Pursuit of Gratefulness

I started this list in late march in my head and finally wrote it down. A few things have changed since even that date .Everyday i try to add more despite other arising issues. I hope you all can do the same….

Grateful for: 4/23/20

  1. Went back to my natural hair color just in time ( February) no drastic roots!
  2. Watching so many others discover how much money they can save by making the choices I have made( some for decades1): home brewed coffee, not eating out, crock potting & freezing meal portions, less driving & gas use, working out at home or just walks instead of gyms, less options at the grocery store means less spending.. the list is endless
  3. Buying less on amazon each month due to lags in delivery
  4. Visibly cleaner air
  5. Visibly more wild life
  6. Less bar hopping, drink at home where it’s cheaper & SAFER.. if you quit , even better- no having to wonder what’s open or closed for alcohol
  7. Some have quit smoking…another thing I did just in time( end of November) now my lungs have had time to get better before this hit-
  8. Way less traffic- so less time getting to & from work, less pollution sitting in traffic as well
  9. Much quieter wherever you go
  10. The savings on many of these things have added up so able to pay off debt and put into savings ( obviously not for those unemployed)- update on this one 4/28/20: this week my car “went broken”- cost given was $2400..so much for the savings…sigh
  11. Glad that I started practicing social distancing voluntarily last July ( went off fb for 6 months , stopped attending many things, quit the gym , and focused instead on meditation and getting my own house in order)
  12. Grateful I am frugal with many household items , like TP, etc. We only go through about 1 bag of trash a week and a small amount of recyclables. We limit laundry to once weekly unless something out of the ordinary comes up. 
  13. Grateful to have moved out of the city in October, now can enjoy a nice yard and my woods and less crowded conditions
  14. People learning to spend time with their own kids..i am sure there was a huge learning curve for some
  15. Speaking of- less money spent on ridiculous entertainment items- toys, theme parks, fast food…just get to a park and walk the trails, spend time playing board games, reading to them, and teaching life skills like cooking and sewing
  16. People being grateful for any social interaction at all.. instead of taking it for granted.
  17. Less sports games on TV, less pollution from arena gatherings 
  18. More creative endeavors due to boredom
  19. People realizing how much we should be grateful for truck drivers, delivery people, convenience store workers, etc. 
  20. extra sleep, more mindfulness, seeing the stars more clearly, noticing nature, time with pets
  21. less exposure to people= less germs in general..i haven’t gotten sick a single time since it started.. usually I have several colds or a flu of some sort this time each year
  22. people supporting more local businesses
  23. not feeling guilty for just wanting to stay home!!
  24. Grateful for my tax refund
  25. Grateful I finally got my stimulus money
  26. Grateful my roommate has a working car I can use for work right now
  27. Grateful I still have a job
  28. Grateful for friends and family – helping, supporting, and loving each other as best we can

Be well and stay safe , my friends!

Unsuccessful Success

Every time i start thinking i want to get on here and write, my mind begins to cycle. How does anyone, at such a time as this, make any statements about it all?About the situation, our feelings, or what we think the endgame is? It feels like one big mind circus…in which we are all being led by the nose..unable to trust anyone, helpless, and overwhelmed. A portion of my followers on here are in recovery ( mostly from alcohol) so perhaps i should lead off on that note.

If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you know that my one year of sobriety occurred on January 19th of this year. Like most of us, that milestone did not go uncelebrated for me. I posted my thoughts on that date- the good things along the way, the struggles, and how i felt about it. It was an awesome feeling- to do something i never thought i would be able to. Within a month of that however, i admittedly had a night after a particularly stressful event, when i drank a few glasses of wine and went “off the rails”.Since then, i have been questioning my true relationship with alcohol in the sense of how it came to be, what pushed it forward , and how i could reconcile myself with all of that. To put it in layman terms “What if i never really was an alcoholic but rather had just begun to respond to the triggers that had been suppressed for such a long time? And what if, finally figuring them out, i could re evaluate my relationship with alcohol in the present?”

So, in the time since then, i have to admit, i had two nights when i had a few beers ( nothing major- 3 one time, and 2 another night). I didn’t make a big deal out of it and honestly, the night when i had 2 was really nice. I felt relaxed , peaceful , had zero after effects and no regrets.So, of course , over the following few weeks this led me to question my ability to drink again. Last friday night, when i finally had time to go shopping i picked up two 6 packs of beer. There was a rationale to it- one was a regular beer and my roommates usual choice, and the other was my usual “light” beer. The store did not sell 3 packs( like the distributor) so, i didn’t have that option as was my intention.

