…

Rejoining The Human Race

Amazingly, it’s been almost five months since I last posted to this blog. And I pay for it! LOL  I’m not sure I still remember how to do it. Have I been through some struggles in that time? Of course, but you know what? So have you, so have we all! I’ve experienced some major triumphs, too. Do tell me yours. Here’s another thing. I don’t know how you feel about it, but I’ve really missed you guys. I’ve missed the camaraderie, the comments, the back-and-forth, and just knowing someone out there is reading silly things I’ve written. You probably…

Organize, Order, Originate

As I started to work on my wood burning project (which I won’t be able to share with you anyway, because it’s for a family member, and I can’t take any chances online), I got this panicky ache in my chest. I started to think about everything else I have to do before Christmas. I know, it seems just too weird to think about Christmas in June, but not when you’re making all your gifts. So I decided to write down everything I’m making; to get organized, and make a list (not including the wood burning project, since that will…

Granny, I Think I Love You!!

Granny square, that is. I’m in love with the granny square, as you can probably tell from this picture. What we have here are two blankets that only need the squares to be stitched together, and one partial blanket (the green and white squares on the left side). I have 54 out of 88 squares done, and then I’ll start connecting all the squares to make blankets. What do I love so much about granny squares? Oh, just so much. I think the sameness of it is the best thing, for me. It’s a perfect square, it never changes. Sometimes it’s all one color,…

Performance Anxiety Redux

All right. This is not an apology, this is an explanation. There’s a reason I have been so flaky lately with my posts . . . well, this whole entire month, specifically. Last year, when I tried to crochet Christmas presents, I didn’t start working until like October or even November, and of course didn’t get finished in time. I have a large family. So this year I began in January. So far I have two granny square blankets crocheted. I just have to put them together. I’m working on my third (pictured above) which looks like snowflakes! I have…

The Reality About Anxiety

Take a long look at this sort of Justine Bateman Look-alike (or maybe it really is her). Do you think she has sand in her eye, or do think maybe she’s crying? Yet the message she’s sending out “to the world” is “I’m fine.” Have you ever been there, done that? I know I have, in the middle of tears, great big sobbing-blubbering-get-that-girl-a-hanky tears . . . I’m like “It’s o-o-okay. I’m fine.” Then we have this fellow, some sort of coach, but I don’t follow sports all that much, so… But unless you’re also someone who gets anxious, you might…

Just Relax

There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them. ~Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are. ~Chinese proverb Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at other times move forward with it. ~Ray Bradbury It seems like everywhere I go people are talking about relaxation these days. My therapist asks me about my stress level, like it’s something that can be quantified, measured on a daily basis.  I probably…

Gambling on Goals

Goals are so crazy popular, aren’t they? I mean, I went looking for one quote on goals for this post, just one, and they were all so contradictory. Some said set your goals high and don’t stop ’til you achieve them. Others said it starts with the spirit, and if that wasn’t true, forget about it. Then there’s the one who says to set small goals and build upon them. So even the meaning of the word goal is somewhat sketchy. I know of a famous, at least famous on my terms, writing website, which has a whole board (forum) dedicated to the topic of goals and the…

The Problem and The Answer

I’m not often speechless. It’s not usually hard for me to know what to say, but writing in this blog has been so hard for me lately, and that’s not like me. It’s like I feel like I’m supposed to have the “answers,” as if 1) there are certain answers one has to follow as a member of Al-Anon and 2) I know them. Let’s get a couple things squared away. The only “answers” I really know in Al-Anon are told to me (either through the other members, the big book of Al-Anon, my sponsor, whatever) by my higher power.…

Your Call Is Very Important To Us

James bumped right into Patsy’s head, who had been helping him with decorations, when the phone rang. He dropped the Happy New Year banner, so that it swung precariously from one taped edge. “Patsy, it’s the phone.” He tripped over a blue balloon, caught his hand on the corner of his desk, and landed in the chair, which sent him spinning into the corner. The phone rang again. “James, the phone!” Patsy rubbed her head where it had collided with James, and paced back and forth, her poodle skirt making quiet swishing noises with every move. Patsy refused to update…

The Wisdom To Know The Difference

I went to a meeting this morning. I was so grateful there was an Al-Anon meeting on Christmas Eve morning that I could attend. The topic around the meeting was taking care of ourselves, but I heard a smattering of frustration and fear on the topic of holidays in general, my own included. I talked about how I was trying to remember the Three C’s: I didn’t cause it, can’t control it, and can’t cure it . . . and the Three M’s to avoid for myself: manipulation, martyrdom, and mothering. It all comes down to the wisdom of knowing the difference…

You Are Enough!

