LIFE AND DEATH IN THE LBC

I was walking around work last week and something strange kept happening.  All of the muzak that was playing seemed to be an eerie exit soundtrack.  I’ve had weirdly premonition feelings before and they usually pan out to be true.  The thing is I don’t ever know what they mean.  All I know is that:  CHANGE.  Someone asked me last night what I will do after my current job ends.  I smiled and said, I don’t know!

DSC03058

DSC03066

I got my fill of rain this past weekend.  I STILL wouldn’t mind a whole bunch more.  Today I made pancakes while it rained.  For me life doesn’t get any better than that.  The weather makes me think about fall, the holidays, and Christmas.  H was just a pip squeak of a baby last Christmas, his first Christmas:

DSC01661

ALREADY WISHING FOR A TIME MACHINE.

DSC01651

Much has changed.  I remember going back to work two and a half months after he was born.  He woke three or four times a night.  Work was fast paced and I was so, so tired.  It was so hard to get to meetings.  Not feeling a part of made it worse.  My higher power, my parents and my sponsor anchored me.  Every day I wished for a good night’s sleep so I could get my bearings.  It never came and I still found them.

I went out last night to dinner and a meeting with some friends.  To be among adults, to car pool and not have to drive, to feel a part of was so fulfilling, like rain after a long sunny summer.

I recently learned via Facebook that a sponsee I used to have back in the LBC died of a heroin overdose.  Someone remarked that they have become numb to such news.  It’s a valid point, if you’re in recovery long enough, you see people die.  If you are always hanging around a bunch of ex-drinkers and ex-addicts, chances are someone is going to relapse, stay out, and die.  I remember meeting with her that first time in the recovery center she was in.  I remember someone coming into the room unannounced and the cool way she handled it.  She had a great confidence as much as she had the weakness of the disease.  I remember reading the big book with her and the magic those words bloomed once they passed our eyes, went into our minds, and out of our mouths.  I remember her feeling cagey countless times.  I remember her smile too.  I remember the group she went through rehab with, that very special group that I will always love.  They will always be in my heart.  Someone posted a picture of that group at my old home group on FB, at this run down church that had caution tape all of the pews.  There’s a strong chance I was there that night, right outside.  What a feeling.  The agony and ecstasy of being sober.  Loving people so much and finally feeling safe about it.  Losing someone and feeling like your heart is being ripped out.

I think about it a lot.  Staying sober for forever.  I just have today, yes, but I always hear about someone with 20+ years relapsing.  I don’t want to be a drunk mom.  I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that is what I would be if I chose to take a drink.  All I know is that even though the girl who died lived so far away from me and I didn’t even have a text relationship with her in a long time:  I will miss you.  I will mourn your death.  I will stay sober for you, today.  I will remember everything about Long Beach.  I will always be grateful for the foundation my sobriety was built on there.

I have this fantasy about buying a plane ticket just so I can go to my home group and fly back that same night.  Now is not the best time to waste money financially, and I probably won’t see very many familiar faces.  The urge to go there makes tears sting my eyes.  But I am here now.  Things aren’t what they were and I have a new sober family here.  A bunch of the women who went last night will go to the meeting I go to tonight.  This is a gift.

DSC01915 (2)

DSC03060

DSC03068

DSC03041 DSC03055 DSC03056

Love & life to you all.

~Namaste.

Advertisements

AN EXIT & A FAIR

H and I went to the fair last week.  I have such great childhood memories of the fair, being terrified in a good way on the zipper, going upside down on the gravitron (this may or may not be true, it’s a bit hazy.), the food, and the feeling I got walking around at night with all of the bright flashing lights.  More and more it’s imperative that H and I get OUT of the house at some point during the day.  Sometimes that means a walk around the corner and sometimes that means getting in the car and going on an adventure.

As a former vegan and current pescatarian, fairs to me now are not as filled with childhood wonder and innocence.  As we were walking around the animals stalls I couldn’t help but hear that old slogan, meet your meat.  Seriously that sentence would not stop playing in my mind.  It is jarring for me that families will roll by the pig section, coo at the pigs and try to pet them and then the next stop?  Corn dogs, yum.  Now, before any meat eaters get on their high horses, I am still trying to be a better recycler and have not used cloth diapers, I don’t feel like I have the right to bitch, I guess is what I’m say.  Plus I ate meat while pregnant, (gasp!).  But does it disturb me?  Honestly, yes.

