Friday, April 8, 2011

Flash 55 Friday

Young Artist

Paint me a picture
of your mind's eye,
full of grand landscapes
and minute detail
Wash it in color I
would never expect
shading, and highlighting
your dreams and cityscapes.
Reality, fiction, duality
and composition, be it oil,
watercolor, carbon or pastel
Sign your name with a flourish to
mark this age for all eternity......

Our oldest child is an aspiring young artist. He has been able to draw from a very early age. This year his art has really exploded and with each class he takes it's exciting to watch his talent grow and grow. He is painting a canvas to go on auction for the Center of Visual Arts fundraiser in May. When he is done I will try to post it. He's also finishing a painting for my hubby's and my bedroom but has some touching up to do. He like most artist's is highly critical of himself. Starving artist or not we will back him all the way and hopefully he will be able to work doing something he loves....The sun is shining, the snow is melting, and I hope you get kissed by the sun this spring weekend.....

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Zero Accountability...

This morning while working at my desk I overheard a conversation between our companie's dispatcher and a truckdriver. My door was cracked open enough to hear the both of them clearly. This man was definately opinionated. He had a view point on everything from the president (who was nothing but an idiot) to all the "queers" in the military, to "there wasn't anything wrong with George Bush" to "who the hell is going to run for president next time". He kept calling Mike Huckaby "Huckleberry" and he ranted and raved for over a half hour. I woke up with a migraine on the right side of my head this morning, and after he left I can tell you it was quickly spreading. The dispatcher knowing that I had listened poked her head in and said with a "devilish" smile, "you're tongue bleeding yet?" I just laughed. By now I should be used to this sort of thing. Talk like this is pretty common in the factory part of the business I work for. During the last presidental election there were many heated debates between workers, and if you thought outside the box you were labeled "one of those bleeding heart librals!" I can only imagine what has been said about me. I heard comments when I pierced my nose. My favorite being, "why would a mother of three want her nose pierced! What kind of message is she sending those kids!" Well to know me you would laugh at that statement. I look like a pretty conservative person, but I definately think out of the box. This is an area in which my hubby and I clash, but when my ultra conservative brothers are complaining about my liberal ways he always says, "she definately has her own opinions". And really I could care less what you believe in. My opinion is just that my opinion. Yours belongs to you. If you have strong convictions about something by all means defend them, but do not try to make me feel that I am wrong, or evil, or helping ruin society because I feel differntly towards something. I can't stand that form of "smug" judgement that comes from people when they think it's their way and no other. If no two people are created the same then why should we all think the same way? I even see this in the rooms of AA. People who feel meetings and traditions can only be run in a certain fashion. Only certain books can be read, you must live a severe tacturn way of life once you sober up. And there's the other extreme where people sit and hand you every excuse as to why they drink and remember it's never their fault. I didn't want it to be my fault either when I came in. I used to think "I drink because I'm a working mother of three, with a husband who works every evening, no help, I have to do everything, I'm so everwhelmed that the only way for me to relax is drink'. No, instead of actually looking at the situation and taking responsibility for my life I wanted to blame everything and everyone. I was the victim, how could I also be the problem. Because I was the one with the disease of alcoholism. I had to take accountability for my actions. I didn't want to but if I wouldn't have done it, I never would be where I am. I would still be drinking. It's always so easy so flip out words, to throw accusations, to act as if you have all the answers. It's much harder to accept your own part of the blame. I tend to be more quiet about things, as where before I would have jumped in and shot my mouth off, upsetting myself and another person. Now I just know that I have to take care of my own self. We can have different ideas and opinions. There's not a "good side" vs. "bad side". And growth comes in not trying to change someone else's mind to match yours. Listen, evaluate, and learn from other people. You may just be surprised at what you uncover.....

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Can you please get me the Moon?

