Category Archives: Articles

In Rehab and Recovery

No, not me. My writing.

Check out the most recent samples of the writing opportunities God has brought to me on Recovery.org and Rehabs.com.

I’ve been so busy writing for other sites, I’ve been neglecting my own, so I thought I’d simply share what I’ve been doing elsewhere.

Is Shame A Good Motivator In Recovery?

The Undeniable Benefits Of Pets In Recovery

12 Clean and Sober Pain Management Techniques

Choose A Rehab – Close To Home Or Far Away?

Blessed to be writing for Recovery Brands!

 

 

A Taste For Travel

us map

Looking for sneak peeks at America’s tourist destinations?

Check out my tablet: Sights, Bites, and Delights at tastetablet.com

I will be sharing tidbits of my travels each week. My journeying now includes 45 of the states. I hope to hit three more this summer. My goal of visiting all 50 is in sight!

What about you? Have you toured our entire nation? What has been your favorite travel destination? I would love to hear your experiences and compare notes.

Analysis Paralysis

decision easy                                                                                           decision think

 

scale


Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Where are you on this spectrum? Fly by the seat of your pants? Or are you at the other end, with me? How can you know where you fall?

Which would be your response to the following question:

“Want to take a trip to Ireland?”

“Sure! Sounds great! Let’s go!”

Or…

“Maybe. Sounds fun, but when would we go? How long will the trip be? Where will we stay? Is that the best option for a destination? There are a lot of other places I want to see. Who will be going on the trip? Should we invite anyone else? How many people would be good to travel with? How do we decide whom to invite? Will anyone’s feelings be hurt if they aren’t invited? How much will it cost? Will the time and financial commitment interfere with other things I want to do? What’s it like in Ireland? Is it safe? Easy to get around? Would a guided tour be better, or plan it our ourselves? What are my options? If I don’t go to Ireland, what could I do instead? Exploring castles sounds fun, and seeing Kerry County. But, it will cost a lot of money, and involve leaving the country…passports, flights, yadda yadda.  I don’t know if I want to go or not. I can’t decide.”

It’s crazy, isn’t it? The process involved for me to make a decision is often mind-boggling. From selecting dishes, to planning vacations, to choosing a house, to picking a restaurant for Friday night dinner, I usually travel hundreds of thought miles before reaching a destination. What’s even crazier is that my wanderings often don’t end up at a destination at all. I must analyze, weigh each alternative, look at every angle, list the pros and cons, deliberate, debate, doubt and second-guess, until I’ve exhausted every option and exhausted myself (and those around me, I’m sure.) The result: a state of indecision, trapped in the mesh of the myriad possibilities I’ve created in my mind, playing out various scenarios, trying to think through everything thoroughly.

The result: Analysis Paralysis.

Afraid of making a bad decision, it’s hard to make any decision at all. So immersed in analysis, I’m frozen in place.

Whatever I choose, I’ll have to live with forever. So serious. (See previous post.)

So afraid of regret, I end up with regret over my inability to decide. How ridiculous is that?

Anyone out there in cyberspace relate to this? Or are you all chilling down at the other end of the spectrum? Foot-loose and fancy-free? Making decisions willy-nilly. Anything goes. Just goin’ with the flow. Jumping at any opportunity. No scale must be tipped in a lengthy decision-making process. There is no scale.

I sometimes envy you. How can it be so easy for you? I sometimes dislike you. How can you simply say yes, without considering the consequences?

yes man title

yes man bike yes man chicken yes man potter yes man red bullyes man sports  yes man rockyes man tape

I suppose my cautious, over-thinking, planning, analyzing mind has saved me from some bad decisions. I suppose it has also made (what should be) easy decisions difficult, and given me grief. I suppose I have analyzed this topic enough to know a happy medium must exist that would be good to find. Or, perhaps not. Maybe I need to be this way to balance out all of you Yes-men out there. Someone has to keep things in order.

Are you stuck in Analysis Paralysis too? I wish I could help get you unstuck, but I think in the process we’d both come unglued. I will simply pass along what I have learned so far.

  • Most of the things I agonize over won’t matter 100 years from now. We need to remember that. Many of the decisions that paralyze me won’t even matter 10 years from now. It would be good to remember that too. Dare I say a lot won’t even matter one year from now? Good to consider.
  • We are missing out on the freedom we don’t see we have. We are so afraid of making the wrong choice, we may not see there is no single right one. Many times, there are multiple good choices. It’s ok. Just pick one. Even if it turns out there might have been a better one, it’s still a good one, not bad.
  • No decision is a decision too.

If you are my polar opposite, I have but one request. On second thought, make that two.

1. Be patient with those of us who take a bit longer to come to conclusions.

2. Please help me decide when I should end this article.

Is here good?

Now?

Maybe there is a bit more to discuss.

Perhaps I’ve said my piece.

But…

Low-tech Loser?

can phone

I am typing this on a laptop, to post to a blog, on what I like to call the interweb, so I am not completely behind the times. I do still have a dumb phone. It’s a simple flip phone, no data plan, no keyboard even, just calling (and texting, as of last year!)

