|A friend that greets me every morning and says "Feed me"|
The other routine that I have is working in the garden, harvesting the vegetables, and taking care of the flowers. Lately, there has been a lot of rain so I haven't had to worry so much about watering. The garden has a great irrigation system on a timer so no worries there. But the vegetables have been plentiful, and the blueberries ripening each day. So once again, I feel that sense of responsibility to get going and get outside. No matter how bad I feel, there is just something about digging in the dirt or eating a fresh tomato or blueberry from the vine that makes me happy.
And then there is my life saver--the sailboat. I have visited her every other day, had a few trips out to the anchorage and am planning to go out again next week for 3 days. I've joined a Meet Up sailing group locally and hosted a couple of events at the boat. It's amazing how meeting new people with a common interest can be stimulating and take away unhappy feelings.
I've also been participating in a couple of local photography clubs and been pushing some new avenues with them. Again, I'm meeting new people, trying new techniques, learning, and staying focused on something I am passionate about.
What these activities mean to me is a release from pain, sorrow and anxiety. As long as I sit and am sunk in a pit of self-pity, I'm not doing anything productive. I'm not getting better, feeling happier, or letting go. But what I have found is that the sadness has lessened every day. I go for hours without thinking about the loss of Mom and Pop or my cousin. I am coming to terms with acceptance of what is.
In the opening for Al-Anon meetings, there is a line that says, “In Al-Anon we learned to keep the focus on ourselves”. Sadly, many of us came to Al-Anon with a compulsion to focus on other people. Many of us had a clear idea of how everyone should behave in every situation and felt very self-righteous when others didn’t follow our rules of conduct. Or maybe we felt sorry for ourselves because our lives basically were all about someone else. A major turning point came in recovery when I realized that my life was being neglected because all my attention was on someone else. I knew at that moment that I had to make some major changes in how I was living and thinking.
I'm still learning how to keep the focus on me and not on what others are doing. I don’t have the answers for other people. I don't make the rules for the behavior of others or any facet of their life. If I start getting caught up in what they should or should not do, I have ceased to pay attention to myself. I know that I generally relate to others better when I allow them to be exactly as they are and keep focusing on what I'm doing.
It is necessary for me to stay involved in the living, be active in those things that I enjoy, and not dwell on my shortcomings or what I've lost. Finding a passion for something, venturing forth to try something that you've not done before, learning a new skill, giving back to others through volunteering....the possibilities are endless. And every day, by doing, I can feel the joy coming back into my being.