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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:18 am 
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Exercise Twenty-One

As I worked through this lesson, I realized that some of the most likely violations had not been adequately articulated in my list of boundaries in the previous lesson. Oddly, they seem obvious, and I wonder why I didn’t include clear boundaries about porn, scanning, and objectification, but kept them in vague terms. Therefore, I used this lesson as an opportunity to evolve new boundaries based on what the most likely violations would be.

Most likely major boundary violations over the next year. How will I recognize them? How will I respond?

1. I will not allow myself or my children to be yelled at or humiliated, nor will I allow myself to do so.
2. I will not tolerate physical harm of any kind, whether through play or punishment.

In the past, when my husband has been stressed, he is very tense and has no patience with the kids. He yells at them and a few times has been physical with them—pulling my daughter’s hair most recently. I guess I don’t have to say how I will recognize it. Yelling or any kind of emotional or physical hurting is now a non-negotiable for me. I will respond with immediate intervention and having him stay at his parents’ while I figure out separation. I want him to go through the parenting workshop I’ve been doing, but feel like he needs to focus on his SA workshop and therapy right now, so I will suggest that resource at some point down the line.

3. New boundary for value of beauty and wisdom of the human body: Comments, activities, movies, books, magazines, images that objectify will not be allowed in our home. This includes anything from porn to catalogs or magazines with objectifying ads.

It is possible that my husband still looks at porn, even though he says he hasn’t. I don’t know how I will know for sure, unless I check his phone or other devices. I will look to his other life management skills that he’s exhibiting now—helping out with cooking and the kids more than every, participating in our family, attending church with us, planning ahead, keeping things neat. When these things slip, I’ll take it as a sign that things aren’t right. I will respond by acknowledging my observations to him, asking how his recovery is going, and detach as necessary. I would be dishonest with myself if I said I wouldn’t check his devices if I suspect his recovery is not going well or not going at all. If I find porn and he hasn’t disclosed it or has denied it, I will ask him to stay with his parents while putting things in place for separation.

4. New boundary/value—Value: Respect and commitment to lifelong partner. Boundary: I will spend time with people and activities that support recovery, both as individuals and as partners, or at the very least won’t do damage to it. Any person or activity that is in conflict with recovery will not be pursued.

My husband is working on taking care of his health and getting back together with friends that he’s isolated himself from. I encourage this. One friend is a DJ and was in town visiting, so he wanted to go see him DJ at a club. My husband’s issue has been scanning and voyeurism, particularly up women’s skirts. He asked if I wanted to join him, but being in public with him is extremely uncomfortable for me at this point, because I know triggers are everywhere and he struggles with scanning. I’ve addressed it by drastically limiting our time in public together and so I said I thought it was too early in his recovery for me to go out with him in such a charged situation—crowds, lots of women in dresses, and a friend who is a womanizer. He then said he wanted to go alone, and I told him that it was a problem for me, especially with me not being there, knowing that he would be dancing with other women. In the past, he would go with his brothers and cousins to salsa clubs, where partner dancing is part of the deal. I used to be okay with this, although in retrospect I wasn’t listening to my gut. But now, given our situation, it’s definitely NOT okay with me. However, I can’t quite figure out what value I have that’s being violated. What do I call it? Respect and commitment to each other as lifelong partners? I think that’s it. So I’ll do what I did in this situation. I’ll let him know that I’m not okay with it, that it violates my value of respect and commitment to me as his lifelong partner to put himself in a charged situation environment before he has the coping mechanisms to deal with it. As he continues on his path to recovery, we can work on how we will handle being out in public together, but not until we’ve both finished our individual workshops and begun the partners’ workshop.

5. I will not differentiate between small lies and big lies.

I’ve recently caught my husband in two small lies, which I’m sure just stem from lying being a default, as opposed to being intentional. But I have not let them slide. I also have gut feelings that can’t be confirmed with facts. I’ve responded by calling them out and reminding my husband that any lie is a violation of my boundary.


Five minor boundaries most likely to be violated. How will I recognize them? How will I respond?

1. I will be fearless in being honest and transparent and expecting it of others.

I will recognize it by my partner withdrawing and by his pat answers to questions about how his therapy or other related SA things are going. When he answers, “Fine” and “Okay,” I know he is not being either open or honest. Also, when he doesn’t make meaningful eye contact it’s a sign of not being open with me. I will respond by acknowledging to him that he is not being open with me and that it’s a violation of my boundaries.

2. I will expect my partner, my children and myself to share in family responsibilities evenly, to each of our abilities.

A friend of mine was talking about how she had a conflict with a meeting with her kids’ teacher, which she resolved by having her husband cover it. It caught me by surprise, because it wouldn’t even occur to me to ask my husband help me out for something like that. He wouldn’t even know what to say to the teacher. Yesterday, he was going to the Laundromat to wash his own clothes. When I asked him to bring the load of the kids’ and my clothes, he said no. He said we should go together. I reminded him that I have been doing mine and the kids’ laundry by myself, by HAND, for weeks without his help (we don’t have a wash machine and the Laundromat is half an hour away). He said I shouldn’t have to do that and that I should let him know when the laundry needs to be done so we can go together to the Laundromat. This violates my value of full partnership in so many ways. He didn’t realize or appreciate that I have been handling mine and the kids’ laundry all this time, by hand. He didn’t have the initiative to realize that it needed to be done. He was going to the Laundromat and only thought of his own laundry. And finally, even when I asked, he said no to taking the kids’ laundry, because he didn’t think he should have to do it himself. I let him know that it violates my value, but he got defensive and said that I like to do laundry. Unbelievable. I just walked away from that conversation, knowing that he was not going to be rational about it. So I know that this boundary will continue to be violated and I’m allowing that to happen right now so that he can focus all his efforts on recovery and getting our home in order, which are bigger priorities for me. I will just continue to acknowledge as this boundary gets violated.

