Maybe it’s because this week’s cold days and gray skies have me longing for summers on the sand, but I’ve been thinking a lot about the ocean this week. Specifically, about surfing. I’ve never been and probably couldn’t do it even if I tried, but it looks like a sport that’s breathtaking, if you’re a…

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I think it was the snow that dusted the East Tennessee countryside this week, but I’ve been thinking a lot about the ghosts of Christmas past lately. Forty-four years ago, and I’m 4 years old. A tunnel of toys and lights constructed in the old West Town shopping mall — Sears, I think it was…

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We talk a lot about gratitude around here, and for good reason — it’s one of the building blocks of a successful recovery program. There’s a saying in recovery that “a grateful addict will never use,” but I personally believe that gratitude is an essential hearth stone for everyone. Life often feels like it’s dialed…

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Ever have one of those moments where someone from your past crosses your mind unbidden? It happens to me a lot, and often, they’re people I would regard as passing acquaintances or casual friends. I suppose that means those to whom I’m closest are never far from my thoughts, but maybe it’s just a sign…

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I started writing letters to my oldest son before he was even born, little missives of hope and ponderances on impending fatherhood and reflections on my own frailties. I published them in the newspaper I used to work for, and “Letters to Ezra” became something that readers enjoyed. I don’t claim to be Mike Brady…

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What brings you joy? I found myself thinking about that this week, after profiling Intensive Outpatient counselor Amy Sawyer, who was recently named to the State of Tennessee’s Faces of Opioids campaign. Amy and I are Facebook pals, and one thing I’ve admired is seeing how she’s embraced the things that spark light in her…

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One of the most life-changing and life-affirming suggestions my first sponsor ever gave to me was simple in theory, yet difficult to put into practice: Get out of your own head. Be present. Take notice of the wider world around you, and be open to meeting those traversing this earthly existence alongside you. I’m still…

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