Day 85 – Naming, blessing and embracing my talents

I was meeting with a friend yesterday and he introduced me to a small group of men doing some amazing work with youth and community ( In introducing me, he named what he saw as my gifts. He mentioned that I was creative and a connector. For many years, I’ve balked at being called creative. I don’t see myself as such. But, now, in a more humble manner of listening and removing my own ego…I’m able to hear more what others see in me. And, I’m more open to embracing those talents, those gifts — naming and blessing and celebrating them.

Along those lines, I was recently reconnected with a man who had a great influence on my life as an elementary school teacher. As a young boy of 10 years old moving from Louisiana to Canada, I remember facing the teasing from my peers, having a funny accent. 😉 I was also young and short for my age. Skipped a grade while in Canada made that “difference” even more pronounced. There were two men – Mr. Rogers and Mr. Heady – who went out of their way to make me feel welcome. They “took me under their wings” and broke down the barriers my accent created, and helped me connect with the students. I have ALWAYS shared fondly of my time in Sarnia and spoken of these two men. Well, recently, a friend from Sarnia connected with me on Facebook and told me that Mr. Rogers was looking to reconnect with students. What a great blessing! And as we started to reconnected, Mr. Rogers wrote back, “Remember you as one of those students who brought the fire for learning to class every day.”

So completing that spirit of naming by gifts — some of them I see more fully today are…curious; connector; creative; fire for learning.


Day 84 – When is the best time to plant a tree?

A couple weeks ago, a guest pastor preached at our church.  He talked about seeing things (change, growth, vision) in 50 year chunks of time — seeing the big picture so to speak.  He asked, “When is the best time to plant a tree?…50 years ago!”  He then continued, “When is the second best time to plant a tree?…today.”

I walked away inspired…but I started to frame the question for my life as today is the best time to plant the tree…that somehow I missed the first time 20 years ago.  But, I’ve also shared before with others that everything in my life happened for a reason and got me to where I am today.  The life experiences, the training, the insights.  So I now more fully appreciate the wisdom Pastor Phil shared that morning in the context of my life.  A tree was planted 20 years ago…nay, even 41 years ago!   And now with a strong, deep root system of life experiences, the tree is coming into full bloom…into what I was truly meant to be, at this moment, in preparing for this next chapter of life.  And for that I am grateful.

Day 81 – Embracing my feelings as a human being

Today, I met with my realtor about putting the house on the market.  I also talked through my financial situation with an accountability partner – sizing up the reality that is facing me.  I got through everything fine.  Oh wait – what does FINE stand for?  Fucked up, insecure, neurotic and emotional.  Or something like that…  I wasn’t that bad!  It’s just that fine is about as descriptive as interesting, or good or nice.

This evening, I had plans to go to a meeting.  But after cooking dinner and singing/dancing to some fun music, I laid down on the bed to rest.  My mind started wandering…and soon I was throwing myself a small pity party. It was slowly creeping up on me.  I started to feel it…funk funk…  Next thing I know, I didn’t want to get out for my planned meeting!

I text’d a brother “MS” from the program and got my fix. He reminded me that when we don’t feel like going is exactly when we need to go!  For me, it’s the equivalent of my insulin shot…hitting a meeting. And where I am now…getting through my changes and losses…I need it daily!!!  If I skipped an insulin shot or two as a diabetic, I could die.  If a skip a meeting or two right now, I could die.

My accountability partner caught me getting too wrapped up in making money – in having a job – in having a plan.  Until my first court date in April, there’s not much point in making too many plans.  In order to become a “productive member of society” as the text tells us, I must work on my recovery.  He rightfully challenged me to stop worrying about not working.  Like many, I place too much of my identity in my work – on what I do, or how much I make.  That’s changing – for the better.  I’m learning to value me for who I am – and others for who they are.  But, change is uncomfortable – unsettling – unfamiliar!  Recognize it…and work through it.  It will take time – and practice.  Now’s my time to practice!  What a gift!

Not so long ago (!) I talked about recognizing the desire and need to be a human being rather than a human doing.  What does that really look like?  Well, right now – it means being grateful that for awhile, I have the means to not have to focus on getting a job.  With some savings and equity in my home, he helped me figure out about how long that could be.  That provides some relief — some space to “be.”  I need to focus on my recovery – strengthening my foundation through meetings, workshops/working the steps and hanging out with people in recovery.  On the financial side, I need to sell me house.  It’s a cash flow thing…and right now, my outflow is hurting me more than my lack of inflow!  I figured out today that the savings I will realize by moving to an apartment translates to the equivalent of a job that would pay me about $15/hour for a normal work week.  So, that’s my job now – and it “pays!” It slows the bleeding financially.

Nothing else matters right now than getting more sobriety under my belt and selling my house.  That gets me through the next five weeks until court.  And when I know a bit more, then I can focus on my “B game” or “C game” – to get me into a basic living situation and job that will allow me to spend the good 12-18 months it’s going to take to solidify this recovery.  So, slow down, CT…stop trying to figure out, discern, listen to what’s next…stay in the moment. I’m right where I need to be.  I just need to do the right next thing…and not get too far ahead of myself.  Be real and easy does it!

As for my feelings, this “chat” sums things up best…how I ended my evening after a good meeting, some time of reflection, and a walk in my old neighborhood downtown!

MS: Glad you made it to the meeting  You ok?
Me: Yea. Just sad
MS: Why u sad?
Me: Feelings just catching up with my reality. Grieving losses.
MS: Just keep positive, your head held high. This to shall pass. Everything will be ok

Me: Yea I know. My heart knows it will be. And the good news is I can feel and it’s ok. I don’t have to run from them or be controlled by them. So my heart knows it will be ok and I can still be sad. That’s an odd combination for me, “Mr. Intellectualize and Ignore My Feelings” 
MS: U r so funny. Its good u r feeling the emotions. It’s a healing process
Me: Amen.  Gonna go home and throw on loud arias and deep blues songs and have a cleansing and healthy cry