Friday, December 31, 2010

Zero degrees outdoors, 100 degrees in my heart

We have received our first blast of winter. The bitter wind rolled in yesterday, we have received only a bit of snow though maybe 3". Generally it seems we get our worst winter weather after the first of the year, Jan, Feb and March tend to be nasty. We have been lucky and anytime I have heard someone complain I remind them how worse it has been in West Virginia, Minnesota and Michigan. As bloggers we live beyond our own front doors. This afternoon I will venture out, put gas in the vehicle for weight as much as need, visit with mom and shovel her walks, get movies and a tad bit of groceries and head home. I have a ham bone, ham pieces left over, they are going in the crock pot with beans, so a nice pot of ham and beans is my New Years Eve supper.

Christmas was nice and small. Mom expected my cousins to show up but they all had things going on with their families, so it was just a couple of aunts, an uncle, my sister and her husband. Mich, Matt and the babies showed up in the afternoon. Later they came over here and we watched a movie. I kept Angel over night and we had a great time together. I really miss her smiling face, active mind and good nature. She played with some of Grandpa's decorations, ones she couldn't break easily, I have some miniature trinkets from around the world and she was having fun with them, I also have a few cool rocks sitting around which she loves to play with. Her main food consisted of baby dill pickles and black olives, using a tooth pick for a fork, figured it wouldn't hurt her to much for 1 day. I was really sad when I got home from dropping her off. Her presents was strong in the house and I miss having her presents consistently around the house. Anyone who has a loved one not close at hand knows what I mean. Not something to dwell in just a part of our lives we aren't able to connect with as often as we would like. It makes me get out of self and focus on being in the present for her, same goes for being with Mich and Carter.

So 365 days have come and gone, 2010 leaves and 2011 begins. 2010 has been a year of highs and a few lows for me, as you all well know. I don't know or care to know what 2011 has in store. I have few things on the horizon, taking my mom to Idaho to see my favorite aunt in April and of course doing some camping, going to Soberfloat but all this could change in the blink of an eye. 2010 was a teaching year, it taught me big time about impermanence. About accepting the things I can't change and doing the footwork to change the things I can. I learned to walk hand in hand with suffering, to find peace and serenity in crappy situations. I grasped non-self a bit more clearly and embraced selflessness a bit more strongly. The law of Karma worked in my life without me work towards it or against it. I have been "busy being born" because I have kept my mouth shut enough to hear the awareness and use it for good, sometime this has come after using it wrongly and correcting my actions and thoughts. There is plenty of room for more growth, this is the beauty of being fully alive in the world.

I am 1 misdirected thought away from destroying everything I just talked about. One misdirected thought and I am standing in front of a cashier with a six pack of tall boy Bud Light. One misdirected thought and I am lashing out in anger and someone who doesn't deserve to be emotionally abused. One misdirected thought and I set the stage for being an enemy to others. One misdirected thought and my mother no longer has a reliable person to assist her. The list can go on and on. Recovery is about being spiritually and emotionally aware of the destructive nature within my thoughts. My old nature is alive and well within me, just as my alcoholism is. I do my best to keep the daily reprieve in my life, to know the only thing between me and the first drink is a power greater than I. I may back slide into being a selfish prick on occasion but so far not far enough back to pick up again.

Friday, December 24, 2010


Has anyone else experience the inability to sleep in as they grow older? It use to be on a day off I could sleep 10 hours easily but now no matter how tired I am I still wake up close to the same time I do on work days, might get in an extra hour but nothing more, which means I am still up by 8:30am. Not really complaining, just at times it would be nice to sleep in like days of old, since I have no real reason to be up early. I remember thinking how people were nuts for getting up at the usual time on their days off, now I know it isn't a choice, by body clock has changed and I am getting older and doing things older people do. This is really evident when I am camping with my younger friends, they sleep in and I am up at the crack of dawn, part of this comes from being old enough to enjoy and celebrate the peace and quiet of the new day, where as they wake up chatting away. Just saying.

Today will be filled with baking cupcakes, have this easy recipe for pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon chips. I also bought the fixings for peanut clusters and will make them. I will take advantage of the day and clean the house. I have a few presents left to wrap as well. All this will be done to the sound of Christmas music, the Indigo Girls have a wonderful Christmas album, plus my old standby's TransSiberian Orchestra and Jethro Tull Christmas album.

My mom asked my yesterday if I was alright spending Christmas Eve on my own. I told her , it was no biggie since I have done it a lot over the years. She then tearfully said she wasn't, since the kids and dad are all gone she finds Christmas Eve very hard. We decided to have supper together tonight and then I will drive her around town to look at Christmas lights/decorations. It is the least I can do her help her through a tough time. She is 81 years old and may not have many years left. I thought she was worried about my sanity due to the break up and kids being away from home, you know it is all about me. I never thought she would be sad being alone on Christmas Eve. To me it is just another day but to her it still has special meaning, so I will honor it for her.