Last night I was finally able to attend an AA meeting that I haven't been back to for a while. It's a little distance from where I live, but it's hosted by my friend M, a smaller intimate meeting that reads the Daily Reflections and then we each share our experience, strength, and hope as it relates to the reading. There were some metaphores going on in reference to the moon. Many interpretations were given and it was an excellent meeting. For myself the reading struck home at my imaturity when I first came through the doors. I had the mentality of a 17 yr. old. Locked away in my young mind I was in a 41 year old body, but still seeking parental and peer approval, still thinking the world revolved around me, still be selfish in my needs and wants, and completely oblivious to the destruction I had been delivering for years. My mental state assured me I was fine, "just stay where you are and no one will get hurt." Hmmmm, cunning, baffling, and powerful? You bet. Because when the smoke began to settle and I saw all the debris that was left I got really scared. And what is the reaction of a scared child or young adult? Run! and run far I did. Way into the back of my mind. So you imagine how terrified I was when my sponsor informed me that I was going to go from 17 to 41 in a matter of months. Can I have a "hall pass"? or perhaps be excused to the nurses room?" I'm not feeling all that up to "growing' right now. But the beauty of AA is you are so busy staying sober and working the steps that you don't even realize how much you are growing. You start to become someone you never imaged you could be. And before you know it your biological and mental state are one in the same. It wasn't until I was done with my sixth step that I paused for a moment and realized that teenage girl was gone. My relationship changed with my parents, my siblings, my spouse,friends, coworkers, and children. Boundaries went up, that needed to be up, and I finally started to participate in the roles that I needed to. So what about the moon? The moon analogy represents my impatience. I want it all and I want it now. Go get me the moon! I don't want to wait for a sliver, a half, or even a three quarter, I want the whole moon, front and center. But wait there's a catch. The times I have grown the most are when I'm on the dark side of the moon. Out of the light. We need to have things in stages, or it would overwhelm us and we would give up. So the phases of the moon represent the ebb and flow of every day life. There are times when darkness will surround us, and there are times the light from the moon will illuminate us. I have really struggled with patience and learning to wait this past year but I think I see a sliver of light at the end of the tunnel. Six weeks ago I submitted some poetry to the UW Marathon Campus's spring Mush publication. It's a publication of poems and short stories, that the public is welcome to submitt to. I was told I would hear by March if a piece of mine had been selected. March came and went. Not hearing anything I just chalked it up to inexperience as a writer and moved on. What a delightful way to start my Monday when I opened my email and there it was "You've been approved!" One of my poems is going to be published in their spring publication. There's a kick off party that I'm invited to, and it also explained the rigorous process that each piece of writing had to go through before it could be voted on and accepted. I almost fainted. In the past I would have driven myself crazy with the fact that I had failed, should I contact them, etc. But this time when I accepted it right away and moved on something great happpened. So there are important phases to go to before the full moon. Those tiny steps in the darkness help build your character so you can really shine in the full light of the moon. So yes, there are times when I still want the whole moon, but I now know how important it is to wait in darkness, to ensure that when it shines, it shines brighter than any expectation I may have had......

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Wishing I had the answers....

I love Saturday meetings. They're largely attended, people are relaxed and in good moods. Laughter fills the club, the meetings flow, and you leave refreshed and renewed for the hours that lie ahead. As the meeting was starting I saw the doors open and my friend R slip in. He holds a special place in my heart because he was the person who answered the phone the day I called the AA hotline. Two things he said, made me feel like I was ready to go. I have used those same words of wisdom on other people and they have remembered them as well. I hadn't seen R in months, but I ask mutual friends of ours how he's doing. He's in school, so I know he's busy, he's divorced and tries to see his young son as much as he can. However when he walked through the doors yesterday I was shocked. His hair was longer, uncombed, his clothes ragged, his blue eyes worn out. He kept his eyes down and headed for a seat in the back. When he sat down he looked across to me and nodded. I know R's story. My husband and I heard his testimony last year. He's had a tough road but he's also been an inspiration to many others. And you know my alcoholic mind, all I could think about is "what the hell is going on?" The meeting got under way and there were two new people there for their first time so we had a first step meeting. I love first step meetings. I always learn so much and yesterday was no exception. I know those meetings give me way more than I can give them. After the meeting a bunch of us were standing around talking and laughing when R tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around and held my arms open. He walked into the embrace and just let his whole weight fall. Now I'm only 5'3 so I shuffled us over to the chairs before I fell down. My friend is broken. Now that my cold heart has melted in AA it feels when people are broken. I quietly said, "what's going on"? For the next twenty minutes out it came. Still in school, no job, locked in a relationship in which the other person pays for everything so she holds it over his head, has no where to go, feels trapped, they fight all the time, she gambles constantly, and on and on and on....I sat and listened. Thank God AA has taught me to listen. When he was done he looked at me and sighed. Now I realize that my friend is on a bit of a pity pot but when you're in that place the last thing you need is someone pointing out the obvious. So we looked at some options he may have not considered, talked with a few other people, and in a little while R started to look a little better. But then he looked at me and said, "sometimes I hate coming here, and hearing how happy people are, how great their lives are, and I'm five years in and I thought things would be so much better for me by now, and they're not. Sometimes I really think God is trying to bust my chops." Yikes I was in desperate need of an answer. So I quickly said the serenity prayer. Then I looked and my friend and said," I wish I had the answers. I don't. People aren't problem free because they're happy. We just have choices now. When I was drinking I had no choices. You have choices, they might not be clear at this moment but they're there, and they will come. Life is testing you, not God. He wants you to cling to him, and maybe the outcome won't be what you're hoping for. Maybe you will make it through this with your faith intact, and that's what he has designed for you." I had to get going, so we hugged and I started down the sidewalk knowing that I don't have any answers. I can only do for my friend what he once did for me. Share my experience strength and hope, and pray that it will be enough.......