Vivente In Somnio

1st April 2016

(I am posting this today without any edits or changes at all.  This was my voice at the time I wrote it down with a pen and paper.  I then typed it from my journal.  It may be juvenile writing, but it was what I wanted to share today from my thoughts.  Thank your for reading)

Grateful.

I am so grateful.  I am hyperventilating from gratitude.  I am sitting here in the sun, by the Hudson River in the Upper West Side of New York City.  My apartment is a Brownstone in the 80’s.  That refers to the area of streets.  It is almost embarrassing to say that I am living my dream, but I am.  I am sure my friends from the city could find amusement in my childlike dreams as a woman in my 50’s.  So many people have gone before me.  Many people come to New York with the dream of becoming an actor, a dancer, a writer, an artist or a financial wiz.  I am here to live, grow, work my program of sobriety, experience life here and then write about it.  Those are my dreams.  Not to become anything, but just be here.  

A few years ago I had the great fortune to paddle the Tennessee River from Chattanooga to Iuka, Mississippi 260 miles, 10 hours per day for nine days.  30 miles a day for eight days and 20 miles on our last day (I think this is the correct math).  Three of us made that trip.  Two of us in a canoe and the other on a paddle board.  The trip was a fundraiser for the Tennessee Riverkeeper. I was a board member, and my only assets to the board were fundraising on social media,  my strength and determination and my adaptability to my surroundings.  But, I had no gratitude for my situation.  I actually felt as if I was doing something great for the organization. At the beginning of our trip, we camped out in Stevenson, Alabama.  Anyone who knows me knows I am not a camper.  The park service sent over a park ranger to meet us to ensure we had our camping spot and to welcome us.  The ranger was a down to earth guy about my age.  We all talked about what our organization was doing and our fundraising paddle.  The ranger said something that stopped me in my tracks.  I will never forget it.  He said, “All my life I have wanted to canoe this river.”  I still get emotional when I think of this.  I was struck.  I was living someone else’s dream, and I had no gratitude.  From that moment, my entire attitude about what I was doing changed and it shaped my experience.  With miles and miles of green trees, I began to see them individually.  Every time I saw a species of wildlife I squealed with excitement.  I saw a beaver swimming across the river, and I just wanted to thank God and the universe for such an experience. 

You see when you are living someone else’s dream you must be grateful.  

I sit here sobbing now because I got it.  I am so glad I got it.  I became grateful that day.  I am now sitting here steps from my apartment writing and experiencing.  Today, here in the park  I met a new friend who has a beautiful dog and we have a lot in common.  She is a real writer.  The kind who gets paid for her work.  I am living my dream, just being.  If it’s not your dream and you are living it, then become grateful because your dreams will come true.  

Cookie

 

Lullaby 

The train is so soothing as it sails on the rails of the tracks. I love the train. I love the people and interacting with them. I love that I have already made friends with Bunny and Nick. I love that Allen and Nick exchanged phone numbers at the train station. I love that Walt Miles, the Birmingham Station Agent, and I took a selfie. I love that my dear friend, Kevin Dearmon, whom I met on the train in 2010 as he was working his train attendant shift, and I talked by phone yesterday. I love that his Amtrak boss from New Jersey is on our train today. I love that a fellow passenger named Walker helped us with questions because he is a seasoned train passenger. I love watching the world outside my window. The train is singing me a lullaby. I love the train.

Slowly Taking A Fast Train

“I like trains.  I like their rhythm, and I like the freedom of being suspended between two places, all anxieties of purpose taken care of:  for this moment I know where I am going.”  Anna Funder, Stasiland:  Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall

Today I leave on the train for New York for a month.  I bought a one-way ticket.  To some people, I might as well be traveling to the moon.  Why am I going?  Because I need to go.  I will be writing, staying sober and sharing my adventures in the city.  Others eat, pray and love.  I will walk, write, and see life through sober eyes.  The purpose of my blog is to share with you that you can do anything with a clear head, a belief in a higher power and do the next right thing.  Yes, I sound like a puppet for a 12 Step Program.  But, four months ago I was in a fetal position wondering how I was going to quit drinking and live a sober life.  With the help of some fellow recovering alcoholics, the love and support of my family, friends and most of all, my husband.  I am proof that a 12 Step Program works.  Even if you are not an alcoholic, you can have a clear head, a higher power and do the next right thing.  Join me as I share my journey living sober with fun, adventure, and maybe some ups and downs.  I will continue my more serious blog Coffee and Kafka at www.cookiestoner.com.  If you enjoy this new blog, please share it!  I will be arriving at Penn Station, NYC, tomorrow, Wednesday, February, 24 at 1:46 p.m.  Join me as I travel and explore!  If you have any places in New York, you want me to showcase send me a message or comment!  I am looking forward to showing you a good time as we take the city together!  www.rhondacookiestoner.com!  Share it!