We Need Each Other

We need each other to survive in this world. We just do. Like it or not (and a lot of times I don’t), I have to acknowledge that I need someone to help me through.

needing others, 12 step groups, self-help, life gets tough, higher power, God

I have had people tell me on more than one occasion how strong I am. Not just me, however. I’ve heard it said about others as well. The fact of the matter is none of us are really strong enough to go it alone. I’m not. You’re not. We need each other. We were designed that way.

That’s where the whole concept of higher power came from in 12 Step Programs. When we can’t, when the situation is just too big and overpowering for us, we have a higher power to help us overcome, and we have each other, one step at a time.

My higher power is God, the creator of the universe. When I am weak, He is strong. That brings me all kinds of comfort and the ability to do the next right thing, take the next step, do whatever it is that is required of me no matter how simple or mundane.

Which leads me back to we need each other.

God shows up for me in a group setting oftentimes, while exchanging stories, feelings and thoughts with other people who have been where I am. It may sound strange to those of you who have never experienced this type of setting before but it helps to know that there is a real live human being who gets how you feel and who lives where you live and who has survived and came out better having had the experience.

It can be awkward at first but that only lasts briefly as sharing happens. Does this mean I like the groups I attend? Not always. It also doesn’t mean I will be here forever, but it’s good to know there are other people there when you need them.

It is also good to know that there are groups for just about every situation. No, really! Grief groups, cancer groups, marriage groups, addiction groups, parenting groups and so many more. They’re designed to be there when you need them, and to keep going back when you’re past the point of needing them if you choose to do so.

There is no shame in needing and accepting help. I’m not sure why we have made it so. It takes courage and wisdom to come to the point of recognizing we need each other and then doing something about it.

Have you had any group experiences? Did you enjoy it, hate it, or get anything out of it?

Free Books on Amazon!

I love books, especially when they are free books on amazon! These books that I found are free Kindle books. I have a Nook so that leaves me out, right? WRONG!

That’s what I love about Amazon. You can download a free app. WHAT? Yes, that is correct and I did. I downloaded a Kindle app to my computer and I was able to take advantage of these free books even if I don’t have a Kindle.

I want to share them with you, but hurry, I don’t know how long they will be available!

If you have ever thought about starting a blog of your very own, then these FREE books would be good reading as you do so. These are my affiliate links.
   

      
I can’t wait to start reading mine and I hope you get your free Amazon books too!

 

 

Beyond My Blue Door

Beyond my blue door became the name of my blog about a year and a half ago. This name has significance and meaning beyond what I can explain in a few simple words. Inside my blue door is where life took place with my family for 13 years. And then it stopped. Not life itself, but life as we knew it. And then the journey began.

Beyond my blue door, life is difficult, life is hard, stay with the pain, grow with the pain, live truly, engage in life, be present

That’s not exactly true. The journey actually began more than a half of a century ago. Remarkably or perhaps regrettably is a better word, it just doesn’t stop due to circumstances within or beyond our control, whether we like it or not. It just seems like the lessons I learn, the most impacting things in my life, those things that leave a lasting impression, are those I neither wish for or ask for. I’m sure this is the case with so many others.

I find myself in a new place of learning these days, yet not so new after all, for they are lessons I’ve learned before, but have, perhaps, forgotten. Or maybe better defined is that I didn’t learn them to the extent I needed to, nor did I allow them to impact me in the way in which they needed to most.

To wish for that time back is a futile and useless exercise.

Life is a learning curve…all of it. It. Just. Is.

More so for some than others, but all of us will one day, sooner or later, have the opportunity and profound privilege of encountering these lessons that we know not of. The degree varies, the timing has a power all it’s own, but it is a given.

I once heard that God is never early. He is never late. He is exactly on time. Every time, even if I’m not prepared.

That is why this time I am paying full and close attention for I sincerely intend to engage in this period in my life, as intensely painful as it can be, to embrace it even, and grow within the circumstances, fully alert, fully aware and fully prepared to face the lessons presented.

Do I want to? Nah, not so much. But then again, yes, I do. Is it pleasant? Nope, not in the least. Is it necessary? Absolutely. Because I am not a quitter. I am not defeated. I am not hopeless. I am not alone. I will not pretend. I will not deny. I will not simply float along the sea of life in an aimless sort of way.

Instead:

I choose to live.

I choose to choose.

I choose to heal.

I choose to follow.

I choose to dream.