Accept everything about yourself—I mean everything. You are you and that is the beginning and the end—no apologies, no regrets. — HENRY KISSINGER Here’s something not everyone knows about me. As much as I love the holidays, it’s still hard for me to be around other people for too long, even family. I never know what to talk about. I’m on disability, so I can’t talk about work. I do read the news, so I can talk about that to some degree, but I don’t argue well. 😉 So when it comes to arguing a point, I always lose. I…

Volunteering As A Way Of Belonging

Ever hear of the 80/20 rule? I used to be a member of a Southern Baptist church, and this rule definitely applied there. 80% of the work is done by the same 20% of the people. So, when a new project or something would come up, and volunteers were asked for, a few minutes of strained silence would ensue before the same people would inevitably volunteer; which, of course can lead to burnout and disillusionment. It’s no different with any other organization, whether it be a 12-step meeting or a community choir. Someone has to volunteer. Someone has to step up, take…

What Happens When We Try To Change Too Quickly?

Good morning! It’s good to be back after such a long time away. I’ve been really busy with an extended birthday celebration, and then my Senior Choral production of The Bright Lights of Broadway. Which brings me to our topic. What happens when we try to change things in our lives too quickly? In The Bright Lights of Broadway, we have cast members who are as young as me and as old as 96. Seven of the cast members this year are from an independent living facility. They are usually in the audience, but love it so much, this year…

Self-worth

 I think this says it all. I will be gone for three days but I will be back on Tuesday. Going to my cousin’s cottage in Saugatuck to celebrate my 50th birthday which is on the 5th of September! I hope to have a lot of fun. See you when I get back! Have a lovely, lovely weekend. Peace out.

Change Through Spontaneity!

I’ll be the first to admit it. I’m a planner. I don’t like surprises. And it was a huge step for me when I invited my ubersponsor over yesterday morning for tea (or coffee, whatever she wanted). Everything was set. I had just finished straightening out the family room, the kitchen was clean, the downstairs bathroom (the one I mostly use), my bedroom . . . I was as ready as I was going to get. And I was excited. My UBERSPONSOR was coming to my HOUSE!! You have to know that I never let anyone come over. Not my friends, anyway. Mom’s friends come over…

Feeling Terrified But Doing It Anyway

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, folks, and that means it’s time for a gathering of my friends in the Insecure Writers Support Group. Here we share our fears, our anxieties, our hopes and dreams. If you would like to join, just click here: Insecure Writers Support Group. We”d love to have you! I did something this past month that terrified me. I submitted my short story, “Damaged,” to Glimmer Train Press. I wrote it, rewrote, cut some, rewrote it, and cut some more, until it was about 756 words (It was an entry for the Very Short Fiction Award,…

Steps to Success; How Sweet It Is!

How sweet it is, indeed!! Sunday afternoon I went to something called The Irregular Writing Meetup of the Mid-Michigan Prose and Writing Group. It was called Irregular because it normally meets on Tuesday nights in Ann Arbor. A factoid about me: I have a touch of social phobia. So lots of times, I desperately want to do things, but I find myself unable. So far, there had been three times I keyed in yes I would be to the Tuesday night meetup, and hadn’t showed, out of nightmarish fear. What changed this time? 1. I asked for help. I told my friends on FaceBook and my therapist and my…

Let Go and Let God in Everything

In white water rafting, if you go against the current, if you don’t paddle very hard toward where the flow of water is going, you’re likely to capsize. I know this from experience. I only did it once. 😉 It was enough. Today at Senior Choral practice there was a lot of uncertainty. Those of us who had been there last Friday and auditioned for solo or small group singing parts had expected to hear about possible songs we were going to be singing. James, our fearless leader, said, “Now, we’re picking songs based on what we think might sound good for…

What I Learned About “Listen And Learn”

Let’s be real. There’s so much information we are confronted with on a daily basis, it’s a wonder we can absorb even the  infinitesimal amounts we do, without losing our minds. It’s even worse if you are a student. But think about it. From the time that we wake up, we are bombarded with thoughts, facts, questions, demands, statements, exclamations, commercials, hypotheses, fantasies . . . and all of that gets sorted through the amazing filter of our brains. Al-Alon’s slogan, “Listen and Learn,” reminds us that if we have the self-discipline to be quiet and pay attention to others’…