Wednesday, May 22, 2013

How to Never, Ever be Bored

The last time I was bored I was about four years old and in church with my parents.  There was not one single thing for a four year old to do.  Soon after that my mother taught me to read and I've never been bored since.

So my first recommendation for never, ever being bored would be to read.  If you don't like to read, it's probably because you've not read anything you liked.  If you actually have trouble reading, get audio books.  Libraries are full of them!

I suggest you secrete reading materials in your pockets, your car, your briefcase, purse or whatever.  You never know when you'll have an extra minute with nothing to do.  Never let it go to waste just sitting and listening to your thoughts.

Speaking of thoughts - if you're tired of reading and/or didn't bring any reading material with you, organize your thoughts.  Why let boring repetitive thinking go unchecked.  Think up interesting and new things to do on holidays, new and interesting things to do on weekends.  Make mental lists of people you know that could use a blessing of some kind - babysitting, hedge trimming, flowers, a basket of fruit, etc.  Those are just to get started with.  Once you get in the swing of thinking creatively you won't be able to stop.  And you will never, ever be bored.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Gift of Recovery for Mother's Day

A couple of my friends were disappointed with what their children did for Mother's Day.  It occurred to me that I have never been disappointed on Mother's Day, Christmas or my birthday or any other day since my early days in recovery.

I don't really remember how this happened - probably my dear first sponsor taught me - but I decided to have no expectations of anybody.  The saying is, "Expectations are premeditated resentments (or disappointments)."  For one thing I think our consumer culture puts pressure on us to outdo ourselves for the people in our lives on these holidays.  If you don't conform, they tell you you are communicating a lack of love.  Crap!

So if I have no expectations, anything that happens is wonderful. 

My mother, on the other hand, was fixated on being critical of everybody's efforts to show their love for her on those "special " days.  She griped all the time.  Nothing was ever good enough and she let you know if incessantly.  The result was that I disliked her more and more.  If you want to get people to dislike you, accuse them of not treating you right.

I think holidays should be spent in enjoyment that I create for myself.  If someone else shows up, that's great. 

For whatever reason, somehow the thought came to me this year that Mother's Day would be a good day to find ways to mother mothers and to reach out to all the children in the world that don't have what they need.  Cards, flowers, eating out - that's all fine.  But mothers need support all year round.  Plus we have a world where there are millions of children that don't even have enough to eat.  What better way to celebrate than to contribute to solutions. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mixed Feelings on Mother's Day

Anne Lamott wrote an article titled, "Why I Hate Mother's Day" on  I thought about my own mixed feelings about Mother's Day when I read it.  Anne thinks it singles out mothers as some sort of super heroes which some deserve and a lot more don't.  She doesn't like it.  I don't either but I wouldn't say I hate Mother's Day even though I realize it was probably invented to sell greeting cards, flowers and restaurant meals.

I've given birth to three children, only one of which is still on the earth.  The other two died at early ages in confusing, tragic circumstances.  I will always feel guilty and sad that I wasn't able to fulfill the most basic of motherly duties - keeping my children alive.  I really don't know if I had done something differently that they would have lived, so I just live with a certain amount of guilt.  It's always food for thought on mother's day.  I miss them both every day but especially on mother's day.

My two youngest are very disabled.  I had no idea when they came into our family through the foster care system that it would have such a negative impact on our family.  Once they were with us, they had nowhere else to go.  They are adults now and, for the most part, have the care they need.  But I will always be sad for the hardship for us all.

I know there are many, many other mothers with mixed feelings on mother's day.  There are all kinds of reasons - some similar to mine, some different, but the mother's day cards don't address those situations. 

On the bright side, I have two fabulous adult daughters and four beautiful grandchildren who give me great delight on mother's day.  I focus always on them and the joy they are in my life.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Neighborhood Party

I finally made it to a neighborhood party.  They have one about every year but I am shy and stay home.  Today I went for about half an hour and did my best to socialize.  I found out that my neighbor across the street that was married to one of Ron's professors at the University of Tulsa, and whose second husband was killed in an accident in 2004 is getting married next year.  Hot neighborhood gossip. 

Every time they have one of these parties, I sneer at it and think how much better I could do.  This year I said nothing.  They were over the top.  They had a mobile Italian restaurant, music, a drawing for a prize (I don't know what it was), and were handing out a flyer with information about suspicious characters they had seen in the neighborhood since most of the people at the party were part of the neighborhood watch.  There were two giant friendly dogs in attendance.

I met my next door neighbor again who landscaped his yard elaborately when he moved in a couple of years ago.  I hate him and I always tell him.  He claims he gets all the trees and plants from his father-in-law who re-does his yard every year.  I said I was more in need than he was then.  He said his father in law had offered him a Japanese maple.  I've longed for a Japanese maple ever since I saw one but they are so expensive.  So he says he will bring me one.  Hope he really does.

A good day all around.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013


Just finished reading a book called, "The Power of Habit."   It's a best seller and goes nicely with my constant reading of the blog called, "Zen Habits."

A very long time ago I realized that I was terrible at making changes in my habits and that it caused me a lot of trouble.  So I'm in the middle of researching what scientific research is learning as well as what Leo of Zen Habits has learned and tried out on himself.

I've been working at this for several weeks.  One of the habit changes is exercise and I've done okay with that.  Not to the extent that I could say I've established a habit, but enough to have experienced some benefits. 

I feel better.  I have a tiny bit more energy.  I'm hoping that my lower back pain will go away like it did when I was in physical therapy.

Of course, the trick is to keep at it.  I have five priorities - things to do every morning.  I'm working at managing to do all of them the majority of the time.  I'm not even half way there yet, but I have achieved an average of three times a week.  Not too bad. 

It's making a big difference in my self-esteem and in my mood as well as creating a higher level of peace. 

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