Thursday, January 27, 2011

7:00am Coffee, Smokes and Hershey's Huggets

Hershey's owes me a dime for mentioning their product here:-) Been munching a lot on these bit sized pieces of chocolate with almonds in them. Being frugal they are a better value than the Kisses, more weight per bag and cheaper by about $.50 per bag. My sleep pattern has really be off of late, most mornings I am up by 7, think it is the anxiety of the unknown. I have also been in bed by 9 most nights, so really I am getting the sleep I need. Positive is, if I get a job working day shift I won't have to fight getting up because I change my sleep pattern while I wasn't working.

Tricia listed my blog as one of the Top 96 Blogs for Recovering Alcoholics”, here is her website, She also list a couple of our other friends. One is Big Karen who stopped writing last year for personal reasons, I really miss her and hope things are going well for her, her post were very honest and enlightening, I was honored to be her cyber friend.

Tuesday I had a telephone interview for a supply buyers job. The job is with a big manufacture. I feel the interview went fairly well, I know my stuff when it comes to buying, how sometimes it is as much about service and rapport with vendors as it is pricing. The whole phone interview was a bit awkward, I kind of flub up the 18 month career change from manufacturing to human services. I like doing face to face interviews, this way when it comes to personal stuff I can kind of read the person/persons asking the questions, just makes me more comfortable. I now have to wait and see if they want to do a face to face interview. I won't know anything about the cattle company job until next week, bummer dude but that is how it goes.

Yesterday I was back in Kearney. I did the application process with another employment agency. I really hit it off with the manager who did the interviewing. We got to talking about addiction, mainly meth. She moved out here from Arizona, she said meth is really bad there. She also comes from a family of addicts, some are in recovery and others are sick and dying. She had a promising lead for a buyers position in Holdrege NE, 30 miles southwest of Kearney. She said the company is small and very friendly with an atmosphere of people who enjoy their work, one in which my personality would fit in with. With any luck I will have an interview with them next week. Today I will make some calls to see if there are any apartments or houses for rent in Holdrege. Not counting on the job but I still need to do a bit of investigative footwork on the housing front just in case I would get it.

I checked on HUD housing for mom while I was in Kearney, killing time before a AA meeting, Angel and Carter were both taking naps. Got good news on this front. My mom's assets don't go against her moving into a HUD apartment, the price of the apartment is solely based on her income, which is her Social Security payment. She would be paying about $300.00 a month, no utility bills, other than phone and TV. I called mom and told her this and she was really happy. There is a 3-4 month waiting list, I will get her enrolled this morning. She feels rather bad about wanting to follow me, kind of embarrassed but she feels she would be happier back in Kearney, plus knows I will call her and visit her, where as my sister down her won't. She also has a younger sister in Kearney who is really good about taking her shopping or to appointments, mom provides her car for this. Moving her again isn't a big deal, but we will have to have a garage sale to get rid of a bunch of stuff if she is going to move into an apartment.

I have been rereading Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, which is a brief history of the early years based mainly on Bill W's talks at the 20th anniversary convention. I love the history, the stories about Dr. Bob and the other old timers, the Divine insights they had, how even when they had troubles getting others to sober up, they themselves stayed sober by working with other drunks. I also love the discussion on the traditions, which is probably the most important part of the book. This is what I read last night; " Pride, fear and anger---these are the prime enemies of our common welfare. True brotherhood, harmony, and love, fortified by clear insights and right practice, are the only answers. And the purpose of AA's traditional principles is to bring these forces to the top and keep them there. Only then can our common welfare be served; only then can AA's unity become permanent."

It is very true that pride, fear and anger cause a lot of problems in groups but thanks to the traditions things get worked out for the common good of the whole. I look at these as also the stumbling block for individuals and business companies, well actually any organization. If I allow my pride, fear and anger to go unchecked or unresolved, then I am going to create havoc, havoc at work, at home and society at large.

On the other hand if we practice true brotherhood/sisterhood, harmony and love problems/challenges seem to work themselves out. The world is to filled with "one upmanship", with "F-U I am right, you are wrong" attitudes. It doesn't take much paying attention to realize are a lot of people in the world who do not believe in compromise, brotherhood/sisterhood, harmony and love. These negative/wrongful attitudes are found in our homes, churches, businesses, communities, entertainment, government, you can add to the list. They rip apart the very fiber of a peaceful life which is available to all.

Now I am not saying I am perfect nor are organizations which incorporate the principles of compassion and loving kindness. It just seems to me the individuals and organizations which strive to do this on a daily base are more successful in the long run. If my family and I practice these principles we can't help but have an effect on others who come into our lives, whether it be friends, the cashier, the cop, co-workers, so on and so forth. What I guess I am trying to say is, when we apply positive or spiritual principles to our daily lives not only do we get better but the world gets better, even if Fox, MSNBC and CNN prefer to take the low road. It is easy to get caught up in the "F-U" attitude but with mindfulness I can counteract the attitude. For me it is something as simple as correcting negative words towards other drivers or media personalities I dislike. I am not perfect but I am progressing if only slowly some days.

Hope everyone one is feeling a bit of the Sunlight of the Spirit!! Until next time.

Peace Love and Light

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Just Another Rider

Hey all, we have beautiful large snowflakes coming down here this morning, the kind romantics sing songs and write poems about. We have been blessed and the snow didn't start until after the first of the year. The snow has been the light fluffy kind, so it is easy to shovel accept for the hard stuff the snowplow leaves piled up at the foot of mom's driveway, thankfully I am healthy enough to clear it out without being down in the back or shoulder.

I have been restless most of this week but not irritable and discontented. The restlessness comes from my old friend impatiences. It hasn't even been 2 weeks since my dismissal but I am wanting answers NOW. The main answer is, will I be getting paid unemployment which makes a big difference on which jobs I apply for and forecasting a budget for February. I could probably get a part time job to get some money coming in but I don't like the thought of someone hiring me and then turning around and quiting because a full time job comes open, I just feel this is unfair to the employer. I haven't received a call for an interview from the couple of jobs I applied for either so this was irritating me. Since I can't go outside and mess around working in the yard or just walking in nature, I have a bit of cabin fever. This was how I was until yesterday. I was and am thankful I have a warm apartment, vehicle to drive, cash on hand, little dog to keep me company, laptop, books, movies and music, so I didn't get on my pity pot. I kept reminding myself, if I do the footwork something will come up. Just saying!

Thursday morning I did a job search for jobs in the Kearney area, my old home town. I hadn't gone there before because I don't want to break my lease and also move away from mom. First let me say, North Platte is run by the Union Pacific railroad, the only other major employer is the WalMart distribution center, so jobs are limited here, especially with my background in manufacturing and industrial purchasing, with no college degree I am also limited. Kearney is a more progressive town, there are quite a few manufactures in the area, there is a university also, so the town is more geared toward manufacturing and wholesale services.

My search showed there were indeed jobs in the Kearney area which I was more qualified for. I talked to mom and she accepted I might have to move back to Kearney, if it happens we will just have to make arrangements for someone to do her mowing if I can't make it here. She is also thinking about moving to an apartment complex for the elderly, something with less upkeep. She knows if I move I will stay in constant phone contact and drive down in a heart beat if she needs assistance with anything.

I weighted the pros and cons of moving and the pros won. First is work. Next I have pretty much called Kearney home since I moved back to Nebraska in 1992, I like its vibe and it likes mine. My AA roots and friends are grounded there, my home group, service work, the people I hang with which includes my happy camping friends. Of course Mich and the babies are there. With Mich it is a catch 22, if I move back I will make it clear to her, I am not an on-call babysitter, nor am I a bank. It would be nice though to have the kids spend the afternoon with grandpa or even the night on occasion. My lease is up in April, so I would only be breaking it by a couple of months. Rent in Kearney is the same as here, so there is no added expense. Shopping is actually cheap because you have more stores to choice from which means more competition for better pricing.

Thursday I applied for a buyers position online which one of the employment agencies had listed. I decided Thursday evening I would go to Kearney on Friday and fill out applications with the employment agencies, Kearney has 4 of them. My first stop was at the agency I sent the resume to, the person I emailed was gone Thursday so hadn't looked at the resume until I came in. She said she was impressed with my resume and skills. She told me the buyers job was in a town 30 miles southwest of Kearney but the employer was only guaranteeing the position for 18 months. I told her to go ahead and send it, when I go for the interview, which there is no reason I won't considering I have over 10 years experience as a buyer, I will ask them if at the end of the 18 months will they be offering me another position within the company and take it from there if I am offered the job. If the job is offered and the money is right I will live in Kearney and commute, since rentals are rare in the town where the job is located.

The lady also showed me an opening for another job she felt I was qualified for. It for a Safety Coordinator for a large cattle/feedlot operation, for those of you who don't know; a feedlot is where cattle are sent to be fattened up for, how to I put this gently, well there is no way, slaughter. The feedlot probably covers 10 square miles, lot of cattle, mud and poop. Ninety percent of what they are asking for I can do pretty much right away, the other 10% I can easily learn. The pay is very good which is attractive, as much as my hippy non-materialistic ass hates to admit it. Here is the kicker; I would be moving to a small town 1 hour from Kearney and 1 hour from North Platte. I love the town though and always have. It is the pretty little town of 3500 people, nestled on the edge of the sand hills. It has an old fashion town square and has always had this nostalgic feel to it. I looked up apartments for rent last night, the same company which manages the apartment I live in now manages one in this town, by the way the name of town is Broken Bow, so if hired and there is an apartment available I could possibly roll my lease. There is a country back road which takes you through some of the prettiest canyons and ends up just outside of the town I went to school in, so I know the area. Actually when I joined the Army National Guard it was in this town some 32 years ago. I would be working with real cowboys, guys who use ride horses to check pens and herd cattle with, so my earring would have to come out for work. Weird thing is, Broken Bow has the best damn rock radio station in the state, it is owned and operated by a couple of guys who love good music. They play a mix of old and new, blues, folk, alternative country, alternative rock, punk, funk, reggae, they don't play the same old classic rock stuff all the time, after 40 years Jumpin Jack Flash, Purple Haze, and Stairway to Heaven get old and worn. They play the classic rock artist but are more inclined to play off the wall tracks from classic albums or live cuts of popular songs. In other words they play the music I love. Can you tell I am excited about this prospect. Oh yeah, I know people in AA up there too, this is good old fashion AA, very strong and fellowship related, these are the people who will load up a car and road trip to a meeting 25 miles away in a dinky town to lend support. I am going to email the lady at the employment agency and tell her, if the cattle operation is interested I would like to interview there first, that way if they offer me a job I will gladly take it and not have to concern myself with what will happen 18 months down the road. I know you are all saying breath Wolfie, don't get your expectations up and I am not, I am staying in the moment with a touch hope added in for good measure. If it doesn't materialize then it doesn't materialize.

I spent time with Mich and the kids yesterday too, of course it was wonderful. Had lunch with 1 AA buddy and later picked up another and we went to a 5:15pm meeting together. I have to be back in Kearney on Wednesday for an interview with an employment agency, so I am hooking up with another buddy then, he has the day off. It is nice to spend time with old friends who I haven't sat down and talked with in a couple of months.

The title for the post comes from the new Gregg Allman album, simply brilliant album if you like Gregg's great voice. It is pure old school blues, with a dash of rock and jazz. It sounds like all the musicians are in the same room together during the recording, you get the wonderful echo from the classic albums of a time long forgotten. It was produced by T Bone Burnett, who also kicked ass in producing Mellencamp's last album and also the album Elton John and Leon Russell did together, which is the best music either of them has done in years. Burnett also produce the top selling album by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, which I own but don't care for. I love Alison but sorry folks, Plant hasn't moved me since Led Zepplin disband.

Seems like a lot of the bloggers I read are going through changes right now, some major some minor. We are all riders on this road campers, some days we ride in the smooth comfort of a brand new Caddy, other days it is a beat up pickup truck feeling every pebble and dip in the road, once in awhile it is the wind in our face feel of a soft tail Harley. Most of the time though it is the comfortable feel of the family sedan, it has some rough spots but it is dependable and gets us where we need to go safely, anyway this is how I think of life. I hope you too can find a comfortable sedan ride in on the road of life.

Peace Love and Light

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Misty Morning Be Bop

Hey all, there is a beautiful fog outside my window this morning. A blanket which echoes the quietness of a new day.

Thanks to all who commented on my last post and your love and support. I stopped by the office to get a few things I had left behind, did this after all the staff was gone except for the ED. It was explained further to me the damage which may occur do to my writings. It was explained how Google cache's stuff in their memory bank, how anyone might be able to find stuff on the org by typing in the org name. It was pointed out I had mention the org a couple of times in some older post, I forgot I had done this. At the time I posted the org name it was done out of pride for the org and a way for the few who read my blog to check it out.

This morning out of curiosity and a need to possibly justify my actions or at least clear my conscience of wrong doing, I type in the org name and my name a couple of different ways into the Google search engine. After 10 pages there was no mention of my blog connected to the org. After 4 pages there was nothing about me, not even the newspaper police blotter from my arrest. Now I am not saying someone who is really intent on finding out stuff about the org couldn't do a really deep search and come up with my blog but this person would have to do it with the zeal of someone trying to bring down a political figure. As much as I try to be a humble person and accept responsibility for my actions, I am still a human being with an ego and pride. I needed to investigate the accusations against to find out the seriousness of there nature.

My guess is; it has less to do with people finding out who I worked for and any possible damages which might ensue from my writing but sharing my feelings and reflections on matters concerning staff. I admitted the attraction toward to someone I supervised. I talked about the relationship troubles of staff including my supervisor. These topics were caught but what was missed was my feelings about the topics, about my concerns for them and my hope they would find answers to their dilemmas. What was missed was my own admission to seeing a very difficult boundary issue, with the subordinate and how I was working through it in a healthy manner. I acknowledge my shortcoming and was doing the footwork needed. I see how a manager reading my writings could have "red flags", how a fear of lawsuit could make the manager act pro-actively to head off any chance of a lawsuit. This is my guess as to the true nature of my wrong doing, that and my opinions opening up doors someone didn't want to look in. I didn't bash anyone with my words and I will not change my style of writing much because of this incident.

I write because it is in outlet for the weekly goings on in my life. You who read my blog are cyber pen pals. You share about your lives and I share about mine. We encourage each other and sometimes give tough love when needed. We enjoy the journey of life together, through our joys and sorrows, though our struggles. My struggles include the struggles of others as well. Gabi writes a lot about loving, loving ourselves and loving others. With a loving heart comes a genuine concern for the people in our lives. The frustration of being powerless to help someone out when they are hurting, we can listen and at best offer them our experience, strength and hope but in the end like we all know, their river is theirs to cross.

I am doing alright. Tuesday night sucked for sleep, the tape kept rewinding in my head, I lived off of cigarettes and coffee all day, which probably didn't help the sleep much. I had periods of calm, thankfully but it was a day of grief, to allow myself to face the suffering. Tuesday was a day of reflection as well. Wednesday was much better and I was able to accept the events for what they were. I posted my resume on the Nebraska job service website, the people who work there are really great because a lady helped me clean it up so it looked better, she also printed off a few copies for me on nice resume paper. The local Chrysler dealership was looking for an insurance and finance manager, I took my resume to them. The job was filled but he said he was looking for good sales people after some discussion I thought what the hell, I am waiting for a personality test to be emailed to me, the test will determine if I get an interview. Never thought too much about selling cars but my new thoughts are based on my visit with the sales manager; people come in because they like the product, your job is to be friendly and answer questions. This is a dealership which sells primarily new cars, so you are not trying to push a lemon off on someone. I like Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep vehicles, my dad was a Dodge man for many years. It is worth a try, it got me thinking in a different direction anyway, the Ford dealership is looking for salesmen also. I also applied for a job at the large WalMart distribution center, not sure about this, they are needing supervisors. The place is huge, it reminds me of large manufacturing. The fear isn't some much in not being able to do the job but more about it being so big and impersonal. All my life I have worked in fairly small if not small companies, to not have a rapport with upper management is alien to me. Having said this, right now a job is a job, if it looks like something I would pretty much be able to put my energies into for the long haul. College is still on the plate but I am too late for this semester.

Job hunting is a catch 22 right now. I am eager to get back to work but I can't get a job for the sake of a job. I need to bide my time for a bit. I don't want to start something only to quit because something comes along which I am better qualified for with better long term possibilities. I am not broke yet and should be received unemployment pay, will know for sure hopefully by the end of next week. The hardest thing for me to do is, do nothing and wait. Unemployment only requires I apply for 2 jobs a week. So I watch movies, mess around on line some, read, keep the house clean and play with the dog who is digging me being home this much. If the kids were closer I would watch them but I am afraid if I bring them down here for a couple of days and then get called in for an interview, I have no one to watch them for me. I am also hitting meetings, getting to know more people in the local AA community.

I applied for and received food stamps. This will help out quite a bit, the dog and I don't need much but every dollar saved is a benny.

So I sit and look out at the fog covered world this morning with a floor of snow. I am serene and peaceful. I have challenges in my life but they aren't overwhelming. I have a warm apartment to live in, I have food, coffee, clean water, cheap soda and smokes. I have a vehicle with gas in it and a valid licence for driving it. I am not destroying my life with alcohol or drugs. I have people in my life who care about me. I have the awareness to see the beauty in nature no matter what the season. Life is good, also each day is one day closer to warm weather, spending time outdoors, camping and cookouts. I plan on doing a silent camping retreat this summer at a secluded lake, either alone or with a couple of friends who would understand the experience. Yes I dream of summer but on the dwelling type of dream.

Hope all of you are doing well with what ever life is throwing your way!
Until next time.

Peace Love and Light

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Standing in the Hallway

Well a door was closed today, so I am standing in the hallway once again waiting for another door to open. The door which was closed was the job I loved so much. I was terminated at noon today. The reason for my terminate was, my boss read my last post on this blog and a couple of previous post.

I have always consider my blog to be a safe place to talk about what is going on in my life. I share openly with you because you share openly with me. I maybe naive but believe those I follow and those who follow me are genuine and honest. We would not use this medium to hurt others. I have been very careful in the anonymity of those I write about. Yes it is and will continue to be a way to process my thoughts, right or wrong. My boss viewed my writing as dangerous to the organization for which I worked. She felt if the wrong person/persons or group read the blog and really wanted to find out who I am and who I work for they could. She is correct if someone really wanted to dig I am not that anonymous, my picture is here, I mention my daughter by her nickname and my grand babies by name. The town in where I live is also noted and the description about me is broad enough that in a rural America people could fathom out who I am. If someone wanted to do this type of investigation they would then know who I work for and who some of the people I anonymously talk about are.

My response to this is, I plead total ignorance to thinking someone would do this, I plead a sense of naivety towards anyone wanting to do this. I am not dumb about the Internet, I know people use it all the time to harm others. I keep my Facebook comments very general and never air dirty laundry on it. Never in my wildest imagination did I nor do I think some one would use this blog by a simple old ex-drunk to damage others or myself.

What I write about is me, my feelings, my insights about what is going on in my life. My life touches others, as do yours. I feel my thoughts on others and my criticisms are done our of concern. I end such comments usually on a positive note, a bit of hope and compassion. I look at what my part in every situation is and where I have possibly been in error. I offer my thoughts to others because others may be going through similar challenges in life, maybe my thoughts can help them, maybe their feedback can help me. Our Higher Power gives us many tools to work though life on life on life's terms, to me this blog is just another tool. I enjoy writing, I enjoy the feedback others give, it keeps me in check with ego, my emotions. I could write in a paper journal instead on an electronic one but I enjoy the camaraderie we have here, the other voices from other rooms. I have my suspicions as to what the underlying reason for my termination was; I broke a trust.

Most of us here have accepted being transparent. If we go to meetings or group therapy we are comfortable with others knowing what is going on in our lives, or we have a few trusted individuals who know. I forget the rest of the world doesn't operate this way. I take for granted my thoughts on what is going on in other peoples lives, is extremely personal to them. Just because I trust my readers doesn't mean the parties I am talking about trust you. Again I am taking anonymity too far.

I deeply regret any damage I have done. The hurt I feel is very deep. Part of the hurt is in loosing the best job I every had due to my own actions, my own inability to think about the reality of what I post in this blog. This is a wound which will probably take a while to heal. I hurt because my words effected another so deeply, some one I consider a friend and mentor. I will get over this door in my life being closed.

Tomorrow I will start looking for another job. I will go to the local college and see about classes and funding. I love working with people, so maybe now is the time to get a degree which will assist me in continuing to work with others. My not having a degree has held me back from getting jobs in social services. My personal experiences in life don't mean much on the job market, this was one of the few jobs where people were hired for their life experiences over college degrees. This line of work is where my heart is. I may have to do other things to get where I want to go but in the end I will get there. This is a Karmic wake up call.

I don't have to drink over this pain. I am not white knuckling it either. I am doing the best to open my mind and heart to my Higher Power. I am trying my best to just breath. Each day is a new beginning. My brain has finally become dead, so I am call this a wrap.

Thanks for your love and support a head of time.

Peace Love and Light

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday morning chat

Hi all!! We are having steady snow here this morning, probably 3 inches so far and it is expected to continue until tomorrow. Boss sent me a text to remind me if the schools are closed then so are we and I am NOT allowed to go to work. I have the on-call cell phone so it isn't a big deal. The funny thing is; there was a time in my life when I would have gladly accepted not going to work because I didn't care about the job I was doing, now I enjoy work and look foreword to being there and Have to be Told to stay home.

Our little miracle baby turned 1 on Monday!! The pictures show how much he has grown. A lot of us commented on how we didn't know if he would be with us for 1 day and how here it is a year later and he is a healthy baby. Mich had a party for him yesterday. I took my mom to Kearney with me to celebrate. He is amazing in retrospect. He is starting move around by rolling, he was clapping his hands yesterday and I caught this on video. One would never know he was such a fragile little being a year ago. Even though I don't have the daily interaction with him like I did with Angel when she was a baby, he still knows my voice and face and reacts with smiles when I talk to him. This is a gift of being sober and living a calm life.

I had to make a tough decision to not enable Mich and Matt this week. She called me and told me their electricity had been shut off. Prior to Christmas she called concerning her electric bill and I told her to talk to the power company. I couple of months ago I paid the past due plus a bit of the current due. I could have borrowed money this time but it wouldn't have helped them. They need to be responsible for their bills, talking to people when they can't pay them, never assuming just because they have babies the power company will not shut them off. There are also 2 people in the house who are capable of working and neither one has made an effort at getting a job. I don't care if Matt will possibly get his manufacturing job back in a month or so, possibilities aren't paying the bills today. Mich is just as guilty, it sucks she has less than ideal work history, history of being late for work and calling in because she can not work for one reason or another. The compassionate thing to do is let them sweat things out, figure out what they need to do to improve their situation. They will not learn if people keep bailing them out. She never told me how they got the power back on and I didn't ask. It is hard at times for me to let her suffer but I know it is the best thing to do, what happened wasn't life threatening, just a crappy situation they put themselves in.

Well campers it is time for the dog and I do have brunch. It will be a day spent inside watching movies, vegging on the couch and eating, which I am sure the dog will enjoy. Hope all is well in your lives!!!

Peace, Love and Light

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My ego needs your thoughts

Hey all, I have been kicking this idea for a manuscript for the AA Grapevine around in my head for some time. This weekend I finally sat down and composed it. Part of me feels it is egotistical to want something I wrote published, the other part says if I really believe in myself and my words then why not share them with a bigger audience. The bigger audience part won out. I like what I wrote and do believe in and practice to the best of my ability what I wrote. I have had 2 articles published in the Grapevine in the past, neither time did I brag about it, I told my sponsor and let my mother read them but other than that the only way anyone know was via word of mouth. So my humble approach to the possiblity of this being published is the same. The ego side is posting here for your feedback, I respect your thoughts on what I write which gives me the self confidence take a chance on others enjoying what little gift I have. My words are not originally, they are thoughts derived from others influences, some of which you all have contributed. Thanks for any feedback, good or bad you may have.

Becoming Babies again

Many of us have had the joy of new babies in our lives once we received the gift of sobriety, whether they are our own, our grandchildren or the children of others close to us. For me it is grandchildren, I was sober when my daughter was born but relapsed 5 years later, for the next 10 years she was raised with an alcoholic father. My grandchildren have brought a new perspective to my life, a perspective brought on by spiritual awareness.

On the day my granddaughter was born, my first grandchild, the Daily Reflection quoted this passage from the Big Book. “Actually we were fooling ourselves, for deep down in every man, woman and child is the fundamental idea of God. It may be obscured by calamity, by pomp, by worship of other things, but in some form or other it is there.” Sitting outside reading this passage early in the quiet Midwestern morning while my daughter was giving birth was one of many spiritual experiences I have had. I had recently set on the path of Buddhism, so what Bill wrote coincided with what the Buddha taught.

Eighteen months later, I received a phone call in the middle of the afternoon to tell me my daughter was going into labor 17 weeks premature. As I drove the 2 hours to the hospital I calmed myself by know what ever was happening would happen, I had no control over the events unfolding. I reached to the God inside seeking the strength and love which resides there. My grandson was born 1 pound 10 ounces, he was air flown to a children’s hospital in Omaha. My daughter was alright other than being scared, I comforted her best I could, reassuring her doctors would do all they could to make sure the baby survived.

He did survive and is now a healthy 1 year old. He has minor troubles due to being born so prematurely, mainly he is susceptible to respirator infections. He is very attentive, active; he coos and tries to talk, being in a house of talkative people he needs to get his voice heard also. He is our miracle baby. Even though I haven’t been able to spend as much time with him as I did his sister, he is another apple in my eye.

When I think about my grandbabies, I think about how innocent they are and how healthy their minds are. As infants they are truly what I believe, God like, not that I or anyone else really knows the mind of God. They have no prejudices, no preconceived notions, and no labels for things. When they are hungry they cry, they cry when in pain sometimes, yet how often have adults missed an infection because a baby didn’t act like it was sick. Adults on the other hand are prone to whine about every ache and pain, small or large. They do sense tension in adults, acting out in a way signaling there is a spiritual imbalance in the home. They have a primary need to be loved, held and comforted but can live without it and unfortunately too many babies do. They know how to live in the moment. They have no concerns over the past or the future, when they play they are truly in the moment. From the time they wake to the time they go to sleep it is all about being in the moment, how wonderful is this!

It is adults who introduce them to notions and ideas. We say something is blue, they learn about blue but before the introduction it wasn’t anything other than a sight in their eyes. We tell them certain things are right and certain things are wrong. Part of right and wrong is for their own safety and part is to control the selfishness which is developing in their brains, the desire to have what they want, when they want it. Our likes and dislikes become theirs. Our prejudices and ignorance’s become theirs as well. I developed emotionally with many of the same prejudices my parents had and until my brain was developed enough to make my own decisions I held on to them and some are still there, to which I am not happy about but work on to the best of my daily spiritual fitness.

Babies have no material attachments; yes they have emotional attachments to their caregivers and maybe the material attachment to a favorite toy or blankie but not much beyond this. When 2 or 3 years enter a day care center, they don’t care if their clothes came from a thrift store, discount store, or fashion boutique. They have no concept of status quo, social norms or status. Adults on the other hand are attached to all kinds of things, lost of attachment can lead to suffering. A suffering most of us aren’t willing to endure, myself included unless we have no choice.

My wonderfully thick hair is thinning, something I never thought would happen. I don’t dwell on this but I do notice the extra hair on the shower drain, I also have to make sure my head is covered when I spend a long time out in the sun; sun burned my head for the first time last summer, a spiritual experience and wake up call of the painful variety. I am not one to be materialist about neither the vehicle I drive nor how fancy the outside of my home is. But I am proud of my trinkets from my travels around the world, I am arrogantly proud of my large music collection, is a bit eclectic by Midwestern terms and so is my library. I have an attachment to a small silver loop earring I wear and the symbolism of it. I am attached to my job and the position I have even though it is low paying by most people’s standards. My job is spiritually fulfilling, one in which I service others but even an attachment to a selfless job is still attachment. If all these things disappeared tomorrow would I be able to be childlike with my acceptance of having no attachments, no means of defining who I am?

If I strive to relinquish my preconceived notions, my prejudices and my attachment, then I am working towards being more childlike. For me this means finding the inter God and working towards total open mindedness of a God being. I work on what Bill calls the “root of our troubles” selfishness---self-centeredness. I find my inter peace/serenity when I stop criticizing others for being who they are, or for life in general for being what it is contrary to how I want it to be. I accept my attachments don’t make me who I am and others see me for more than my attachments. My attachments are just a small gift, they are not a need but a want. My Higher Power did not make my attachments, my ego driven self did. When I get compliance on this practice all I have to do is watch my grandbabies or think about them, they remind me in the simplest of ways, how crazy I can make my life.

The Steps are the tools for my awareness of how complicated I can make my life, how I create my own prison of suffering. Step 3 was a decision to follow a different path, one leading away from the “bondage of self”. Steps 4 and 5 showed me where I had been ignorant of my actions and thoughts, how I can be damaging to others and true God centered self. Steps 6 and 7 give me a guide for awareness of non-compassionate views; taken to heart they put me on the road of being a better being among beings. Steps 8 and 9 are the levelers of pride and ego which allow me to reconstruct damaged relationships when possible. Step 10 keeps me in check with my actions, my ego, my selfishness as it manifest itself during the day, I do my best to have mindful presences of step 10 throughout my day. Step 11 is where I gain the insight to work the other steps, to focus being more God conscience and less me conscience. Step 11 is where I acknowledge the need to be like the pure nature of the infant and toddler, putting away my past experiences to live in the moment without fear, hatred or unrealistic needs. Step 12 is giving back what gifts the God of my understanding has given me to others, to acknowledge I didn’t accomplish anything on my own, it was only through the gift of a spiritual awakening aided by God using others for an instrument of instruction it was made possible.

My grandbabies have taught me more about life than I will ever teach them. The words and actions I may bestow on them in the future really come from them. They have shown me the true nature of God and the Buddha’s teachings. What an honorable blessing this!!