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What is in your toolbox?

November 25, 2015 1:13 pm

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We live in a culture that LOVES to drink.  Actually, with a few exceptions and my fellowship friends I really do not know anyone that does not drink….

I am frequently faced with the following questions, especially around this time of year with the holidays quickly approaching:

What would you like to drink?

Why are you not drinking?

Are you SURE you would not like a drink?

Why don’t you just try this, it’s delicious?  (Believe me……I know that pear cider is delicious…. )

These questions can be challenging at times.  They were especially challenging when I first moved to the Mid-West away from my support network on the Monterey Peninsula.  Before Nebraska, I lived in my “Pacific Grove Bubble” which consisted of:

Work (at Beacon HouseSM)

Meetings

Exercise

Sponsor, Friends (basically all sober), Family

Repeat…

I never really had the opportunity to utilize the tools from my “Tool Box.”  Today I get to utilize those tools that I had been collecting for over a decade.  These tools or solutions are as follows:

Stay spiritually connected.  Always.  And if I am not connected, I stay home.

Always have a drink in hand (water, diet coke, club soda) so people do not feel the need to constantly ask me what I would like to drink….

I practice saying “no thank you” and leaving it at that. 

I stay close to my husband when at social gatherings.

If not with my husband, I always have an exit plan, if needed, to leave a social event.

And lastly, I always remember…  There is NO problem or situation that is worth a drink….  For me, alcohol makes things worse, never better!

What solutions do you have for this holiday season?  What is in your toolbox?

Veterans Day.

November 11, 2015 12:43 pm

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This is not much compared to the great sacrifices made by the service men and women serving our country, however, in helping to honor our Veterans and Active Duty, I was able to participate in “Operation Cookie Drop” at a local Air Force Base.  Spouses pulled together to make HUNDREDS of cookies for these men and women.  We bagged cookies of three, added Hersey Kisses, and passed them out as Airmen were leaving work .  What an honor to give back just a very small gesture of Gratitude….

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As I participated in “Operation Cookie Drop” I was reminded that Veterans Day is a day dedicated for us to pause and salute all who have served. It is a day to honor the tremendous sacrifices made by members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families to preserve our freedom.

I am proud to be an American and I am grateful to my family who has served and are currently serving our Country.  Some of my family turned to alcohol and never recovered from their experiences defending our freedom…..

Thank you to my Great Grandfather, Grandfather, Father, and Husband.

To all Veterans, there are no words for me to express how thankful I am to each and every one of you who have defended our country, past and present.   I thank you for your personal sacrifices and I am honored to be able to support your families.

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What is Gratitude…?

November 8, 2015 5:55 pm

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November is Gratitude Month…

What is Gratitude?

I say that Gratitude is a necessary ingredient to living a happy and fulfilling life.  Since I have begun practicing an “Attitude of Gratitude” I have noticed benefits to my mood, decrease in stress, and just an overall improvement in my well-being.  I am happier, healthier, more physically fit, and both my personal and professional relationships benefit!

Based on articles that I have read, I have learned that our brains are wired to promote positive responses when we practice gratitude.  This results in better relationships, sleep, health, mood, happiness, satisfaction at work and school, and resiliency.

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With the regular practice of Gratitude, we DO decrease stress, anxiety, depression and we recover faster from trauma and injuries….

And it’s as easy as jotting down a thought or two a day of what you are grateful for on paper, telling people in your life why you appreciate them, and/or focusing on the positive in situations throughout your day.  This does not come naturally for me.  It is work.  For me, Gratitude is action.

This month and every month, I’m going to acknowledge my Gratitude to see what impacts I can make. I am sure my husband will notice!!!

How will it impact your life?

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