3. I will pay off the last of our debt by the end of the year, pay off our land by the end of next year.

We are working to dig out of the last of our debt, and have had setbacks related to all the costs involved in dealing with my partner’s SA. At times, he’s chosen or thought about leaving work early and thereby not getting paid, in order to do an errand. I’ve told him about my value of financial independence and full partnership, and that I expect him to work and find alternate plans to get errands done, as well as reminded him about where we are at financially. I guess my response in this case is simply verbal.

4. I will live in a clean, organized environment that maximizes efficiency and facilitates harmony.

This boundary continues to be violated. I recognize it by things being left around, laundry not put away, tools left lying around. I have been part of the problem—as my life got more out of control, so did our environment. I will respond by calling attention to it and making time for family clean-ups as well as enforcing maintenance.

5. I will honor others by expecting their best, as I expect from myself, and not settle for less than awesome.

If someone doesn’t get it done, I will do it myself or find a way to get it done, and not let anything slow me down from meeting my goals.

We have a lot of work to do on our land to get ready for the winter and have a stable living situation. When my partner is stressed, he can get lazy and procrastinate, as well as be scattered and unfocused about what we need to be working on. The stability of our home is important to me, since I feel like I can’t cope with the bigger issues I’m facing when my basic shelter needs aren’t met. I will set realistic but ambitious goals about what needs to be done, have a plan B in case I need to rent an apartment just to gain stability, and plan to hire people to get the work done if necessary, along with doing it myself.



List times in last six months I have violated the boundaries of others.

I have been terrible with being late most of my life. In recent years, as my husband’s SA was escalating, even without me knowing it, I’ve been worse about being on time for commitments and work deadlines. I’ve repeatedly violated the boundaries of friends and colleagues by not being on time. There was never a time I wasn’t aware of it. I am working really hard at becoming an early person. I’ve had good success with my work deadlines, but less success with more informal commitments like play dates.

I violated a friend’s boundary of trust, when I called her out in a group email. I thought I was being honest, which is another value we both have, but afterwards, she told me I should have picked up the phone and talked with her openly, instead of airing my opinion on a group email and shaming her.

I have also violated my husband’s boundaries repeatedly. I’ve shouted at him in anger, I’ve argued with him in front of the kids, I’ve called his respected parents “moochers,” I’ve treated him like a child, and worst of all, I’ve checked his RN recovery thread and used the information against him (caught him in a lie).

Finally, I’ve violated the boundaries of my kids by being short with them and not giving them the attention they needed at times due to my own lack of reserves while dealing with this crisis.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:15 am 
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Exercise Twenty-Two

1. Describe the most extreme emotion I’ve ever had.

It’s hard to narrow it down to one. I have three that come to mind: rage, despair, joy.

I’ve felt rage on several occasions. It feels like a monster that has been caged and neglected, so that when it finally comes out, it’s with full force like a release. It feels equally good and horrible. Good to let go and horrible to feel out of control of the fury.

I’ve felt despair on several occasions as well. Both have been at the loss of a loved one. The feeling is desperation that someone I value so much is gone. It’s utter aloneness and sadness for the loss of something important, along with an uncertainty about how to move forward. On both occasions, I’ve had a faucet of tears turned on that seems to have no end.

Finally, I’ve felt transcendental joy often. These are moments of great accomplishment or the births of my children, when I feel like I am special and my life is a gift. It feels like my chest swells and my body is too small to contain the feeling that’s so much bigger than me.

2. Describe the most irrational behavior you have ever engaged in as a result of your emotions.

I have loads of patience, as many of my friends and family have commented. I can take a lot of grief and pushing to the limits. So when I finally do reach a point that I can’t handle stress, I explode and lash out. While rare, this has happened a few times in my life, catching me, and everyone around me, by surprise. It has resulted in my most shameful, regrettable moments I wish I could erase. I’ve hit or kicked my kids, probably each of them three times, out of anger. It wasn’t out of discipline, though that’s how I framed it at the time. I knew that it was an explosion of my anger for their misbehavior and how it affected me.

3. If I could go back, what perfect advice would I give.

I have found the advice I would give in a parenting workshop I’ve been doing. First, I needed to have support in place to offload my stress before it gets to the level it did. Regular listening partnerships have been amazing for that. Second, I would recognize my emotions earlier and notice the feelings rising in me, so that I could separate myself. I did this recently when I was negotiating an argument between my kids on my birthday, after my husband had apologized that he didn’t do anything or get me anything for my birthday and then left for work. I was having a crappy, pity party of a day and my kids arguing was more than I could handle. As I was standing there, trying to negotiate between them, I felt my anger rising, and so I just said, “Excuse me a minute,” and went inside and let the lion roars come out. I roared and cried for about five minutes—all the anger I had been feeling since DDay finally came out in a voice I’ve never heard out of myself before. Then I collapsed for a minute and realized I was okay. I went back outside to kids with very worried faces, and explained that I had a lot of big feelings that I needed to release because I didn’t want them to come out on them. I said it was a good thing to let your emotions out in a healthy way and that I was okay. They hugged me and the rest of the day went better. I ended up buying myself a birthday cake just to show myself and the kids that nobody can make you unhappy but you, and that I was responsible for my own happiness.