I choose to feel.

I choose to be present.

I choose to love.

I choose to forgive.

I choose to embrace this time.

Beyond my blue door.

Tale of Two Cars

This is the tale of two cars, or maybe three. I’m not sure which yet but let me just make this announcement: we are now a family of 5 automobiles.

It was about four years ago when I wrote Good-bye CR-V, Hello Camry. That was a difficult period in my family’s life. I do chuckle a bit when I read that post. It’s about a car! But then again, it wasn’t. It was about grief and all that was going on.

Monday we purchased a 2008 CR-V, just like the one I drove before, except for the color.

Honda CR-V, Accord, cars, Good-bye CR-V Hello Camry, saying good-bye, grief, grieving

This was a good move money-wise. It saves me a lot of money every month which makes me very happy. I never intended to purchase the exact same vehicle. It just happened. It was a good deal. All is good. But wait…what I didn’t expect was the wee bit of sadness in saying good-bye to the Accord.

Honda CR-V, Accord, cars, Good-bye CR-V Hello Camry, saying good-bye, grief, grieving

I snapped this pic as we were getting in the CR-V, leaving the lot. Who knew I would feel a twinge of sadness? Guess I should have known.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, my husband had just purchase an old car to get him back and forth to work. He got a Toyota Corolla. He finished the deal today.

Toyota, Corolla, Honda CR-V, Accord, cars, Good-bye CR-V Hello Camry, saying good-bye, grief, grieving

And now we are a five car family.

Stone Mountain Georgia

I attended Bloggy Boot Camp in Atlanta over the weekend. The time we had to spend in Atlanta outside of the conference wasn’t much, however, since I love to see new sights we squeezed in a little time to visit Stone Mountain Georgia.

We have visited Stone Mountain before but that was many moons ago, before kids. We were just passing through on our way home from a vacation in Florida all those years ago and stopped for the night. We decided to go to Stone Mountain to see the Laser show. It was quite a sight to see.

Georgia, Stone Mountain, laser show, covered bridge, parks

There really wasn’t a good view of the mountain from our drive around the park but taking a ride on the sky tram thing would have been awesome had we had the time to stand in the very long line. I guess we’ll have to make a return visit!

Stone Mountian, Georgia, attractions, parks in Georgia

Photo credit: Stone Mountain website

We did enjoy the beautiful fall day while exploring around the lake.

Stone Mountian, Georgia, attractions, parks in Georgia

We were looking for a place to eat lakeside but as luck would have it the restaurant was closed for a private party. So we explored and ate later after we left the park. Being outside and enjoying the lovely weather was the goal for the remainder of the day.

We discovered the covered bridge on the water. I do enjoy covered bridges. This one was extra picturesque.

covered bridge, Stone Mountian, Georgia, attractions, parks in Georgia

Wishing I was there right now, in fact.

Covered bridge, Stone Mountian, Georgia, attractions, parks in Georgia

We were able to walk across the bridge which was something I don’t do every day. It was noted on a nearby sign that the bridge had been moved from another town in Georgia years ago. This bridge was a refuge for travelers and courting couples until thieves started hiding in the rafters above and pouncing on the unsuspecting walkers-by and doing their deeds of thievery. I guess some things never change. I always like to think that things were better in the olden days, simpler and more peaceful. There has always been evil in the world and I guess there always will be.

It was a very delightful few hours we spent in Stone Mountain Park in Georgia. I wish we would have had more time to spend and explore. Perhaps sometime soon.

Bloggy Boot Camp Atlanta

I just returned home from Bloggy Boot Camp in Atlanta hosted by The SITS Girls. It was, as usual, an informative and fun time. I met some new and interesting people.

She has a great blog. You should read it. No, really!

blogging, bloggy boot camp, SITS Girls, blogging conferences, From Tracie, Beyond My Blue Door

however, she was standing in for Francesca who couldn’t make this conference due to unforeseen family obligations. I love Fran. She is one of the reasons I enjoy Bloggy Boot Camp so much. Getting to talk with her face to face is always worth the trip.

Tiffany Romero, blogging, bloggy boot camp, SITS Girls, blogging conferences, From Tracie, Beyond My Blue Door

I am, as usual, overwhelmed with all that I learned. To take the information and implement it is always the challenge. I get that I can’t do it all, not all at one time anyway. I just need to do what I do and make it work on my space in the blogosphere and with my plan.

