Archive for the ‘What?’ Category

Sunset over Princeton, Mass.
Reflection in the pond
I love paths like this
Sometimes you need to look up

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12 steps everyone needs

Thinking about it, I don’t even remember why or where I read the 12 Steps. At 20, I’ve never had more than one drink at a time. Not everyone enjoys the same things, drinking is not something that I’m attracted to for a variety of reasons. It just doesn’t do it for me.

It was sometime within the last few months, and I remember thinking how beautiful it is. Even without an addiction beating you down to rock-bottom, we all have our vices, flaws, and failures and can feel the power in where these steps can lead.

Step 1 – We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable

Step 2 – Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity

Step 3 – Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God

Step 4 – Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves

Step 5 – Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs

Step 6 – Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character

Step 7 – Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings

Step 8 – Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all

Step 9 – Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others

Step 10 – Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it

Step 11 – Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out

Step 12 – Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs

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I never ate in a cafeteria until college. Malls and hospitals might have been the closest I ever came to seeing what most children saw in school everyday growing up.

I was homeschooled. My experience, or lack of experience, with cafeterias is just one example of the many things that make me just a little bit different from the traditional school population. I found that most of these things are like cafeterias, most people would say that I didn’t miss much.

I didn’t see friends in class everyday. But if I finished my school work as efficiently as possible and I could spend most of the day playing with friends.

I never did a group project. But I learned to do everything on my own.

I never had specialized teachers with knowledge about specific topics. But I learned how to find a book on anything I wanted to know about.

I never had competition with other students. But I learned to challenge myself and compete with my own abilities to get better.

I couldn’t be in an honors program, no matter how well I did. But I learned to excel for its own sake without the need for recognition.

I never had any sort of dress code. But I learned that you probably won’t get anything done while you are still wearing pajamas.

I never got to stay home sick. But I learned to get work done even if I did it in bed.

I could never leave school. But I learned that even when you can physically leave school at the end of the day, you never stop learning.

I never had a list of extra-curricular activities offered to me. But I learned how to find any activity I wanted and get involved.

I never rode a school bus. But I never had to wait outside for the bus or missed it.

I didn’t have a class of people who became my automatic friends. But I learned I could make friends anywhere.

I never had a class of people exclusively my age. But I learned to be friends with people of any age.

I never fought with kids at school. But I learned that I had to resolve every fight with my three siblings because we couldn’t escape each other.

I never had a schedule made for me. But I learned to make my own schedule and get things done.

I never got sent to the principals office or a detention. But if I did anything wrong, my parents knew exactly what it was.

I never had a summer reading list. But I always made my own list that was impossibly long.\

I never had people tell me what was cool. But I got to decide for myself.

I never had a crush on a cute boy in my class. But I was never rejected or hurt.

I was never one of the popular kids. But I never learned to care about popularity or what other people thought of me.

I never had P.E. But I learned to like exercising.

I never got bullied. But I knew what it was like to be alone.

I never felt peer pressured. But I felt enough pressure from my parents and myself to make up for that.

I never ate with friends in the lunch room. But I never felt segregation, stereotyped, or excluded.

I never ate cafeteria food. But I learned how to make good choices about the food I ate.

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1. I switched to a Mac, hate the new word processing software, and therefore writing anything on my computer (but generally love the actual computer).

2. I’ve have been extremely busy. There are at least five other things I should have already done and should be doing now.

3. I couldn’t remember my password.

4. I lost my motivation.

5. I don’t know what to write. Inspiration may come in short spurts, and usually when I am far away from my computer. By the time I sit down, I can’t remember what I was going to write.

6. I have been questioning many things in my life and have had a hard time keeping my train of thought coherent.

7. I could have ADD.

8. Everybody needs a vacation.

9. I’ll write tomorrow.

10. Nobody cares if I’m writing or not.

Leave a comment: why don’t you post anything?

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I have this fish.

I think he will be a famous fish someday; Deerslayer even has a band named after him that my roommate and some friends started in the last month. They have a couple songs written already.

Somehow I developed this talent for relating him to any conversational topic that is dying. There are a lot of people who know I have a fish because of this habit.

Deerslayer is a well-traveled fish too, having lived in Massachusetts, moved to Chicago, and visited Indiana and Wisconsin. I don’t know where he lived before I saved him from Wal-Mart. He doesn’t like traveling; he gives me angry looks and starts turning yellowish when he is upset for a long period of time. I don’t think he would ever want to go on a music tour though.

He doesn’t like when I change his water either. He jumped out of his bowl and nearly gave me a heart attack twice.

He lived in a big glass pitcher when I first moved to Chicago, because I couldn’t find a place with fish bowls. He liked to swim laps from the top to the bottom.

I found ‘Slayer a respectable fish bowl to live in now. He lives next to my games and puzzles, with a framed picture of Bob Dylan looking over him. I think he is a very happy fish. He gets a lot of attention.

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Cake coupleDoes it seem like everyday that someone is popping up in your Facebook news feed with a wedding photo album, a tidal wave of congratulations from all the informed friends, or a new last name? This has been a frequent pattern I have observed in my news feed that is, honestly, a bit disturbing to me.

Are they crazy or me? You will have to excuse me, but I tend to get a little worked up when people get married before they the law allows them to drink.

Many are simply acquaintances, people I have known and not seen in ages. I may have seen something about their engagement on Facebook, but perhaps not. Those are the best. I didn’t even know you were dating that person, but congratulations to both of you anyway! A few might be engaged… and then not later.

I thank God that they are generally still the friends who are a bit older than me. I may consider suicide on the day that one of my young close friends gets married.

Somewhere around middle school or early high school, dating became the cool thing. Maybe for you it was elementary school. It seemed like everyone was doing it. Those days seem far behind, and now tying the knot seems to be catching on.

I just pray divorce never catches on as a fad.

Slowly, the people I know are all falling into the ranks of the married. I hope they know what they are doing.

If I consider marriage as a near event in my own life, it’s like inviting a panic attack. I’m too young for this.

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cowswhitesAs a young child, asking questions was one of my specialties. I liked to know how things worked and thought there were plenty of interesting, and also delicious, things to think about at the grocery store.

There were two things that were of particular interest: eggs and milk. Specifically arousing my curiosity was my observation that these two cowsbrownitems came in two colors, white and brown. I knew from everything I had been told that chickens made eggs and cows made milk. The discrepancy in color led me to conclude that the different hues also came from different color animals. White eggs must come from white chickens. Brown eggs must come from brown chickens. White milk must come from white cows. White ChickensBrown milk must come from brown cows.

I didn’t know where spotted cows and chickens came in to my equation.

Later in my questioning career I found evidence that this was not the case, and my hypothesis was false. I learned that the color of the product was not Brown Chickensdictated by the color of the animal. I also found that while certain chickens just popped out brown eggs, people had tampered with the milk, adding chocolate to make it brown.

Although I was ultimately proven wrong, I had successfully been using the scientific method without even realizing it. All I did was observe, try to explain, and test my guesses –but that is the very heart of science.

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