Saturday, March 26, 2011

Insightful view of Anal me.

So I took a look inside and realized why I can be rather anal about certain things, had to whip the poop off afterwards:-)

The other new guy at work doesn't hold up to my standards or work ethics, mentioned this to our trainer and added "but I am anal". There is a double whammy when it comes to me and working. First my beloved dad was very tough and critical when it came to working, for years I heard him complain about people who didn't hold up to his hard working standards. Second stems from being in the Armed Forces from the time I was 17, once again very strict rules on how one did their job and how you behaved at work. So the other night I caught myself applying my standards to a co-worker and wrapping my head around what he was and wasn't doing, I suffered he didn't. I wasted mental energy thinking about how wrong it was for him to take long bathroom breaks, sneak off and smoke, or how he was messing with his cell phone, or talking too much. None of this was my business, I am only responsible for me and how well I am learning the job and my job performance.

After work and during the day I did a bit of reflecting. There is a side of me which is very serious. This side is reflected in my taste of music, literature and movies. I have always been a rather old soul, as a kid I was interested in social issues, religion, what I then considered serious Rock and not commercial bubble gum stuff. I started questioning Christianity early in my teens based on my interest in Native American culture, I could not fathom how God would condemn the nature abiding Native Americans to Hell just because they didn't believe in the Christian version of him and didn't believe in Jesus; no offense to my Christian friends. I took a strong interest in social injustices and conservation issues.

I was pretty much raised an only child, my youngest sister is 9 years older than me, so I spend a good amount of time on my own, especially after we moved to a farm in the middle of nowhere Nebraska when I was 9, no kids to play with. My parents weren't fun parents either, my dad was a very hard worker, he didn't sit around the house if there were other things which need to be done. His idea of a good family outing was taking a drive somewhere usually on back roads. I have inherited his love of driving, cruising down back roads, looking at nature where it is crops, cattle, scenery or wild animals unfortunately this is boring to kids and some adults. I don't have a lot of funny memories of childhood which is alright, it was what it was and compared to a lot of people I lived in Disney world, there was abuse but not as bad as some peoples. Silliness was not allow in our house, neither was the slightest hint of vulgarity, in other words no laughing at farting, no sexual innuendos, silliness and stupidity were met with harsh words and evil eyes.

I made attempts to do fun stuff with Mich when she was growing up but wasn't the best at it. I wasn't the best at getting down and playing with her and didn't play games either. Also my active alcoholism got in the way, most of the time I didn't have the money to do things, even simple stuff because all my money went to alcohol and cigarettes. Plus I was selfish and self centered to the max, if it didn't seem like fun to me then we just weren't doing it, which most of the stuff she wanted to do wasn't. As a friend now to young kids whose parents are in recovery I do my best to participate in fun things they want to do which may not interest me. As for Angel and Carter, well they have the run of the house when they are here, they can play with anything they want, breakables and dangerous stuff is put away, Angel can watch the same movies over and over, I think this is called spoiling them.

I am getting better but putting Rule 62 "don't take yourself so damn serious" is something I have to be constantly aware of. When I am being too serious, then I am setting my expectations of me and others very high and most of the time neither of us meet them and I create my own suffering by dwelling on stuff. There is nothing wrong with having expectations but I have to allow for some leeway, I expect Mich's boyfriend to provide for his family but I can't allow my serenity to go to hell because he is lazy.

Strong ethics and being serious have their good side as well. I believe in being ethical at meetings, no cross talking when some one is poring their heart out, really prefer people didn't cross talk at all, I believe the newcomer has the right to babble about nonessential shit for a short time, not long rants, because all of us babbled in the beginning. I take recovery dead serious, if I don't I am dead. I have been known to be a bit of an AA Nazi; I believe strongly in the Big Book, 12 steps and 12 traditions. Funny side note; I hate it when people refer to the 12 and 12 book as the 12 x 12, it is not a piece of lumber people, I keep this anal comment to myself but a few close friends know how I feel and laugh at meetings when someone says 12 x 12 because they know my feelings. I am anal enough about recovery to call old timers out in a nice way if their personal religion gets emphasis at meetings, I remind them of our singleness of purpose, what is says in We Agnostics and the traditions. I counteract any advise given in meetings concerning; legal, marital, medical or therapeutic matters by reminding people we are not lawyers, judges, doctors or counselors, we are ex-drunks sharing our experience, strength and hope. What I have just mentioned I am not alone in doing, I take my cue from others who do the same and when I get away from sharing about me and start tell others how to live their lives I value these people who put me back in my place. Mindful insight has allowed me to pretty much change a "you or we" into a "me or mine" mid-sentence, once again wise counsel gained from mediation and listening to how the elders I respect share at meetings. But still there are time when I really want to yell out loud, "shut the hell up" at others because they aren't doing things my way, are being silly, are sharing the same story for the thousand time, this is when the little voice inside my head reminds me of rule 62 and also tells me "who are you to judge others".

So anyway, I am working on not being so judgmental not applying my anal behaviors and ethics on others. I am working on staying focused on me and my responsibilities. I am also strongly aware there is a side of me which is using my work ethics as a means to seek approval from my supervisor. I can't really change my ingrained ethics but I do tend to push myself a bit harder than I need to in order to seek recognition, taking a bit longer bathroom break to rest my muscles probably wouldn't hurt anything but no I walk to the john and walk right back and start working, maybe stretch a bit but not long because I am overly conscience of how long I am taking.

On a lighter note; mom got an apartment for the elderly here in Kearney on Friday. It is in a 15 unit complex. It is set up kind of like an assisted living facility, all the apartments have inside entrances, there is a commons area, mail boxes, trash and laundry inside the complex, all utilities paid except cable t.v and phone. I figured out she will actually be saving money since she doesn't have house taxes, home owners insurance or a high utility bill. My mom is thin skinned and skinny, so she has been keeping the heat way up in her house and having astronomical utility bills. We should have her moved down by the middle of April. She is going to start figuring out what stuff she wants to keep and what has to go on a garage sale or given away. This is big down size for her, she will have to get rid of a bunch of knick knacks and extra stuff. My mom is a product of the Depression and doesn't throw much away or buys things she doesn't need because it was a great bargain. I am losing my extra storage because of the move, so I too need to sort some stuff out, figure out what can go in my small shed or spare room and the rest has to go. I have been hauling around a bunch Mich's late mothers stuff, it is now time for Mich to see what she wants to keep and what needs to go, no matter how emotionally painful digging through this may be.

Well friends that's a ramble from me. Hope and pray you are accepting life on life's term as well as you are able too. When all else fails try to remember Honesty, Open mindedness and Willingness and I will try to do the same. Figure life is all about learning new ways to handle selfish thinking or unhealthy behaviors, something I will be doing the rest of my life, cause you know the Higher Power has a way of knocking me upside the head when I slack off on awareness, loving kindness and compassion to all.

Peace Love and Light

Friday, March 18, 2011


Hey all, hope the sun is shining on your spirits!!

First; the dog is loving being able to go outside on her leash and just lay in the grass or under the deck. She is addicted to being outside the way I was to beer, every chance she gets she is outside as long as there is no rain or snow which hasn't been too much of a problem. Glad I rented this trailer for her:-) Her dad is comfortable with it as well. Most of the stuff is put away, like 95%. I have 1 room for storage, a room for my library/desk and then my bedroom, living room and kitchen are decent enough.

Second; I friend of mine in recovery died, he had rectal cancer plus his liver was shot from chronic alcoholism. He was one of those chronic relapser's who most didn't give a chance in hell he would die sober. His last relapse was a dozy, his skin was yellow, he wore heavy clothes even when it was warm, he was drinking cooking sherry and mouth wash when he couldn't get booze. He died with about 2-1/2 years of sobriety. We can never give up on someone, we can never refuse to accept the hand that reaches out to us. He will be missed, he was a unique character, a definite presences in the room and a miracle. RIP Jimbo my friend, glad you shined your light on my life.

I am finding the new job totally amazing, not so much the work but my attitude and serenity. For 15 years I have pretty much done clerical work, purchasing, helping others and tons of documentation. I thought this was the kind of work I needed to find again, hey I am a manager, a people person, this is my destiny! Funny how our God laughs at what we think is best for us and moves us in an opposite direction.

I am training to operate a press brake. This is a machine which bends steel, most of the bends are 90 degrees although we do get into so 45's, 120's, even funky stuff like 68 and 25. One of the irony's is, I suck at math or did in school and math still doesn't come easy. The machines are old so even after you program your degrees and length into the computer you still have to use your tape measure and protractor make adjustments, you start off light and work your way harder. This is one of those jobs you can't rush when setting up the machine. The guy training me is very good, he explains taking your time, it is easier to make adjustments by going slow rather than banging the bend and having to straighten the piece out or scraping it. The blue prints can also be insane, lots of different lines and measurements. The prints are set up for all operations, so you have markings for where the holes goes for punching plus shear dimensions, you have all these lines with different measurements and you have to know which ones apply to you. Reading the blue print hasn't been too hard since I have done this in the past but I have to read it correctly to know how the piece goes into the machine so my bend is in the right place, you can easily bend a piece backwards if you aren't paying attention to the print; the other new guy did this to 39 pieces last night. Once again as the trainer says take your time, pay close attention, the speed will come in time. So my whole problem with not being mathematically quick comes down to taking it slow, looking at my measurements and radius's, thinking about how to adjust them by adding or subtracting. I feel I am catching on fairly well, thanks to some previous experience and hereditary mechanical aptitude.

I am liking the job, for one we don't do the same parts over and over like a lot of manufacturing jobs, reason I applied at this company was I knew they didn't run the same parts all shift long. Last night I took pieces of 3 inch by 39 inch and bent two 90 degree angles in them, making a J form, for example, ran 100 pieces. In the same night I could be bending 48 inch by 48 inch sheets or 6 inch by 10 inch with 3 bends, you get the picture. This job requires thinking but different from clerical or managerial. It is fairly physical, lots of lifting and moving of upper torso, plus standing for the whole shift. My feet kill me by the end of the shift, need to get some gel insoles for my boots to see if they help, probably it is just going to be a case of my feet getting use to it. My shoulders have burned from pain too but I think this again is just a case of the muscles building strength and endurance, I stretch my muscles a few times a night which helps a bit, trying to stay away from popping too many Aleve, just take 1 or at most 2 a day if I really need to. I am handling working until 4:00am fairly well, grant it the last hours are a bite but if I am busy they are not too bad and no I am not drinking a bunch of energy drinks, can't and won't do that, just my coffee or maybe a Dew. I have been going to bed around 5:00am and getting up about noon or 1. The dog is adjusting to the shift as well. We are working 6 days of 11-1/2 hour shifts and I am working Sunday noon to 6pm as well, the press brake has a large backlog so we need to get caught up. We have next weekend off due to company audit. The other new guy says he refuses to work 7 days a week, I hope I am not stuck working too many Sundays because of him, if it starts to look this way I will tell the boss I am in recovery and would like to make my Sunday morning meeting every once in awhile. Of course part of the game in getting good raises is to work when asked without bitching or making an excuse to why you can't work, so I will keep my mouth shut for a bit. Once I get a sleep pattern down and get rested up, I can get up earlier a few days and hit the noon meetings, for the sake of fellowship and hearing and carrying the message, basically remembering I am a hopeless alcoholic and can't forget it. Oh yeah, the 70 hour work week won't last for ever, just a few months, with this industry it flexes up and down, some months full throttle, other months cruising at 40 hours.

I find the work environment amusing. Most of the guys are basically friendly in the acknowledging your presents sort of way. It is cliquish like most work places, like jail every group has there own table to sit at on lunch break. The Latino's have been the most friendly over all, just idle chit chat while smoking. I don't go out of my way either to make friends, I am not one to force myself on others to prove my worth or be part of the boys club, in time I will get to know them and they me, there are only about 15 guys on second shift anyway. The other thing I find highly amusing is the cell phone addiction! Most of the guys are on their phones during breaks, checking messages and talking, this even happens at 1:00am, it is just not the younger guys either, the guys in their 50's are doing it too. I always assumed the cell phone addiction was a younger person thing since I am not a cell phone freak but I was wrong.

To sum things up; I am glad I got this job considering it wasn't what I was wanting. It feels good to be working again, sore muscles/feet and all. I am amazed how easily I have adapted back into this type of work, guess I am not as single minded career orientated as I thought I was. Yep my Higher Power gave me what I needed. Right now I need to pay my bills, pay mom back, build my checking account up, it is a bonus I have inter peace and serenity with what I am doing. Not blowing smoke up my butt, I know there will be days when I am unhappy, when I make mistakes and kick myself in the ass over and over for them, when I take others inventories to the extreme and seriously dislike a coworker but I hope when these happen I open my spiritual tool kit and bring myself back to balance. I will also have to working on finding time for Mich, mom, babies and fellowship. Since this is a new start, it will take some work on my part to level out the Yin and Yang but it can be done, I can't allow work and money to replace the other important things in life.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

You Can't always get what you Want

"You can't always get what you want, but if try sometimes, just might find, you get what you need, oh baby." Now I am not a big fan of the Stones but Jagger and Richards hit the nail on the head with this lyric. I do find Keith Richards amusing and his solo stuff is better than anything the Stones have done in decades. Question "what 2 things will survive a nuclear holocaust?" Cock roaches and Keith Richards!

Reason I choose the cartoon is; the truth is what it is. I can rationalize and justify the answers to events in life which make me unhappy all I want but the correct answer is; life is what it is, just like the truth. No sense in milling things over in my mind, trying to figure out answers to what just is. I can travel a 100 miles up hill in my mind, mess up my serenity and inter peace, only to find out I could have saved the trip because the answer is right here, right now; it is what it is, just be.

Why all this heavy thought dearest Wolfie you wonder? Because I didn't get what I wanted, I got what I needed. No job as a safety coordinator, no job managing the farmers co-op, they both found people better qualified for the jobs. I will start working in the manufacturing plant Monday running a press brake, making parts for grain dryers. I think I told you I will be working 4:30pm to 4:00am, 6 days a week. Now here are the poor me dislikes; it will mess up my meetings, now I am back in Kearney I really was planning on going back to some of my regular meetings and doing jail meetings and service work, it will mess up my weekends and probably some camping trips, I will be doing manual labor again instead of having my nice soft office job. Woo is me me, oh woo!! Reality check; after 2 months of being unemployed I finally have a job, I will be getting a weekly paycheck and with the overtime it will be pretty good, I am grateful my mother has a nice chunk if change in her savings and been kind enough to help me along , priority one is to start paying her back. I will actually be making more money than before, I was salary at the other job, putting in 9-10 hour days without any OT, so financially I am better off. Since I am working 2nd shift I will continue to apply for other jobs and have the ability to be available for interviews, thus not having to take time off for an interview. I know enough about the truth to know, nothing is permanent, we never step in the same river twice. If I continue to do the footwork I will be back to working a day shift job down the road. The company is big enough that with my background I can apply for internal clerical jobs which I am qualified for. I worked for the company when I got out of the Air Force, started out as a shear/punch press operator on 2nd shift and worked my way into a purchasing job on day shift after 18 months. I will be able to attend my Sunday morning home group meeting, which is more important than the rest. As for camping trips, well they are still a few months off so there is no since in getting my Y-fronts in a knot just yet, I will camp when I can. I can keep my earring in my ear at work, the other jobs it would have been a no no:-0 God I am so vain!

It has been 17 years since I have done steady manual labor for a living and I need to remember this for one reason. I cannot push myself too hard, the guy who hired me knows this and I am sure his expectations of me aren't nearly has high as my expectations of myself. I can be my worst enemy, I can beat myself up for not meeting my expectations, yeah I have a bit of pride. I have to allow myself to make mistakes, granted need to learn from them as well. I have to accept I will be sore and tired until I get use to the job and the hours, because I know in time I will, been there done that. I did buy a 15 pound dumb bell and have started doing exercises with it, plus I am doing some stretching exercises, oh yeah and moving boxes from the 2nd floor to the parking lots has help out also;-)

I am in North Platte now, I rented a Rug Doctor and cleaned the carpets, wow it did a great job and I am grateful for the inventor. Tomorrow morning after I take the machine back I will load the Explorer up, then finish doing some cleaning. I am borrowing a friends trailer this weekend, a buddy of mine is going to help me load the couch, bed, desk, dresser and misc stuff, with any luck the balk of the stuff will be moved then. I still have stuff in mom's shed but it can wait for a free Sunday. This Sunday I need to see if Mich can bring me down to get my car, my buddy doesn't have a license, he is in recovery need I say more.

Here is a God/Divine/Higher Power/Karma thing for you all. I was at mom's house this afternoon when her mail arrived. She received a letter from the Kearney Housing Authority, saying she needed to schedule an interview for elderly housing, she is on the waiting list for a city/HUD run complex for the elderly. The letter gave a list of things she needed to bring with her. It was a blessing I was there because she wouldn't have understand exactly what documents she needed, as it was I had to call and verify certain documents were what they were asking for or acceptable. Her appointment is Friday at 9:00am, I will be able to go with her to it. She will have to decide if she will be comfortable in the apartment, I am not sure how small they are, if she likes it then she will be moving to Kearney before too long. If she doesn't like it then she will just keep waiting for a Realtor owned complex, bit more money but they are 2 bedroom with apartment sized washer and dryers. Once again it will be as it will be, do the footwork and see, no rhyme intended.

Well campers, I need to do a few more things around the house before I crash, not really tired, so a bit of cleaning should solve that. I hope all of you are well, Lori you are in my prayers dear one!! I pray every night for any of my friends who may be going through tough times so if this is you, you are cared about.

Peace Love and Light

Friday, March 4, 2011

Coming Together

"Coming together right now over/under me", apologies to John Lennon.

Well I have job. Yesterday I had an interview with a manufacturer, use to work for them back in the 90's. I got hired on to work second shift as a press brake operator once all the background stuff is complete, I will start on the 14th. They are going balls out right now, 11-1/2 hour days, 6 days a week. It will be rough to begin with but I am sure with my determination I will be fine, or maybe F.I.N.E for a few weeks. Nice thing about 2nd shift is I can still look for other jobs and do interviews without missing work.

Having said this, I use this phrase a lot don't I, I had a good interview Tuesday in a town 25 miles north of Kearney, hears the story. Tuesday I had an interview for the Safety Coordinators job and was going from there to Kearney to get my mobile home later in the afternoon. The route to Kearney put me in a town where I had sent my resume a couple of weeks ago. I hadn't heard anything back from this company and thought what the hell why don't I stop in and see if the position has been filled, my stopping in lead to an interview. The CEO hadn't even started taking a hard look at the resume's nor done any interviews, he took the time to give me a nice long interview and I felt really good when I left. In the past I wouldn't have had the courage to stop in unannounced to check on a job prospect, learning to trust my Higher Power has changed this, basically "nothing ventured, nothing gained and don't take "no's" personally", so I put fears in the trunk and made the stop. His job description on the internet didn't accurately describe what he was looking for, job posting was for "fuel and oil sales person" by sitting down with the man it became apparent I had more to offer him than I expected. What he is really looking for is a manager, who can sell fuel and oil. The job is with a farmers cooperative, they sell fuel (gasoline, diesel and propane) to farmers, they sell and repair tires , service vehicles and pivot irrigation systems. I would have to learn all aspects of the job, start as a worker in each area, once I had total comprehension of the areas then I would move up to assistant manager for this department, the manager is retiring in a couple of years so the assistant manager is being groomed to take his place, $55K annual job. The blessing of stopping in was, I have worked with tires and servicing vehicles before but it isn't on my resume because it was almost 30 years ago, tire machines haven't changed much in this time, I told him I could change a tire right now it he wanted me to. We talked about my management background, my understanding of agriculture, about me getting a CDL so I can drive a fuel truck. I told him I was moving to Kearney, he asked me "if we bought you a house in Ravenna would you move here"? I told him in a heart beat and in fact I had lived in Ravenna in the past. Job pays very well with an outstanding benefit package. I will call him Monday and see what his decision is. If it is "no" then I will be operating a press brake for awhile.

I loaded the Explorer down with pretty much essentials on Wednesday and I am officially living in Kearney. I am grateful I am a camper because I have double air mattress to sleep on until I get my bed moved down, probably next weekend. My t.v and dvd player are sitting on the coffee table, computer is on an end table and I am sitting on a lawn chair, actually the computer goes between the end table and my lap depending on what I am doing. Today is cold and windy so I didn't go and get a load, tomorrow is suppose to be much nicer, I have to pay attention to the wind because it has a big effect on the MPG's of the Explorer, so I will get another load tomorrow, about 75% of the apartment is packed up. Next week I will go back, spend a day cleaning, rent a rug doctor to clean the carpets, just have to shift furniture from one side of the room to the other.

The trailer is alright, living room is nice sized, have a nice room for my library/office/kids toy room, small room for storage and my bedroom is big enough for this one person. My dog loves being able to be outside again, I have her leash attached to the deck so she can walk around or just lay outside. Since I lived on the 2nd floor of the apartment the only time she got to go outside was when I took her out, I didn't like having her on the balcony, now I just put her on the leash and leave her be, only while I am home of course. The down side of the trailer is; of the 8 kitchen cabinets, none of which are very big, only 2 have a shelf, so I will have to get some wire shelf racks, also there are only 3 drawer in the kitchen. When my cash flow gets better I will find a buffet cabinet or china cabinet to put in the kitchen. My mom has a big plastic cabinet in the garage which isn't being used, I will move it down here, put it in the storage room and put extra kitchen stuff in it. The bathroom also lacks storage, has only under sink storage, no medicine cabinet, I will get one of those plastic drawer units for it, they don't look too bad if you keep them clean. I will also put up shelves in the living room for my knick knacks, the brackets and stained wood isn't that expensive and it will add an attractive border to the room. This is all just minor stuff, all in all I am happy with the place. I am grateful to have a yard once again and a shed for my tools.

I have jumped back into Kearney AA. Went to district meeting Saturday, I will take part on the committee to host the state reunion in 2012 if we get the bid. If my schedule allows I will start going back to the jail meetings. I reconnected with an old timer buddy of mine who is visually impaired, we started a Living Sober meeting a few years ago, each week we would read a chapter from the book Living Sober. He stopped going when I moved away and asked if I would take him again, of course I will.

Everything I have written is a direct result of living sober, living the steps and practicing spiritual living to the best of my ability. I have my crappy dazes, days of some despair, some confusion and a bit of poor me anger but they don't last long. My motto's of late have been, "it is what it is", "faith without works is dead" and "this to shall pass". One unchecked thought can make everything disappear. Well campers, I need to get my ass in gear and call my Episcopalian priest buddy and see if he has time to chat, thinking of asking him to be my sponsor. Got to love AA, a Buddhist asking an Episcopalian priest to be his sponsor, man if that isn't traditions and steps in action, no ego intended.

Peace, Love and Light and if life is treating you shitty remember "this to shall pass"!!!