Before i go on, as we all know , this past month has been just one endless cycle of uncertainty. Even as a registered nurse, i have no clue whats really going on. My stress levels have been at their highest peak since , well…since ever. I have been working lots of OT, trying to navigate this virus insanity and on top of it finding out about my brother. I could probably write an epic novel about the hundreds of other contributing factors but that wouldn’t matter. Bottom line was-I honestly thought that having a few beers would help after weeks of just going through the motions like a hamster on crack trying to stay one step ahead of ongoing hellfire.

Instead of the 2 or 3 i intended , i wound up drinking 6 beers that night. Once again, proving that if it’s there, i will drink it..and that i have no control once i am in the throes of it. (I have to insert here that we have had a good bit of wine in the house as well as liquor for months, but none of that tempted me in any way. In fact, i gave 2 boxes to my daughter last week, and the rest of the rum to my son for helping with my laptop friday.) But—

Beer. It’s my weakness. And here is how THAT played out.

It did NOT alleviate any of my anxiety. In fact, it made it way worse. I was up and still wired until 6am. I couldn’t fall asleep. I was supposed to have my grandson at 5pm that day for the last time before their family goes on complete isolation (for at least 2 weeks but likely a month) in preparation for my son in laws upcoming heart surgery. I finally fell into a fitful sleep but it only lasted for 3 hours. I woke at 1030 am and all the way until 130 pm i could not sleep. My anxiety and dread was through the roof. I had to message my daughter to cancel. I felt like the worlds most horrible person.I spent most of the rest of my night off in bed , feeling awful.

So, what have i learned? Obviously i no longer have that option available to me for any relief. Drinking will not numb me out, relax me, or help in any way- at least not in the way it seemed to previously . The effects were immediate and NOT in any way, acceptable.

All in all, after seriously doubting things for the past few months, i guess this was a good thing. Sometimes, we need a brick to fall on our heads. And when i read posts about how grateful most of us are that we have quit drinking and are no longer beholden to the bottle ( or can!) during this time especially, i have to say emphatically – YES. I am sincerely grateful. And while my little “excursion” cost me a few hours with my grandson that day, as well as a wasted day recovering, i learned that, without a doubt, i am not able to just say no if i know there is more. UGH. As they say, recovery is not a straight line. I am still proud of myself.I didn’t spend a week in misery and regret. In 18 months i have only been “drunk” one single time. I will not berate myself , just as i wouldn’t if it were anyone else.It also made me think even more about how horrible this must be for those who NEED a meeting regularly to stay sober and have very little recourse right now. I cannot imagine.

Fortunately, i was able to see my grandson the next day. And i had the 2 days to waste in a sense that- well hell- who has ANYTHING planned right now as far as appointments and such? Pure luck, really.

So, this is my recovery post in the time of Corona. I continue analyzing the data, discovering/rediscovering things about myself and making changes accordingly. My next challenge is figuring out what the hell i am gonna do for relief now since i know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the answer isn’t drinking.

Ps. at the moment- nothing else has been working either- not art, not writing, not exercise…no projects, binge watching or meditating. I am lost, floundering a bit, but managing to survive day by day. Prayers, hugs, blessings , love and light to all of you.


What a Mess

Its been 6 days since my last post…Have still been having a tough time reigning in my thoughts on the daily enough to write anything solid or substantial. I wake each night between 6-8p (to pack a lunch and go back to work ) and the world has once again changed. It seems there is no consistency or honest believable information. For those who do not live in the U.S. , to give you an idea of what it has been like:

  1. ( beginning of March) at first we are told to just keep groups limited to less than 50, travel should be limited, and wash our hands
  2. a week later; groups of less than 10, maintain 6 ft of distance, limit travel
  3. next: stay at home orders started in hardest hit areas( mostly a few counties per state) , this quickly extended to the entire state.Schools went from shutting down for 2 weeks to indefinitely; it can now be transmitted not just through coughing but also touching, lives on surfaces for 3-4 hrs.
  4. businesses were told to shut down, with ongoing discrepancies about which are “essential”. Many lay offs, then people going back, then laid off or furloughed again. By mid March,we are told NOT to hoard food or TP. And to save medical masks for medical staff.
  5. unemployment keeps changing polices and rules about who can file and how much they will get, lines and websites are clogged and many cannot even get through to begin the process
  6. then we have the blow up about everyone getting a “stimulus” check. It sounds like now, after a few weeks they may start actually sending checks out in rounds each week beginning with those making 10,000 or less per year and capped out at those making 99,000. Its super confusing as to whether this is a loan, a taxable income or just relief. Plus it is a one time check from 500-1200 depending on income and dependents, nothing ongoing.
  7. Next we have videos of medical facilities with eerily empty parking lots alternating with ones showing mass hysteria, hoards of bodies being hauled out and just chaos. All kinds of theories from “they are closed to prevent the spread” to ” they are so full they cannot accept any new patients”.By now we are being told it has been “aerosolized” and we can spread it through breathing and talking as well.
  8. in between all of this the all night stores are closing at 10pm.This sucks for us night shifters with limited time to even shop. In my state we are now recommended to wear a mask ( of any type) in spite of the first few days hearing how only N95 masks will block the virus. But of course they are not available to the public. So people making masks with anything from socks to underwear.
  9. People are starting to wear gloves everywhere, but touching everything multiple times without changing them, so ??? I saw today someone telling us to wipe out the inside of our own cars each time we go out & come home.It’s ridiculous.
  10. There have been news articles of people getting pulled over for being out and about , fines and citations issued, yet we are NOT under martial law. So, we can go get groceries, but NOW not supposed to go get groceries for the next 2 weeks.We shouldn’t have hoard anything, but if we didn’t, we now running low and worry about getting any or even being out…will i get fined if i am not wearing a sock mask? Do i have to show my receipt from groceries if i get pulled over?

Suffice it to say, America is a mess. I try to follow the rules each day but it is impossible to keep up. I am getting low on food and yet watching a ton of people posting their seemingly endless supply of gourmet food made at home and i have to ask- did they hoard when i didn’t? I look at our state and federal leaders and note that none of them are wearing cloth masks, if any at all.Will they be wearing masks? If so , will they be homemade? Its extremely frustrating. How long will unemployment last if this goes on indefinitely ? and will there be anything left for those of us who are mandated to continue working out there if we wind up getting sick as a result? If we are working in healthcare and have proper masks at work, but none at home, how are we not transferring it when we go back?

I have a million questions. And just as many conflicting answers. All i can say is, i WILL be going out to find food soon. I cannot keep working like a dog and then starve on top of it. and deep down , i am angry…very angry ( full confession) that it seems we aren’t deserving of some consistent truth, that those who have less are expected to do with inferior protection than those with money, and that we are being made to feel guilty no matter what we do. Trying to find some solid ground and sanity…



It is beyond difficult to express myself right now. My situation , your situation, their situation…we are all experiencing this on various levels of perception and emotion.

For several nights now, i have had every intent to write a blog post but between the time i awaken each day (7-8p) and when i arrive at work, so many things distract and upset me, i have refrained.

Allow me, if you will, in an effort to maintain transparency, to give you some idea.

As an artist, i have interacted in a community of all walks of life for many years. It has opened up my heart, my mind, and enabled me to understand things i never would have other wise-disabilities, mental illness, racism, poverty, discrimination, religious disparity, eccentric lifestyles, sexual choices and beliefs of all kinds. At times, this has been overwhelming. But i eventually learned that we can ALL exist together in harmony and civility . I have friends and people i care about in the LGBT community, as well as various cultures and backgrounds. And most of that community , thankfully, is on that same page.There are exceptions and to avoid conflict i choose neutrality as often as possible.

As a nurse in home care, i have for decades worked in homes of all types. I have been in diverse situations with ethnicity, culture, financial status, religious practices, and most notably- political beliefs.It is not always easy to stay neutral .You spend hours each day or night on THEIR turf.But the first thing we are taught is “First, Do no Harm”..and i push myself to put down my own baggage each night as i enter someones home and pick up theirs, doing the reverse on the way out.

As a family member, i am one of only a handful that are not a “Trump Supporters”. It is extremely difficult to navigate family get togethers, or online discussions without feeling like i cannot say anything in my own defense without causing upset. I avoid saying anything much because i even though i am upset by most of what i hear , see, and read, when i do stand up for my beliefs , i walk away feeling misunderstood and worthless.I try to stand up for people i care about and it is hard to ‘suck it up’ every day .

On social media, i have about a half and half mixture of religious and political opposites. I have to walk a fine line , even when i want to just explode. Usually, if i say anything, i wind up deleting it out of guilt. I always try my best to understand and accept both sides, all sides of almost every issue.

With this current crisis, things have just escalated in every aspect to the point that i almost cannot bring myself to do much more than sleep, eat and work as much as possible- avoiding everyone.I cannot find motivation to be creative, exercise or work on improving myself. It has become not so much a physical isolation as it has an emotional one, not trusting myself to voice an opinion, lest i offend or hurt others. My roommate is my only contact on the daily and usually gets the brunt of my feelings privately. She has been a rock, and my port in the storm.

So, i will say only this instead. Be as kind as you can manage. It costs you nothing to show respect. Choose to show courtesy or say nothing when you have nothing nice to say. Cohesiveness wins over division. Set an example of compassion . And remember, it is better to be kind than to be “right”.