Tomorrow mom is having Christmas dinner and the gathering at her house. She said this would be the last time, since she fears not being able to handle it in the future. My mom and sister are doing the turkey and I am doing a ham plus the honorable green bean casserole. My aunts and cousins will all being food, so there will be plenty to eat. I will help set things up this afternoon and again tomorrow. My plan for tomorrow is to get up, put the ham in the oven, then drive out to visit with my dad and give him his Christmas coffee, the cemetery is only 15 miles from here. Mich and the kids should be down about 2pm, they are spending the morning with her boyfriends family. We will open presents in the afternoon.

My gratitude goes out to being sober and awake. If not for these factors I wouldn't be "present" to do these things. My Dickensian Christmas Past is filled with being foggy headed, holding off until mid afternoon to start drinking, waiting for the cold elixir to calm my nerves and clear my head, to bring a false sense of merriment to the day. Like Scrooge, I woke up from a Hell filled dream to understand the true meaning of Christmas.

My thoughts and prayers of positive energy go out to those struggling this Christmas, which includes my blogger friends. A friend of mine in Kearney is spending the last Christmas with her terminal ill son, his days in this life are numbered. She has wrapped herself with the love of God and Fellowship and is doing the best she can to be strong for him. Two of the families we work with have experienced tragedy in the last few days. One was the death of a surrogate grand daughter from child abuse. If there is a God and Jesus I hope this 3 year baby is bring cradled in their loving arms, along with all the other babies who have suffered at the hands of sick adults. The other death hits closer to home. The husband/father of a family we work with died from alcoholism, mom was on the road of recovery but dad was caught in his addiction. He choked on his own vomit in his sleep. I have been praying mom has a strong enough connection with the fellowship and other supports to make it through this horrible time in her life and those of her young children, from what we know she is staying with her mother and given free counseling. Next week the Partner who has been working with her will non forcefully see what additional supports we can offer.

I know Jesus is the reason for the season but I feel the Buddha would appreciate it too. Any time or occasion when people go out of their way to show an extra bit of love and compassion would be approved by him. I may not pray to Jesus but I honor his true message of peace, love and compassion. His message of treating all equally, riding ourselves of intolerance and prejudice. My favorite story is of the Good Samaritan, it was one of his most powerful messages for our world today.

Well my friends, I hope everyone has a peaceful and loving Christmas, one celebrated in your heart of hearts. For those who might of missed in the previous post it has pictures of our new office.

My the God of your understanding Bless each and every one of us!!!


Saturday, December 4, 2010

I am Single Again

Started to write this last night but my computer is infected by a virus McAfee can't remove, it is some kind of Security virus, these warnings keep popping up, telling me to start my anti-virus and it isn't from McAfee. I will just have to take the laptop in tomorrow. I am writing this from work, thank God for backups.

Lady B broke up with my yesterday. I have had a gut feeling all week and even last weekend something was up. During the week none of our conversations end with her saying "I love you". I was hoping she just wanted a break for awhile, thought she was having some seasonal depression. Her reason was she just doesn't think it will work out, we have too many differences, she said I am not ready to be a dad and she isn't ready to be a grandma. I never wanted to be a dad to her boys, they have their own dads, just wanted to be on friendly bases with them, especially the youngest since his dad isn't a very good dad, tried to a role model for him. As for her being a grandma, I never her asked to be, think maybe this is just something that bothered her with the age difference. She started trying to explain herself then stopped and said she didn't have, which I agreed with. Basically we are moving in different directions.

On the way home and of course last night, I thought a lot about all of this. From my view what I see happened was, I was able to accept her for our differences but she wasn't able to accept mine. I suppose I didn't mind the difference because it was nice being in a relationship, we also didn't live together so our difference didn't get in the way of daily life. Another thing was the miles between us and neither one of us willing to move to the others town any time in the future. She is very close to her family in Kearney. I have my job here and plan on staying with it because my heart is in it. Also my mom is here and I put myself in the role of taking care of her needs, it was too hard living in Lincoln and trying to do this.

So now for the differences. I have over 500 CD's, she only has one, she listens to contemporary pop, hip hop and I don't, I don't really like most of it and will call certain stuff crap, yeah my arrogant intellectual pride showing its self. I have a book case plus filled with books, she owns 4 books, 2 Big Books, a Daily Reflections and an Al-Anon daily mediation book. I know stuff about movies, directors, actors and like some of the off in left field drama's whick leave you thinking. She enjoys watching these with me, but doesn't know actors by name for the most part and doesn't think past what was just watched. There is also the spiritual difference, she can't grasp my spirituality which in turns leads to her not understanding how I have become more dependent on spiritual practices than AA meetings. There are difference in work philosophy, I love of helping others and not the money, she feels I am way under paid. She isn't materialistic but maybe my nonchalant attitude about money bothers her. I recently did one of those "about me" things on Facebook, when I was doing it I realized a lot of what I was putting down where things she didn't understand or know about, nor did she want to.

