Tomorrow Can Wait

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live-in-the-moment The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly. ~Buddha

Why not just live in the moment, especially if it has a good beat? ~Goldie Hawn

Forever is composed of nows. ~Emily Dickinson

Okay, I’ve posted a lot about One Day At A Time, but . . . well I guess it’s because I think for me it’s one of the core parts of the Al-Anon program. And today I really need it. So bear with me.

I’ve gotten three hours’ sleep in the past 48 hours, and it’s exactly because I’m not living in the present. I think I mentioned I’m in a local choir. One of the group members has made it his personal mission to make sure I know what I’m doing wrong. 😉 Well, after our 1st Christmas concert, which I loved singing so much, he made a comment that gave me my first sleepless night. Then I caught up during the week.

But – as Friday approached (the next concert) I anticipated more and more the comment he made about the glaring mistake I had made. Thursday night I slept about three hours. Last night, even though the concert went well, I worried because the director herself reminded us about the mistake I myself had made. Okay, so maybe I wasn’t the only one doing it, but . . . Then last night I didn’t sleep at all.

So I’m exhausted. Scratch that. I’m beyond that point. You know when you get so tired that you can’t even sleep? But you don’t want to move . . . Tonight is our final concert, and tomorrow we go caroling.

What would it have hurt me to take the comment in for a moment, accept it as someone trying to be helpful, and let it go? (Sung to the tune of “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. . . 😉 )

I would have been rested and happy today. Because all we can do is the very best we can with what we have been given at the time, and for this day, this moment. THIS is all there is. It’s such a beautiful thing, life, that to waste one moment of it in worry is to lose something we’ll never get back.

If you are struggling with anything this season: gift-buying, long lines in stores, traffic, harried customers, party preparations, parties to get to, difficult relatives . . . take several deep breaths. Remember this. Nothing lasts forever. You only have to handle this one day, one hour, one moment. 

Peace out.

Hanukkah Begins Today at Sundown!

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cup In honor of the beginning of Hanukkah, I thought I would post a fun trivia quiz so we we can test our knowledge of this holiday!

Hanukkah Trivia Quiz

1) What does the word Hanukkah mean?

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2) How long does Hanukkah last?
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3) When is the menorah lit? (as an added bonus, how many candles are in the menorah?)
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4) Where should the menorah be placed?
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5) Which nation ruled over Israel at the time of the Hanukkah story?
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6) Potato pancakes are a traditional food eaten during this holiday. What are they called in Yiddish?
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7)  During which Hebrew month is Hanukkah celebrated?
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8) What are the gifts called that children traditionally receive (in remembrance of the coins made by the new Maccabee state)?
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9) What chant is traditionally sung during the lighting of the Menorah?
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10) From which direction to which direction are the Menorah candles lit?
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Hanukkah Trivia Answers

1. Re-dedication (referring to the Second Temple reclaimed by the Maccabees)
2. 8 days
3. After sunset (9)
4. Near a window
5. Syria
6. Latkes
7. Kislev (on the 25th day)
8. Gelt
9. Hanerot Hallalu
10. Left to right (though they are placed from right to left, the left most-candle-holder is placed on the 8th night and is lit first on that night)

How’d you do? I hope you had fun and learned something in the process.

To all my friends celebrating this meaning-filled and happy time, I wish you joy and peace now and in the years to come!

Peace out.

Sing!!

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1341325_HiRes Whew! I hope you like this cartoon image. I bought it, and it came in a zip file. By the time I figured out how to put it in the file I needed it to be in order to upload it to this blog, I now have a tiny headache. lol But it’s cute, right?

Singing heightens our level of Endorphins sans medication. And as someone who takes meds for bipolar, I find this an added bonus when I sing in a choir. As nerve-wracking as it gets closer to the concerts, there’s nothing lovelier than voices raised in chorus.

And I sing with the Tenors!

So even if you think you sing like Donald Duck (I doubt you do), SING!!

If no one hears it but you and your higher power, Y/you’ll both be happy for it. 🙂 Sing in the shower, sing while you’re cleaning the house, sing while you’re decorating it, sing baking cookies and wrapping gifts . . . you get the idea.

I hope you’re having the loveliest of days.

Peace out.

 

It’s A Dog’s Life–Copy It!

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credited to Charles M. Schulz

credited to Charles M. Schulz

Let’s face it. It really is a dog’s life. But what does that exactly mean? On the face of it, I think when people say that, they mean that dogs primarily eat, sleep, and – well – take care of business. 😉

But here in this hectic holiday season, when you may have so much to do your head is spinning, I would like to take this opportunity to remind you to perhaps live like a dog. Here are some ways you might accomplish this:

1. Exercise (translated: PLAY)! When my schnorkie Lucy first got home with us (a rescue), she didn’t know how to play. We got toys, all different kinds, and she would sniff them and walk away. Finally we found one that clicked with her. SQUEAKY toys. Now she can’t get enough of them. Secretly? I think she thinks they’re alive. 😉

2. Rest! When dogs need to sleep, or when they are bored, they conserve their energy for when something exciting comes along. As humans being and doing, I myself will testify to the fact that I don’t get nearly enough rest. I get maybe 4-5 hours of sleep a night and I rarely nap during the day. I’m going to work on making it a dog’s life in 2013.

3. Eat! When they’re hungry, dogs eat. When you tell them it’s “all gone,” they’re pretty much satisfied and can deal. It’s a good policy to adopt.