That’s my long way of saying that I would be tuned into my emotions to notice when anger was rising, stop and separate myself, and find a way to release in a healthy way.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:51 pm 
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Exercise Twenty-Five

1. Health Monitoring area is not available to me. I’ve left a message on the help forum, but haven’t gotten any help. Seems like others are having the same technical issue.

2. Prior to discovery, how did partner and I monitor each other’s health?

I used to ask my husband a lot about his hopes and dreams and try to engage him in discussions. He was largely unavailable and would give short answers or not know how to answer. I don’t remember a time that he ever asked me about my own fulfillment, stability and balance. Later in our relationship, he would resent any time I spent away from him working on my own fulfillment.

3. What objective signs would I look for in identifying my life not being managed well.

When I’m disorganized, late, and the house is a mess—that’s a big clue that the rest of my life is being mismanaged.

When I feel like having a glass of wine at the end of the day to chill out is usually a sign that I have emotional stress I need to cope with in a healthier way.

When I’m short-tempered with the kids, I know my well of internal resources is low.

These three things together are a big red flag that I need to work on my own health.

4. What objective signs would I look for in identifying my partner not managing his life well.

Quick to anger, defensiveness when I point out room for improvement, sleeping a lot and lethargy, withdrawing and watching movies with earphones on, lack of joy, resentfulness if I’m pursuing my own health without him.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 7:55 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:07 pm
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Hello Rising to Challenge,

I am sorry to hear about the health monitor. I will forward the difficulties to Systech and hopefully he can sort it out. I know that it has to do with permissions granted at time of registration, which has to do with what boxes you select (if I remember correctly).

Regardless, the healing monitory is a tool the supplements the workshop, but isn't "above and beyond" the workshop (no new information)-just fyi.

Be well.

_________________
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. (Viktor E. Frankl)


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:42 am 
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Thanks so much, Coach Mel. The problem has been fixed.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:43 am 
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I am in the middle of my month of daily monitoring, but will simultaneously continue with the lessons that follow the monitoring.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:43 am 
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Exercise Twenty-Nine

A. List three behaviors that you have engaged in since discovering your partner's addiction that you would now describe as destructive:

Drinking wine, compulsive checking of my husband’s devices, angry yelling at my husband and kids


B. Pick one of the behaviors listed above and answer the following:

a) What decision-making process did you engage in before taking this action?
It didn’t feel like there was any decision-making involved in my anger. On a few occasions, angry, uncontrolled shouting at my husband and kids just burst out of me. When my daughter threatened to kick me once, I told her I would kick her back, and I did. This didn’t feel like decision making. It felt like instant reaction.

b) How did you feel just prior to taking this action? Well, furious. Out of control.

c) How did you feel as you were actively engaged in this action? Both release and at the same time, feeling like I would regret it.

d) How did you feel after you completed this action? Major regret and feeling like I’m not the mom I wanted to be.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 10:50 am 
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Update:

Whoa. Crazy time. Deluge of rain and cold with condensation dripping inside our temporary home has made our housing situation unlivable.

Decided to move out early into the home I rented, even though it wasn’t quite ready. My plan was to have it all furnished and the kids’ rooms decorated to surprise them and make the transition to separation easier. Also wanted to wait until after Christmas, so the kids wouldn’t have to associate Christmas for the rest of their lives with their parents’ separation.

But our physical living situation had gotten just too difficult. One day, I came home to my daughter’s comforter having a big wet spot in the middle of it from dripping condensation. Because I’m in the middle of daily monitoring, I found myself complaining about the situation, silently blaming my husband and not taking responsibility for managing my own life. I was in a holding pattern, waiting it out until after Christmas to move, but I felt totally in limbo while dealing with a very difficult living situation. So I decided to make the move early (thank you, daily monitoring clarity). I made the decison to allow my husband to move with us until after Christmas, so I don’t have to spoil the kids’ Christmas with news of their parents’ split, telling them we were all moving to a safer, warmer place for the winter. It’s the truth for now.

For the last month, I’ve been grabbing furnishings from Craigslist and have been able to furnish the entire three bedroom home for $630. Several times, I dropped my kids off with friends while I moved mattresses in on my back by myself. I introduced myself to my new neighbor and then promptly asked him to help me carry in a heavy bookcase. Holy smokes, am I resourceful. How empowering.

I’m feeling huge sense of independence and relief for making the move, even though it means living with my husband for a while longer in what feels like my space. I am so ready to be separated. When he’s around, I feel a heaviness.

I told him that I value initiative and that I felt abandoned trying to figure out how to deal with the kids living in all the rain and cold, but he said he didn’t think it was that bad and that we would just put coats on. But when he saw how ecstatic the kids were about living in a “real” house, I think he realized how much they needed it. They literally were jumping around excitedly about our new house, while he sat dejectedly watching in the corner. It made me appreciate how incredibly resilient those kids are to have been living in such a tough situation in all the rain and cold without complaining.

