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My Obsession with the Number 23

A good number of people have asked why I seem to be so obsessed with the number twenty-three.  I’ll devote a few paragraphs here to give you the condensed version of why the prime number has become a big part of my life.  I don’t expect anyone to claim any significance the way I have, but will ask for a few minutes of your time to give you some background.

For twenty-five of my twenty-nine years in the public school classroom, math was one of the subjects I taught.  To be honest, I never really was that good in math, but my struggle to understand concepts I believe helped me to reach those that were going through similar struggles.  It was the “I’ve been where you are and know how you feel” mentality.  So it suffices to say numbers have always been an important part of my life.

About eight years ago, I was going through a particularly difficult time in my life and to be honest, not a whole lot of anything made any sense.  Separation and eventual divorce, recovery from addiction, and general upheaval has a way of doing that to you.  A fellow teacher, noting that I was really struggling, suggested I take up the hobby of numerology.  While I wasn’t a person that put a whole lot of store in what the numerologists seemed to be implying, it did peak my interest.  Somewhere along the way, I discovered the number twenty-three kept showing up over and over in my life.  That was the seed it took for me to study the number even further.

During my “investigation” I found out that both of my parents were twenty-three years old when I was born.  I was conceived in 1958 and those digits sum to twenty-three as well.  My son is twenty-three years younger than I am and my daughter was born on my sister’s twenty-third birthday.  Needless to say, the beginning of life is important to all and the presence of those numbers at my life’s beginning was too obvious to ignore.  * Note – I can say with some certainty that I was conceived on October 9, 1958, but I don’t want to raise your skepticism too early.

I also took a look at my birthdate in its numerical form:  7/6/1959.  If you sum the first four digits, you get twenty-three.  If you sum the last two digits, you get 14.  Since I am a person of the Christian faith, I began to look at the 23-14 combinations I could find in the Bible.  The first reading that seemed to have significance was Numbers 23:14.  It was there I found the name of the church I attend, Mt. Pisgah.

The next significant passage came from 2 Samuel 23:14, which contains the name “David” and “Bethlehem”.  David is the name I was given at birth and Bethlehem is the name of the town where Mt. Pisgah is located.  The most puzzling verse is Matthew 23:14.  In most translations of the Bible it’s not listed.  The Gospel of Matthew goes from 23:13 to 23:15.

So what did I take from all this you might ask? In a time during my life when not a whole lot was making any sense, I turned to God to find meaning.  I was fortunate enough to be raised in a home where church was an important element.  But it wasn’t until this difficult time in life when any of it began to take hold.  The different scriptures gave me assurance and bolstered my faith to the fact that God knew exactly what was going on in my life.  He had been there at the beginning and I had no reason to question He was still with me now.

So each time I see the number twenty-three, it’s like a “wink from God” that says amidst the chaos of my life, He is ever present…. He always has been and He always will be.  Now do I sometimes carry it a bit too far?  Perhaps so, but it’s something that I’ve held onto during the darkest valleys of life and I’m not about to let go.  I know some may think it’s pure nonsense and insignificant, but then it was God talking to me through a language He knew that I would understand and pay attention to.

And that my friends is the short version.  There are a lot of other situations that the number has kept showing up.  I just have to smile and know that there is One that knows me and will always have my best interest in mind.

David Lee

My thoughts on all that…

As we prepare to begin another school year, covid is raring its ugly head all over again. And with the resurgence comes so many questions about how to keep ourselves safe, especially younger folks that the delta variant of the virus seems to be affecting this time around. All the while, vaccinations and mask requirements have become a political and emotional issue instead of seeing it all from a scientific standpoint as we should be doing.

I don’t by any means have a crystal ball, but I see an increasing number of positive cases as we approach fall. With the school year beginning anew and holiday season approaching, we once again will be in situations that would foster the spread of the virus. The numbers thus far for the month of August aren’t looking good.