4. Drink! Lucy is constantly drinking and I think she has a bladder the size of a pea. Literally. Hence the 4-5 hours of sleep a night, because of early rising. I try to drink 8-10 glasses of water a day, but when my nephew stayed with me for a few days, and then a few days more, it kicked back in a Pepsi addiction, so I’m back to that. 😦 Water flushes toxins out of our bodies, it’s good for our skin, it aids the digestive process, eases back fatigue, there are so many reasons to drink water.

5. Stretch! Ever notice, you who own dogs, that they stretch before they do anything? There you are in a hurry to take them out to do their thing, and they just have to stretch before they can make it up the stairs. Lucy is 3 1/2 years old, and you’d think she was geriatric the way she gets ready to head out somewhere. But stretching is important. It keeps us limber, and it relaxes otherwise tense muscles.

6. Yawn! If I counted the number of times Lucy yawned in a day, I’d have no time for anything else. Now, dogs have all kinds of reasons they yawn. Did you know sometimes it’s a sign of stress? But sometimes it’s just plain ol’ fatigue, and sometimes it’s lack of oxygen, just like with us. So yawn, exercise those jaw muscles.

Happy Wednesday.

Peace out.

Feelings Aren’t Facts: Make it a Mantra!

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reality checkMaybe in your past you grew up in a chaotic or even abusive alcoholic family. Or maybe your family was dysfunctional in another way. No matter what, you learned to rely on your feelings as a barometer for what to do. If you felt scared, you ran and hid. If confronted by unwarranted anger, you might have also run and hid, or you might have fought back. We are all different. Some of us were little scrappers, which got us into further trouble. 😉 Some of us cried when we were sad, some simply withdrew. Some of us were shy, some larger than life.

Everything was black or white. There was no room for negotiation. It was either a big scary monster or it wasn’t. Simple as that. If we made choices based on our feelings, as if they were facts, then the only choice was to flee.

Now, as adults, though it is by no means easy, we can see that we have varied choices. In Al-Anon meetings, I am learning that I (yes me) am a compelling, multi-faceted individual. I can have two feelings at once, for instance, and this is perfectly valid. And guess what? I can and do survive them. Singing in a Christmas concert recently, I felt beyond nervous and excited at the same time. My feelings told me I couldn’t possibly do it! Sing in a Christmas concert! No way! But I now know that feelings aren’t facts, so I did it anyway. And the concert was a smashing success. 😉 We can love someone and be angry at them. We can even love and hate someone at the same time. Yes! It’s possible. But that doesn’t mean it’s a fact that we hate them. It’s a feeling. And we move through it.

Lots of feelings will come up this holiday season. You’ll meet old friends and maybe make new ones. You’ll see family you perhaps haven’t seen in a year. But chin up. It’s just a feeling. It’ll pass.

Peace out.

Decorate!

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_images_charliebrownxmastree This year, we are putting up our tree for the first time since my father’s death 12 years ago. He died at 2:34 am on December 14, 2000. The year he died, he was too weak to make it down to the family room to see the Christmas tree, and passed on about a week later. We tried some years to put it up, had a few false starts, but this is the first year it’s really being done.

It’s slow going. Little bits here and there since Thanksgiving Day. But that’s okay. So long as it gets done by this weekend, I’ll be happy with myself. 🙂 The lights are on, there are a few bulbs, and candy canes… My nephew helped me get some boxes of treasured ornaments down from the garage and I’ll work on those this afternoon. There are lights twinkling from the ceiling and the mantle. It’s lovely.

Whatever your station in life, wherever you are, whether you live alone, or with a passel of children, do something to mark the season for yourself  this year. It doesn’t have to be a gigantic tree. It doesn’t even have to be in your own house. But something about decorating warms the heart. Do it!

Getting Into The Spirits–er, Spirit!

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the-christmas_530387355 Have you seen them yet? The Salvation Army bell ringers? They always put me into the Christmas spirit. It seems like, even if I have no money to spare, not even any change at the time, they always greet me with a “Merry Christmas!” and I can’t help but wish them the same. To me, seeing the bell ringers is a sure sign that Christmas is in the air.

If we sit back in our chairs–try it, right now, where you are—and close our eyes, we can think back and remember Christmases from when we were children. There’s the scent of freshly baked gingerbread cookies and your mom is calling you to help with the cutouts.

Maybe your family went out to cut down your very own pine for Christmas. The smell of the needles fills the air and stays the whole season through.The lights twinkle and mesmerize.  Your presents seem to suddenly appear under the tree the morning of Christmas, and you’re young enough that you still believe in Santa Claus. They’re opened amid some “ooohs” and “aaahs” before moving onto the next.

You play with your presents while your folks linger a bit over coffee before cleaning up the wrapping paper. Then perhaps there’s a special breakfast and getting dressed up for church, if you’re religious. If not then the cooking for dinner starts straight away, and guests from near and far begin to arrive.

It’s not so hard to get into the Christmas spirit.

Just close your eyes and . . . remember your favorite one, whether you were very small or all grown up.

Peace out.

 

Thriving Through The Holidays – Theme for December!

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candle This December, I will be participating in Holidailies, a challenge blogs around the world are participating in, to blog something each day of the month. I’m excited about this challenge, and I hope you will be too! I need something to get me back into daily posting.

It doesn’t have to be themed, in fact it can be about anything at all. But I have chosen to make this December all about THRIVING during the holidays, especially as a friend or family  member of an alcoholic.

Here you will find posts about getting into the spirit, finding quick exits, prayer, attending meetings, getting support, asking for help, and a score of other things that will hopefully help you (and I) do much more than survive Christmas and New Year’s this year.

Happy December 1st!

Peace out.