Month: January 2020

Changing Your Perspective Can Help

Changing Your Perspective Can Help

Seeing it all clearly can allow you to understand the whole picture, and how you fit into it.

One Day at a Time – January 2, 2020

Hindsight is 20-20. Seeing something from a vantage point of knowing the outcome usually gives us insight we never would or could have had were we to access it during the moment. Life is a linear experience, usually, and as I saw somewhere, in life, you get the test, then the lesson. The benefit of getting the test and then the lesson is that it forces you to shift your perspective. Literally, you get to see the results of your test and how it applies to the lesson you were supposed to learn. In real life, changing your perspective is one of the most powerful tools you have in your toolbox to effect the changes you need to make. Changing your perspective can help, it really really can.

Quick and Simple Disclaimer: The readings in this post are literally taken wholesale out of the book entitled “One Day At a Time In Al-Anon” available from Amazon, if you can’t find it at a local meeting.  If you’re an introvert then go buy the book, if you’re a broke introvert, the daily text from many good books can be found HERE, if you’re in dire straits however, go find an Al-Anon Meeting, it saved me.

Today’s Reading

If I were to sit down in a quiet corner and look back over my troubled life as though I were examining the life of someone else, or reading about it in a book, how would it appear to me? I know I can do this only by guarding against all self-justification; looking at the facts honestly. Have I said or done things in haste, anger or desperation that made my situation worse? Are there things I recall with regret? We learn only from experience, and only by making up our minds not to repeat past mistakes.

Today’s Reminder

I will not fall in with the alcoholic’s craving for punishment to relieve his guilt. I will not scold and weep, for it will not help me overcome the difficulties we are trapped in. I will try hard to deal with my day by day difficulties with quiet poise, remembering always that I am doing this for my own benefit.


“When I am tempted or pressured into irrational
behaviour, I pray that I may stop and think before
I do or say anything whatever. I ask God to
Remove these impulses and help me to grow into the
person I want to be.”

Alleged Insight

Oh man, where the hell to start? Look, I know this post is late, no excuses, it’s now January 31, 2019, and truthfully even when I thought to post, I was unable to.

Frozen in fear, paralyzed and over-analytical. Now it’s so far past the day that there’s no real chance to catch-up, yet here I am, trying again. That’s the take away from this. To sit back, attempt to understand, and then try again, and again.

Each morning that you awaken to a new day is another chance to choose the positive. I keep trying that. Life is BUSY. Kids are CHAOTIC. My world is literally running flat out most days.

As an example, right now I have the littlest two at home because they’re not old enough to go to school, the next two because they didn’t feel like participating in the extra-curricular activities that the school had planned for today (cross country skiing at +2 Celcius in sleet and slush mess. I can’t fault them for choosing to stay home and skip school today. Anyhow, from that aside, I have four kids at home, I’m clearing out to renovate a pair of the bedrooms, and dinner prep is starting right quick here. This is on top of the usual daily maintenance for seven people and their crap.

It’s not about the crazy however, and acknowledging the sense of failure as just the feelings that it is, shifting perspective can allow me to climb back on this horse and get moving again.

Closing Thoughts

Somewhere I read that the biggest saboteur of my own success is my own mind. I can run with my feelings, getting stuck in my own mental ruts, or I can jump the track, get a fresh perspective and get back to work.
My tentative goal is to push through a couple of simple, emotionally loaded posts per day until I catch up. If I can gain three or four in a week I’ll call it a success. In addition, there are other posts that are formulating, percolating and getting created as I work through my own crap, which will see daylight occasionally.

You can do this, and I believe I can as well. Cheers. Duke.

One Day At A Time In Al-Anon.

One Day At A Time In Al-Anon.

New year, new start, same program, same practices

One Day at a Time – January 1, 2020

New Year, New Hopes, New Plans… Same old tripwires and traps to keep me down. I will admit that I am the cause of my own downfall. It’s time to start again, each day a new beginning. One day at a time in Al-Anon, it’s more than just a title, and a little blue book; it’s an offer of hope, a promise of redemption and a path to salvation from the manic and damages of today’s world.