My opinion, for what it’s worth, is that mask mandates will soon become commonplace again. Worst case scenario, businesses and schools will once again have to be closed and lockdown put back into place. In the words of Catawba County School Board member Jeff Taylor, the only school board member to vote against making masks optional, “I hope I’m wrong.” It’s certainly not anything that any of us looks forward to in the approaching months. I like to be optimistic, but I also can’t ignore where the statistical trends seem to pointing at this time.

And those are my thoughts on all that.

David Lee

Random Thoughts on This Day…

Today is a pretty important day in my life. It was exactly 6940 days ago, nineteen years, that I began my journey of recovery from alcoholism. It was a Saturday and it was seemingly like any other day as I awakened. But that was soon to change and a series of events were set into motion that changed my life forever.

Today I can look back on this day that occurred nearly twenty years ago and realize it was a part of what was meant to be a part of my life. You don’t do to yourself what I was doing to myself with mass consumption of alcohol and not feel the effects of it. It took its toll on my family and of course, myself. Little did I realize at that time that the journey of recovery was a rest-of-my-life proposition and the lessons I’ve learned are ones that have made my life so much better today than they were back then.

No, things today aren’t perfect,,,but I’ve learned to deal with life on life’s terms and above all else, have developed a faith in a power greater than myself that keeps me in balance. There are so many people that I need to be grateful for during that time, each having a lesson to teach me about how to best live this life I’ve been given.

Today has been like so many other days. I went for a long walk this morning, a habit that I’ve just recently picked up. Later this evening, I’ll do so again. I’m the member of a local city commission and went to one of those meetings and then went to my second therapy visit. Who knows what the rest of the day might hold; I’m just grateful today not to have to worry about where the day might lead.

Tomorrow will be a teacher workday to start my forty-first year of teaching. I have two interim positions lined up for this school year and have actually had to turn down several others. These positions have given me purpose as we head into the second half of the year. I never envisioned that retirement would include continuing to do what I did for twenty-nine years. But I also have no doubt I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing at this point in time in my life.

What will the coming days and weeks hold? There’s no way to say. I do keep in mind that the pandemic is far from over and is raring its ugly head again. I’ll need to make sure to keep doing those things I need to do to protect myself. I was reminded this past weekend that the God of my understanding has a purpose for my life and is always beside me each step of the way. Faith tends to grow in a person that’s seen the darkest of days and I consider myself no exception.

So those are just a few of thoughts rambling through my mind this day. I’m going to try to do a better job of recording my thoughts and observations each day and share them with whoever finds their way to my blog.

David Lee

Quotable Quotes – Synchronicity

“There are no coincidences. We meet people intentionally who have been put on our path for a reason– sometimes sooner, sometimes later. — Kenneth Harris

“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We are like islands in the sea,; separate on the surface but connected in the deep.” — Thomas Moore

“Everything happens in perfect timing.” — unknown

“There will always be a reason why you meet people. Either you need them to change your life or you’re the one that will change theirs.” —Madeline Sheehan

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” —C.G. Jung

“This is called synchronicity — a state in which you almost feel as if you are in a collaborative arrangement with fate.” — Wayne Dyer

“Between thinking and seeing, there is a place called knowing.” —Caroline Myss

“No one is sent by accident to anyone.” —A Course in Miracles

“An invisible thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place and circumstance.” —Chinese proverb

“Miracles happen every day. No just in remote country villages or at holy sites halfway across the glove, but here, in our own lives.” —Deepak Chopra

“In the tapestry of life, we’re all connected. Each one of us is a gift to those around us, helping each other to be who we are.” —Anita Moorjani

“I believe there are no random meetings in our lives- that everyone we touch, who touches us, has been put in our path for a reason.” — Susanna Kearsley

“You won’t miss a sign from the universe. It will keep getting louder and louder until you get it.” —unknown

“Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.” —Leonardo do Vinci”

“The universe is giving you signs every day: in your sleep, on your timeline, in your conversations, on the radio, in the sky- pay attention to the people you meet. THe universe is communicating with you.” —unknown

All the above quotes are from Dr. Kenneth Harris’s book “Synchronicity – The Magic. The Mystery. The Meaning.”

