Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I am SO EXCITED to hand out candy tonight to trick-o-treaters! I've never done it before, and only went a few times as a kid. Growing up in Vermont there aren't a lot of neighborhoods. My closest neighbor was miles away. I remember one year dressing up and walking up and down the road leading up to the local ski resort and trick-o-treating at each and every bar along the way. Made a killing, as I recall.
Last night I bought all kinds of decorations and costumes and extra candy. We carved our pumpkin and hung ghosts in the windows. I can't wait for the end of today so I can get home!
Tomorrow night our neighbor is having a Halloween party so I'll get a double dose of spooky fun.

It's great to have stuff to look forward to. I was starting to get pretty down this last week. The med's S is taking make him exhausted by the end of the day. By the time I get home from work, he's snoring on the couch and can't rouse himself until it's time for his meeting. It's been tough not having that time to talk or do anything together. I was feeling very disconnected from him after a few weeks of this. Thankfully, we saw our counselor on Wednesday and even though it was a tough session, we walked out of there with a better understanding. Carving the pumpkin together last night was so much fun, and so much better than watching him nap. The pill doctor had some suggestions as well that will hopefully alleviate his exhaustion.

For myself, I know that I have a hard time talking with S about anything that's not happy because I feel as though he's working so hard on his sobriety. I don't think that he has room on his plate for anything negative from me. But I have to remind myself that I can't read his mind and that he is not necessarily the same person he was when he was drinking, or before he starting attending AA. I also think that I use the blog as an outlet rather than talk to him because the blog doesn't usually cause any emotional conflict. It's much easier to blog about how he's sleeping all the time and nothing's getting done then it is to say to S that I'm feeling emotionally unfulfilled. Plus, I have a hard time accepting that I feel that way. He's doing so much already, how can I possibly still need more? S and I just have to keep practicing and keep working on the communication piece. I still have faith that we'll get there. And I need to find more ways to fulfill my own needs instead of wallowing in disappointment when he can't be there for me. For me, this means staying well away from the TV first of all. And instead doing more reading and writing, praying, horseback riding, and maybe even cooking now that the busy gardening season is winding down.

And tonight, it means dressing up and handing out candy ( my stepdad suggesting having a bowl of assorted, brightly colored condoms to hand out to the high schoolers).

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Gratitute List

I'm enjoying a little solo time in the office on this somewhat rainy day. It's quiet and I'm definitely blogging and not working. I thought I'd take a minute and put together a gratitude list, because there is a lot to be grateful for.

1. I'm taking horseback riding lessons on Monday nights. I've never gotten over my childhood love of horses. I took lessons as a kid and now trail ride whenever I go home to VT. I just love being on a horse, so I decided last night to bite the bullet and sign up for their winter session. It's just money and to me it's worth every penny. I'm so grateful for the opportunity.

2. I'm grateful for this fantastic job. I'm outside a lot, using my muscles, enjoying the fresh air. And this winter I'll get to use the other side of my brain (the one with a college degree) while planning and growing this great little company. I work with terrific people. I don't spend a dime on gas or wear and tear on a personal vehicle thanks to a company truck. And I'm learning more about this industry every day. I'm a gardener! It's the best job in the WORLD!

3. S remains sober and continues to attend AA every night. This is so new and so huge for him and for us. I'm so proud of him, and so grateful that we stuck it out to get to this point. I am grateful for every day of his sobriety and for everything he gets from AA.

4. I'm grateful for AlAnon. I love my Sunday night meeting and look forward to finding others to enjoy and learn from. It helps me to remember what I'm doing, where we've been and who we are.

5. I'm grateful for this blog and the opportunity to pull my thoughts together and receive feedback from people familiar with our situation.

6. I'm so grateful for this renewed foray into spirituality. I pray often, and feel more at peace now. I'm learning about myself and my place in this world and it feels like coming home. Thank you!

7. Most of all, I'm grateful that I didn't overextend myself and buy a house that I can't afford. My apartment seems better and better every day!

That's all for now. Hope everyone is well out there.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pile up's

S comes home, naps on the couch. The laundry piles up, the dishes pile up. I come home and join him on the couch. The garden's a mess, the house is a mess. S goes to a meeting, I catch up on blogs. The laundry's still there. More dishes to deal with.
S comes home. He eats. We talk and watch some TV.
More dishes. Shoes all over the floor.
I fall asleep. S joins me.
We forget to put out the trash.

But, the house is warm and the couch is cozy. I love my man and he loves me. Thank you God for the people in my life. Watch over those in need. Help us as best you can. Help us to help ourselves and this too shall pass.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Was this a test?

A large part of my job is to manage small crews of gardeners on the properties that we maintain. It's a small company; four managers and about 14 gardeners. As you might expect, the job is a very physically demanding one, and also doesn't pay that well. For that reason, most of our gardeners are under 35 years old and in good physical condition, with a few exceptions. One of these exceptions started working for us a few weeks ago and is the reason for today's post.
Through reading, blogging, talking, counseling and meetings, I understand that I too am in recovery. As part of that recovery, I'm recognizing that I can be a very impatient person. This frequently emerges at work because I'm a very hard-working person. I don't stand around. I take initiative. I ask questions. And I expect this from the people I work with.
I think because of these expectations, today was a huge challenge for me. We were working at our biggest and best client's 60 acre estate that includes an orchard barn, two trout ponds, a skating pond and a warming "hut" for the skating pond. Believe me when I say that this is no hut. And the trout ponds? All manmade and stocked and scrupuliosly maintained. The actual residence isn't even built yet. But there are at least 20 people working every day from numerous companies just to maintain the existing grounds. So I feel that it's extremely important to work our asses off at this property. They pay us several thousand dollars a week to do so.
Today was a continuation of their 19,800 bulb installation. We're hoping to have most of it finished tomorrow. My crew consisted of myself, another reliable and hardworking gardener, and Joe (not his real name, poor guy). Joe is in his late fifties and rather overweight. The job requires a majority of our time to be kneeling or crawling through gardens. Joe tends to show a massive amount of ass crack while doing this. (Go ahead, I can hear y'all laughing from here) Joe doesn't have very much, if any experience in this field and frankly, it's a mystery to me why my general manager hired him. He doesn't ask questions, he can't move quickly, and he tends to stand around unless someone tells him what to do along every step of the way.
By 9 a.m. my blood was starting to boil from working with him.
Now here's the kinda cool part. I recognized it. Then I did my best to try to have patience, to not snap, to not wring my hands in frustration.
We worked hard until lunch at which point I left the jobsite to get away for a few minutes. Somehow, by the afternoon, the three of us had found a rhythm and actually cranked out a lot of bulbs before the end of the day. It wasn't until I was driving home that I realized how much my attitude had shifted. I don't quite understand how it happened, but I'm certainly glad it did.

Anyway, that's my somewhat related-to-the-topic post for today. Enjoy the pictures, but don't tell my boss. ;-)


Saturday, October 18, 2008

I haven't been blogging much this week. The onset of fall means the gardening company I work for only has about 6 more weeks (if we're lucky) to make the rest of our money for the year. As a manager I'm feeling under-the-gun to motivate my tired gardeners and generate work from strapped clients. We're doing lots of bulb installs right now. This week my crew planted over 10,000 bulbs on various properties. I'm so excited to see what they look like next spring, as long as the critters don't eat them all first!
Anyway, that's my explanation. I hope to catch up on blogs this weekend. :-)

Meanwhile, today marks 31 days of sobriety for S. We've never been in this place before and it's certainly a strange, new world. Based on what I've read on blogs and heard in meetings and talked about with our counselor, I know that this is a period of monumental adjustment. And indeed it does feel that way. Whenever I start to feel confused or distressed or frustrated, I try to think about God. I've started reading Your Sacred Self by Wayne Dyer and am really enjoying it. Unfortunately, I keep falling asleep in bed while trying to read it with one eye open. But it's a start. S and I have started talking about spirituality too. Today, while driving to Salem, we talked about the second step and what it means and how we understand the Higher Power. I'm just grateful to be able to have the conversation with him, regardless of where it goes. Intellectually, I know that this is a long journey for us. I also know that I can't really understand what this journey will be like until I've lived it. I'm looking forward to growing closer to God to help support me throughout.

Is this what it feels like to have faith?

Anyway. I hope everyone is well out there in Bloggerland.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Leaf Peeping Heaven

What a gorgeous weekend in Vermont! This has been an amazing year for color and our weekend was worth sitting in traffic for. I went for a terrific horseback ride on Sunday too, so my weekend was about as close to perfect as one can get. So as promised, here are some photos:

The view from my Mom's house (how lucky is she!?!)

Just down the street....

The driveway.....

Around the neighborhood....

p.s. I went to an Alanon meeting (Steve-a-roni) Sunday night too. My first one in years! It was terrific and I'm inspired to attend many more. Thanks Kathy Lynne for the suggestion. S went downstairs (AA) and I went up. A great experience for us to share. Thanks for all the encouragement, folks.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Saturday Prayer

Hello God,
I still don't know about you, but I'm trying to put that aside and just let it be. I have some things I want to say and ask.
First, I want to pray for the health and safety of my crazy big sister, because as much as she drives me up the wall when I'm around her, she's still my big sister, and I just found out that she's two months pregnant with her second child. I'm so completely overjoyed and ecstatic for her. I think S was surprised at how happy I am, because my sister and I don't click at all. But she's still my big sis and I still can't wait to meet my new niece (I'm convinced). So please, please watch over and protect her and her family.
And while I'm at it, please watch over and protect the rest of my family and all of my friends near and far.
God, I need to ask for more patience. I never thought of myself as an impatient person, but that doesn't mean it wasn't there. I am impatient and S needs time and we need time, so I'm asking for a lot more patience. I need a big bucketful of warm, sweet honey patience to dip into freely whenever I'm feeling frustrated or annoyed with the people and situations around me.
S and I are driving up to Vermont today to enjoy your spectacular display of foliage and spend a little time with my parents. Please watch over us in our travels.
Okay God, thank you for listening, and being and.......well, you, I guess. :-)

Happy weekends, all. Can't wait to share foliage pictures with you (this pic is from last year).

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Feeling the Love

I'm not quite sure why I had that little break-down the other night. I didn't even know why I was so sad and gloomy. At first I thought it was just the cheesy chick-flick I had just watched, or the heroine in my new novel falling in love that was making me sad. Of course I want my man to be the hero from movies, but it's just not realistic, and I know that.
When S came to bed last night and asked me if something was wrong, at first I said no. But I changed my mind right away and said yes, but I don't know what. And I didn't. But he gave me the room to try to talk it out and what followed was pretty interesting, for me anyway.
I told him I didn't know who, or how, to be with him now that it's been 21 days without a drink. He seems to be feeling so much better, and yet I feel somehow lost and alone in this new endeavor. I told him that I'm feeling extremely needy right now. I need his touch, his reassurance, and his conversation. And I need him to care enough to ask about me, to wonder how this change is affecting me, to fall in love with me like the hero from a movie.
I hate, hate, HATE feeling needy. And I hate asking him for more, when he has so much he's trying to do for himself.
But I think that's how it goes, right? Sometimes I need more from him and sometimes he needs more from me. I love him so much it's ridiculous. And I believe we can make this crazy life work for both of us. But I KNOW that will take a lot of work on our parts, and probably a lot of counseling too! That's okay. I'm okay with working at it. I know it's worth it.

Okay, enough for today.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A practice run on this whole PRAYER business

Okay, so I'm not very good at this whole praying thing but with all the support and encouragement I've gotten from the blogosphere, I want to give it a try. Written prayer's count, don't they? My thoughts are so much clearer when I write.

Saturday morning prayer

Dear God, I don't know who or what or where you are, but I pray to find and take the leap of faith that will lead me to believe. I thank you for so many things in my life--a stunning fall day, a delicious bowl of oatmeal, my foray (or your guidance?) into the blogging world and the many many supportive people out there.
I pray for PG and the work she is doing, because I promised her she'd be my first prayer of the day. :-)
God, I pray that I will grow in my understanding and acceptance of myself, my situation, and the world around me. I pray very hard for S and the work he is doing. Please, please help him and support him. He is trying and we have both been hurt very much during this process. We could use a stretch of time full of successes, not failures.
I pray for all my family and friends, including, of course, my "digital" friends, for their safety, well-being and happiness.
I ask this without any knowledge or understanding of what I'm doing, but with fear and hope that you will.
Thanks God.
And thanks, bloggers, for giving me a space to try this out.

Have great weekends!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Are you there God? It's me, Molls

14 days.
I don't think I'm supposed to be counting, but I'm just so damn amazed.
Last night I had dinner ready for him when he got home from his 14th meeting (in as many days!). We sat at the table and talked. I tried to eat slowly so that he'd spend more time sitting there with me, sharing and communicating. It felt soooo good.

One of the things we talked about was the spirituality aspect of AA and Alanon. Neither of us are religious, have any particular faith, or even give "God" much thought. But it does seem as though a Power greater than ourselves could restore us. I just have to figure out what this means to me. I know what it doesn't mean. This power is not some man in the sky. This power has no part in vengeance, revenge, hatred, or war (small and large). This power doesn't care if we say certain words, eat certain foods, or pray a certain way.
Somehow, to me, this power is the connection between every person, every plant, every animal on this planet. In a way, this planet with it's rare and unique and incredibly fragile ecosystem, is a Greater Power. It's my opinion that science and physics are much closer to understanding "God" than theologians.
But what do I know.
My brain is starting to hurt. Maybe it'd be easier if God was a big bearded man in the sky.

Okay, I have lots to be grateful for, so here's a little Thursday list:
I am grateful for

1. 14 meetings, 14 days
2. Dinner with my man
3. Rain delay this morning--time to do a load of laundry, eat breakfast and blog (I feel so spoiled!)
4. Warm oatmeal with almonds and dried cranberries
5. Being too poor to have any money invested anywhere!
6. My sweet, furry, uber-cute cat who's bumping her head on my arm while I type
7. Honey Crisp apples from the farm up the street
8. My family and friends (including, of course, my new blogger friends)
9. The Library
10. Having lots to be grateful for!

Happy Thursday!