Quick and Simple Disclaimer: The readings in this post are literally taken wholesale out of the book entitled “One Day At a Time In Al-Anon” available from Amazon, if you can’t find it at a local meeting. If you’re an introvert then go buy the book, if you’re a broke introvert, the daily text from many good books can be found HERE, if you’re in dire straits however, go find an Al-Anon Meeting, it saved me.

Today’s Reading

This year is a book of clean blank pages on which I will write a record of my experiences and my growth through the daily use of the Al-Anon idea. I turned to Al-Anon as a last resort because I was living with a problem that was too much for me. I know I can deal with this problem through applying Al-Anon to myself, to my thoughts and my actions, every day. If I allow myself to be influenced by what the alcoholic says and does, it will make blots and smears on the pates of my year. This I will try to avoid at all costs.

Today’s Reminder

I can live my life only one day at a time. Perhaps my confusion and despair are so great that I will have to take it one hour at a time, or one minute at a time, reminding myself constantly that I have authority over no life but my own.


“Realizing that nothing can hurt me while
I lean upon my Higher Power, I ask to be
guided through the hours and minutes of
each day. Let me remind myself to bring
every problem to Him for I know He will
show me the way I must go.”

Alleged Insight

Holy man this is a big scary concept. A new start for a full year’s worth of commitment to an ideal that I’ve not been able to hold for more than a day at most. Being able to stand aside and watch my life happen, responding with considered thought, letting go and letting God.

My life is insane. This year started by giving me a new exercise program, here’s the results after four days into it…

Cute hey? It’s now the 18th of January, so the intentional planning and tackling of a course of action, went wrong from the start. Admittedly, the storms that took out our power for more than two days gave a push to my falling off the wagon.

Naturally, there is something to take away from all this. That time without power, shoveling to get vehicles unstuck, melting snow to wash and bathe, cooking over the open flame of a barbeque, life was simpler; more physically demanding, but simpler. Asking God to keep my children safe while they’re on-line is challenging and ephemeral but asking Him to watch over them while they play in five foot deep snow is a different matter. When life is removed from the manic, and slows down to keeping warm, dry and fed until we can get back to the grind, it get’s easier.

Letting go and letting God was an activity in applied practice in that situation, and it worked. I could see how it was supposed to work, and it made sense. When you can’t change or control the outcome, worrying about it was just tiring, not helpful.

Closing Thoughts

Life, with faith, is better. Even if you don’t have Faith, just simple faith in the outcome of it all, letting go of that which you can’t change, and then addressing what you can do when you can get to it, (like now, this is January 1st’s post), it will be alright and things will work out.

Until next time,
Duke of Chaos.

Fear Has Killed More Dreams Than Failure

Fear Has Killed More Dreams Than Failure

It’s January 18, 2020, as I type this. I had a plan for the new year, and fully traversed the Christmas break with my kids, intending to hit the ground running with my blogging plan in place starting January 1, 2020,. I’ve a full book of references, notes and points to make. God had other plans. The power went down on New Year’s Eve. It came back on 60 hours later (2.5 days), but by the end of spending two full days just surviving in the cold and snow (ok, we have a wood stove so it wasn’t that cold), the fear and insecurity which are my default settings had taken root. That was twelve days ago. I had such big dreams for starting this year strong. Fear kills more dreams (at least of mine) than any other factor in my reality. How do we go about doing all the things without being paralyzed by insecurity, fear and general feelings of inadequacy?

First, admit you’re only human

Groundbreaking, I know. As I sit here typing this, I have five kids running chaos, at least one of which sounds like they might be bleeding, maybe.

Ok, I checked, he’s not bleeding. The bloodcurdling screams were a result of his little sister trying to bite him. Ah well. I had a daily routine all planned out, but with the first five posts sitting in a queue to be proofed and then posted, I froze. I’m sure I’ll catch up, but it’s like anything else, when you start slipping, it’s easier to give up than to double down. We humans are funny that way. Not all of us by any means, but many times it’s a near miss to choose one over the other. Either way, there are going to be consequences.

Second, realize that all the good intentions won’t fix a lack of time

I wish it could simplify the truth to the point that it was all just that I was too busy getting things finished and through no fault of my own did I let this blog languish. The truth is that, per point one, I”m only human and a fallible one at that. Riding hard up against that however, is that truth that both my wife and I, together have five kids to take care (yeah, all day every day, funny that), and we both try to work full time to keep the bills paid and everything else running smoothly.

Somewhere recently I saw a week broken down by hours, to show that everybody had the same 168 hours per week, and factoring in a full work schedule, full regular sleep, and even family time, that there should be 48 hours left to pursue our greatness. Yeah, they forgot some aspects of parenting I suppose. By the numbers, I have about -10 hours per week to work on what needs to be finished after kids, meals, chores, working, and sleeping (sleeping usually get’s shorted first). The truth is that I can usually squeeze out half an hour a day sometimes to blog and write about my recovery processes here.

Being a dedicated husband and father takes time, more than any one man has. But we do our best, we’re only human after all.

“If it’s important, you’ll make it work” is hogwash

Life has a few different classification systems in this crazy world. Fear drives the accomplishment of the first few, and puts the brakes on others.

First, there are the immediate and critical things (bloodcurdling screams, missing children, medical emergencies), these need dealt with like RIGHT NOW. The won’t wait.

Second there are the immediate non-critical things. Such things include the obvious, addressing burning food, cleaning up pet vomit on the floor, digging the van out of a snowdrift so my wife can get to work, that kind of things. The need to happen, immediately, but nobody’s going to end up injured or worse if it’s a moment or two.

Third there are the critical but not immediate (just really soon!). Feeding the children on schedule fall into this category, so does shoveling off the roof and fixing that slow leak in the garden hose, or refilling the washer fluid in the van since it’s getting low and this time of year is messy on the road.

Once all of these different things are finished there’s the balance of daily life, playing with the kids, laundry, dishes, cleaning, general repairs, that kind of thing. The time adds up and there’s never enough of it.

So, to say that my writing is important to me and as such I will make time for it, is simplistic to say the least. Sometimes, at midnight, after folding the last of the laundry or reloading the dishwasher for the third load of the day, I am falling asleep at the keyboard, trying to ‘make it work’ and have the time to do the writing thing.

This is where the fear sets in

When life is busy, and things are done at speed with less than the usual level of attention to detail, then things are not as perfect as we’d often like them to be. I overcame the need to post perfect material a long time ago, but even I suffer from ‘is it worth posting, nobody want’s to read my rambling.’

See, some people can look square at the day and decide to conquer it, and some of us want to go back to bed for another hour or two because last night’s sleep sucked. The confidence to know that you’re good enough is a trait all of us possess. Many times we really do have to fake it until we’re moving and momentum is keeping us accountable.

Fear is often referenced is many forms; two of the most common acronyms that I run across are:

Forget Everything And Run [away]

Face/Fight Everything And Rise

A third comes to mind in our AlAnon perspective

False Evidence Appearing Real

My question is this [two part] – which of these applies to your situation, and does it matter?

In my case, I get paralyzed wondering if things are good enough, and if I am worth it, and if anybody cares.

See, the demons on my left shoulder are much more convincing that the angels on my right (and I’m a little deaf on my right side) leaving me with a serious case of insecurity.


So in closing, after lots of words that don’t say too much at all, sometimes you just gotta do what you can to keep getting back up.

You’re only a failure if you give up. Humans are fallible, I am one such. Each time I get back up (or sit back down to type in this case, eventually hitting publish) is a new start at an old game, and you’ll only fail or lose the game if you give up and stop trying.

If you question if you’re worth it, like I do, then remember that others are almost always less harsh on you than you are on yourself. Hell, drop me a line and I’ll go over things with you if I can, even if that just involves listening to you unload.

I have to get to work here, after all, those important and immediate things include penalized deadlines that I have to meet for work, so that I can get paid and afford to feed them five amazing children that I get to call mine.

DFTBA and may God bless and shelter you.