Thursday, April 23, 2009

Schoolbuses, Sinovial Fluid, and Sobriety

My current gratitude short list.
A cross-section of our family life right now.
Tellingly Mormonish alliteration, tantalizingly randomish combination,

what do we do when we feel something we don't like?
when choosing what to do in order to feel better, do we get feedback about whether the choice is appropriate and healthy?

Sobriety requires that an addict check in with his sponsor when feeling doubtful, anxious, tempted. Before acting out or taking action which might be unhealthy, the addict is supposed to run his plan by a seasoned sober addiction-recovery graduate.

Reminds me of prayer. I can imagine that running a mile in the pouring rain would feel so good while I'm tempted to yell and scream and cry. I might tell someone that's what I'm thinking of doing. Someone else might say that exercise is a healthy way to cope with difficult emotions. But then if I pray about it, I just might get a very specific directive TO do that very thing, but in a certain place at a certain time with a certain someone, and wearing a certain reflective coat. And the answer might not make sense, to me or anyone I might tell about it, but to a loving all-powerful Divine Daddy, these are the best conditions for my plan to work to my best advantage . . . and then again, perhaps He will answer, "No, you will not."

My daughter with the mile-wide aura kept bringing up the idea of walking to school and home every day. I thought I had dissuaded her a time or two, but when the topic arose again, I knew it was time to give her the only answer she would understand. I said that if she was going to walk that route, she'd have to know that route, and how long it would take. So I offered to take that walk with her on the following Sunday evening. Sunday morning came, and my dramatic darling appeared and announced that today was THE day. I reminded her that we would take the walk LATER after supper.

Supper came and went. On went the walking shoes, and out WE went. Right on our street. Right on the street at the bus stop corner. Left at the end of that street. Right at the next corner. Left at the big street. Left soon again. Then just keep walking and mentally reviewing the directions for a long time. Lots of things to see and talk about. Finally this winding street ends and we go left, and we're almost there! We insisted on her going all the way to the front door and touching it before the timer was stopped. 45 minutes, one way!

That means that I would have to get up and get EVERYBODY ready quite early. My walk would be an hour and a half long, if there were no distractions, disruptions, or injury. Not that I couldn't use the exercise, but . . .

When I think of that big yellow schoolbus, I am grateful. No worries of whether my darlings make it all the way to their school. No having to get everyone up 45 minutes early. And no driving for me, which means less stress, and hopefully, fewer self injuries . . .

Several weeks ago, I was driving, and tried to put my left hand on the steering wheel the underhanded way. My index finger poked the wheel instead, and my finger was jammed. No breaks, no blood, just jammed. For a while it doesn't hurt, but then it does again. I had it checked out by a doctor, because I didn't want to suffer longer than I have to. He checked for breaks and assured me that I just have to give it time to heal. Having pulled this finger repeatedly, because that seems to alleviate the pain, I asked the doc whether that was wise. He said sure, that lets more sinovial fluid into the painful joints. It couldn't hurt.

Thank goodness these things I'm taking advantage of and grateful for are harmless enough.

Friday, April 10, 2009

That River in Egypt, or Emotional Roller Coaster Part 0.5

Trying to accept the apparently pregnant state of my body, I realized that I needed divine intervention. I knelt down to pray, and the serenity prayer seemed appropriate. So I tried to recite it, but to no avail. I started out all wrong: God, grant me the courage to change the things I can (that's the second phrase, not first), the ummmm ... what is it? ... no, it can't be serenity, I know that's not it ... in fact, I don't know WHY it's called the Serenity Prayer. I don't think that word is even IN the prayer! ... the whatever to accept the things I cannot change, and the courage to know the difference.

Yeah. It wasn't 'til the parents' support group meeting that night that I realized how ironic that was.

The actual Serenity Prayer goes like this:

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.

At Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and other recovery support meetings all over the world, recovering addicts and their loved ones stand together and embrace as they recite the first verse.

Tonight at a parents' support group meeting again, I remembered that I had not recorded this juicy little piece of the story. So out of order though it may be, here ya go.

And as for Emotional Roller Coaster Parts II through XVII, stay tuned . . .

Thursday, April 9, 2009

How Sweet It Is

It was a magical time. It was dinner time. The kids were here and they were hungry. We sat down to a home-cooked meal that I hadn't been super hopeful about, but which turned out to be very well received.

The Menu
Italian Green Beans
Steamed Broccoli
Lemon Chicken Pilaf

The Recipes

Italian Green Beans

3 c fresh green beans, cooked in boiling water til tender
GOPS all-purpose seasoning (1 part each: garlic, onion, pepper; 4 parts salt)
butter or olive oil
tomato paste
Parmesan cheese

Place green beans (drained) in shallow serving dish or pie plate. Sprinkle GOPS on. Slather with butter or drizzle melted butter or olive oil on top. Smear tomato paste over all, or over just half in case you have a tomato hater. Sprinkle Parmesan over, and heat in microwave or conventional oven just 'til heated through and melty cheese.

Lemon Chicken Pilaf

4 plump chicken breasts (boneless/skinless)
1 cup lemon juice
several cloves garlic
1.5 cups H.E.B. wild rice/brown rice pilaf
4 cups water
chicken bouillon

Cook first 3 ingredients in crock-pot 'til thoroughly cooked.
Cook pilaf with water and bouillon on stove top.
Shred the chicken.
Blend lemon juice and garlic in blender 'til milky.
Add chicken and garlic-lemon juice mixture to pilaf. Let simmer 'til you're done with prayer and salad.

Consider putting the steamed broccoli into the pilaf. Otherwise, place broccoli in covered bowl as far away from Mozy as possible 'til everyone else has had some.