Category Archives: YESSSSSSS

Eli Writes!

This last time on the merry go round of drug addiction as I sat against the unyielding court pews and waited to be remanded, I reflected, not for the first time, how much chaos i was living and breathing.

My beloved car sat morosely outside the courthouse, undoubtedly on tenterhooks in anticipation of my return. The meter clicked down minute by minute and somewhere between the time I was quietly sobbing in the courtroom and the time I was quietly sobbing in my cell in population, they towed it away. My actions had driven everyone in my life away so completely that I didn’t even have anyone to drive my car back home for me. Not only did I have no one to drive my car back, but I essentially didn’t have a home either.

That was 21 days ago. Today is September 5, 2015 AD and I feel different than I did 21 days ago. I’ve experienced more ups, downs, and raw emotions defying categorization than I have experienced in the last six months. Tonight I’ve felt happy, sad, hopeful, renewed, exhausted and serene, often all at the same time. To describe the rest of this week’s emotions would require me to break open a thesaurus to begin the arduous process of transcribing them. Essentially, I think, my brain is simply reeling from the onslaught of narcotics that has plagued my neurotransmitters for years and whose death grip I feel free of for once tonight.

While I’ve been in this locked-down facility for the past 20 days, I can’t say that I’ve had a dull moment. Sometimes I feel like there’s no way I can deal with the clusterfuck in my head without the use of extremely strong drugs, but then, of course, that’s why they locked me up in here in the first place.

I must admit it’s an inexpressible relief today to be free from the burden of battling the practically insurmountable temptation to get high. Whatever feelings that I have to feel, I am grateful that I have them back. I’m grateful that I’m free of the Hamilton County Justice Center’s bleached, starched stripes tonight. I’m grateful to eat food that the FDA has approved for human consumption. I’m grateful to have friends to confide in, friends who are getting clean right alongside me. And probably, most importantly, I’m so very grateful to sit at a cafeteria table across from my mom, little brother, and father and look at them with clear eyes.

Today is a beautiful day.

Good Reminder for Me and Possibly You

I was listening to the “The One You Feed” podcast this morning, after having whittled down my Twitter list to the people I really want to follow and/or those I do not see elsewhere on social media.

Eric was talking about getting things done. This has been a low-productivity week for me. He said two things I found very helpful.

When you are driving somewhere, if you look at your progress at any particular moment, you will not get an accurate overall picture. You may have to slow down to 10mph on the highway because of traffic, where you may be able to go 65 on another part of the highway. Making a decision about your overall progress based on the moment you are going 10mph is going to give you an inaccurate picture. It’s the overall average speed that will give you a good picture of how you are doing.

If I look at any particular moment (or day) when I am having low productivity and make large conclusions about my productivity based on this one moment, I will not see the whole picture. It’s the average of the moments, minutes, hours, days, week, not just this one moment right here.

Of course if I am working to be productive this minute, that’s great, but I mustn’t look at a slow time and decide that’s the entire picture.

The other reminder was an analogy about how we take care of plants. To have a healthy plant, we water it a little bit at a time. If we give it a gallon today and then nothing for the next four weeks, for most plants, this will not work at all. Same with projects or maintenance tasks. A little bit each day. I couldn’t possibly have gotten all the libraries visited with Kepler this summer if I had tried to visit all 41 branches in one day. It was the one or two at a time that got us this far.

Here is a link to the podcast, which is just under 6 minutes long. If you ever look at yourself and characterize yourself based on this individual moment, may I recommend that you listen to this podcast. Very encouraging.

A special phone call


My phone rang just as Kepler was settling down to sleep. I recognized the number from calls I received from the jail. Must be a system-wide number because he’s in rehab, not jail.

And my son sounds like a completely different person. His voice has energy and enthusiasm which I can’t remember hearing for a very, very long time.

I think the best thing he said was that the first day of rehab, he was feeling anxious about having to be there, but it wasn’t even three days in that his feelings transformed into being glad that he gets to be there.

Thanks to everyone who is thinking of him, praying for him, rooting for him. I was surprised and delighted to hear that this program is being run so well and that it seems to be working so well for him.

What is it Anne Lamott says? One of her books is titled Help, Thanks, Wow. The only three prayers we need. I’m going with Thanks and Wow tonight. Wow. And Thanks.

Top ten lessons I’ve learned since I got a dog

1. I can stop saying I’m not a dog person now. It appears that I actually am.

2. Having a dog is making me a better parent.

3. I have a reason to spend time outside now.

4. The internet is a boon to mankind. Well, I already knew that one, but it’s a great resource to learn how to dog.

5. Kepler loves having a dog. “I wuv Toast, Mom.”

6. Having a dog has made me more playful.

7. I love having a dog small enough to carry around. Toast, full-grown, will be too big to carry, which will be fine, but I never realized how sweet it is to carry around a calm puppy.

8. I have done more gardening since we got Toast than I’ve ever done in my life, probably because we are outside so much.

9. It’ll be a week tomorrow since he came home and I’m about twenty times more confident and comfortable than I was just one short week ago.

10. I’m sold on labradoodles.

A Katzenjammer of Miscellany 7/29 Edition

1. I sent the down payment today for a little puppy called Mr. Rochester. The name comes from Madeleine L’Engle’s book A Ring of Endless Light, which

2. You should read if you haven’t. L’engle wrote beautifully. I loved her book about her marriage. Two-Part Invention.

3. Everyone should have a Kepler in their life. Who else gets a “Nice work, Mom” when they vacuum up some visible crumbs.

4. Having an accountant keep track of what needs to be sent where and when is what I call manna from heaven.

5. Investigated the open burn laws in my city. No more will I break those particular laws!

6. Connecting with friends on a heart level is such a juicy experience. I got to do that today.

7. Banks make mistakes too. Thankfully, they can fix them quickly.

8. It’s a precious time when a teenager wants to have a good chat with mom.

9. Cesar Millan is now my favorite author, as I try to learn everything about dogs in three weeks.

10. Still waiting for my reserved copy of Harper Lee’s book to arrive at my library. I’m about 219th on the list of patrons waiting.

11. Life is so dang good.