I am repeatedly turned off by all the hype of the latest gadgets. I couldn’t care less if I have the latest and greatest in tech. Some would say I’m missing out. But then I see a video posted on facebook. It’s about the depressing fact that people are constantly on their phones and missing out on truly living in the moments going on around them. So, wherein lies the truth? Am I actually better off being low-tech?

A pet peeve that can really get my blood boiling quickly is for a person with whom I am attempting to spend time to ignore me or what we are doing to instead focus on a gadget. Turning their gaze to their phone, their laptop, their tablet, or whatever screen catches their attention, they are telling me that whatever we are doing together is not enough. Something on that screen is a more appealing use of their energy. They would rather be doing that than interacting with me. My urge at that point is to do one of three things:

1. Grab their gizmo and throw it outside.

2. Grab them and throw them outside.

3. Attempt to win their attention back by:
a. letting them know they are being rude or hurting my feelings
b. threatening to throw their gadget or them outside

I usually end up falling back on plan 3a. However, there are many times when I resort to #4. Feel a little sad, rejected, and lonely that the person whose company I desire must be shared with a screen, but say and do nothing.

I do realize that it’s often not simply a screen that is stealing that person’s time, it is another person. They aren’t simply playing a game, making yet another facebook post, or surfing the web. They are texting, emailing, or otherwise communicating with another human being. That does not make me feel any better. If you’d rather be interacting with that person, go be with them. Don’t stay here with me but ignore me. If that’s how it’s going to be, I’d rather be interacting with someone else too.

Yes, yes. There are exceptions. And, yes, I have been on my phone while I’m with others. There are hundreds of scenarios we could discuss here. But I am sure you realize I am not referring to checking the movie times in order to go to a show together later that day, or answering a text from a spouse asking when you will be home, or dozens of other legitimate or necessary distractions.

Yet, these can be done fairly quickly, and with explanation. Otherwise, the person you are with is left wondering what’s going on that’s more important than your time with them. It’s like you’re leading a double life – only half there with them. You are busy doing secret things on your device that they are not involved with for some reason. It’s like whispering in one person’s ear in a group of eight people. It’s just rude.

Would I be tempted more to do this myself if I were higher tech oriented? Possibly. Maybe it’s good for me to stay low-tech then. I doubt that will be possible for long in our society. When our iPhones are surgically implanted devices that communicate directly with our eyes, speech, and thoughts, it will be hard to escape.

Maybe I should just accept this new mode of interaction as norm, and not feel rejected and annoyed. Maybe I should try to be interesting or loving enough to keep that other person from turning to the screen. Maybe I should try to be more excited about the technology available to us. Or, maybe I should go all Sarah Connor and be prepared for Skynet.

One Tag. One Gift. A Lifetime of Impact

You’re a seven-year-old boy who will not be getting the soccer ball he wants this Christmas. You are a six-year-old girl who won’t be receiving the coat you need this winter. You will not be opening presents with your parents on Christmas morning. Why? You are one of the 1.7 million children whose parent is currently incarcerated. Unable to hit the Christmas sales at the mall, unable to present their children with gifts, these parents need your hands and feet to minister to their children when they cannot. Living in surroundings most of us cannot comprehend, these children need you to reach through the bars and bring them hope this season.

How? Angel Tree.

It could happen like this.
Susan casually chooses a tag off the tree in her church foyer.  On it is a gift request. This will be a good project to let the kids help with, she thinks. Susan takes the tag home. She shows it to her kids, who agree to go shopping with her to purchase a gift for Jordan, a nine-year-old whose mother has been in prison since he entered preschool. Through Angel Tree, Susan, and her kids, Jordan receives not only the baseball cap he will treasure through high school and into adulthood, but he also hears the message of Christ and begins to know the love of God.

As you are making your Christmas lists this year, add just one more. You can choose to make a difference in a child’s life. By supporting Angel Tree through the purchase of a gift, or a financial donation, anyone can reach out to these children with hope.

What is Angel Tree?

For 30 years, Angel Tree has provided this opportunity to impact the lives of kids across the nation. Created by a convict who felt and saw a need, this ministry has grown to bless millions of families with both material and spiritual gifts.

During the Christmas season, Angel Tree partners with organizations to purchase gifts for the children of inmates. In the summer, the Angel Tree Camping program offers these kids the opportunity to attend youth camps. Year-round, mentoring programs match children with caring adults who share Christ’s love and offer guidance and support. From school supplies, to sports programs, to hot meals, additional donation opportunities provide support for these children the whole year through.

Ultimately, families are reached with the love and message of Christ. It is with this goal in mind that Angel Tree continues to seek support and extend this outreach.

What can I do?

Every person can make an impact. Share the love of Christ this Christmas through Angel Tree:

  • Register your organization or church to be part of the program. You will receive all you need to create an incredible ministry opportunity for your group.
  • Purchase a gift – simply select a tag from an Angel Tree. You can provide the gift a child might otherwise not receive.
  • Find out more about involvement in the Year-Round Angel Tree ministries. Maybe you would like to be a personal mentor, send a child to camp, or pay for a new backpack in the fall.
  • Donate. Angel Tree offers the opportunity to transform lives. By making a donation, your support will help families receive the hope they so desperately need.
  • Pray for this outreach. The needs are many. The children are many. The prayers must be many.