The speakers were great. I am excited about all the social media tips to implement. Kayla Aaimee had some great information about affiliate links, something that I have known about since way before I started blogging. I will definitely be following her blog to see what else I can learn.

The speakers, the schedule, and all the fellow bloggers you meet at a blogging conference makes it an amazing experience.

. I found her blogging story simply fascinating. I value this meeting and plan to stay in touch with her. Her blog is another blog I will surely add to my list of must-reads.

Discovering Franklin, Tiffany Romero, blogging, bloggy boot camp, SITS Girls, blogging conferences, From Tracie, Beyond My Blue Door

I haven’t had the chance to really go over my notes. That is something I will do over the next couple of days and again and again. Blogging conferences are helpful on may levels and The SITS Girls is my favorite conference hands down.

Are you a blogger? Do you go to conferences? What is your favorite blogging conference?

 

Forgiveness

I am a collector of quotes. I ran across one recently that I like. “Forgiveness means giving up all hope of a better past.” My resources tell me that Lily Tomlin was the originator. Whoever came up with that one is brilliant in my opinion.

One day at a time

I never really thought about forgiveness in this manner. I do know I hang on to the past. I want the past back. I want a do-over in so many areas. I’m sure this is normal, or maybe not. It doesn’t really matter. It’s not who I am, but something I am working to change.

I am just starting to realize what a futile exercise this is. Why waste so much energy on it? It won’t change a thing. I didn’t equate it with forgiveness, however. It gave me pause, food for thought.

Forgiveness means giving up all hope of a better past.

Makes senses. I can’t change the past, but who am I forgiving?

I think the answer in my case is me. I have a hard time letting go of the past because I don’t give myself a break, the kindness of allowing myself the freedom to be human, to make mistakes. To err is human, right? I am definitely human.

Forgiveness, though, how does that tie in with letting go of the past?

I read an article on The Huffington Post, a worthy and entertaining website. Here is some of what it said: This quote is often met with either people saying “aha” or laughing because it is simply so true. When we refuse to forgive, it’s as if we’re holding onto the past and saying “see past, I’m not going to let you have the pleasure of me letting go of you.” Meanwhile, the past is the past, it’s not happening right now in the present moment — or is it?

I think it is as long as I keep holding on to it, keep wishing it away, keep desperately hoping it will somehow be different than the reality it was, then yes, it continues to happen over and over. I think I want to change that now.

I’m sure this isn’t rocket science for most of you. It’s not for me either, however, I have a hard time implementing it.

It’s getting easier though, as I learn to trust God with my future and walk out each day, one day at a time.

If forgiveness myself means letting myself off the hook and the way to do so is giving up all hope of a better past, then I’m in.

 

This Place

September 29 was my grandma’s birthday. She would have been 97. I went to the farm with my parents that day, the farm where she and my grandfather lived for my entire life. This place…

Grandma

This house, it holds a lot of memories for me, although now it is an empty shell. The house has been emptied of all it’s contents for about a year now. The farm has been sold and there are only a few short weeks left for me to visit. This was one of my last times here. It is the same in so many ways, but so very different too.

I took picture after picture that day,  though they don’t even come close to the photographs eternally imprinted on my heart. This was truly one of my favorite places on earth, and the images of times spent here with my grandparents are never far from my mind.

farm

This place. This sign. This corner in the world.

Grandparents

This road. This lane led to the gates to my grandparents’ farmland and pastures . We would ride in the back of my grandfather’s pick-up truck to go feed the cattle, as kids, my brothers and I. One of my favorite childhood memories…the smell of the grain in the burlap bags that we sat on as we bumpily rode to the field, the odor of the many cow pies as we drove to the feeding troughs, and my grandfather doing his cattle call.

the farm

This barn. I stood in the barn that housed the cows back in the day, just one or two as best as I remember, and took this shot. Mostly this barn was used for storage, like parking the tractor. The barn in the distance was/is the tobacco barn. The land is being leased by a tobacco farmer, politically incorrect, I know, but that’s how my grandfather made his living back in the day, and some still do.

grandparents

No hate mail please. It’s not my tobacco. I just took a pic of the stuff. It brought back memories of my grandfather.

the farm

This pencil sharpener, it may very well be as old as I am. It hung in this exact spot, by the back door since the beginning of time. A little worse for wear as evidenced by the electric tape. I loved this pencil sharpener! I would purposely break the lead of every pencil I could get my hands on just to turn that handle. Simple pleasures of a child.

this farm

This door. Those curtains were homemade by my grandma. I’m not sure how old they are and I know they have seen better days, but they speak to my heart, even in this house that has stood empty for so many years, in the ragged, haphazard way they now hang.

grandparents

This staircase. These are the stairs that lead to a magical place for me in my childhood. Up in the “long room” were all of my mom’s and uncle’s long-ago, played-with toys. I loved that room! I knew what that room held and what I wanted even before I went up there. Sometimes I came down empty-handed, I just simply felt the need to be in that room, to breathe in all the old familiar things in the place I love.

