First Morning and a Good Life

Life is good this morning, I woke at my normal 4:30 body clock time refreshed and ready for a good day.  Something was different though. Something good!

She heard me stir and came out front under the bed!  Still shy and timid but there she was with her amazing blue eyes and velvet ears waiting to go out.  I found a pooch after so much time.  I know it’s going to take a few days for her to adjust and understand that she now owns the place she’s no longer in a kennel where she’s spent most of her life.  She’s home, she’s where daily walks and hikes and cookies and cuddles are normal routine not just some thing a kid with a job needs to do.

My neighbors love her already, I can’t blame them she’s so sweet natured.  Aside from a propensity to explore my kitchen trash can she’s shown no signs of the destructiveness in her notes.  I purposely picked a pooch that needed work because it means I need to focus on something on someone.

She seems content so far to sleep under my bed, I suppose having been surrounded by crates all her life it gives a security.  Last night I too slept under my bed lol felt great on the back and my pillow didn’t move much she did lick now and then.

I have a very late shift today and thus more time with pooch, yesterday we did a short walk along the trails today maybe a longer run I want to again off leash her but I might have to wait.

For now as I cook my breakfast with Elise at my leg I have no complaints!!  In fact I’ve only felt this comfortable with my Akita my darling soja a man needs a pup.

A man needs a pup…..

~J

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The Positive Benefits of Creation

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One of the authors hobbies, Gummy art.

Why not take action to improve yourself?

Creating something, whether baking a cake or building a table, even snapping together a Lego set or creating a blog entry can become an incredibly cathartic process of not just focus and self-reflection but also discovery of one’s own capabilities. Often it can also serve as a distraction or outlet from a myriad of problems we encounter through life be it anger, depression, addiction (urges and cravings), and of course boredom.

Smart Recovery © calls this a form of VACI or Vitally Absorbing Creative Interest and it is recommended in point 4 of the program “Living a Balance Life”. While it is very true that engaging in a hobby or activity (which can be anything ranging from hiking to simply meditating) is not just beneficial but in many cases required to achieving life balance; I would like to suggest that activities that produce some sort of output can be useful in all stages of life (or to frame within SMART© Point 2 “Coping With Urges” and Point 3 “Managing Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors”). In the interest of not seeming to focused on one single program I will also point out that many 12 step sponsors will recommend a sponsee perform a task when called about an urge or craving.

This translates farther than addiction though; often with scenarios of high anxiety, depression, even avoiding or reducing the extent of dementia, or Alzheimer’s symptoms. The positive effects of a hobby are far reaching in that it exercises the mind, helps to achieve focus, generates a sense of accomplishment and, in the case of creating something it can also produce income or a gift for someone else.

Recently my personal experience has been that when I have an urge come on I can manage it very quickly and easily by engaging in one of my favorite “creational” hobbies, cooking. Often by the time I assemble all the necessary pots and pans and utensils and whatever ingredients I will need the urge has disappeared. Sometimes instead of cooking I will start a wood working project or fiddle with any manner of craft from stained glass, building a camp stove out of a coffee can, photography, and yes even this blog.

The articles for this blog is not only a very good example of a creational hobby but also in my opinion a very timely and excellent demonstration of how effective such things can be on changing overall attitude and improving well-being. I started this blog approximately three days ago, this is the fourth day and I have already noticed a major shift in my overall attitude to the positive. I find it easier to engage in conversations with a much more upbeat and relaxed tone, and shrug off comments that I would ordinarily respond to with argument or insult. I haven’t had an urge or even so much as a slight craving in the last two days, and my sleep has been better than I can ever remember throughout my adult life.

Here where I am at in Colorado, I impatiently await the days I can go out with my cameras and snap pictures of whatever strikes me in hopes for those few great shots that I may print and frame as gifts for friends and family. I cook a meal once a week for my much younger cousin who is living on his own for the first time a few blocks away. These creational hobbies not only provide me joy and absorb time that I might have normally spent looming in depression, but they also bring along a secondary feel good when I do something for someone else just because.

I invite anybody reading this to take a good look at what creational hobbies might become a useful tool in adjusting attitude and lifestyle to a more positive and productive meaning.

Happy creating,

~Joe