So I told him that we would separate after the holidays. He talked about being “stuck” living out on our land. Because my parents helped me out with the rental deposit and first and last months’ rent, he made a resentful comment about how all I had to do was ask my parents for money and I could have the down payment on a rental place, but that he didn’t have that option. He doesn’t acknowledge that it’s a tiny 900 square foot home, that I’m sleeping on a sleeper sofa in the living room so I can give each of the kids their own rooms, or that I furnished it practically for free and moved us in by myself the weekend before Christmas.

I told him that where he lived was his choice and that I could think of at least three other options for him—living with his parents, living with his friend or renting a room in a house. Of course, he had lots of reasons why all of those wouldn’t work, but at least admitted to seeing that it was a choice to stay living there, not that he was stuck. I refrained from reminding him that our moving out was the consequence of his actions because I know he deeply feels that, but I instead focused on the fact that I’m doing what I need to be safe and happy and that it’s what I need to do to give the kids a livable home.

In the mean time, he has not even so much as asked what we’re getting the kids for Christmas, one day away. He did figure out dinner the last two nights and has been going to therapy. In my gut, I do not feel like he is acting out, although if ever there were an emotional situation that would precipitate it, his family moving out would be it. He does seem to be trying in his own way and wanting to do what’s right. He went with me to pick up a few things for our home, which I know was hard. He’s trying to be affectionate. He desperately hopes that this move is temporary and that we will get back together. I’m just not seeing that “know it when you see it” transformation that comes with real recovery. I see sadness and helplessness. I feel so very bad for him and still love him, in spite of it all. I’m really worried about him being alone out there in the cold after the holidays.

The day after moving in, I got an incapacitating migraine that took me out for a day. It’s also an incredibly busy work time as clients try to wrap up projects before the holidays and I’m trying to make sure I have a decent income flow to pay for this house. Not to mention all the stuff to get ready for the holidays.

Last month, I had to euthanize my beloved 18 year-old cat. On top of that, my 19 year old car with 312,000 miles on it finally went out, literally as I was moving the last carload of stuff, so now I have to budget for a used car, figure out how to donate the old one before it gets towed, and drive around in a crappy pickup whose time is also limited.

So much upheaval. So much coming to an end. Good thing this is all happening before the new year. I’m determined that 2015 is my year, so might as well get it all in now.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:23 am 
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Exercise Thirty

A. Identify the consequences that you are experiencing that may be reflective of a possible situational depression.

- I feel a loss of joy in my life.
- I still feel like having a glass or two of wine in the evening, even though I’ve consciously kept it out of the house.
- I’m dealing with the kids very well, but there are days that I’m overwhelmed by their needs from the separation and I just want to get away from them or tell them to shut up!
- I’m feeling asexual.
- I have a hard time getting work done; serious procrastination.
- Physical pain in my neck.


B. Identify how each depressive symptom may be affecting you in your ability to work through this major event in your life.

- I feel a loss of joy in my life—keeps me from pursuing new goals and growth.
- I still feel like having a glass or two of wine in the evening, even though I’ve consciously kept it out of the house—still have feelings that need to be managed in a healthy way; I think I’m doing that, but the desire to check out with a glass of wine makes me realize there’s more in there I’m not dealing with.
- I’m dealing with the kids very well, but there are days that I’m overwhelmed by their needs from the separation and I just want to get away or tell them to shut up!—feel drained and not bringing my best self to my kids 100% of the time; feel guilt.
- I’m feeling asexual—loss of important part of myself; not sure of who I am sexually; don’t know how to feel sexual without feeling threatened.
- I have a hard time getting work done; serious procrastination—stress; potential problems with income; loss of time to devote to positive things and recovery.
- Physical pain in my neck—need to get it checked, but feel like I don’t have the time/money to pursue it; not taking care of myself.

C. Identify the additional events/stressors in your life (unrelated to the addiction):

These are all related to consequences of addiction, but I feel the need to outline them here:

- Kids having a hard time with separation, blaming me for making Papi go away.
- Worry about money and having enough to support myself; new bank account keeps putting holds on my deposits, so funds not immediately available.
- Work deadlines difficult to manage while homeschooling kids.


D. Write yourself a compassionate letter that emphasizes the reality of the situation that you face.


Dear You,

Well, here you are, a year and a half after your world was rocked to the core and. . . you are fine. You are doing better than most in your situation. You’ve managed to define your values and defend your boundaries, which has resulted in you leaving your husband, in spite of your struggle with keeping your marriage vows. I am so proud of you.

Of course you suffered. Of course you wanted to numb it all away with wine. Of course you’ve been at the end of your rope dealing with everyday stresses of kids and work. Of course you’ve experienced moments of being paralyzed by depression. You are allowed to feel pain and to not be 100% all the time. You are human.

Throughout this year and a half, in spite of experiencing PTSD, you have mostly held true to your values. Even though he tells you that you are not willing to move forward and that you are the one who needs therapy, remember that he is still in it to some degree and that he is projecting and blameshifting. You can look back and hold your head high knowing that you stayed committed to your husband and saw him through arrest, court dates, two months of electronic monitoring, therapy and depression while staying true to your marriage vows. And you knew when enough was enough. You gave him many chances. Even if he is now serious about recovery, do not regret that you do not have the time to waste to find out if it’s for real this time.

You held up the entire family and put your kids first. And in the midst of the storm, you have gone through parent training and have become the mom that you’ve always known you are. You’ve made incredibly hard choices to protect your kids, and while they can’t see it or may never see it, just maybe they will one day know what you went through to keep them safe. Even if they never know it, you do.

