I Became An Old Man

I’m not sure when it happened exactly, but it was just over the last few days that I realized I’ve become an old man.. It’s not just that one of my supervisors and a former cube mate haven’t seen any of the Star Wars movies (I was stunned really – they seem like such good people too) it’s other things over the last month or so. I’m 43, not that terribly old I know but it’s the attitudes that convinced me it finally happened.

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Yesterday afternoon I went to see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – which I recommend – and I had to leave my row because the people on all sides of me kept using their devices. Goddamn whipper-snappers have no respect for those around them you know. There are even commercials at the movies specifically asking people not to do this but there they were just checking Facebook or Snapchat or some nonsense. I moved to the front of the theatre, like row 5 and no one was in front of me… then towards end of the movie someone took a photo using flash… WTF children, WTF.

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Reimagining How It Works

Tonight  at the meeting a guy at his very first meeting was asked to read “How It Works”. This is something most of us hear at almost every meeting we attend. There are folks that brag they can recite it from memory without looking at the book at all. I probably could if hard pressed to do so. It’s one of those things I don’t pay much attention to anymore, l hear it so often that it just something I sit through until the real meeting begins. When a newcomer reads it and stumbles over the words – members in the meeting look up. We recognize that if someone doesn’t recognize those words enough to to get them in the cadence and pronunciation that we’re so used to this person is new… and that means the potential to share the message so freely given us. It’s really the only time I see people paying attention there anymore. I’m guilty myself.

I have a friend in the program that reads along when it’s being read – he says it keeps his head in the present instead of looking around judging other people he reads each word as it’s read. I kind of like that and if I’m feeling like my mind won’t stay on track I’ll do that once in a while. Continue reading

Emotional Sobriety

Sponsor assignment: Would you give your reflections on what “emotional sobriety” looks like to you?

Emotional Sobriety… hmmm

First thoughts are it’s about letting go again – I get to a point, on occasion where I think I can steer again and that’s when things start to get out of whack, my emotions go up and down, usually down, and I start to get comfortable in the wrongness. It’s an odd trap where I begin to enjoy the sadness, anger or the like – like the 12 and 12 says “we exult in some of our character defects”. When I start to think I know better than my boss, sponsor, group, government, AA… then I’m gonna be off soon, and with me it gets rather noticeable.

When I was drinking and first getting sober I had so much going on inside my head – committee meetings, tapes of resentments stuck on repeat, “should of done different”, grand revenge schemes and more. Even one of those things today is a sign that I’m off kilter and need to readjust, it’s easy to recognize them, but not quite as easy to affect the change necessary for some reason. Continue reading

Put the “fun” in Funerals

I’ve been thinking about funerals lately – near death experiences by a couple of folks have put dying in my rotating thought patterns. Then I start thinking about wills and cremation and making sure there is a gold coin in my mouth before I’m burned – just in case I end up at the river Styx and need to pay Charon, being stuck on this side of the river would be rather boring I’d think.

Who’s funerals do I have to attend? Seems an odd question doesn’t it? There must be some kind of etiquette that tells me  the ones I have to go to. Obviously close family, but not the bible thumping crazy aunt – unless she’s come into a fortune and me getting a chunk of it is dependent on attending the morbid death ritual – and even then, probably not. Co-workers (current job or all the others? Fellow AAs (maybe just the ones that weren’t annoying)? Certainly former sponsors, certain ex bosses and a lover or two…

I figure that I had to make my own rules for this kind of thing and decided that if I would invite them to my own wedding – not for gifts, but because I actually enjoy their company – then I’d be willing to put up with a funeral. Granted, I have no intention of getting married, much to selfish to give up my free time, but if I were and wanted to invite some people – those are the people that I’d miss if they were dead – most likely… maybe… I guess Continue reading

Pain For Too Long

I feel proud, manly, strong – probably stupidly so, but I do – when after the examination the doctor says

“I usually only see patients with this in the ER! And you’ve had this for a MONTH?!?!”  

I can’t help it, I want to say

“HELL yeah I have! fuckin’ right man!”

But then sanity clicks in and looks back at the constant pain, uncomfortableness, lack of sleep and the like and I realize I probably should have just gone to the ER when it first happened. I did go to the walk-in clinic twice for the same condition before finally going to the ENT, so at least there is progress.

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What’s a ‘Home Group’?

“This is your home group for the next year” he said

“What’s a home group?” I asked

“That means you’ll be at this meeting every Sunday night – unless there is a funeral, and it better be yours.”

That was what my first sponsor told me when I came into the rooms. I took him literally and didn’t miss a single Sunday night that first year – we had a meeting on Christmas day and I was there. I had the flu and had been vomiting and feverish for days, I was there (side note, I always thought once I quit drinking I’d never have the dry heaves again… boy was I pissed). No matter what, I was at my home group… The Sunday after that year was up I was a no-show… that’s how I am, lol Continue reading

The New Old Job

A friend was reading the blog recently and tonight asked if I had gotten a new job in education, he had heard me talk about my job in an insurance agency but didn’t see it anywhere on the blog… I really hadn’t realized that I forgot to write about it. Technically I wrote about interviewing for the new old job back in the post Job Hunting - that’s right I somehow passed their personality test! woo hoo!!!

The job is at an insurance agency, I wasn’t sure then what that meant but I was pretty sure it was your typical office job. Most of the places you interview at tell you the same things “this is a hard job” “we expect you to show up on time” “we need good workers that follow all the rules” and then make you watch videos from the mid 80s staring all the best shoulder pad clothes a person could hope to see at once… Fortunately I didn’t have to watch any of those videos for this job.

First let me say I’ve been working in offices for 20 odd years, I’m good at it, people really like me and are amazed at the work I can produce – not trying to pat myself on the back here, that’s what employers have told me. But in all honesty these jobs have bored me – almost every day at those jobs I found I had enough time to do the job adequately in under 5 hours and spend the rest of the day doing whatever I might want to do – Facebook, solitaire and mine craft (back in the early Windows days) or whatever, it wasn’t a challenge at all. What I’ve found at my new job, and I’ve told them – is not having any free time at all, my day is spent getting the work done and as a result my days just fly by. I love that I love that so much. I’m challenged. Now that sounds awful doesn’t it? No time to relax or goof around? Well I still manage to stick my tongue out at my supervisor for no reason, talk to my cube mate about shopping or hear about a coworkers wife. It’s just that the isn’t just entering a bunch of data and waiting for more, or sending out the invoices and then leaving early – my days are full and it’s a good thing. Continue reading

I Know Better

I always think I know better. It almost doesn’t matter what the case is – I have a better solution than the one you’re suggesting or using. Someone suggests something – I’ll think about it, but I probably already have a plan that’s better than that.

For example, going canoeing for the first time outside Washington DC back in 98 or 99 people suggested sunscreen, but I wasn’t a city boy, I could take a little sun and be fine. Didn’t matter how long we’d be outside I don’t need not stinking sunscreen… burned the hell out of the top of my thighs, they were almost purple and it hurt pretty bad for a few days. I thought I knew better but obviously I didn’t. Continue reading

Obsess Much?

I shake hands at meetings. This isn’t really news to anyone who knows me in meetings – I’ve been doing it a long time. Lots of people look forward to shaking my hand too (or so I tell myself).

Some folks don’t shake my hand and insist on a hug – makes the meeting feel incomplete to me, I’m considering telling them – “no hand shake, then no hug”. It’s all about me you know… usually. A former Green Bay Packer sometimes is at the meeting and insists on the hugs… but he’ll have to be told too.

Tonight a regular member of the home group came in and I saw him coming and couldn’t recall his name. See him every week, shake his hand every week, sometimes we even hug (after the handshake, so you know I actually like the guy) but his name escaped me. Continue reading