H was obsessed with the tractors in the kiddie section.  Couldn’t get him out of there without a back arch throwin fit:

DSC03027 DSC03029

Steering wheels is a current thing.  He’s such a funny kid when it comes to stuff like that.  He knows what he wants and is single minded.  I pulled him into this booth filled with tiny corn kernels.  Kids were filling things up with them.  He’s been past the whole putting everything in the mouth stage, but pop, in went a kernel.  I was worried so I tried to fish it out and he clamped down on my finger for a full minute.  It reminded me of when I’ve heard about dogs biting, H’s hold kept getting tighter and tighter.  Owie.  He finally let go and we moved on.  No more corn kernels for you, buddy.

DSC03002 DSC03005 DSC03006 DSC03008

DSC03016

DSC03011 DSC03012

DSC03025

DSC03024

LEAVE IT TO THE PESCATARIAN TO TAKE A BUNCH OF PICTURES OF FRUIT AND VEGGIES.

DSC03021 DSC03022 DSC03023 DSC03026

DSC03013 (2)

DSC03032 (2)

In my last post I mentioned feeling a new ease to toddler hood.  This is still the case, but there is something new.  Feelings.  I joke with my parents that H is like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  All snuggles and giggles one second, and all angry and screaming the next.  He is negotiating feelings and they are all new to him.  I pray to be a good mama to him while he does.

I may be getting to spend much more time with him.  My work wanted me to work Tuesday through Thursday, or go basically.  I decided to go.  I gave notice, my last day is two weeks from last Friday.  It would make no sense financially to work only three days and do daycare, I would not be making enough.  I’m not wanting him in day care either.

So that’s that.  I may start the yoga apprenticeship in September so this may be perfect timing.  I feel the stress of money on my shoulders.  I feel the whole stigma of being this old and living with my parents as well.  I feel a huge peace too and that feels bigger.  For now I’m going with that.  It will be nice to not have to work through fall too.  Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas!  My favorite time of year!  It’s been SO HOT here, and smoky.  There are so many wild fires.  We need tons of rain.  It’s supposed to rain before and during free yoga and I don’t even care.  We need it.

It will be interesting to see what’s next.

Wishing you all an abundance of rain, whether it be physical or spiritual.

Love, peace, & namaste.

CAMPING IN THE RAIN

  
I’ve been praying for rain for weeks. We’ve been having a long stretch of sunny days, I am one of those people that loves overcast days and rain.  After living in Southern California for so long Oregon was a refreshing change weather-wise.  The day I arrived in OR, February of 2014, there had just been a snow storm.  Yes, I remember thinking, this place has weather.

Snow or rain was the last thing on my mind as I began to pack and prepare for Camp Snoopy.  It was my step-dads birthday and my mom rented some small cabins and tent sites for his daughters, myself, and our families.  He loves Snoopy so my mom dubbed the trip Camp Snoopy.

I heard about two days prior to the camp that it was supposed to rain on the only full day we were going to be there.  I texted step-sister 3 that camps a lot if she had any recommendations for camping in the rain.  She suggested bringing rain boots, extra tarps, and packing things in bins.

I guess you could say that I was less than enthusiastic when I thought about what variables might arise.  I ran out and bought some extra rain gear.  I stayed up late the night before packing and making cookies for camp.  We set out the next morning optimistically.  My parents watched H as I set our camp up.  He was over the moon to be there, with his beloved grandparents, and playing with all of his cousins.  We stayed up till about 10, WAY past his bedtime, but he was so excited he wouldn’t fall asleep on my first couple attempts.

We awoke at 6am to:  drip, drop, drop.  It was kinda magical waking up in a tent at a campsite to the rain.  You could say the magic ended there.  H began to raise a ruckus so I scrambled to get ourselves together.  One thing I’m definitely not good at is not knowing exactly where all my stuff is.  That drives me INSANE.  In the back of my mind I kept thinking, where are your car keys?  I brushed it off as I didn’t think I needed them.  My step-sister 1 and her 2 year old were already up, my mom soon joined us.  We decided to walk to coffee and the playground.  It was raining but no heavy downpour.  I had my carrier for H and we could use the umbrella stroller (in my car trunk) for my my step-sisters son.  My right handed window wouldn’t roll up the night before so we had just covered my car with a tarp (I later learned that I had accidentally pushed a child lock button).  Just open the trunk from the inside, I told my mom.  HONK, HONK, HONK!!!  We had set off my car alarm!  Yes at 6am in the middle of a crowded camp.  How do you turn it off?  My mom asked frantically.  My keys!  I answered before catapulting (with H in the carrier) to my tent.  My mom and I overturned every receptacle until we found it.  I pressed the button.  Silence.  Whew.  Yes we were those people.  What a thing to wake up to, even though it went off only for about 5 minutes.  Step-sister 3 and her family’s tent was right next to my car, I felt so bad about it.

We got drenched in the way to coffee, our two munchkins looked exhausted as we pushed them on the swings.  Can I go to yoga?  I asked my mom upon our return.  Yes, go, she said.  I got H down for his nap and took off.  I found a studio in Seaside.  I felt guilty about leaving camp but I just felt so compelled to go.  I felt like I needed to get recharged, or to keep my charge going.  It was level 1 and I still had low energy from being sick but it was exactly what I needed.  It was amazing.  It really reminded me that I have to take time to be a student, not just a teacher.

I arrived back to camp to find our bedding had been soaked through.  The tarp went over the tent as it was still raining and we took all of the soaked bedding to a local dryer.  I think it was at that point after yoga and soaked bedding I realized that, this just is what it is.  A lot like life, not what you imagined and a bit messy.  I’m grateful for AA for teaching me this.

It really is a joy to see all of the cousins playing together.  If not anything else, just the fact that all of the kiddos loved Camp Snoopy made the experience worth it.  I also feel a new ease with toddlerhood.  It’s like I feel like I can negotiate it better than I have been and am in more acceptance about it.  But as the step-sister with the 2 year old pointed out about child rearing, as soon as you get used to something it changes.  I really enjoying being with H, it was nice to cuddle him at night in the tent, walk to coffee with him in the carrier in the mornings, and corral him from the million (slight exaggeration) unsafe items at camp.  With my parents help too of course.  I don’t know how I would manage without them.

And S’mores, good food, good company, camp fires, family, and the sun came out the day after all of the rain:

   
    
  
  
  
    
    
   
  
    
    
      

    
 

And back  home:   

  

It’s always good to be home after a trip, I always have a renewed sense of gratitude and perspective.  This time?  Grateful for a dry comfy bed! My mom got up at 7am and watched H till 9!  Can’t even remember the last time I slept till 9.

I hope today finds you all steeped in gratitude and if not, that’s okay too.

Love & namaste.

A PINK & GERMY CLOUD

H & I are flying solo (solo plus one?) for the next couple days, the parentals headed to Cannon Beach yesterday.  We will meet them there this week to C A M P, as in an actual tent.

I personally love camping, the last trip I went on was years ago was in Humbolt area.  Our camp was in the middle of all of these giant red trees, trees so vast that it got dark around 3pm because they blotted out the sun.  I always have this feeling of being so in the moment when I camp and I’m not overly worried about life.  It recharges me and gives me a new perspective.  Life is so simple, it revolves around just eating, visiting, and trying not to get eaten by bears or bugs.

Camping with a toddler though?  Huh, is all I have to say about that. I’ve come up with several mental plans as far as sleep and early wake up times but let’s all be honest, camping with a toddler will be full of unknown variables and absolutely impossible to contain or control.  Another life lesson for this girl who LOVES to control!  One of my step-sisters has a two year old, so I am grateful that I won’t be the only one toddler wrangling.  My parents and other family members will be there to help too.  There is a coffee shop that opens at 6am, a playground we can walk to, and I will pack tons of weapons, er, I mean tools.  There will be Annie’s goldfish galore, heavy duty wipes, a booster seat, apple sauce, toys that are cleanable, ect.  By ect. I mean like about 50 other things.  I will plan as much as I can like always….Hopefully I can sneak away for a yoga session by the ocean at some point.

Speaking of yoga, not that I’m counting or anything, but there were EIGHT people in attendance on Saturday.  There aren’t words to describe how happy that made me.  I was sick, I couldn’t do all of the movements even 70%, and I kept saying chaturanga for cobra, but it was SO  AWESOME.  In theory I have let go and let god, and tried not to get attached to the fruits of my labor, but in reality?  Damn, it felt good to see a healthy crowd out there.  Yoga, Wilsonville!  Yoga!  I am praying about if I will stay at that spot in September.  The weather will probably be nice during that month.  I’ve had issues with finding another spot although Parks & Rec has been very supportive.  I have felt a break in the former hostility felt about offering a class there, which could just be my own ignorance about what is really going on.