ADHD and Alcholism…the connection

I’ve continued to do research and see if there are connections between addiction and ADHD. In particular of special interest is alcoholism. I found the following article that sheds some light:

Are Drug Abuse and Alcoholism More Common Among People With ADHD?

Several studies have shown a strong connection between ADHD, drug abuse, and alcoholismADHD is five to 10 times more common among adult alcoholics than it is in people without the condition. Among adults being treated for alcohol and substance abuse, the rate of ADHD is about 25%.

Why Are People With ADHD More Likely to Abuse Drugs and Alcohol?

People with ADHD tend to be more impulsive and likely to have behavior problems, both of which can contribute to drug and alcohol abuse, researchers say. Also, both ADHD and alcoholism tend to run in families. A child with ADHD who has a parent with alcoholism is more likely to also develop an alcohol abuse problem. Researchers have pointed to common genes shared between ADHD and alcoholism.

How are Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Treated in People with ADHD?

It’s important to remember that not everyone with ADHD will develop an alcohol or substance abuse problem. In adults who do develop a problem, doctors suggest treatment with nonstimulant medications, including atomoxetine (Strattera), clonidine (Kapvay), or guanfacine (Intuniv, Tenex), and sometimes certain antidepressants such as bupropion (Wellbutrin) and desipramine (Norpramin).

Whether Ritalin and other stimulants are effective treatments for ADHD patients with substance abuse problems is less clear. These drugs may be useful when prescribed in a long-acting form and in a controlled way to minimize the risk for becoming physically dependent on or misusing them. Individual or group therapy, as well as 12-step support groups, can also be an important part of the substance abuse program for people with ADHD.

What About Self-Medicating My ADHD?

Self-medication is when you turn to things like prescription or illegal drugscaffeineexercise, or alcohol.

Just like ADHD meds, marijuana, alcohol, and other substances also can boost your dopamine levels. That’s why some people find them so appealing.

Alcohol. People with ADHD turn to alcohol for different reasons:

  • To ease the distress that comes with the condition.
  • Help them deal with social and academic problems.

Many don’t realize alcohol will make their symptoms worse.

There’s a strong link between impulsive behavior, which is common in ADHD, and heavy drinking.

You may be self-medicating if you have more than 14 drinks a week if you’re a man or more than seven drinks a week if you’re a woman.

Illegal drugs. Some people believe that marijuana can help ease ADHD symptoms. But research has found almost no proof of this. In fact, cannabis — which more states are legalizing for medical and recreational use — can actually worsen your attention, impulse control, focus, and organization. Doctors advise against using pot to treat ADHD symptoms, even as a last resort. Stay off cocaineheroin, and other illicit drugs.

Caffeine. Research shows that while caffeine may improve your concentration, it doesn’t work as well when taken as medication for ADHD. And too much caffeine can make your memory worse. If you’re a healthy adult, chances are that a couple of cups of joe a day may help perk up your mind. But if you drink more than that or can’t seem to cut back, talk to your doctor. Kids and teens should avoid any caffeine, since it can cause poor sleep and affect their growth.

Source: https://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/adhd-and-substance-abuse-is-there-a-link

The Diagnosis…and Beyond

I’ve always known that my mind worked quite a bit differently than most. But although I had labeled myself as ADHD and actually twice tried medications to help control it, I didn’t feeling understand its ramifications until just recently.

An initial intake visit with a new therapist opened the door to a discussion of both ADD and ADHD. I was sharing some of the problems in daily and personal life and he brought up the topic. While I’m waiting for an official diagnosis next week, the reading I’ve done and several online tests I’ve taken leave no shadow of a doubt that I have ADHD.

