Always Believe That Something Wonderful Is About To Happen

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   Today is Memorial Day so let me start here…The men and women of the armed forces have worked tirelessly to protect our freedoms, so that we may live in peace and enjoy our beautiful planet.  To the men and women in uniform that have served and still serve our country so bravely, thank you.  For without you, I’m not sure that I would be believing that something wonderful is about to happen…
  Perhaps it is because I’m getting older, perhaps it is because I am clean and sober, perhaps it is because I choose to live a simpler, more peaceful life in Hawai’i, perhaps it is because it is, today I choose to always believe that something wonderful is about to happen. And then it does.
I am finding that no matter what happens, anytime, anywhere, something good comes from it.  Even in the most tragic of events people are brought closer, empathy and compassion are experienced, communications are opened and bridges are gapped. Sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly.
I am finding that today I attempt to live in and surround myself in optimism, positivity, and hope.  Sure beats living in hopelessness and despair.  And in these attempts I find myself attracting and being surrounded by more optimism, positivity, and hope. That’s pretty wonderful in and of itself.
As much as I am deluged by the daily news wrought full of tragedy, I still get to be thankful today that I am not drowning in it. I still get to put a smile on someone’s face, offer a hug, a lending hand, an ear.  Again, wonderful.
And when I saw this quote about something wonderful about to happen, it made me think that where I am at this particular moment is perhaps not so wonderful.  It feels good to know that this not so wonderful moment shall be passing to greatness. That I shall come out of it all the stronger and the wiser.  You see, if I can accept things as they are, get out of the way and just enjoy the ride, then, yes, something wonderful is about to happen. If I can be flexible enough to accommodate whatever comes my way, all will be just fine.  If I can live in the moment and enjoy the gift of the here and now, sustained by dreams and hopes and optimism (the wonderful), I can appreciate that I am right where I am supposed to be.  The fact that I can even acknowledge this is pretty darned wonderful!  All by the Grace of a Higher Power watching over me and a Fellowship in Recovery that has my back!
  With that, have a mighty fine day and remember something wonderful is about to happen!  Aloha…Dee.  For those interested in Inspirational Gifts in Recovery or Hawai’i Art, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and enjoy!

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La’i Lau Ke Kai

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   As I was flying home to Hawai’i from California, I looked out the window at an abundance of small puffy clouds kissing the ocean and tears began to stream down my cheeks.  Wasn’t quite sure why this was happening, but I did know that my two weeks in California were a bit trying for me with an agenda that had each day full of “to do’s” and “to see’s”.
   I’m so glad I have a tool box for living that I was able to bring with me on my trip. Right off the bat my flight was delayed over two hours making the time to make my connecting flight only 20 minutes.  Grounded, I have an hour and a half to meet my son for lunch only to find I had been waiting at the wrong restaurant; he’s waiting for me across town on the other side of road construction.
   Off to care for my 98-year old grandma.  She sleeps most of the day and is now nocturnal, needing attention so she does not fall or get into mischief.  In my toolbox is sleep, but I can’t seem to reach that tool. I have learned to steer clear of HALT…hungry, angry, lonely, tired.  Tiredness is definitely setting in after flying on the red-eye and two nights of interrupted sleep with Granny.
   Not on my agenda was the repair of one of seven stained-glass windows I had sold and brought with me on my flight to deliver. I took into account the rough handling my suitcase would endure and ever so gingerly packed that panel in a check-in.  Of course TSA would inspect that suitcase, as they should. But I did not take into account they would pile the socks and underwear I packed around the glass to keep it from shifting on top of the panel and cram the suitcase shut.  Live and learn and do differently next time.
   Decide to take Mom and Granny on a road trip up the coast of Northern California.  Better than watching Granny sleep all day and wander all night. Mom and I can reconnect as what else can we do while driving over 1,000 miles?  The trip went as planned, not easy, but well worth it.  What I didn’t take into account was how extremely difficult it would be for me in the tired part of HALT.  I’m into a week now of a few hours here and there of sleep.  I’m snippy and impatient and easily agitated.
   Too cold to enjoy Calistoga or Ft. Bragg poolside, but we do get to enjoy each other’s company quietly. Off to Willits to have lunch with a long-lost high school friend, then up to Arcata to stay with dear friends for a couple of nights. Thought I’d throw in a visit with more friends on the Oregon border, enjoying the California coast and redwoods.
   At the furthest point away from home Granny doesn’t want to go up to bed.  She wants to go home.  Damn it.  So do I. But I cannot say that because already Granny hates being a burden. It would hurt her tremendously. So we finally get her to bed and I have my melt-down and swear I shall never do this to my kids. My poor mom in the middle of a wandering, sleepless mother and her blubbering idiot daughter.
   We get her home after a 7-hour drive and Granny doesn’t even know where she is. So be it.  She’s a happy old lady in her own little dementia world.
   Now, finish the glass repair and prepare for the baby shower.  Done deal. It’s a success.  Off to Tahoe to deliver stained-glass panels.  More quick visits and I now find myself shedding tears on my plane ride going home.  I knew when I planned this trip it would not be easy, but well-worth it in the end.  I was so right.  Now that it’s over I realize how great the rewards.  I learned how important sleep is to me and to not put so much on my plate next time.  And there will be a next time as Auntie needs a reprieve from the 24/7 care and love she gives Granny.  When she shares her experiences now, I shall really be able to relate.  And I can share with her my experiences, strength, and hope.  Only thing I shall do differently next time is let Granny be in the comfort and calmness of her own home. Let her sleep throughout the day and watch cartoons and wander throughout the night.  She’s safe there, cannot get lost, although she might fall, so I shall sleep with one eye open.
   So why was I crying when I looked out that airplane window and saw the clouds kissing the sea?  I know now.  There is a Hawai’ian saying “La’i lau ke kai.”  It means “The sea is very calm.  All is peaceful.”  And I know that I am okay; I am home; I did the best job I could.  Thank you tool box.  Thank you recovery. Thank you, Higher Power.
   With that, I wish you all a mighty fine day and much calmness. With much aloha…Dee.
   For those interested in Inspirational Gifts in Recovery or Hawai’i Art, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo!