That he was slow to pursue recovery (yes, even hindered by you doing everything you could to fix it for him) is just the way it is. You cannot fix this for him. I repeat, you cannot fix this for him. He has made progress and you can see change, but you also see the signs that he is not completely recovered. Do not regret that you did not stick around to see it through. You have done and are doing what you can to turn this experience into learning that makes you a better person. What he does with this experience is up to him. You deserve full partnership and you need not regret walking away from someone who was not and never was up to it.

One year ago, maybe even two months ago, you would have wished this all away for yourself and your kids. Now, with some perspective, and seeing your own personal growth, you wouldn’t trade it in at all. You have suffered. You have explored your past. You have looked inward and seen what you may not have ever seen. You have grown in ways you may have never grown. You are a better person today than you were the day before you found out about your husband.

So while you still have days or moments of sadness and regret, remember that you are supposed to. You cannot move forward and ignore what you’ve been through. Every time you take a moment to acknowledge what you’ve lost and allow yourself to grieve, you bring yourself back to real awareness. You will continue to do this for the rest of your life.

You still have work to do. You need to have your neck pain checked out. You need to do more introspection about who you are as a sexual being. You cannot go through the rest of your life never trusting another man or never being intimate, even though that’s what you see for yourself now. To embrace yourself as a sexual being, as to embrace suffering, is to embrace yourself as a human in entirety. You will come to this reality in time. Know that there is work still to do there.

In the mean time, keep moving forward as you have. You’ve just begun to get to the good part.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 11:31 pm 
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Exercise Twenty-Six: Daily Monitoring

12 2 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? Yes. I didn’t follow up with my listening partner.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? No violations.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) Yes. Morning meditation.
4a. If not, how many days has it been since I have?
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Kids, Music, Personal development
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? Yes.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. Yes.

12 3 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? No.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? No violations.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) Yes. Long talk with friend.
4a. If not, how many days has it been since I have?
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Only 2. Work, Friends
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? Yes.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. Yes.


12 4 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? No.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? No violations.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) Yes. Long talk with friend.
4a. If not, how many days has it been since I have?
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Only 2. Work, Friends
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? Yes.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. Yes.
8. Did I balance daily budget and spend consciously.
12 6 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? No.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? No violations.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) No.
4a. If not, how many days has it been since I have? 2 days
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Relationship, Kids, Interaction (talked with Meta Karuna)
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? No. Missed class and meditation because talking with husband.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. No.
8. Did I balance daily budget and spend consciously. Yes.


12 7 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? No.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? No violations.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) No.
4a. If not, how many days has it been since I have? 3 days
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Charity, Kids, Arts (saw Christmas Carol)
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? No. Got Stella late to church, walked in late.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. Yes.
8. Did I balance daily budget and spend consciously. Yes.


12 8 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? No.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? Yes. Work with PB client. Made boundaries clear and declined further work.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) No.
4a. If not, how many days has it been since I have? 4 days
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Family, Kids, Personal development (flying trapeze class!)
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? Yes.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. No.
8. Did I balance daily budget and spend consciously. Yes, budget. No, spent too much on Stella’s birthday. Need set better expectations for kids for next birthday.


12 9 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? Yes. I argued with husband in front of kids.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? Yes. Discussion with client was rude. Ended relationship and stayed firm. Husband lectured kids in condescending way; I intervened to stop.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) No.
4a. If not, how many days has it been since I have? 5 days
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Kids, Friends (took phone call from Leigh, even though I didn’t have time), Work—turned down job because it was in conflict with vision.
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? Yes.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. Yes.
8. Did I balance daily budget and spend consciously. Yes.

12 10 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? Yes. I missed a deadline for work. I swore in front of my daughter.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? Yes. Discussion with client was rude. Ended relationship and stayed firm. Husband lectured kids in condescending way; I intervened to stop.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) Yes.
4a. If not, how many days has it been since I have?
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Arts, Gratitude, Kids
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? No.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. Yes.
8. Did I balance daily budget and spend consciously. Yes.

12 11 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? No.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? Yes. FIL teased daughter in negative way. Didn’t intervene. Should have stopped it.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) Yes. Listened to news.
4a. If not, how many days has it been since I have?
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Interaction (family in Laundromat), Friends, Kids
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? Yes.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. Yes.
8. Did I balance daily budget and spend consciously. Yes.


12 12 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? Yes. Drank wine.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? No.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) Yes. Read Christmas story
4a. If not, how many days has it been since I have?
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Friends, Arts, Work
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? Yes.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. Yes.
8. Did I balance daily budget and spend consciously. Yes.


12 13 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? No.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? Yes. Kids were unsafe without a carseat. I did not act to protect.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) Yes. Got furniture for apartment.
If not, how many days has it been since I have?
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Holidays, Independence, Family
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? Yes.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. Yes.
8. Did I balance daily budget and spend consciously. Yes.

12 14 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? Yes. Late for Christmas party. Disagreement with husband in front of the kids. Again. Really need to work on this one. Plan: Pause, go to the bathroom when conversation starts to sound stressed.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? Yes. Discussion about transparency—husband not admitting to not being transparent. Made it clear what my expectations were. Asked husband to go with me for a ride to share.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) Yes. Friend’s Christmas party. If not, how many days has it been since I have?
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Holidays, Relationship, Religion
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? No.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. Yes.
8. Did I balance daily budget and spend consciously. Yes.