One of the books that I’ve been reading is “The ADHD Advantage” by Dale Archer, MD. It has shed a lot of light on the topic and has helped me to examine the characteristics that those of us with the condition exhibit.

The following is a list of traits and a short description of how I perceive it’s played out in my life:

1.) Difficulty Focusing or Staying on Task – This has been a struggle for me, especially in my adult years. I’ll start a task and before you know it, my thoughts lead me into other areas and I totally lose focus on the task at hand. This is one of the reasons reading the book on ADHD has been a chore.

2.) Inattention to Details – This one hasn’t been as big of an issue for me. Although when I have lost focus (see above), some of the details I should be paying attention to are tossed to the side.

3.) Trouble listening – I attribute at least a part of this to the fact I have a moderate hearing loss. I can’t always decipher what’s being said and quickly lose interest. This has been exacerbated during the current pandemic when others are wearing masks. I also tend to focus on what I’m going to respond with and miss the total content of what the other person is saying.

4.) Avoidance of tasks you don’t find interesting – This is a big one for me. This explains why housekeeping has always been such a chore for me. I don’t enjoy cleaning; I therefore keep putting it off, only making things worse. And during those times when I actually do get started, it doesn’t take much to get me off-task.

5.) Frequently losing things – This is an area I seem to have improved in over time. Although to look at things on the surface would lead you to believe I’d frequently lose things, I ordinarily don’t lose them for long. In other words, I know the general area of their location.

6.) Being easily distracted by external stimuli – Indeed, this is so characteristic of me in daily life. As I’m typing this, my phone is sending notification that I’ve received two text messages. And it’s difficult to focus on the words I’m using to try to express myself. This leads back to characteristic #1, which is losing focus or staying on task. (As a third notification rings on my phone, I’m actually going to stop here and come back shortly.)

7.) Forgetfulness – To my credit, this is one area I don’t tend to have many problems with. I’m good at keeping appointments and remembering what people have shared. So on this list of characteristics, I would have to say I don’t have much of an issue with this one.

Above all else, I’ve learned that ADHD can be displayed in many different ways. And there are several parts of the spectrum that may demonstrate themselves more than others. But I have begun the journey of a better understanding of ADHD and have started learning some techniques to deal with it. Above all else, I’ve learned I’m far from alone.

David Lee

Change,,,the Only Constant in Life

As I grow older, and hopefully wiser, I am reminded that one of the only constants in our lives is change. As the seasons roll through, one to the other, so our worlds do as well. And as individuals, we too find ourselves changing with the times.

I tend to think of myself as a creature of habit. There are certain places I like to go to eat, for example. I rarely deviate from those few places. So when I notices changes, especially in my own behaviors, I take note. Such is the case in my life over the past couple of months.

One of the things I’ve changed recently is that I’ve started walking each day. I know that exercise is important for physical health, but I’m also learning that it’s important for mental health as well. This past week, I’ve walked at least five miles each day, sometimes more. This change has helped me stay more focused and has also improved my self-esteem.

Although I’m a person who loves to read, I’ve recently started putting more time and effort into that. I’ve read several books completely (which is a rarity) and have also been listening to podcasts by the authors of those books. I even purchased an IPod and listen to those podcasts as I’m walking. My journal is filled with quotes and excerpts from the books I’m reading and it’s proved helpful to read back over those from time-to-time.

I have been struggling with the all of life here of late and the exercise and reading and writing have certainly helped. But I also realized that I might need some professional guidance to aid me in my journey. So I contacted a therapist and have already been to my first visit with him. I’m working on improving my outlook on life and, as with the reading, am getting fresh perspectives on how to view the world.

So as we get ready to begin a new school year, there are those positive changes I’ve made in my life. Being stuck in a mental rut or “doldrums” as I like to call them, is no fun place to be. I probably don’t need to tell any of you that. But with the few changes I’ve made in my life, I’ve got a more positive outlook and am looking for better things to come.