And since I was sick I made a decision to cancel the moms group last Friday.  I went to work and the free yoga sick, it wasn’t about that.  I do not want to be germy around babies, most of the moms bring their babes to the group.  So I was posting a cancel on FB when another mama who goes said that she would cover it.  Next week too while I’m camping, so the Mama Bear show will go on.

THEN, I got an email last week that Peaceful Dumpling had posted a post I had sent in!  Click here to read it.  It felt really good to have that happen, geez!  I may go on to submit more over there, I am pretty knocked out by the site.  It’s basically all about being well.

So sometimes life is hard and sometimes life is good.  I heard that early in sobriety.  Life gets good, gets hard, and then gets boring.  I wanted to drink before at each of those situations.  That is sobriety, dealing with life as it is without taking a drink.  Feeling good, being sober, also known as a pink cloud.  What do you hear when you come in?  They don’t last.

I have hoarded thousands of pictures on my camera and am in the process of putting them on cds and deleting.  The following are random ones I liked as I was sorting through:

DSC02389

DSC02385

DSC02393

DSC02392

DSC02396

DSC02394

DSC02399

DSC02400DSC02712

DSC02397DSC01958DSC01834

I’ve been thinking a lot about self care and what to do when sick.  My sponsor said her sponsor used to always ask her, what have you done for self care today?  I’ve been going to bed early, scaling my practice back, drinking a lot of tea, eating well, sitting a lot, and pausing half way on the stairs.  I am not good at scaling back or sitting.  I would prefer to DO.

I think it is growth if I listen to my body and let it have the chance to recover from a sickness.  I am trying even though it is hard for me.  Another subject for another post.

So here we come dirt, possible toddler melt downs, and bugs!  Life is up and down and unexpected.  I am so GRATEFUL for that today.  I am grateful that I remember everything the next day as well.

Peace & love to you all!

Xo

OF DREAMS & SUCH

  

I posted the above on the social medias last week.  For a while I’ve felt like my dreams have been growing and flourishing, no pestilence to disturb.

I’ve noticed throughout my sobriety that a funk or dark mood can be kickstarted by just one tiny thought.  I may try to ignore it but the thought or idea won’t go away.  

My friend from teacher training asked if I wanted to go to Portland to go to a studio.  I was psyched.  Now that I have a home practice down, I haven’t felt the need to go to any classes.  I didn’t realize how much I was counting on it till I hit a wall of traffic on the freeway.  I stayed on for a good while but it was just creeping at an inch’s pace, L.A. style.  I called my friend and told her I couldn’t make it.  I was devastated.

I ended up on the back roads by Lake Oswego sobbing.  As much as I preach about support, showing weakness, and having problems, I still try to act S T R O N G all the time.  I called my sponsor and left her a message.  My parents were very sweet and suggested other things.  I hit a wall though, I just stayed home.  

And later I felt better.  That thought had been dealt with.  The black fog lifted.  I had been making too high of expectations for myself, I was not accepting life on life’s terms.  I’m back on the beam now.  I’ve been going to a lot of meetings and spending more time with my sponsor.

I just love to dream.  I’m a dreamer and always have been.  It’s always good for me to stay anchored as well.

I may have an opportunity to do an apprenticeship at a studio.  I had applied and the owner said she only considers if someone has been teaching for at least a year.  I knew when teacher training was just a sparkle in my eye that a job wouldn’t be offered to me on a silver platter.  As long as I can balance it with everything else in my life, I want to do the apprenticeship. 

Pics of Memorial Park here in Wilsonville.  There are great hiking trails right on the river:

   
    
    
    
    
    
   

I tried to get H to play on the playground but he insisted on being obsessed with the bball & court.

   
   

And peach pick’in.  Fruit picking is a huge deal here, it’s pretty awesome to pick something and then go home and make something out of it.

So my dreams will no doubt morph into other dreams.  Some will come true and some won’t.  As long as I use the tools that have given me peace and hope thus far, I will be alright.

Sweetest dreams to you all &

~Namaste.