Monday, October 12, 2009

The wrong forest, the right leaves....

Its been a great weekend – very busy. I spent Friday at work and right after work, I went to speak to a visiting group about the benefits of living a sober life – this was a departure because I am usually asked to speak about the things I have lost in life, and it was really cool to mention the things I have gained.

And one thing that’s great is to take an inventory of what I have rebuilt in five or six months – and the potential to build more. Saturday, I ran 3 miles, worked out, then went to the library to do some research and get some books on Egypt. I don’t know why but Egyptian history is my new passion. This is a surprise because it came out of nowhere. I also checked out a book about Equine Therapy – basically using horses as a way to handle real life situations I may encounter in life– things like persuasion, trust, body language, etc. Its awesome.

Later, I sauntered over to main street where I tried on clothes at stores I can hardly afford and met a girl friend for coffee. I rode 15 miles back to the ranch where I watched a documentary on evolution vs. creation, then watched the movie Wolverine. After that, I headed to dinner, then mass, came back and played board games with my friends from the dorm. I wrote a little in my journal, talked to my mom on the phone, read a couple issues of National Geographic, then went to bed. Sunday, I woke up, went to my dads, we went to breakfast and had menudo, I did laundry, read some of my book, met up with a different girl for coffee, picked up Marty from town, went back to the ranch, ate dinner, worked out, ran 3 miles, talked on the phone to friends, did homework, went online to do some job searching, then took a shower and went to bed.

And the reason I am detailing all this is because I am mentioning how busy a typical weekend has become for me. This is good news – and I was thinking this morning about all the things I did – and what my life was like last year at this time. How my time wasn’t my own, how it belonged to the bottle. I recall the occasional Mondays I would wake up and hardly realize what DAY it was, let alone what TIME it was. I would often have to call Alex to ask to be filled in on the last few days. Somehow I managed to make it to work and complete a day – not much got done.

And now my days are numbered. I say it like this because not only is there a sense of urgency in doing things in life that I want to do – I won’t be here forever – not on the ranch, not on the planet – and so wasted time (which is how I look at drinking…. wasted time) is no longer a cool option for me. Alex and I were talking last weekend and Alex mentioned that it seems like we’ve known each other longer than 4 years…. But to me, it hardly seems like 4 years– and I have to think its because I spent so much of the time drunk and passed out.

But when I say my days are numbered, I actually mean something else. Last week I went up to the office and got another set of calendars. You may remember from a few blogs back that it seemed like a milestone when I got the new set of calendars (Aug- Oct) in the beginning of August because I doubted I would need them, and, yet, here I am. Heck, I doubted I would need them past June. I half way didn’t think I would last past June. June 6th, I was even planning my escape. I recall this because I read a captivating article by a columnist named Tina Griego in the Post on June 9th that changed my mind that week. More on that later.

So, last week, I got November-January blank calendars from Jim in the office. WOW!! They are even populated with things I need to do. They detail things I have in my plans. When I say my days are numbered, I mean more that these days, those numbers mean something. They have names to me. October 12th now means something to me, it is a blank slate that has a purpose. I no longer want to wish away or waste away days, they are filled with events, with people, with experiences, and now they even have hope. This is a forgotten concept to me.

While I was in town last week, I was reading in the park and a woman sat next to me (its very weird how many women approach me these days - it makes me feel hot), she had her son who was playing in leaves. He was jumping up and down and frolicking about. Her kid was having a blast and he told her that is was a beautiful day. I remember that because I think it was cool to hear a kid appreciating something like that moment with words like ‘a Beautiful Day,” but that’s not why I am mentioning it. She remarked to me that she wished that he would look at each leaf and see how beautiful each leaf was; this was what she, as a mother, wished her kid could do.

And, I think that is what made it a beautiful day. This small comment really stuck with me. So, these days, I am going to try to notice the forest – not for the trees, but for the leaves. I spent so much time in a drunken state that not only did I not see the trees, heck, I hardly even noticed it was a forest I was passed out in!

So, we lost two guys this weekend. One relapse, and its damn cold outside, but the grip of addiction is so strong that he is fully prepared to weather the winter snuggled up to a nice bottle of beer. The other guy left on his own. He had enough of the program and his struggle had more to do with the shame he had in being in rehab and that he couldn’t face his friends and family. MY GOD – can you imagine being so ashamed of yourself and your addiction that you honestly believe that your family and friends would be anything but supportive of a monumental attempt to get yourself healthy?

I don’t have anything much to say about these guys except that I wish them well.
I am also looking forward to this weekend, my family is coming up to visit the Fall Festival. At one time, I may have said that I can’t wait to see them. I have four more days – equally as important, and named and numbered, to live fully – I have a lot of leaves to notice. But I do have their visit on my new calendar…. in pen.

OVERHEARD: “I remember one time when I was a kid, my mom dressed me up as a clown for Halloween, but I didn’t want to be a clown, I wanted to be Freddie Kruger, so I started crying and my make up smeared. But then later that night I won a costume contest because everyone thought I dressed up as a sad clown – so I got a plaque and a trophy.” - Curtis
Peace all, have a great week.


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