David Lee

Card Reading for August 24/25, 2021

YIN

2

Essential meanings:gathering information and taking in cues; the art of conscious allowing.

The Oracle’s Message: This is a time of calculated receptivity as you gracefully await what is coming for you, ready to accept it when it appears. Yin does not involve frozen dreams or even resting, but rather consciously allowing things to flow into you, and to you. It implies sensitivity as you study the actions of others and contemplate how they will affect you and yours, alert and ready to receive the bounty that will be made available to you. Remember, you must make space for miracles to appear. Be the “shaped,” not the “shaper,” and you’ll see how quickly your dreams manifest.

Relationship message: Let others take the lead right now. Your power lies in small gestures, soft awareness, and receptive allowing. By yielding the reins, you will find yourself gracefully moving closer to what you truly desire. Permit others to tell you who they are and who they can be to you by allowing their actions to speak about them. You will be pleasantly surprised.

Prosperity message: This is a time when the most effective action is to allow others to show you the way forward. Observe their behavior and follow their lead. Your desire to push through must take a backseat for now. Collaborate and offer your ideas, rather than dictate what must happen. Let others come to you with their ideas and offers. It’s important that they feel they have power now. Another meaning is about releasing your need to have things in the form you want. How do you want to feel in your success? Now allow the universe to show you the form. Yin is the sign of essence. Things may go more smoothly than you expect.

Faith Amidst Struggles, Regardless of Circumstances

I am reminded this day that the strongest of faiths can be built during the most trying of circumstances. I look back on my life and see that the times when my faith was bolstered the most was when life had dealt its harshest blows. Such is the way life works…such is the way faith is constructed.

I’m glad I write in my journal most every day. While some of the entries are inspirations I have found from my reading, many more are logs of the various events in my life. Looking back and reading, I can see where the conditions in my life were not in the brightest of lights. Yet, here I am today, still living life one day at a time with a stronger faith because of what I’ve experienced.

Hebrews 11:1 reminds us that “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” During our darkest of days, our faith reminds us that there is One who has all power. And we are to trust in Him in both the good days and bad.

Today, let us look at whatever our circumstances might be to grow our faith…and step out onto the waters despite the storms in our lives. Brighter days will be ahead.

David Lee

Stop Wondering the “Whys” in Life…

I’ve had a lot of time to reflect here the past several weeks and a part of what I’ve learned is that I’ve had an insatiable desire to know “why” things in life have turned out as they have. I want to get at the root cause of things and be able to rationalize why outcomes in life were as they were.

I think an inherent part of this desire is to be able to avoid calamity in the future. I want to be able to tell ahead of time what’s going to happen in life, based on past occurrences and bottom line, avoid pain at all cost. And all the while I’m examining what’s transpired in the past, I’m certainly not living in the present and am letting opportunities pass me by.

I’m learning that faith has to be a part of my journey, in knowing that things turned out as they did because it was supposed to be that way. God’s plan, the Universe’s plan, whatever you choose to call it, has lessons through all that occurs in our lives. And while it does good to try to glean from those lessons, it’s not so wise to stay stuck there.

So, if just for today, I’ll trust in the Universe, in the God of my understanding, that everything that’s happened in my life was meant to happen just as it did. Future events in my life will happen just as they are supposed to as well. I will trust the Universe to send me what I need, including the people, places, and things that will guide me to exactly where I’m supposed to be.

David Lee

My Just-Beginning Podcast Address

I was reminded by a friend that from time-to-time I needed to look for new outlets to express myself and my life’s journey. WordPress had a link to a podcasting website and so I clicked on it and was taken to Anchor.com And from there, I had discovered I had totally forgotten that I had done one podcast episode in February of 2020, right before the covid pandemic hit.

So I have broadcast an additional podcast episode today and will try to do so on a regular basis. I hope there are those of you who will listen in and enjoy it.

My URL: https://daveswaves343777631.wordpress.com

David Lee