12 15 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? No. Blaming living situation on husband. Need to take control of situation.
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? Yes. Relying on inlaws—not taking initiative.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? No.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) No. If not, how many days has it been since I have? One
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Kids—played board game with them.
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? No. Late for tutoring.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. No.
8. Did I balance daily budget and spend consciously. No. Bought more at Target than planned.


12 17 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes.
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? No.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? No.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) Yes. Time alone! If not, how many days has it been since I have?
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Kids, independence, Home
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? Yes! Early for vision therapy.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. Yes.
8. Did I balance daily budget and spend consciously. Yes.


Whoa. Crazy time. Deluge of rain and cold with condensation dripping inside our temporary home has made our housing situation unlivable.

Decided to move out early into the home I rented, even though it wasn’t quite ready. My plan was to have it all furnished and the kids’ rooms decorated to surprise them and make the transition to separation easier. Also wanted to wait until after Christmas, so the kids wouldn’t have to associate Christmas with their parents’ separation for the rest of their lives.

But our physical living situation had gotten just too difficult. One day, I came home to my daughter’s comforter having a big wet spot in the middle of it from dripping condensation. Because I’m in the middle of daily monitoring, I found myself complaining about the situation, silently blaming my husband and not taking responsibility for managing my own life. I was in a holding pattern, waiting it out until after Christmas to move, but I felt totally in limbo while dealing with a very difficult living situation. So I decided to make the move early (thank you, daily monitoring clarity). I made the decison to allow my husband to move with us until after Christmas, so I don’t have to spoil the kids’ Christmas with news of their parents’ split, telling them we were all moving to a safer, warmer place for the winter. It’s the truth for now.

For the last month, I’ve been grabbing furnishings from Craigslist and have been able to furnish the entire three bedroom home for $630. Several times, I dropped my kids off with friends while I moved mattresses in on my back by myself. I introduced myself to my new neighbor and then promptly asked him to help me carry in a heavy bookcase. Holy smokes, am I resourceful. How empowering.

I’m feeling huge sense of independence and relief for making the move, even though it means living with my husband for a while longer in what feels like my space. I am so ready to be separated. When he’s around, I feel a heaviness.

I told him that I value initiative and that I felt abandoned trying to figure out how to deal with the kids living in all the rain and cold, but he said he didn’t think it was that bad and that we would just put coats on. But when he saw how ecstatic the kids were about living in a “real” house, I think he realized how much they needed it. They literally were jumping around excitedly about our new house, while he sat dejectedly watching in the corner. It made me appreciate how incredibly resilient those kids are to have been living in such a tough situation in all the rain and cold without complaining.

So I told him that we would separate after the holidays. He talked about being “stuck” living out on our land. Because my parents helped me out with the rental deposit and first and last months’ rent, he made a resentful comment about how all I had to do was ask my parents for money and I could have the down payment on a rental place, but that he didn’t have that option. He doesn’t acknowledge that it’s a tiny 900 square foot home, that I’m sleeping on a sleeper sofa in the living room so I can give each of the kids their own rooms, or that I furnished it practically for free and moved us in by myself the weekend before Christmas.

I told him that where he lived was his choice and that I could think of at least three other options for him—living with his parents, living with his friend or renting a room in a house. Of course, he had lots of reasons why all of those wouldn’t work, but at least admitted to seeing that it was a choice to stay living there, not that he was stuck. I refrained from reminding him that our moving out was the consequence of his actions because I know he deeply feels that, but I instead focused on the fact that I’m doing what I need to be safe and happy and that it’s what I need to do to give the kids a livable home.

In the mean time, he has not even so much as asked what we’re getting the kids for Christmas, two days away. He did figure out dinner last night and has been going to therapy. In my gut, I do not feel like he is acting out, although if ever there were an emotional situation that would precipitate it, his family moving out would be it. He does seem to be trying in his own way and wanting to do what’s right. He went with me to pick up a few things for our home, which I know was hard. He’s trying to be affectionate. He desperately hopes that this move is temporary and that we will get back together. I’m just not seeing that “know it when you see it” transformation that comes with real recovery. I see sadness and helplessness. I feel so very bad for him and still love him, in spite of it all. I’m really worried about him being alone out there in the cold after the holidays.

The day after moving in, I got an incapacitating migraine that took me out for a day. It’s also an incredibly busy work time as clients try to wrap up projects before the holidays and I’m trying to make sure I have a decent income flow to pay for this house. Not to mention all the stuff to get ready for the holidays.

Last month, I had to euthanize my beloved 18 year-old cat. On top of that, my 19 year old car with 314,000 miles on it finally went out, literally as I was moving the last carload of stuff, so now I have to budget for a used car, figure out how to donate the old one before it gets towed, and drive around in a crappy pickup whose time is also limited.

So much upheaval. So much coming to an end. Good thing this is all happening before the new year. I’m determined that 2015 is my year, so might as well get it all in now.



12 22 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes.
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? Yes. Wasn’t able to get work in on time and didn’t communicate with client. I’m choosing to take on debt to pay for kids’ testing while needing a car.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? Yes. One of kids made fun of others’ teeth. Enforced boundary about no negative comments about another’s body. Also, husband leaving stuff around new house and I’m picking up after him.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) No. If not, how many days has it been since I have? 5
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Kids, independence, Home
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? No. Work assignment.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. Yes! Yes! Working diligently on keeping new space organized. Unpacked several boxes.
8. Did I balance daily budget and spend consciously. No on budget. Yes on spending.

12 28 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes.
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? Yes. Late for meeting with Erin. Spent money on movies that wasn’t budgeted.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? Yes. Husband not helping with dinner or kids. I didn’t speak up. Biding time until separation.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) No. If not, how many days has it been since I have? 1
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Kids, Religious practice, Gratitude
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? Yes.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. Yes. Home is staying clean.
8. Did I balance daily budget and spend consciously. Yes on budget. No on spending.

12 30 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes.
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? Yes. Spoke negatively about husband to a friend—got caught in the spiral.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? Yes. Husband expected me to take computer in for repair. Violation of full partnership and personal responsibility. I apologized instead of saying it was his responsibility, so he wouldn’t feel bad.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) Yes. Met with friend for coffee. If not, how many days has it been since I have?
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Friends, Independence, Accomplishment
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? No.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. Yes. Home is staying clean.
8. Did I balance daily budget and spend consciously. Yes.

12 31 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes.
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? Yes. Late.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? Yes. Found dozens of photos and videos on external drive. Husband had said that he erased all videos. Will confront today.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) Yes. Read. If not, how many days has it been since I have?
9. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Music, Accomplishment, Kids
10. Did I make it on time to my commitments? No.
11. Did I work to keep my space organized. Yes. Home is staying clean.
12. Did I balance daily budget and spend consciously. Yes.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:22 pm
Posts: 124
Weekly Monitoring, Week 1

Over the past seven days, where did the majority of my meaning and fulfillment come from?

Travel: got back from awesome cross-country trip with kids and rediscovered how much positive energy I get from travel.

Writing: wrote poem for blog and got a great response to it.

Kids: was a “client” in my daughter’s salon and got my hair done and a massage.

Friends: delightful seeing old neighbors who had me and kids over for coffee and offered help any time I need it.

Goals: realize I have what it takes to apply for city’s poet laureate position and plan to apply

Money: Saw a huge boost in my savings contributions.

Family: Got surprise flowers delivered from my sisters for Valentine’s Day and was reminded of their love.

Professional: Was interviewed for a podcast by an inspiring, uplifting interviewer who gave me really positive feedback about my work.



Over the past seven days, were there any major drains on my time, energy or emotion?

Visit by husband was nice and amicable, but we avoid the topic of our relationship, so I wonder what is up with him.

Stressed by organizing homeschooling classes that I’ve left for the last minute and now dealing with increased cost of space rental. Don’t know what to do.



Given the meaning that was added to my life this week (Q1) and the events that drained my life (Q2): how well did I do with managing it all?

Drank wine and realized that my temper was short with my kids when I did.

Felt let down after uplifting trip. Finally having to face reality of separation from husband.

Overall net positive and feeling optimistic about writing goals.


Is there anything that I need to anticipate and/or prepare for over the next seven days that will facilitate the effectiveness of my life management skills?

Getting ready for homeschooling classes will be stressful. I need to stop procrastinating and resolve it tomorrow.

Write down goals for the day.

Go to Ash Wed. mass and make Lenten plans to meditate each morning of Lent. Give up wine and coffee.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:13 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:22 pm
Posts: 124
Exercise Thirty-One

A. Consider the consequences that your partner's behavior has had on your partner.


1. Arrest
2. Humiliation of strip search
3. Fear for safety in jail
4. Shame
5. Court proceedings
6. Electronic monitoring for two months
7. Shame in depending on my through that whole time
8. Emotional distress of me knowing
9. Guilt
10. Loss of intimacy and trust with me
11. Loss of sexual partner
12. Loss of me and kids from separation
13. Loss of respect and deep disappointment by parents
14. Shame facing family and friends
15. Loneliness

B. List below any additional consequences that you believe your partner needs to experience in accepting responsibility for their behavior.

1. Facing me with full disclosure
2. Full apology to me
3. Age-appropriate disclosure and addiction education for kids
4. Exploration of emotions through therapy instead of avoiding emotional aspect of recovery.
5. Exploration of past that has created the emotional state leading to addiction.
6. Accepting that behaviors were caused by addiction instead of denying addiction label.

C. In your own words, describe the roles that blame, punishment and/or responsibility have played in response to your partner's behavior.

This is difficult for me to objectively assess. My husband tells me that I am not willing to move on. For example, I went to a friend’s birthday party and didn’t bring him along because in the past, he has been dead weight that keeps me from enjoying the party. He was hurt that I was using past experience to judge what he would do, and that he wants a chance to show he is changing. I am basing choices on past behavior, and don’t feel like giving him any more chances.

However, while I see signs of recovery—he has disclosed to his parents and brothers, he is going to weekly therapy, he is reaching out to build friendship, his mood is markedly upbeat—in other ways, I don’t see much recovery. He watches hours of TV every day, which seems like avoidance, he had a strong reaction to me using the word addiction, and he does not want to talk about “the past,” because he says it just brings him down.

Even though I have a renewed sense of hope and energy having separated and moved out with the kids, I feel a major lack of closure in my relationship with him. For starters, I have not filed for divorce, and don’t know when that final move will feel like the right one. I feel like I can’t move on in my relationship with him, which at this point would just mean a mature, healthy and deep friendship, until there is a full disclosure and formal apology. I really need this from him and don’t think I’ll ever get it.

When I bring it up, he says he’s told me everything, even though whenever there has been a disclosure, it’s been because I’ve asked direct questions. He has never disclosed anything openly just because he wanted to.