My grandmother’s dressing room/closet was also at the top of those stairs. In that room I found hours of enjoyment as I went through her collection of shoes and purses, which I was allowed to use in my make-believe, dress-up world.

I took many more pictures that day. I won’t post them all here. They are just pictures of empty rooms that have seen better days, and hosted special times in years gone by.

We all have our favorite childhood memories. Many of mine took place at my grandparents’ farm. I know it is time to say good-bye to the actual place, or nearly time to do so. I will never forget, with or without my photos. But I sure am glad I have them.

This place.

Holiday World=Family Fun

My family and I took a trip to Holiday World last weekend. It was a good time. Holiday World=family fun. They are open every weekend until October 26, and they are well decorated for fall and Halloween. The hours are different than during the regular season but so are the ticket prices. The best part for us was there were no lines to wait in on the day we were there~

family fun

The weather was nice which added to the day. Holiday World is known for their extended water park features. Now that summer is over that part is closed.

Old Time Cars

Our first ride of the day! You can see the excitement mounting.

Holiday World

This was not a good sign for the coaster riders in our group. I can take them or leave them. The Voyage is the longest roller coaster in the world (don’t quote me on that). It doe lasts a long time, however. The first (and only time) I rode it, it lasted for like a year! We arrived to see the cars stuck on the first hill and not long after, some folks making their way slowly down that very hill. The sign posted a little later assured us there would be no Voyage rides today!

Swings

The extra high swings are a fav as noted by my brother and son. I later bumped my head on the rails here trying to get on the ride with other members of my party. I was on the Liberty Launch with a few in our party but wanted to ride those swings again! Not my finest moment and dang, did it hurt!

Holiday World

My husband insisted that if you pumped the bar up and down this turkey twirled a little more. My son and brother didn’t believe him so they all three rode together. Excited, right? They were asked to leave the bar alone.

Holiday World

Making the eagles soar was another fun ride, though not a thrill ride. We rode this one a time or two as there was usually no wait.

Although we were there for about 5 1/2 hours (the park is only open for 6 hours on Sunday) it was a fun day for all, and we were pretty tired from all the walking.

family fun

No matter what time of year you visit, Holiday World=Family Fun for sure!

One Day At A Time Musings

One day at a time is a way of life for many folks. Maybe it should be the way we all approach life, for who has a clue what tomorrow holds? We lay our heads down each night with the assumption that all will be pretty much the same tomorrow as the day before and for most of us that is a true story. For others? Not so much. Such is life.

Blame

“Suppose, just suppose, we were resolved to follow this one idea, expressed by one of AA’s founders in an informal talk:

“Let’s stop throwing blame around.” This one idea could be explored, meditated on, acted upon, from now until the end of our days. What would happen if we stopped blaming anyone for anything?  We would experience miracles of tolerance and grace-rich spiritual rewards, reflected in a life of real fulfillment.

I will try not to blame the alcoholic. How can I know what he is going through in his struggle with the bottle, the ever-present escape? What can I know of his strivings to improve after he is sober? I will not blame him. I will not blame anybody. I will not blame myself.

“Who is to blame? Whom have I the right to blame? Let me concentrate on keeping my own conduct from being at fault; more I can not do.” Taken from One Day At A Time in Al-Anon.

Blame…we all do it. It seems as natural as breathing yet I’m not sure how that came to be such a big part of life. Can one live a life without blaming? Is doing so possible?

Do we think that if we let go of blame then we may let someone off the proverbial hook and to do so would mean we have forgotten the wrong done to us, so we carry our blame around, wear it as a badge of survival for the world to see, when in reality all it really does is keep us stuck in a place we never wanted to be in in the first place.

Perhaps living one day at a time means leaving blame behind for good. Not for others but for ourselves. Perhaps that is the only way to find peace and true contentment.