Short…but Sweet

5 Generations

 

Back in December when I contemplated coming to the Mainland to spend time with my 98-year grandmother for a week while my aunt, her caregiver, took a well-deserved vacation in Mexico, I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I also knew it would be well worth it in the end.

With that week ended, I can now say “Yes, it wasn’t easy, but, yes, it was well worth it!”  Would I do it again?  “Yes!  In a heartbeat!”  Would I do it the same?  “No.  I would allow Grandma the comfort of being in her own home, in her safe place, and not drag her on a 1,000 mile road trip up to Oregon and back.

Although I enjoyed watching Grandma as she took in the scenery, the ocean, the redwoods, the spring flowers colorfully palleting the countryside, I feel it was trying on her, and I know it was trying on me.  Although I was able to enjoy short…but sweet…visits with many long-time friends and family, that was more for me, not for her.  Thinking how good it would be to get Granny away from her routine, to keep her awake during the day so she would sleep at night, good thought…not so easy.

Short…but sweet.  The trip is over.  The week is over.  I had melt downs.    I was in HALT…hungry, angry, lonely, TIRED!  I stayed sober.  I experienced joy.  I experienced my roots.  And I experienced more joy!

Let me mention that were it not for my awesome mom, I would have had many more melt downs.  She was with me every mile of the trip…every step of the way…as she has always been…and know she will always be.  This trip not only brought Granny and me closer, but all three of us!  How good is that?

We ended with a beautiful Baby Shower for Kerri, Cory and baby Isla, incorporated with a Mother’s Day Luncheon.  Five generations!   It was awesome!  Bringing family together for happiness.  Enjoying each other’s company, catching up, talking story.

Nothing worth having is easy.  Pulling this all together was not easy, but so worth it!  So much learned about myself.  So much more to learn.  Good stuff.

Until next week, have a mighty fine day.  Aloha for now…Dee.

 

For those interested in Inspirational Gifts in Recovery, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Enjoy and Mahalo!

Aloha from California

This Aloha Monday Blog is coming from “brrrrr” Ft. Bragg, California.  What a beautiful change to see the colder part of the Pacific Ocean and to see redwoods again.  Seeing and experiencing freeways and mega-cities didn’t happen to give me so much joy, but so good to be “home” again.

I’ve been able to reflect on just how much I live what I’ve learned in recovery.  Firstly, I probably wouldn’t be here in the first place were I still active in my disease.  Secondly, I definitely wouldn’t have been asked to take care of my 98-year old grandma for a week were I still active in my disease.  Last night my granny, mom and I enjoyed Calistoga and the beauty of springtime in the wine country.  Today we’re enjoying the ocean and awesome seafood that I don’t get fresh in Hawaii.  But the most enjoyment is from just hanging with two of my favorite people.  I know in my heart that these are gifts of the program and gifts from my Higher Power.

I landed in Mainlandia on Thursday after a delayed red-eye flight.  Trip didn’t start off as I would have liked, but because I have learned to accept and live life on life’s terms, all went well.  However, somehow, somewhere, I pulled a muscle in my back and am still dealing with the pain, which is subsiding.  No sleep on the red-eye, okay.  Next two nights trying to sleep with a granny who is nocturnal, well that lack of sleep started to take a toll on me.  Definitely experiencing HALT (hungry; angry; lonely; tired).  When TSA inspected my luggage (ok with that) but didn’t repack the way I did, they cracked in 9 places a stained-glass window I carefully and protectively packed in the suitcase.  An entire day looking for repair supplies and reparation of the window…time that could have been spent more meaningfully.  Not my HP’s plan for me. And if my client doesn’t want the window, all for naught?  Never.  Very, very valuable lesson learned by me.

When the flight insurance policy I took out covered delayed luggage but not damaged luggage, okay?  Yep.  Has to be.  And when Mom and I arrived an hour and a half early at a pizzeria to meet my son on his lunch hour only to find out we were waiting at the “other” Giovanni’s on the “other” side of town, okay?  Yep.  I am learning so damn much about myself.  Thought I’d have it together at this stage of my life.

I turned 59 the day I arrived in California.  I knew I was having dinner with family, but I didn’t know I was having a surprise birthday dinner.  When I saw my two sons sitting at the table, I cried.  I was so very touched.  You taught me it’s ok to cry.  And when my long-lost cousin and her hubby joined us, again, so touched.  I got to give my future grand-daughter a pat on my daughter-in-law’s belly.  How sweet is that!  Lots of “get to’s” in my life in recovery.

I guess what I’m trying to say in this blog is in my sober life, I “get to”.  I “get to” experience many joys and I “get to” live life on life’s terms and not react when things don’t happen in that “in a perfect world” way.  I love my life.  I love my sobriety.  I love that my Higher Power has a sense of humor and keeps giving me life lessons which I don’t find funny.  And I loved it when the acupuncturist told me my sleep isn’t so good and that I’m emotional.  That I did find funny.

Yep.  I love it all.  With that, have a mighty fine day, until next week, Aloha…Dee.

For those interested in Inspirational Gifts in Recovery or Hawaii Art, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo!