Daily Reflection

“Feed my sheep.” (John 21:16)

For the longest time I never quite understood what Christ meant exactly when he spoke to Peter and said, “Feed my sheep”. At first, I really believed it meant I was supposed to help people become Christians by talking about the Bible and giving them some sort of Biblical testimony about the love for God. But this never worked for me for several reasons.

For starters, I believe there are many paths to God, following the love of Christ is just one of them. Secondly, I don’t label myself a Christian because that’s a man-made term. I simply follow the teachings of Christ and choose not to label it any further. And lastly, I’m not a religious type of guy who feels a calling to do missionary work where conversion to a type of faith is at its core. This is precisely why I struggled immensely each time I read that passage in the Bible where Christ told Peter to “Feed my sheep”. But, could it mean more than what I once thought? Only recently did I come to a deeper understanding with this.

Maybe Christ was simply talking about loving his children through the gifts we are each blessed with? Maybe we all are meant to feed Christ’s sheep in our own unique ways? In my case, maybe I’m doing just that in all the passion I put into my 12 Step recovery work, especially when I do any of my speaking engagements where I share my testimony of addiction to recovery? And maybe each time I work with anyone in my recovery work in general, whether that’s with an individual or in front of a group, passing on my own message of understanding, hope, and love, is feeding God’s sheep?

As I pondered this, maybe doctors are already feeding God’s sheep when they work to help improve the health of their patients? Maybe musicians do the same each time they sing or play their instrument to their hearts content in front of an audience? And maybe gardeners beautifying nature at another’s home, therapists working to help improve their client’s mental and emotional health, chefs preparing tasty culinary cuisine for another, etc., each feed God’s sheep each time they utilize their gifts with love in their heart.

So, maybe all Christ meant when he said to Peter to “Feed my sheep” was simply to just follow whatever our passion is in this world and offer it to others with unconditional love in our hearts, as isn’t that at the core of all of Christ’s teachings? Regardless, this is the very basis of why I continue to follow Him and do my best each day to feed God’s sheep in the unique ways He blessed me with.

Dear God, please help me to always use whatever gifts You’ve given me to do my part in feeding your sheep.

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Silly Joke Friday

Silly Joke #1

Fellow 1 : “Now my grandfather, he knew the exact day of the year that he was going to die. And it ended up being the right year too. Not only that, but he also knew what time he would die that day as well, and he ended being right about that too.” 
Fellow 2 : “Wow, that’s Incredible. How did he know all that? Was he psychic or something?” 
Fellow 1 : “Naw, his judge told him.”

Silly Joke #2

A blonde goes to the post office to buy stamps for her Christmas cards to all her friends and loved ones. She says to the clerk, “May I have 50 Christmas stamps?” The clerk says, “What denomination?” The woman says, “God help us. Has it come to this? Ok, give me 6 Catholic, 12 Presbyterian, 10 Lutheran and 22 Baptists.”

Silly Joke #3

Two very negative businessmen in Florida were sitting down for a break in their soon-to-be new store. One of them, suddenly says to the other, ‘You know what I can’t stand?” “What’s that?” His business partner responded, “That we’re always getting interrupted by someone looking in our store window, then pounding on our door and asking what type of store this is.” “I agree!” No sooner were the words out of his mouth when, sure enough, a curious senior citizen walked up to the window, took a peek, and then pounded on the door. When the irritated business partner opened it, the individual asked, “So, what are you selling here?” The businessman who had just brought this up answered sarcastically, “We’re selling assh*les buddy…” while his business partner laughed cynically. The senior citizen responded, “Well from the looks of it, it’s a success, as there’s only two left!!!”

Bonus Silly Joke

A physician had just finished up a successful colonoscopy where there were no negative findings and was now meeting with the patient post-procedure letting him know. 
Physician: “So, all is looking great! Do you have any more questions for me?” 
Patient: “Just one Doctor, is there any way you could you write a note for my wife?” 
Physician: “What ever for?” 
Patient: “I need you to tell her that my head really isn’t up there ok?”

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Question For The Day

Today’s question is…

What is the best way someone you are dating, partnered with, or married to can show you that you truly matter to them?

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson


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One Very Strong Reason Why Many Relationships Tend To Fail Is…

One very strong reason why many relationships tend to fail is when one or both partners stop showing how much each other matters and instead take it for granted.

I think it’s very easy to fall into this state in a relationship where one stops doing all those special things that came so naturally during those first years together. Why people fall into this state could be for any number of reasons, countless really. In my case though, it was always pure selfishness and laziness in each of my past relationships, where I just assumed they knew they mattered to me just because I was still there with them. I see so clearly now how incredibly self-centered I was for thinking that then.

Thankfully today I know it’s in the little things that make the biggest difference in showing my partner matters. When my partner asks for a favor now, I don’t say “in a minute” and continue watching some tv show or playing a video game. Because I know if I was in the same situation, it’s what I’d want back. But how many times though in my past relationships did I yell from another room, saying “I’ll be there in a minute”, where more than a minute went by, usually plenty of minutes really, where sometimes I even forgot altogether to do the favor at all. None of which shows the partner they matter.

Even beyond the whole favor thing, showing my partner they matter also means leaving special love notes at times in weird places for him to find, doing my partner’s chores so he doesn’t have to and instead can rest, remembering things he said in conversation and repeating it back to him later to show him I was listening, giving him unique gifts from things he always wanted but probably would never get for himself, complimenting him regularly on how attractive he looks, listening to him share without judgment, offering him tokens of non-sexual affection like a head or neck massage, going to places he likes to dine at that I may not even like myself, and more. Unfortunately, my partner struggles greatly with all this, which has led to me feeling like I don’t matter to him on far too many days. Truthfully, it’s become our most discussed topic these days and something that has even challenged my sobriety from former addictions at times.

While being single and alone can be very difficult and create feelings of aloneness and not mattering, it’s just as difficult when you’re in a committed relationship and feel the exact same way . It’s been extremely challenging to live with a partner where I often feel more of a burden to him than mattering. The hard part is that I know my partner loves me, as I can feel it energetically at times, but as he continues to face his own inner demons and struggle to let them fully go, his ego often gets the best of him, where “in a minute” becomes more the norm than being there for me when I really need a helping hand or a loving embrace.

The bottom line is that many relationships tend to fail when one or both partners start taking each other for granted and stop doing those special, unique, and little things on a regular basis that show each other matters. As it’s in those little things partners do for each other that really make the biggest difference and always provide the greatest reminders of why the two are together in the first place, even after many years of being together.

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Thought For The Day

Quote #1

“Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up.” (Jesse Jackson)

Quote #2

“Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.” (Thomas Merton)

Quote #3

“Humility is throwing oneself away in complete concentration on something or someone else.” (Madeleine L’Engle)

Bonus Quote

“Pride must die in you, or nothing of heaven can live in you.” (Andrew Murray)

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Grateful Heart Monday

Thanks for joining with one more Grateful Heart Monday, where expression of gratitude remains my ongoing sole focus of my writing, which for today is somewhat of a follow-up to a prior article a number of months back, one where I truly thought a friendship with a couple I care about was over, and can say now that thankfully it isn’t.

I think all relationships go through a number of ebbs and flows, but to see them successfully navigate through them all , it means all parties involved must be willing to work on themselves. I’ve had many friendships that have failed because either myself or the other person, became caught up in ego and self-pride, holding onto righteous beliefs and feelings of “I don’t have to change” or “It’s all their fault and not mine.”

I don’t care whether a person is 11, 31, 51, or 91, all people are capable of change no matter what their age, me included, and as soon as I close my mind to that, and hold on to what I think is the only right answer to things, it puts me at odds with those who care about me, which is precisely what happened with my friends Bill and Tom when we all came down with Covid back in January.

The finite details of what happened back then don’t matter now, because it was those finite details that led to all of our ego’s going into opposite corners, rather than coming together with forgiveness, love, and the like. Regardless, for the past six months, I really missed the dinners and game nights we used to have regularly with them, so I finally broke the silence by reaching out to Bill to make my amends for my part in what happened, who in turn did the same with me. I took a second step in sitting down with Tom and listening to where my actions had negatively affected him, and I owned them, even learning in the process how I could be a better friend to him. It’s something I am truly grateful for about my personality, that I’m always willing to spiritually grow, where change is something I accept with grace, rather than fight it with ego.

Thankfully, my actions led to a huge blessing, with Bill and Tom becoming open to breaking bread with my partner Chris and I again, which we finally did just over a week ago now. After an evening of dinner at Carraba’s and coffee at Starbucks, I can thankfully say we all found the desire to move on from our ego’s and frustrations, to forgive, and move forward with connection again.

I am so very grateful that God pushed me forward to own my part in all this, to move beyond my ego and any selfish viewpoint I had on the whole matter, as it ultimately helped to begin the process of reconnection with two friends I do love dearly.

And as I end today’s Grateful Heart Monday, I am thankful for all the friends who remain a part of my life today, because the addict I once was had no friends whatsoever, except my sister Laura and my friend Cedric who never gave up on me. Both believed in me and showed me how to become humble, humble enough to ask God for help, humble enough to say I’m sorry, and humble enough to forgive. It’s those traits that truly keep my friendships going, with loving people who care about me, people just like Bill and Tom.

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Thought For The Day

Quote #1

“Alcoholics and all types of addicts may seem apathetic to the problems they are causing. Be aware that they are relying on an innate defense mechanism, that being denial.” (Anonymous)

Quote #2 

Addicts of all types and close relationships rarely work out well because addicts tend to live in a constant state of resentment and blame, leaning towards lives filled with selfishness and self-centeredness, where their ability to be intimate is greatly compromised, where feelings such as jealously and resentment are typically magnified, where financial problems pile up more than not, and where their fingers point outward more than inward at what’s wrong in their lives.” (Anonymous)

Quote #3

“It’s not that some people have better willpower than others to overcome an addiction, it’s simply that some people have finally become FULLY ready to change, where others have not.” (Anonymous)

Bonus Quote

“Recovery from any addiction is far more than just stopping drinking or using whatever substance one is addicted to. It’s an ongoing process of growing and healing – mentally, emotionally, physically, and especially spiritually.” (Anonymous)

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

“I’m Freakin’ Hungover And I’m Calling Off Work Because Of It!!!”

Just the other day, I overheard someone noticeably upset as they yelled into their phone about how hungover they were and how they were going to take the day off of work because of it. Man, I truly don’t miss those days whatsoever!

One of the things that Bill Wilson (co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12 Steps) once said was how none of his best days drinking were better than any of his worst days sober. Listening to this person in their extreme hungover state was a great reminder of why that still remains true for me when it comes to this disease even after being over 26 years clean and sober from it.

How many times did I used to wake up in the morning over the course of my alcoholic and drug addicted days to excess did I feel awful, cranky, angry, smelly, with headaches, and filled with shame about what I had done the night before are far too many to recollect. I rarely felt good about myself on most mornings back then, most of which came during my college years and just beyond after graduation.

I most certainly remember those days when I skipped my classes because of hangovers, as much as I remember going to my classes and learning nothing as I gripped my throbbing head hoping to stifle the pain somehow, all while drinking copious amount of water to make it go away. And I most certainly remember my first job out after graduation taking days off due to hungover states, telling myself it was ok, when it wasn’t. Because ultimately, both in college and in my life after, there were people who were relying upon me and responsibilities I had that I selfishly never thought about each time I drank or drugged to such excesses, where I had to remove myself from all my obligations the next day because of it.

A sad fact is that alcoholics and drug addicts are selfish to the very core and tend to think nothing of actions such as calling off of work, never once caring about who’s affected by decisions like that, such as their boss who’s already struggling with a limited staff, who has their own challenges in life, and ends up having to force those who do show up to work, to take double duty, causing them far greater strife in the process. In my case, it was the software team I was on, who had to work overtime to cover my slack, not even getting paid for it due to being salaried.

The goal of 12 Step recovery for me has always been and continues to be one that moves away from behaviors like this. Rather, I work hard at being more of a selfless person, one who thinks about each of my actions and the ramifications they might have upon the masses, something I never did during my days of drinking and drugging to excess, where harsh hangovers in the mornings led me to doing the exact opposite.

Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and all 12 Step programs of recovery not only can prevent a person from ever having to be in a hangover state again, where bad decisions like calling off work tend to happen, but also will help an individual learn how to be far more selfless in a world where they once were far more selfish and consumed with self more than not…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Silly Joke Friday

Silly Joke #1

A group of American tourists were being guided through an ancient castle in Europe. “This place,” the guide told them, “is 600 years old. The owners have never had a single stone in it touched, nothing altered, nothing replaced in all those years…” “Wow,” said one of the American tourists dryly, “they must have the same landlord I have!”

Silly Joke #2

A Canadian customer not too proficient with computers was calling the Microsoft Office help desk to find out if there was a faster way to trigger menu commands than mousing up to the menus.
Agent: “Certainly, sir. There are keyboard shortcuts for many of those commands. For example, suppose you want to trigger the Select All command.”
Caller: “Yes, I use that one all the time! How do I do it?”
Agent: “Well, you just press Control-A.”
Caller (after a pause): “Well, that’s not working for me.”
Agent: “Do you have a text document open in front of you?”
Caller: “Yes, I sure do.”
Agent: “OK, now press Control-A.”
Caller: “I am, but nothing happens.”
Agent: “The text isn’t highlighted?”
Caller: “No, there’s no change at all.”
Agent: “That’s odd. If you press Control-A the whole document should be highlighted. Try it again. Press Control-A. Tell me exactly what’s happening.”
Caller (nearing his Canadian breaking point): “Listen. I’m pressing Control, eh? And nothing’s happening, eh?”

Silly Joke #3

Every newspaper in New York sent a reporter and a staff photographer to the office of a local ophthalmologist when it was learned that he recently performed a successful sight-saving operation on the wife of the country’s most celebrated mural artist, who, in addition to paying the doctor’s usual fee, had gratefully insisted on painting one of his contemporary masterpieces across an entire wall of the doctor’s waiting room. The mural turned out to be an immense multicolored picture of a human eye, in the center of which stood a perfect miniature likeness of the good doctor himself. While cameras clicked and most of the newsmen crowded around the famous artist for his comments, one cub reporter drew the eye specialist aside and asked: “Tell me, if you can, Doctor-what was your first reaction on seeing this fantastic artistic achievement covering an entire wall of your office?” “Honest to God, to tell the truth…” the physician replied, “my first thought was, thank goodness I’m not a proctologist!”

Bonus Silly Joke

The marriage between the aging farmer and his young wife was not working out too well, especially in the bedroom, so they consulted a specialist for advice. “The next time you’re down in the field plowing and feel a yearning for your wife don’t wait until lunch time or the end of the day, but quit what you’re doing and go to the house,” said the doctor. “I already tried that,” said the farmer, “But by the time I get to the house, I am so tuckered out, it’s no use.” The doctor thought for a minute, “Ok, well, take your shotgun with you then when you leave the house in the morning and if you’re feeling that urge if you know what I mean, shoot the gun and she will come down there where you are.” A few weeks later the aging farmer sees the specialist while in town getting supplies. “How did it work out?” asked the doctor. “It was great the first three days,” said the farmer, “But then hunting season opened and I haven’t seen her since!”

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Everyone Has The Potential Of Succumbing To A Toxic Addiction…

I’m frequently asked in many of my alcohol and drug addiction presentations with nursing students what causes a toxic addiction to rear its ugly head in someone and what type of person typically tends to succumb to it. Let me be very clear here in saying that anyone can succumb to a toxic addiction and it usually stems from a desire to avoid something that feels uncomfortable going on within an individual.

I always find it rather comical during any of my addiction presentations outside the rooms of 12 Step recovery when no one raises a hand there to my question of whether anyone has ever been addicted to anything in their lives. The truth is, everyone at some point or another has had an addiction to something, it just may not be one of the truly toxic ones that end up destroying a person’s life.

Some examples of non-life destroying addictions that people often succumb to are binge-watching, video game marathoning, frequent Amazon purchasing, indulging in large quantiles of sweets or caffeinated beverages, working long hours, etc. Doing anything of those for the purpose of receiving some desired effect or outcome is ultimately at the core of every addiction. Of course, any of those things can be done in moderation and there are good addictions as well, like working out once a day in a gym for example. But what happens when someone works out for hours and hours on end until they start harming their body? Why are they working out so much in the first place where injury begins to happen? This is precisely when a good addiction turns into a bad one for someone and how many of the more toxic addictions begin to take form in an individual.

Take the student who is pushing themselves so hard in their university due to external and internal pressures to succeed. Maybe their release from all that pressure initially starts out in a positive way by exercising in a gym. But one night, they’re invited out for a drink after a completely overwhelming day, on a day they didn’t get their workout in, all because of their heavy workload and pressures they are putting themselves through. That first drink that night really hits the spot well, so well that it provides them a quicker ease and comfort to cope with all that pressure they’re under than doing their daily workout. So, they have a few more drinks that night because of the benefit it’s providing, making them believe that pressure has subsided. It hasn’t though and at some point, the pressure gets overwhelming again, enough so that their mind reminds them it can quickly be alleviated by taking a few drinks. So, they do that again that night, for that desired effect, and once received, they are off and running to the addiction races so to speak, creating that vicious cycle. Not everyone will succumb to alcohol or drug addiction though under even similar circumstances because there are plenty of other toxic addictions out there to numb a person from something uncomfortable going on in their lives. The same person under those school pressures could have picked up food one night and binged incredibly because it made them feel really good doing it. Or maybe they went to a casino and won big. Or maybe they hooked up with someone and had great sex. In each of those actions, the individual is avoiding dealing with what’s at the core, that being all that heavy pressure they’re putting themselves through and don’t want to feel.

The reality is, doing any action in the excess, where it begins to consume a person, and interfere with them living out a balanced and positive life, is the start of every toxic addiction, no matter what the action is. Whether it’s seeking likes or comparing oneself to others on social media, looking at things like pornography on the Internet, saying yes when you’re already overloaded, or something else, each may start out harmless, but turn harmful when it becomes a repeated action to avoid some uncomfortable condition, feeling, or fact of life.

The bottom line is that everyone has the potential of succumbing to a toxic addiction at some point in their life. As soon as any individual starts trying to avoid an uncomfortable reality in their life by using some external means to numb themselves from it, it’s precisely when a toxic addiction begins to rear its ugly head…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Question For The Day

Today’s question is…

What is the first name of a good friend of yours who’s really the opposite of you, but yet you get along amazingly? Let’s honor them today!

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson


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Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to another Grateful Heart Monday, where gratitude remains the sole focus in my writing, which for today is for being able to have a friendship today with someone that is mostly the opposite of me.

I used to think that having a good friendship meant the person had to be just like me or quite similar to me. But honestly, I’ve learned that can be quite boring at times when that is true. Contrary to that, one of the biggest rewards I’ve found when it comes to friendships is when I challenge myself to look beyond my ego and what it thinks it needs when it comes to a friend, which is very true when it comes to a friend of mine named Rob.

While he and I do share a common interest with superhero-type stuff, chiefly Marvel, and a few of the same type of foods, much of the similarities stop there. Beyond a glaring fact that he is heterosexual, which I of course am not, he’s mostly atheist to agnostic, while I’m more of a man of faith, is relatively political, whereas I detest politics, believes and swears in the power of science and medicine, something of which I tend to avoid these days, and well you get the point.

At first glance, to an ego like the one I continue to try to smash within me, it might seem like he and I wouldn’t stand a chance to have any type of healthy, let alone fun friendship, but ironically, we do. We tend to laugh a lot when we hang out and click far better than what my ego initially judged. The level of Rob’s compassion is second to none, as is his tendency to listen with the hopes of understanding, rather than judging. I’ve come to learn quite a bit in spending time with Rob and lately, on most of our hangouts, I’m even watching a show now that I originally didn’t want to give a chance, that being Star Trek Discovery on Paramount Plus. It actually is really good and I am enjoying watching it with him immensely, especially in all the little jokes we make during each episode.

Because of my growing friendship with Rob, I’ve thought quite a bit lately about how many potential friendships I’ve never even given a chance throughout my life with people who didn’t act, or look, or like what I thought I’d need to have a good connection. Sadly, I was very superficial in much of my younger years, hanging only with people who shared my views or likes or were my physical type, thinking that’s what was important. It wasn’t, as some of the best moments in my life have come by going against the grain of that and with Rob, I’m glad I did.

While he continues to challenge me at times, like I do with him, there has been incredible spiritual growth on both of our parts in spending time with each other cultivating our connection. I tend to think that’s precisely what God would want for us in this world, to make friends not only with those who are similar to us, but also, and especially with those who seem exactly the opposite of us. Because in the end, I believe we become far more well-rounded individuals when we do, learning to love and accept much that is outside our norm and different than us.

I’m truly grateful for giving Rob a chance and am so thankful to God for bringing him into my life to teach me not just a few lessons, but many.

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Thought For The Day

Quote #1

“My dear heart, never think you are better than others. Listen to their sorrows with compassion. If you want peace, don’t harbor bad thoughts. Do no gossip and don’t teach what you do not know.” (Rumi)

Quote #2

“You seldom help others by pointing out their faults, however, you always lift others by pointing out how much they matter” (Unknown)

Quote #3

“The sharpest critics and those most known for pointing out flaws or weaknesses in others, are most often the ones who are blind to their own shortcomings, insecurities, and mistakes. It’s best to take a mirror and examine oneself, before riding a self-righteous high horse, accusing others of what you think they do wrong.” (Jonathan Harnisch)

Bonus Quote

“As soon as you think you know someone else’s truth better than they do, you are in deep water.” (Martha Beck)

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

“I’m The Friend Who’s Going To Tell You The Truth When Everyone Else Is Afraid To…”

“I’m the friend who’s going to tell you the truth when everyone else is afraid to…”

Have you ever had a friend say something like that to you? I have and honestly, I really don’t need that type of friend in my life, because typically what follows a statement like that is nothing more than ego-filled judgments weighted in negativity.

Our world is filled with plenty of people judging each other all the time these days, but that’s most definitely something I don’t want or need in any friendship, as I’ve been judged unfairly throughout much of my life, starting with a mother who saw more of the critical in me than the good. But, I’ve worked hard to move beyond that, to let that part of her go, yet I find myself still in connection at times with people who remind me of her, who have the tendency to point out where they feel I could do better in life, highlighting more of their perceived notion of my flaws and shortcomings, rather than praising any of my positive traits. People like this rarely tend to own their own flaws and shortcomings and are so quick to point out another’s.

I used to be quite proficient at this, thinking I always knew better about those in my life, letting them know exactly what I thought, typically judging them profusely in the process, believing it was the right thing to do, “because no one else was ever going to tell them the truth”. All that did though was cause them more pain and drive a wedge between me and them. It’s one thing I can say my friend Cedric and I work very hard not to do with each other, which is why we’ve probably been the best of friends for almost a quarter century now. We don’t point out each other’s flaws or imperfections, or judge what we think either of us should or shouldn’t be doing, or ever focus on areas we believe each other could be doing better in life. Rather, we concentrate more on offering each other acts of compassion, kindness, and praise, and hold space for each other, even when we get stuck in extended periods of self-pity or frustration.

Recently, when someone close to me did exactly the opposite of this with me, offering me their “truth”, suggesting I enjoyed wallowing in self-pity and wanted to remain sick, it hurt immensely, because it wasn’t true on any level. It completely discounted the countless hours and work I’ve put into getting healthier by remaining physically active, eating healthy, meditating, praying, reciting affirmations, writing daily gratitude, volunteering, blogging about it all, and more. To say what they did immediately reminded me so vividly of a mother who was far better at criticism than praise. Why people become like this, believing it’s ok to share the “truth” they think they see in a friend, I believe solely stems from their ego, as it makes them temporarily feel better about themselves. Essentially, it lowers their friend, while temporarily raising themselves. At it’s core, it’s an unhealthy behavior that generally traces back to a parent or a former peer from childhood who did the very same thing to them.

While there have been certain key moments of my life when I have wanted a friend to “tell me the truth when no one else is going to”, such as when I was living in addiction and directly hurting myself or them, doing so otherwise isn’t spiritually healthy and is only going to lead to the demise of the friendship, as true friends need love and compassion far more than they need criticism and judgment, especially when going through any of those dark tunnels of life, no matter how long those dark tunnels may last…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Silly Joke Friday

Silly Joke #1

On the way to kindergarten, a doctor had left his stethoscope on the car seat, and his little girl picked it up and began playing with it. “Be still, my heart,” thought the doctor. “My daughter wants to follow in my footsteps!” Then his little girl spoke into the instrument, “Welcome to McDonald’s! May I take your order?”

Silly Joke #2

Three Pastors were having lunch together at a diner. The first Pastor said, “Ya know since summer started, I’ve been having trouble with mice in my church. I’ve tried everything–noise, spray, cats–nothing seems to scare them away. The second Pastor then said “Yup, me too. I’ve got tons of them living in the basement of my church. I’ve set traps and even called an expert to get rid of them, yet they still aren’t going away.” With a grin on his face, the third Pastor said, “I had the same problem so I baptized them all and made them members of the church and I haven’t seen one back since!!!”

Silly Joke #3

“I think I need a new doctor!” said Lauren to her girlfriend Karen. “Why?” said Karen. “Well, I went to my doctor recently and he said to me during my checkup, “Don’t eat anything fatty.” “What’s wrong with that advice? Karen responded feeling confused. “Because after that I said, “What, like bacon and burgers? and he said, “No, I mean you, Fatty, don’t eat anything!”

Bonus Silly Joke

An Ohio family of Buckeye football supporters head out one Saturday to an outlet mall to do some tax-free back to school shopping. While in the sports shop Little Johnny picks up a Michigan jersey and says to his older sister, “I’ve decided to become a Wolverines fan and I would like to wear this to school”. His big sister is outraged by this and promptly whacks him round the head and says, “Go talk to mother”. Off goes the little lad with the Michigan jersey in hand and finds his mother. “Mom?” “Yes son?” “I’ve decided I’m going to be a Michigan fan and I would like to buy this jersey”. The mother is outraged at this, promptly whacks him around the head and says, “Go talk to your father!” Off he goes with the Michigan jersey in hand and finds his father. “Dad?” “Yes son?” “I’ve decided I’m going to be a Michigan fan and I would like to buy this jersey”. The father is outraged and promptly whacks his son around the head and says,”No son of mine is ever going to be seen in THAT CRAP!” About half an hour later they’re all back in the car and heading towards home. The father turns to his son and says “Son, I hope you’ve learned something today?” Little Johnny says, “Yes, Dad, I have.” “Good son, what is it?” To which the son replies, “I’ve only been a Michigan Wolverines fan for an hour and already I hate you Ohio State Buckeye bastards.”

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Question For The Day

Today’s question is…

What issue in this world do you struggle the most with accepting those who have an opposing view of yours? (ex. Gay marriage, gun control, abortion, vaccinations, etc.)

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson


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Taking The “E.G.O.” Out Of Whether Someone Vaccinates Or Not…

My partner Chris and I are rapidly coming up to our 10-year anniversary and had planned to celebrate it by doing a cruise, the very thing we did when we first met a decade ago. But sadly, being unvaccinated from COVID-19 due to my ongoing health issues, we learned that while I could still be on the cruise (given it was leaving from Florida), there were going to be a number of limitations during it. Because of this, we opted to cancel, much to my dismay, leaving me feeling like I let my partner down. When I shared this disappointment with a friend I cared about, instead of receiving compassion, I received a chastising about my unvaccinated status, shedding light on exactly what Dr. Fauci has said is happening in our country now, where a new division is happening between those getting vaccinated for COVID-19 and those who aren’t, a division I believe is solely arising out of ego.

There are far too many divisions in this country that stem from ego. Last year I witnessed this due to my non-political stance from both Republicans and Democrats alike. I’ve often experienced this with other issues as well, such as with my stance on guns, abortions, marriage, and a number of other hot topics as well. Far too often, I’ve received chastising’s for those stances I take in life, just for standing true to myself, even when I’ve accepted everyone else’s stances. Now I’m receiving chastising’s over not getting vaccinated and being told how ignorant I am, some even suggesting they know better about my health than I do. In light of that, my question is this.

When did it stop being ok to stand in our own truths, especially when they’re not being put on anyone else but ourselves?

My truth with vaccinations is simple. If you want one, get one, and if you don’t, then don’t, but don’t judge another just because their choice with vaccinations is different than yours. Personally, I’d love to vaccinate, but given the complexities of what I continue to face with my health, I’ve decided not to at the present time over fear of complicating my health even further, even if my risk is only 1%. With that now being said, I ask you, are you sitting there right now judging me and saying I’m dumb, or stupid, or thinking some other negative set of words, all because of my choice to not vaccinate? If you are, it’s precisely why disunity still exists in this world, because we keep letting our ego’s judge each other over our stances in life, especially when they don’t align with our own views. Unity is never going to come so long as we keep judging each other for the differences we have, in our belief systems, in our sexualities, in our races, or in anything really.

People have frequently told me that unity is a pipe dream. Maybe it is, or maybe it isn’t, but for it to ever even have a chance to manifest, it’s going to take the removal of thinking we know what’s best for everyone else. The fact is, I don’t know what’s best for anyone, it’s only my ego that always tries to tell me otherwise. Knowing this is precisely why my best friend Cedric and I are able to maintain such a close friendship after 24 years. We differ so greatly these days with viewpoints on the Bible, politics, sexuality, and some other things too, yet we remain the best of friends, all because we love and accept each other unconditionally for our differences, rather than let our ego’s judge each other for them.

The bottom line is that there is no one on this planet that I know better for. Trying to think I know what’s best for another will only ever lead to chaos, discord, disunity, and the like. If I ever want to see unity in this world, it’s going to mean accepting others stances in life that are different than my own and loving them regardless. Doing anything otherwise just leaves me operating out of ego, or as they say in 12 Step recovery, (E)dging (G)od (O)ut.

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Question For The Day

Today’s question is…

What is the oldest thing you’ve ever visited in the world?

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson


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Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to another chapter of Grateful Heart Monday, where gratitude continues to be the sole focus in my writing for the day, which for today is for getting to play the oldest miniature golf in continuous operation in the United States, one that’s been around since 1924 and one that actually resides in the state I live in of all places!

It’s no secret that I love playing mini-golf. I’ve written about my love for this silly sport a few times already in my blog and in recent years have played upwards of more than 100 courses around the country!  Sometimes I even search them out solely for day trip possibilities and have been known to drive up to 3 hours in a single day just to say I was able to check out another course! So, when I learned that the oldest miniature golf course in continuous play wasn’t actually the one Google initially listed in upstate New York that began in 1930, and was rather in a small little lakeside town called Geneva-On-The-Lake that dates back to 1924, I was ecstatic. Why? Because I also learned it was only a few hours from where I lived! It’s called Allison’s Mini Golf and reviews on the web for it were quite favorable when I first checked it out online. Why it took me over 7 years of residence here in Ohio to finally drive there to play an actual 18-hole round on it is beyond me?! But, on a rather sunny and perfect weather day of 75 degrees over July 4th weekend, my partner Chris and I finally headed east on Route 90, taking the 2.5-hour trek there, for the main purpose of playing the historic course and boy, was it worth it!

I’ve played quite a number of amazing miniature golf courses around the world, but knowing one was still around from its inception in the mid 1920’s and seeing how great of shape it was in was pretty incredible! While the course itself wasn’t specifically overly or underlie challenging, it was the nostalgia itself of playing the oldest course in the country that really brought me joy. How many people must have played this course over almost a century in operation is countless I’m sure. The grounds there were still immaculately kept and although the two quaint fountains in the middle weren’t necessarily working as best as they could, it honestly didn’t matter because I felt like a kid again as I played each of those holes. One such hole had some bowling pins moving up and down that I had to avoid as I hit my ball through them and another had me narrowly avoiding a metal bridge filled with brightly-colored stationary golf balls on tees! Overall, I truly enjoyed my 18-hole play and actually ended making par there as well!

Nevertheless, I’m not sure if my fascination for mini-golf is simply because it’s one of the rare childhood memories I have where my family never fought or if it ultimately just helps me revert back to being a kid again so easily every time I try to knock a ball around some weird angle, or through some moving contraption, or to avoid some obstacle. Regardless, I love mini golf a lot and I really loved this quaint little course in a town I’ve never been to on the eastern shores of Lake Erie. I sincerely felt like I stepped back in time both on the streets of Geneva-On-The-Lake and at Allison’s Mini Golf as well. I’m so thankful I can now say I’ve played the oldest course in this country and got to do it with my partner Chris on a day where the weather truly was perfect for it!

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Thought For The Day

Quote #1

“Some days are like this. And the only way to get through them is to remember that they are only one day, and that every day ends.” (David Leviathan)

Quote #2

“This too, shall pass. When things are bad, remember, it won’t always be this way. Take one day at a time. When things are good, remember, it won’t always be this way. Enjoy every great moment.” (Doe Zantamata)

Quote #3

“Breathe. You’re going to be okay. Breathe and remember that you’ve been this uncomfortable before and anxious and scared, and you’ve survived. Breathe and know that you can survive this too. These feelings can’t break you. They’re painful and debilitating, but you can sit with them and eventually, they will pass. Maybe not immediately, but sometime soon, they are going to fade and when they do, you’ll look back at this moment and laugh for having doubted your resilience. I know it feels unbearable right now, but keep breathing, again and again. This will pass. I promise it will pass.” (Daniell Koepke)

Bonus Quote

“Anyone can give up; it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone would expect you to fall apart, that’s true strength.” (Chris Bradford)

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

“This Too Shall Pass”, An AA Slogan You Need To Stick Around For It To Come True…

“This too shall pass.”

A slogan I heard the very first day I checked out the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) back in early summer of 1995 when I first became clean and sober. Regrettably, I didn’t stick around long enough to know that slogan only came true if I worked the 12 Step program that Bill Wilson and Bob Smith laid out decades ago for all of us. It took me another 12 years of what I like to call living out a life of “sodriety” to finally figure that out.

Living a life of “sodriety” was me living a completely sober life free from alcohol, but still acting like a drunk. Most people in the rooms of recovery these days refer to someone like that as a dry drunk, which I most certainly was throughout the majority of my first 12 years of sobriety. In fact, the exact opposite of “This Too Shall Pass” happened to me during all those years, as nothing passed at all. Nothing really changed for me other than things continuing to fall apart, resentments building, and wreckage stayed wrecked. My spiritual life remained mostly stagnant during that time period as well, except for some brief moments where I’d go to meetings for a while and share my drama, feel better for doing so, and then disappear again as soon as I did. While I did see a therapist during those years and went on a few retreats to help the imbalance I lived in, I stayed clear of doing the 12 Steps because I didn’t want to fully look at myself in the mirror. What I didn’t know was that for that slogan, “This Too Shall Pass”, to fully come true in my life, it meant taking a hard look at myself in the mirror, something the 12 Steps do very well for every individual who pursues them. But, I didn’t want to take a hard look at myself, as I was just too afraid to go through the pain of healing, so nothing really passed at all from my life that would have made my life far better.

In the process, I fell into countless other addictions, lost plenty of money, relationships, friends, and the like, just a like an active alcoholic often has happen to them, except in my case, I wasn’t drinking anymore and hadn’t been for many years. While God took away my obsession to drink beginning on June 10th, 1995, He didn’t take away all the baggage of my life. That was for me to work through and the 12 Step program was a perfect way to do that. I truly wish I had applied myself back then, at the beginning stages of my sobriety, by doing those 12 Steps, as I’d probably have gotten far healthier, mind, body, and soul, much sooner in life. Thankfully, I found enough honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness, to finally do the 12 Steps in the fall of 2007 and ever since life has gotten better.

The heavy burden I once felt when I first checked out AA so long ago now, truly did become less and less the more I kept coming back, the more I worked those 12 Steps, and the more I sought the guidance of my Higher Power through it all. Now, I’ve come to see that a simple and once thought, silly little slogan of “This Too Shall Pass”, really does have a truth to it that one will only ever grasp, by just sticking around, something I didn’t do for over 12 years, but something I do now, one day at a time, hopefully for the rest of my life.

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Silly Joke Friday

Silly Joke #1

It was Palm Sunday and Little Johnny had a sore throat so he stayed home from church with a babysitter. When the family returned home, they were carrying several palm branches. The boy asked them what they were. “People held them over Jesus’ head as He walked by,” his father told him.“Wouldn’t you know it!!!” Little Johnny fumed. “The one Sunday I don’t go and Jesus finally shows up.”

Silly Joke #2

A young man watched as an elderly couple sat down to lunch at McDonald’s. He noticed that they had ordered just one meal, and an extra drink cup. As he watched, the old gentleman carefully divided the hamburger in half, then counted out the fries, one for him, one for her, etc, until each had exactly half. Then the old man poured half of the soft drink into the extra cup and set that in front of his wife. The old man then began to eat, but his wife just sat watching him. The young man felt sorry for them and asked “I’m sorry to intrude, but would you allow me to purchase another meal for your wife so that you don’t have to split your food?” The old gentleman said, “Oh, no, thank you. But you see, we’ve been married a long time, and everything has always been shared, 50/50.” The young man said, “Wow! That’s commendable.” He then turned to the wife and asked, “Aren’t you going to eat your share?”  The wife replied “Not yet. It’s his turn to use the teeth.”

Silly Joke #3

Little Johnny was assigned a paper on childbirth and asked his parents, “How was I born?” “Well honey…” said the slightly prudish parent, “the stork brought you to us.” “Oh,” said Little Johnny. “Well, how did you and daddy get born?” he asked. “Oh, the stork brought us too.” “Well how were grandpa and grandma born?” he persisted. “Well darling, the stork brought them too!” said the parent, by now starting to squirm a little in the recliner. Several days later, Little Johnny handed in his paper to the teacher who read with confusion the only sentence on it: “This paper was impossible to write because there hasn’t been a natural childbirth in my family for three generations!”

Bonus Silly Joke

An old man is sitting on his porch when he sees a young boy walking down the street dragging something behind him. He calls out to the boy, “Hey son, what you got there?” to which the boy replies, “It’s duct tape, I’m gonna go catch me some ducks.” The old man laughs and he calls out, “You fool, you can’t catch ducks with duct tape!” The little boy laughs and continues on his way, returning a few short hours later, and behind him, he is dragging 8 ducks, all wrapped up in the duct tape. The old man can’t believe his eyes. The next day, the old man is sitting on his porch again and along comes the little boy dragging something behind him. When the old man asks what he’s got this time, the boy replies, “It’s a spool of chicken wire, I’m going to catch some chickens in it.” Well the old man begins to laugh quite hard, telling the boy, “You fool, you can’t catch chickens with chicken wire.” The boy laughs himself, and says back, “That’s what you said about the duct tape,” and he continues on his way, with the old man laughing like crazy. A few hours later the old man is surprised to see the boy coming back, and even more shocked to see that behind him he is dragging 10 chickens, all tangled up in the chicken wire, he can’t believe his eyes again. The next day, the old man is sitting there wondering what the little boy will be up to next, and sure enough he sees him coming down the street with something in his hand. He calls out to the boy, “Hey son, what you go there today?” The boy responds, “It’s a pussy willow.” The man then replies, “Hang on son, I’ll get my hat!”

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Question For The Day

Today’s question is…

What is one thing you judged before ever giving it a chance, that you eventually gave a chance and were glad you did?

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson


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Do You Practice Contempt Prior To Investigation?

One of my favorite sayings I use quite often now came from the rooms of recovery and it’s to never practice contempt prior to investigation, something I once did regularly both in and out of the rooms of recovery and occasionally still need a reminder of, like I did during my recent vacation with a restaurant I dined at.

Where this slogan began in my life was when I first checked out AA meetings back in 1995. I practiced contempt very quickly, judging the program, and everyone in it, feeling it wasn’t for me. I remained sick, mind and body, with countless addictions and addiction-based behaviors for years because of it. When I finally came into the rooms of recovery in 2007 with honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness (the HOW of the program), I saw a spiritual depth to the program that I clearly didn’t see from the few meetings I attended here and there over the 12 years I remained mostly a dry drunk/addict. Since then, I’ve learned that when coming around to 12 Step recovery, until one attends a good number of meetings, actually does the 12 Step work with a sponsor, and helps other suffering alcoholics and addicts, the gift of the program will remain hidden, thus making it quite easy to practice contempt. The investigation that’s ultimately needed is the one where a person sticks around in 12 Step recovery and follows the program as Bill Wilson and Bob Smith once laid out. I learned a lot by sticking around since 2007 and attending countless meetings, sponsoring many individuals, and volunteering my time in many ways where I’ve continued to share my experience, strength and hope. It truly has changed my life and something I was glad I finally fully investigated.

What’s truly ironic about this slogan is how it can also be applied to life in general. How many times have we all judged something without truly exploring it further, only to learn when we do it wasn’t at all what we expected? From people to places to things, I’ve done it numerous times myself over the years and found myself doing it again, albeit briefly, when I asked my best friend Cedric to pick a restaurant for us to dine at on our final night of our vacation together in Gloucester, MA. He picked a place called The Causeway, one I had never heard of. Upon arrival to their parking lot, at best it looked like a small breakfast/lunch café. To my ego, it wasn’t much to look at. Once we walked in, I felt even more that way as the ambience there was really just some folding tables, no music playing, and tons of people crammed in, some just ordering at a counter to go. But, knowing how much I’ve lost out on in life practicing contempt prior to investigation, I said nothing and sat down at the table we were directed to. An hour later, I must say, I had probably the best seafood meal I’ve had in decades. The waitress was so kind, the portions were incredibly large, the fish chowder was definitely the best I’ve ever had, and my main meal, my Baked Coconut Rum Haddock, was to die for. Truly, my old self would never have even given this place a chance, as I used to always only look for those prestigious and snobbish places to dine at, the ones where you usually need to dress up for, often where the meals weren’t even that good. At The Causeway though, a place where you can wear t-shirts and tank tops and ripped shorts, a no-frills type of place, you’ll most likely have an extremely marvelous meal that you’re going to remember, one I most definitely did and would give five stars.

The bottom line here is that practicing contempt prior to investigation has only ever led to one thing for me in life, that being to miss out on some pretty amazing things. Sometimes we just need to bypass our egos and give things a chance just to see how truly awesome they are for our lives like 12 Step Recovery and The Causeway have been to mine.

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Thought For The Day

Quote #1

“No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.” (Tony Robbins)

Quote #2

“Every day may not be good…but there’s something good in every day.” (Alice Morse Earle)

Quote #3

“To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.” (Gilbert K. Chesterton)

Bonus Quote

“Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.” (Christian D. Larson)

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to another Grateful Heart Monday, where gratitude is the only focus of my writing at the start of every week, which for today is for solo summer 2021 trip I am just completing now as I write this.

Parting truly is such sweet sorrow as they say, as my heart is feeling very sad right now sitting here in the airport waiting to return home. Yet, I am still filled with immense gratitude for this past week that I got to spend with my dearest and closest friend Cedric here in Massachusetts.

Any visit to Massachusetts tends to bring up plenty of memories, both positive and negative, given the seven-plus years I spent here both in addiction and recovery. But, if there is one thing that I felt very blessed by on my return trip here after 7 years of not living here is knowing this is where the true foundation of my work in the 12 Steps began. It’s precisely why I made sure to get at least one volunteer commitment in at a sober house (The Gilly House in Wrentham) and attend at least one AA meeting (Annisquam Sunday Night 7pm Library Meeting in Gloucester). Both quickly rejuvenated my love for recovery work and my still being clean and sober from alcohol and drugs for over 26 years now.

Beyond my dedication to my recovery from addiction that travels with me even on vacations, there are a number of highlights from this trip away that I am truly blessed by. I already mentioned two of them in my article from a few days ago where I was able to complete a 14-mile bike ride and a 4.5-mile walk during my vacation getaway. There was also a trip to Block Island with my dear friend Sean Slater that included a beautiful hour-long ferry ride, a several-hour moped ride around the island to see the two amazing lighthouses there, a dinner at The Harbor Grill & Orchid Lounge, and some homemade ice cream (Aldo’s Bakery) before we departed. Add in a dinner at the Cheesecake Factory in Braintree with my dear friend Debbie Coon, several walks on various beaches, quick dips in the chilly, yet exceptionally clear New England ocean waters, seeing The Fast and the Furious (Part 9!) in Imax in Danvers, a very lavish Greek wedding between two friends of Cedric and I (Megan and Tim) that began at an extremely beautiful church (Assumption of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church in Ipswich and ended at an extremely lively reception (The Mansion at the Hellenic Center in Ipswich), evenings spent on our motel balcony (Atlantis Oceanfront Inn in Gloucester), great meals (Not Your Average Joe’s in Peabody, and Two Sisters Café, Sebastian’s Pizza, and The Causeway, all in Gloucester), homemade almond joy ice cream (White Farms Ice Cream on the Causeway), plenty of cold brew from Starbucks (LOL!), making a rock totem on the ocean cliffside, visiting several lighthouses in Gloucester, and countless moments of uncontrollable laughter that always seems to happen whenever Cedric and I get together including crashing my bike into his and looking like a turtle trying to get up off the ground after, him spilling coffee all over himself and smelling his hands constantly afterwards, and constantly playing our Mr. Forgetful game (you have to ask)).

While the trip had many moments of frustration due to increased health issues for me, I’m choosing to far more grateful for all these positive things that happened, especially the amazing weather that God blessed us with the entire trip away. I can’t believe the vacation is over, as seven days away really flew by, but I look forward to the next one that will come in October when I get to see Cedric again.

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Question For The Day

Today’s question is…

On this 4th of July, what freedom are you most thankful to have in your life that some might not have in other parts of the world?

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

AND HAVE A HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY EVERYONE!!!


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Are You A Fighter?

I haven’t done any type of serious biking or walking for long distances in a very long time, two things I once did regularly. The reason for this simply has been out of fear to making things worse for me with my long-running health issues, specifically with the Fibromyalgia and sciatica I continue to endure. This all changed last week though when I decided I wanted to be a fighter and challenge that part of my ego by asking God for strength to do both when I was with my best friend Cedric on a vacation in Massachusetts.

For years, Cedric has been talking about taking me on this Cape Cod canal bike ride he does frequently during the warmer months. It’s a 14-mile roundtrip venture that heads from Buzzards Bay to Scusset beach and back. Prior to 2010, I could have done that at least twice in one day, as I used to bike more than 27 miles every day as part of a daily exercise routine, specifically when I lived on the island of Chincoteague, Virginia. I’m not sure why I decided to press through my fear of intense exercise on this trip versus any of the others I’ve taken to visit him, but if I was to guess that reason, I think it’s ultimately because I’m tired of waiting for my health to improve before I try something new. Regardless, after picking out a bike to rent on a Thursday early afternoon during my recent visit to him, I hopped on the tiny seat and headed off onto the canal next to his bike on what I would call a picture-perfect summer weather day. While some light winds were against me during our bike ride to the beach, I felt a strong determination to at least make it to the halfway point. I think knowing the bike company said they’d come get me if I couldn’t make it back was reassuring enough to at least strive for that halfway point. Honestly, reaching the beach and conquering that first seven miles felt pretty amazing to say the least. It was as if some part of my ego died that day once I did. Nevertheless, I took a brief rest with Cedric out on a long jetty surrounded by the lull of the ocean waves, after which I felt invigorated enough to attempt the return trip. Truly, at that point, seven miles was the most I had biked in over 13 years, so the adrenaline running through me was quite high and most definitely overshadowing any pain. In the end, I did make it back to the bike shop, completing the entire 14-mile arc! Ironically, just before I pulled into the shop I collided my bike into Cedric’s and fell to the ground, but thankfully I didn’t injure myself more than some minor scrapes. It was pretty laughable actually and a hilarious ending to a major achievement in my life.

As for the walking achievement, well that came a few days later in Gloucester, Massachusetts. We were staying at an oceanfront motel on a cliffside and I suggested one afternoon to go for a walk because it was another spectacular day. I haven’t walked much over a mile or two in a very long time as well, given the same reasons with my health. So, when I set out on the walk, I did my best to pay more attention to the serenity around me with the ocean and all those spectacularly huge homes rather than the pain. About a mile and a half into the walk, I began feeling uncomfortable in my left leg where much of my pain resides. Cedric said we could turn around and my ego definitely wanted to, but my spirit didn’t. In that moment, maybe even determined than the bike ride, I asked God for the strength to press on, as I really wanted to do an entire circular arc I had originally mapped out on my phone, rather than back tracking. While I took a lot more breaks after that, I actually ended up completing that arc, which was approximately 4.5 miles!

Overall, while I did experience the after effects of both intensive exercise-fueled outings on my body, it was well worth it, because it said one thing very clearly to my ego that I’m not giving up on myself! I’m truly a fighter and refuse to give up or give in to this pain, something both my parents did and something I continue to pray to never do.

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Silly Joke Friday

Silly Joke #1

Bubba and Junior were standing at the base of a flagpole, looking up and scratching their heads. A woman walked by and asked what they were doing. “We’re supposed to find the height of this flagpole,” said Bubba, “but we don’t have a ladder.” The woman took a wrench from her purse, loosened a few bolts at the base, and laid the pole easily down. Then she took a tape measure from her pocket, took a measurement, and announced, “Eighteen feet, six inches,” and walked away. Junior shook his head and laughed. “Ain’t that just like a dumb woman! We ask for the height, and she gives us the length!”

Silly Joke #2 (2 Little Johnny jokes)

Little Johnny was attending his first wedding, watching the proceedings with interest for a while before growing restless. The groom stood at the altar as six bridesmaids walked slowly up the aisle, one by one. Soon, Little Johnny leaned over to his mom and whispered, “Can’t he hurry up and just pick one?! Geez!!!”

It was the end of the day when a patrol officer parked his car in front of the station. As he gathered up his equipment, his K-9 partner, Jake, was barking. Just then Little Johnny walked by and said, “Is that a dog you got in the back seat there?” he asked. “It sure is,” the officer replied. Puzzled, the boy looked at me and then towards the back of the car. Finally he said, “What’d he do?”

Silly Joke #3

A blonde called and asked the pharmacist, “My doctor ordered this prescription of ninety cholesterol pills for me, which I got filled at your pharmacy. As I was reaching towards the end of bottle a packet dropped out. It instructed ‘Do Not Eat’. Well that was three days ago, can you tell me when I can start eating again? Because I’m really starving!”

Bonus Silly Joke (Adult Humor)

A man was called to testify at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and asked his accountant for advice on what to wear. “Wear your shabbiest clothing. Let him think you are a pauper,” the accountant replied. He then asked his lawyer the same question, but got the opposite advice. “Do not let them intimidate you. Wear your most elegant suit and tie.” Confused, the man went to his Priest, told him of the conflicting advice, and requested some resolution of the dilemma.”Let me tell you a story,” replied the Priest. “A woman, about to be married, asked her mother what to wear on her wedding night. ‘Wear a heavy, long, flannel nightgown that goes right up to your neck.’ But when she asked her best friend, she got conflicting advice. Wear your most sexy negligee, with a V neck right down to your navel.” The man protested: “What does all this have to do with my problem with the IRS?!” “Simple”, replied the Priest… “It doesn’t matter what you wear, you are going to get screwed!”

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Question For The Day

Today’s question is…

If age really is nothing but a number, what is one thing you’ve come to appreciate the most the older you get?

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson


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