Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A new day

Today is a much better day for me than yesterday. I heard what I needed to hear in the meeting last night. It was packed with people, so many that some were sitting on the floor. And as usual for this meeting, there was a lot of great sharing, not always pretty and not always full of solutions but very real thought-provoking stuff.

The topic was Keep It Simple. Yesterday I wasn't doing that. I was being lead around by the voices in my head that were telling me that all kinds of things were going to happen, that things weren't going to work out, that I might as well give up.

The fist of anxiety grabbed my gut and didn't let go until I visited with some friends before the meeting. We talked vegetables and gardening. I could feel myself getting grounded in reality again. So by the time I got to the meeting, I was beginning to feel better.

Keep It Simple is a good slogan for someone like me who tends to make things much more complex than they need to be. I need the reminder to take things at face value and not let my imagination run wild. I have been the "fixer" for so long that sometimes I have to remember what is really mine and has my name on it. I don't need to pick up and carry the load of someone else, just what's mine.

As I wrote yesterday, if I can just go with the flow and enjoy the ride, I'll be okay. It's when I take on the issues and problems of another, that I create chaos in my life. The unnecessary things that I do distract me from looking at what is going on with me. If I remember that God's will covers 360 degrees of me, then I can relax.

I look at my dogs and see how simple their life is. They are great examples of living the Keep It Simple philosophy. They sniff each other, give a wag of recognition, are hardly ever irritable and don't worry about anything. They aren't anticipating what's for dinner, whether they are going to get brushed, or go for a ride. They enjoy the simple things such as a good stick or a puddle of water. They seem to like everyone they meet. They exude warmth and happiness in a sincere way. They seem to take life as it comes, live in the moment and show me that the simple life is quite happy.

I thought that I'd share a poem by Robert Frost that seems to capture the idea of keeping it simple:

"The Armful"

For every parcel I stoop down to seize
I lose some other off my arms and knees,
And the whole pile is slipping, bottles, buns --
Extremes too hard to comprehend at once,
Yet nothing I should care to leave behind.
With all I have to hold with hand and mind
And heart, if need be, I will do my best
To keep their building balanced at my breast.
I crouch down to prevent them as they fall;
Then sit down in the middle of them all.
I had to drop the armful in the road
And try to stack them in a better load.

"Let's don't louse this thing up. Let's keep it simple." Dr. Bob to Bill W.


  1. Love the poem. Also, loved the reference to your dogs. My dog Macy looks a lot like the dog in your photo, ( minus the bee costume). She is my best friend and she always brings me right into the present which is the only reality there is.jeNN

  2. Very nicely put Syd. Love the poem and love your fresh perspective on the matter. I used to do just that, carry another person's burdens on my own shoulders. Before you knew it, I was in bed from stressing so much. I stopped doing that & started realizing it's okay to mull about in your head and problems as they come as tomorrow everything is anew again. Glad you worked it out.

  3. Keeping it simple is something that I work on daily. It takes a lot of prayer for me to be able to accomplish this on a daily basis. However, when I do things are always SO MUCH easier! Love the dog picture! ADORABLE!

  4. I love Frost, dogs are the best, and thank God for every new day with new beginnings!

  5. Hi Syd!

    Real Cute Bumble-Bee-God - - - er - - - Bumble-Bee-Dog!

    Love ya,
    Anonymous #1

  6. Great post. I'm working on keeping it simple in my own life all the time and this post has inspired me to keep working on it. Love the dog! :) So cute!

  7. Keep it simple is a great slogan to live by. My garden and vegetables keep me grounded too.

  8. I liked the Frost poem, Syd. I read a lot of Frost while studying for my major, but I had not encountered that one.

    Glad today is better. Sending love and peace.


  9. My head is in a good place today.
    As I type this, I'm preparing to go to my Wednesday Double-Winner (AA & Al-Anon) meeting.
    But I don't think I'll be sniffing anyone.

  10. I met my daughter for lunch today. She mentioned that she wishes she was a dog because dogs don't get what's going on around them.

  11. I can't get enough of animals dressed in costumes!

  12. Glad you got what you needed at the meeting last night! I love Robert Frost.

    Is that your dog???? TOO CUTE!

  13. Dave sniffs everyone, don't let him kid you!

    Often just sitting in a meeting will chase away a lot of stuff. If I listen and let my mind stay out of the way I always emege a little lighter.

  14. Love the Frost and I am glad you are feeling better.

  15. Sorry, I have to go with the Frost...I love his wordings.

    And sitting on the floor at meetings, but lately i need help to get back up!

  16. I miss my dogs, and now i know why - thanks big jenn for reminding me: they truly do keep you in the present. I had to leave tonight's mtg early but ended up in my (community) garden plot til it was too dark to trust what I was pulling out :) Thanks for posting, Syd.

  17. now i know why i need my pups in my life... lovely post syd!

  18. 'Keep it simple' is some very good advice, Syd. Thanks! I shall make that my motto for as long as I can. I tend to overcomplicate issues usually and that goes hand in hand with panic and anxiety. Hope you have a wonderful day, friend. Fishy x

  19. Love that Frost poem. Look at Elizabeth Bishop 'The Art of Losing' sometime.

  20. I never never never ever thought I was a Fixit person till I went to Al-anon....guess I am....though I prefer to think of myself more as a Preventive too tend to wake up in the morning ...worrying ...and that never seems to accomplish much.As my Daddy used to say,.spit in one hand and wish in another and see which one fills up the fastest..By the are still...fixin' things...tho you may not realize it..Thanks Syd for your daily inspirations..

  21. I think I'd get in trouble at some meetings if I sniffed strange dogs.

    I'm happy for you and hopeful for me.

    I love the Frost poem.

    This whole thing just seems to work.

    Blessings and aloha...

  22. I think you're amazing Syd...and I have missed reading your posts. Finding balance is one of my biggest challenges. I find when I keep things simple, the balance just comes. The Frost poem speaks of the simplicity of balance to me.

  23. My dogs have really helped make my sobriety possible. They ground me.


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