I have worked hard at being humble with her and her kids. I never tried to force my interest on them or understanding them. I must admit I have made some comments about kids now days being so dependent on video games they have forgotten how to read. And I have made comments about the violent nature of video games and her youngest being mean spirited at times. So yes I have made snide comments about their interest, my bad.

During warm weather we spent a lot of time outdoors. Now with winter we are inside, being inside probably made her start to think about the difference. I don't know and it isn't for me to know. I do know at times it got quiet or if I started talking about certain things she didn't have any feedback.

Rationally with these amount of differences I probably should have known it wouldn't work out in the long run. I took this journey because we are attracted to each other, because we enjoyed being in each others company. I don't feel the attraction went away, just other things stepped in. I do feel that people with opposite interest can have a relationship. Reality check here, we can have a relationship based on seeing each other on weekends but when the time came to move in together would it work? Could I have my space for books and music, for writing, for spiritual time alone? Could I handle the daily noise of having a bipolar kid, with the ups and downs? Maybe, maybe not.

During this relationship I put my spiritual practices where my month is, most of the time. When I was upset, I checked what my selfish nature was up to, I accepted the things I could not change and changed what I could, mainly my thinking my ways were best. I worked on being compassionate and understanding. When I didn't get my emotional needs met, I accepted she didn't see the need the way I did and I couldn't control her feelings or actions. I was hurt when she didn't help with bouts of grief over my dad, she hasn't lost anyone, so she doesn't understand how at certain times the grief comes rushing back and it is nice to have someone sooth the sadness with kind words or a simple hug. I didn't bow down to her, I didn't go over board on people pleasing with her, I saw and see her as an equal. Maybe I compromised some of me because of having live without someone for so long but I was alright with those compromises.

Last night I was very sad and still am a little bit. There will be a grieving cycle just like any other time we lose something special in our lives. I am thankful for the growth I was allowed to experience in this relationship. I was able to work through feelings of fear, fear of rejection. I was able to work on my self esteem, to know someone can love me, that I am not always just a male good friend. I was able to really look closely at the desires which bring on suffering and not just sexual, sex was a part of what we had but not a major part. I was able to further pin point what I need in a partnership. Granted we had our differences but we also had a lot in common, like working hard, being pragmatic about religion, politics, society in general. She is open to trying new things and so am I, with the exception of jumping out planes or off bridges. We both love the outdoors. She didn't wear a lot of make up nor was her hair done in the newest fashion, I like women who have a natural beauty and she does. I am grateful for the season we spent together, she will also be a part of me and have a place in my heart.

All along I have told myself, if the relationship ends all will be alright. Nothing is permanent, we can't control others and it isn't always about me. I am moving on, this is a new day, a new moment in time. I am sure I will find another lady to have in my life down the road, cause I see the friendly smiles of women all the time. Lady B and I hooked up when I finally stopped craving a relationship so bad. I am not in a hurry to find a bed mate, even though last night I did go there for a few minutes but knew it was a sick notion.

The bright side of all this and this is not a put down on Lady B. I can start putting more time into the local AA meetings. I have been mostly absent from them, due to work, being home at night for our nightly conversation, she goes to bed early so if I attended an 8:00pm meeting she would be in bed when I get home, she didn't stop me from meetings, I stopped me. I can also spend my weekends at home, so even if evening meetings don't pan out I can catch weekend meetings like I was doing in Kearney, time to move on, leave Kearney AA in Kearney and find my fellowship here in my home town. I can also spend more time working around mom's, still a lot to be done, I was doing good when the sun was out until 8:00pm or later but now all I have is weekends. Since I can't stay at Mich's house on weekends, I will just have to give her gas money so she and the kids can come spend the night with me once in awhile, I will also have to just start making day trips on weekends to see them every once in awhile. I will only go to Kearney to see the kids when I can, if something else needs done I will take care of it. I bought the Ford Explorer, so now with not spending money on going out to eat every weekend, I will be alright with the added expense of the vehicle and not have to pinch my pennies so close. Honestly we split a lot of the eating out cost, but being one who likes to cook, I always ended up buying food, my choice not something which was expected. I got through this without drinking or drugging, I felt the pain and know it is only human, I understood the pain will pass and there was no need to kill it with beer, wine, gin or drugs. Alcohol would only destroy all the other wonderful things in my life, there are too many to list but regular readers know them.

Thanks for letting me share this with all of you. Writing always helps me see things, mediation wasn't in the plan, this has provided the calm which will allow for mediation later. I need to go get a few cleaning supplies, yup going to clean the house. I also have to go tell mom what has happened. She will be upset but she is a praying woman, she believes God answered her prayers once and will again.

Until next time campers.

Peace Love and Light