Also, when I say that I need an apology, I get a kind of insincere, “I’ve told you sorry so many times, I don’t know what else you want me to say.” It feels very shallow.

So it leaves me wondering, am I holding on to blame and not moving forward? I know I can’t hold out for disclosure and true apology, since that may never happen. I feel like I’ve done a really good job of letting go of his recovery and have focused on my own health. I feel great about that, even.

So how do I have a healthy friendship with him, which is what I want for my kids’ sake?

How do I let go and actually feel okay, instead of just acting like things are okay between us, which is how he wants to proceed?

What now?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:22 pm
Posts: 124
Exercise Thirty-Three


A. What patterns are you NOW ENGAGING IN that may be impeding the healing/recovery process? What unhealthy roles/thought patterns might you be holding onto?

Oh, how familiar this sounds. It’s clear that I engaged in many of these patterns throughout our marriage and after discovery. I clearly acted as the mom—handling the majority of household, financial, marriage duties. In fact, it’s kind of a joke how much I took on. Now that I’ve separated, my life is actually easier, even having the kids 100% of the time. People worry about me being a single mom, working, and homeschooling, but without having to parent an immature adult, life is actually easier.

In the past, all of these thoughts applied to me:

“I am essential to my partner’s recovery.”

“My partner is not my equal.”

“A perfect partner stands by her man when he is in trouble.”

Now that I am separated, I am completely unengaged in my partner’s recovery. I ask generally how he’s doing when I see him, but he answers with equal vagueness. I avoid talking about it because he does not want to, and I have no more invested in his recovery or dealing with his annoyance with questions. Perhaps avoiding the topic is impeding his recovery, but I just don’t want to be a part of it any more.

That said, I still feel like I’m waiting for a formal disclosure and apology for my own healing. I know it probably will never come, but just feeling like I want that shows me that even though I have come a long way, I’m still not fully in a healthy place. I know my health can’t come from him. I’m working on examining that more.


B. Of these patterns/roles, what have you done/think you should do to change them?
If you did not relate to anything in this lesson, there is no need to respond to this exercise.

I don’t need to do any more, since I have separated and distanced myself from my husband and his recovery. I think the only thing I need to do is be aware of taking on this role in other relationships in my life.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 10:10 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:22 pm
Posts: 124
Weekly Monitoring, Week 2

Over the past seven days, where did the majority of my meaning and fulfillment come from?

Writing: Collected poems and got application for poet laureate position.

Kids: found classes to meet each kids’ interest.

Friends: went out with group of friends.

Organization: prepared taxes and met with advisor; had everything ready

Money: Managed cash flow with extra savings.

Meditation: Meditated every morning since beginning of Lent

Goal setting: Stopped drinking wine and coffee; wrote down goals for day and mostly accomplished them.

Reading: finding a lot of insight in Man’s Search for Meaning.




Over the past seven days, were there any major drains on my time, energy or emotion?

Stressful meeting with space rental for homeschooling classes. Felt like abusive relationship and I had to pay increased costs.

Not enough kids in classes and having to eat costs.

Worried about large amount owed for taxes.

Haven’t called parents and felt a little reprimanded by mom when she called.



Given the meaning that was added to my life this week (Q1) and the events that drained my life (Q2): how well did I do with managing it all?

Really good with meditation.

Somewhat short with kids and need to feel more connected.

Overall net positive and feeling optimistic about creative goals and writing. Feeling surge of creativity and productivity.


Is there anything that I need to anticipate and/or prepare for over the next seven days that will facilitate the effectiveness of my life management skills?

Continue meditating and writing down goals.

Need to talk with husband about taxes due and money.

Write down goals for the day.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:35 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:22 pm
Posts: 124
Weekly Monitoring, Week 3

Over the past seven days, where did the majority of my meaning and fulfillment come from?

Goals: Checked off many of big things on to-do list

Kids: had great talk about puberty and sex with son

Education: daughter completed mythology exam and blew me away with what she knew

Friends: impromptu dinner at friend’s house, felt great not to have to worry about husband sitting at home waiting

Organization: house is staying clean and organized

Meditation: Meditated every morning since beginning of Lent; feeling powerful positive affect on rest of day

Reading: Power of Habit, interesting insights

Interactions: landlord offered to pay for clogged disposal that I thought I should pay for; booked gallery space for kids’ art exhibit with really cool, excited woman

Simple Pleasures: my morning meditation, tea and purring cat give me huge satisfaction




Over the past seven days, were there any major drains on my time, energy or emotion?

Less than last week, but worried about large amount owed for taxes.

Oldest daughter giving a lot of attitude and pushback; butting heads


Given the meaning that was added to my life this week (Q1) and the events that drained my life (Q2): how well did I do with managing it all?

Surge of creativity and productivity continues to grow. Feel like I have a solid grip on my life and future for the first time in years. It’s so crazy to look back over the last few years and realize how out of control our family life was, and I didn’t even really notice.

Area to work on is patience and understanding with my oldest daughter. Need to spend more connecting time with her.


Is there anything that I need to anticipate and/or prepare for over the next seven days that will facilitate the effectiveness of my life management skills?

Continue writing down daily goals and checking off.

Continue with morning meditation.

Continue keeping spending under control. This month is going to be tight.

Two big work deadlines on Friday and beginning to stress a bit about meeting them, as well as procrastinate, true to old habit. Need to get over the hump and deliver.

On the horizon is talking to my husband about divorce. Need to figure out when to have the conversation.


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