I’m grateful for six full days in a row at home. I had five scheduled and one day of standby reserve where I wasn’t used. At my previous job, two of those days would’ve been used commuting to and from work and the one day I wasn’t used, I would have spent all my time at a crash pad.


More time with my girls, more time to connect with friends, and more time to get things done around my house. I’m so grateful that I have more TIME. That’s one prayer that my Higher Power has finally answered.


I’m grateful I spent over 20 hours reading and doing the exercises in the book Financial Recovery: Developing a Healthy Relationship With Money by Karen McCall. By taking notes and completing the assignments in this book, I was able to see my patterns towards money, debt, and build awareness about why I do what I do. Of course, as I’ve learned, my habits go all the way back to childhood and what was modeled for me.


We can change, and we can grow. It’s my choice to stay in a debt mentality and it’s my choice to change that. What an empowering feeling it is knowing that I can change. With one slip in eight and a half years in recovery from my addition, coupled with “mindful eating” (I don’t like to call it a diet – sounds too restrictive) where I’ve maintained my goal weight now for five months, I have confidence that I can, and will, turn my debt around.


I think I will call a Zero-Based Budget, Mindful Spending instead.


Two weeks ago, I started the hard look at my fears and my limitations. This has been a work in progress as I tackle the burden my finances, (one of my biggest fears – well other than divorce) have placed on me for years. I’ve always known what I need to do and yet I’ve never completely done it.


I’m grateful that this week I tackled my fear of money by sitting down and doing a Fearless Financial Inventory. Oh, let me tell you, it was not fearless. There was a LOT of FEAR!


Planning a zero-based budget using Every Dollar was tough, and following it is going to be a huge challenge. Most of  my spending is either medicating uncomfortable feelings or looking for approval by doing things for my daughters and my wife. The belief that I must give to gain love and acceptance is what has continued to keep me in this debt spiral for so many years.


It’s time to tighten the belt, live frugally, and have faith that all will work out in the end. A step back to move forward. I’m grateful to face that fear and can’t wait till that’s just a memory in the past.


I’m grateful I was able to watch a band that I used to follow in college with a close friend who had never experienced their energy. In the early 90’s they were one of the top local bands in the area. I worked with three of the band members, the lead singer was my manager at the restaurant I worked at, and I was one of their biggest groupies (can’t believe that I’m actually calling myself a groupie). I had started my flying career while they were starting their music career. The original goal – they make it big and I become their professional pilot flying them to all their gigs.


Life is funny. It never quite worked out the way we had dreamed. The band spent 17 years in Nashville trying to make it big, then eventually split up. It took me nearly 25 years to make it to a major airline. Now, as I start the next journey in my career,  they are back together with a new lead guitarist (who is absolutely amazing and also has a great presence on stage) and a new drummer who literally kicks ass. My close friend still sings with such passion and still pulls in the crowd as she sings directly to each person individually. What a pleasure it was to see old friends, bring in new ones, and dance like I was 21 once again.


I’m grateful my daughters and my wife were able to attend the graduation of one of the puppy’s they had whelped for CCI. Over 2 years ago they witnessed the birth of, I think it was six or seven puppies, and spent the first six weeks of their life caring for them, weighing them daily, and teaching them the baby steps so they could become a service dog. This one particular pup was then raised by inmates at a prison for 18 months before he graduated to advance training. It takes six months of advanced training before the puppies are then paired with their future companion. And even then, only about 40% make it through.


I’m grateful for the experience my wife has given my daughters, how she has modeled to our family the importance of giving to others, and how the three of them were able to celebrate their successes. Awesome job girls!


I’m grateful my older daughter and I enjoyed Captain Marvel while eating an extremely good Chimichanga (my Christmas present) to prepare us for Avengers: End Game coming out this week. I’m grateful for a family dinner with my roommates, having a five-month-old in my house, and the time I spent with my girls. I’m grateful I have now meditated almost two weeks in a row, journaled about that meditation, and have been able to stick to a pretty good daily routine of self-care.


And I can’t forget one of the things I’m most grateful for this week. I’m grateful that I finally finished my tattoo. OMG! It came out much better than I had ever imagined. I was a wee bit worried.


This has been a two-year process for me. It all started with a Phoenix necklace that I purchased when I won money from the local fair for a cross-stitch craft I had made. It took me a year to save up for the tattoo, lots of research about what I wanted it to look like, and then to get over the fear of going through the pain of getting it done. I trusted my Higher Power and my tattoo artist, giving him all the details I could think of, then letting go and allowing him to be creative. I do need to go back in a month or so for touch up and accents, however, it’s pretty much done. Absolutely beautiful and represents so much to me.


Through pain there’s growth. It’s only our fears that make us belief there’s misery on the other side of pain. On the opposite side is something beautiful. We can’t see it because we allow ourselves to become blinded by the suffering. Trust and faith is what will help us persevere.


We can transform.


Like a caterpillar breaks out of its cocoon to become a butterfly. Like a nymph in the water breaks through the surface to become a dragonfly. Like a Phoenix rising out of the ashes.


We can rise.


We will heal.


And we will become more than what we ever imagined we could have ever become.


I’m grateful for the meaning and the daily reminder of what is permanently etched on my back. I know I can use this inspiration to get me through finalizing my divorce, turning my financial situation around, and eventually, taking Together We Can Heal to the next step in it’s journey.



Childhood Grateful

I’m grateful for the basics my parents gave me. They provided a roof over my head. They kept me clothed. And they kept me fed. There may have been this underlying tension and message that we didn’t have enough and poor money habits where my parents blamed the situation rather than model good savings habits. However, I had more than I needed. We didn’t eat out, but then, we always had good home cooked meals. I learned the importance of eating left overs that saves money for me to this day.


My parents may not have spent money on outdoor activities, but then, my parents always saved money for an annual vacation, at least one musical at the Music Circus, and financially supported my extracurricular activities. I watched my parents sacrifice a lot by living in a condo for 14 years. When they purchased their first house as I graduated from High School, that home meant that much more to the three of us. Years of dreaming and planning went into that home.


I had everything I could ask for and I learned that through hard work and dedication, we will eventually get to where we want to be. My motivation, discipline, and drive to succeed in all I do was because of who my parents modeled me to be. This is why I know I will succeed in the future.


I’m eternally grateful for those lessons.


0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *