Friday, March 30, 2012

House just got smaller

So I missed a call from Mich early on at work Tuesday night, so called her back on my break, she informed me she was evicted from her apartment and was moving in with me. Serious oh fuck and what the fuck combined in one. I didn't get aggresively angry at her or yell, I have had similar experiences in the past with her, yelling is fruitless. My dad was a yeller and it never solved anything with me, so with recovery I understand it doesn't do any good with her.

First thing I asked her is why she didn't use her tax refund to pay up her past due rent, she said they were looking for a new place to live and hoped to be out before they would be kicked out. She also told me they didn't go to the court appointment on the eviction notice, this screwed them out of having 30 days to move their stuff. Oh yeah the "they" is her on again off again bf and Carter's father, seems once again she thinks he will change and they can play happy family, sorry I don't have any faith in the kid changing. Tuesday night they were moving all their stuff to either my house or bf's parents basement. Bf is living with his parents, we have mutual minor dislike for each other, we are civil and respectful to each other but there is no way he could stay here with out major fireworks happening down the road, fireworks which would be light by both of us.

I understand how she let this happen, I have never been evicted but do understand thinking things won't come to the worst, the feeling of being invincible. My drinking career was checked with pushing the limits, I pushed the limits on paying bills, had my power shut off more than once, I rarely had car insurance and I finally got busted for drunk driving not once but twice within a years time frame. She doesn't drink anything like I used but doesn't know how to manager her money, can't decifer needs from want's, something which took me being sober to really put into place and still have to be mindful of.

I get upset with both Mich and bf for not holding down jobs. She blames not being able to find daycare, don't understand this because I think HHS would help but then again maybe she has burned some bridges with them and can't get the help she needs. Bf has a bad history of job jumping, quiting jobs because they are too hard or whatever, from the 3 years I have known him I get the feeling he is flat out lazy. I have had to and continue to admit I am powerless over Mich and bf when it comes to work ethics and finances.

I did some personal reflection on her situation and previous troubles, trying to see if I contributed to then in some large way. She was 15 when I got sober, up until that point I had held down a full time job and a couple of part time jobs on the side at different times, granted the part time jobs gave me extra money to support my habits. You can say she was raised relatively poor but always had a home, food in the frig, money for school events and was treated well on holidays and her birthday. What she didn't have until I got sober were a lot of new clothes and other nicer things. When I got sober I change my spending habits over time and tried to be a good example to her. I have been honest with her about how I have survived when things got tough, talked to her about how she could make her food stamps go further, how to limit how much driving she does, about calling companies when she can't make full payments on bills. I also live a simple and comfortable life and spend within my means with a bit extra now and then from saving. So I think I have done a halfway decent job of showing and talking to her about financial responsibility. I have helped her out along the way too mainly because she has kids and I want to make sure their needs are met, my parents have help my siblings and me out off and on too so this is kind of a family thing.

I don't know how long they will be staying here. It is a big adjustment for me, I am very much a loner bachelor and use to my privacy and routines and my little dog is use it being just the 2 of us as well. Angel and Carter and such little papa's buddies, they both gavitate toward me when they are awake, thus the reason I am typing this at 4:00am. Angel bless her little heart has been coming into my room early in the morning and climbing in bed with me, kind of messes up my sleep but hopefully she will not do it so often as time wears on. Like I said adjustments are having to be made, also boundaries are being set too.

Well I am physically and mentally fried but wanted share with you this bit of information.

Peace Love and Light

Monday, March 19, 2012

Can I make this short???

So Friday I get an email from a job I applied for for and had an interview for saying "sorry we have selected someone else". This email made me really sit down and look at my work situation and what I need to do.

Last week my shoulder muscles have really been killing me and by Thursday things were getting bad, I had set my hopes on a new job so I would'nt have to tell my supervisors about my physical difficulties. My pride was looking at taking the easier softer way out. Problem is my shoulder muscles burn really bad after lifting just a few parts, this is starting at the beginning of the shift now and not later in the night after we have done a few orders, also having elbow problems. So after I got the email I knew I had to look what things I could change in order to accept the situation. I talked to my leadman Friday night and told him I need to see the company Physical Therapist, told him the problem and how it was effecting my performance. I also told him I would be interested in transferring to being a forklift driver if I was put on light duty and because I am afraid I can't handle the physical nature of my job. I will meet with my supervisor tonight to discuss all of this.

My pride is somewhat of a bitch at times. I am the oldest operator on my shift and for the last 15 years have not held a jo which requires manual labor. I really don't what to look like a whimp with my peers, so I have been doing the old cowboy up with my pain, hoping things will change, either with my health or a new job. Reality set in Friday, I had to put the Serenity prayer into action. My supervisor is a different cat, kind of bi-polar, so I really never know when it is a good time to approach him and how he will feel about what I am going to tell or ask him. I know part of my own old fears play into not wanting to talk to him, I know he respects me as a operator because even though I am not fast, I am very consistant, my mind still goes back to the little skinny weak kid who always felt he was being judged for not being physically strong enough. I have to face the fact I need to look after my own heath and hope my supervisor and the company appreciate me enough to look after my health as well. I have to accept, 1) there is no day shift job in my near future, 2) my job requires more physically than I can give it. My trainer and I have talked about how we have the most physical job in the plant, so I know it isn't just me, he expressed concern about my shoulder and told me to be careful.

We are trainging 2 new guys on our machine, so if I can't do the job anymore then at least we are not short handed. We have been without a forklift driver since November, so each work center has to move it's own material which cuts down on production time. I will talk to my supervisor about being a full time forklift driver, saying I can still help out on running machines when there isn't any material to be moved. Maybe this is a solution and maybe not but I have to have the courage to try and change the things I can if possible.

Another thing the non-selection brought home was; I am over qualified and under qualified for a big majoity of the jobs out there which fit my back ground. I am over qualified for basic shipping/receiving/inventory control jobs because my resume has a lot of management on it. I think when I interview I stress to much about what I have done as a manager and not enough about what I have done as a laborer which may probably leads people to believe I am not interested in the job for the long haul and only want to get out of manufacturing and off second shift, partially true but I am also willing to be a basic labor to just have a job I am good at. I have applied for mechanic jobs as well and think what I wrote probably applies to why I haven't received interviews for them.

On the other hand when I look at job descriptions for management jobs, most of them want you to have at least an Associates degree. My years of work experience don't account much since people are looking for employees who have had certain courses in managment, courses which tell the employer you have had proper education on how to handle different situations which my arise. J and I took a road trip yesterday, he is just finishing up a degree so I talked to him about me going back to school full time. He told me of a place to start which can tell me about my grant and loan options. I will go see the agency this week and see what they have to say. It has taken a year but I am now fully aware that if I want to finish out my working years doing something managerial I need to get some higher education under my belt. With the right grants and loans plus part time work I can survive, plus budgetting. I know of a few people who have went back to school in their late 40's or early 50's, so I know it can be done. It will take some displine but like J and I talked about, now we are sober we understanding taking responsibility and holding ourselves to that responsibility. If I start the footwork now I can be ready for classes in the fall, plus work out my personal expenses so I know what I need to live on.

So I am at the point of taking action to change the things I can and accept the things I can't. I have had to swallow my pride, acknowledge the my good looks and job experiences will not gurantee a new job;) I an not miserable with my work situation but not comfortable with it either. I accept it on most days, yet understand I have to look at all my options to change what is causing some suffering in my life. I am not unhappy by a long shot but see there are things I need to do in life which will improve the situation I am in. By talking to my supervisors I might be able to improve my heath problems, cause I can't change my age and my physical limitations. By looking at going back to school I can open my horizons for a possible job which will see me through to retirement. Also going back to school will solve some of the problem with being on 2nd shift and not being able to be involve in AA the way I would like to be.

So the answer to the question is no, I couldn't make this short and K knew I couldn't:) I love you all and keep you in my thoughts and prayers as you face your own challenges in life. Thanks for reading about mine.

Peace Love Light

Monday, March 5, 2012

New toy, Fellowship & Solution

 This is the Wendy, so named after my friend who put her girliness aside and used the nasty outhouse at the Sober Float campground but expressed gratitude when someone allowed her to use the potty in his camper. Some of the places we camp are isolated with only outhouse's available, in searching for a camper one of the must was a working toilet, not just for Wendy but for everyone, yours truly included.
 If you look at the picture above and this one, you will notice a shower curtain. The bathroom has a hand held shower, so you can wrap the curtain around the bathroom and take shower to wash the dirty and grime off. I have never been in a small camper before and didn't know what the shower if any would be like. I can assure you this will come in hand.
 This is the couch and also Angle claimed it as her bed, it is wide enough for 1 person to sleep comfortabily enough on. The bit on the top folds down to make a bunk bed, if I still have the camper in years to come, Angel or Carter can sleep up there. Kitchen has a 3 burner stove/oven, double sink, there is a little fold up extension counter as well. I wasn't able to get the frig to work, I will have to check out circuit breakers and fuses. It may work off of propane but I need to replace the bottles first to check that out.
 Table folds down and cushions pull out to make a bed, big enough for 2 smaller people and just right for me. Table will come in handy for playing cards or just hanging out around/meetings, if the weather turns nasty, plus place to put food on for meals.
1980 camper, 19ft long, bought it for $1700.00. The AC works, I need to pull the awning out in the next few days to check it out, it has been too windy here to do it yet, the awning itself is worth $350.00. I bought this from a guy who was selling it for another guy as part of an estate settlement. The camper has been in a shed most of it's life, so the outside is in good condition for it's age. The propane tanks are old and need up dated, because of this I wasn't able to check out the furnace, hot water heater, stove or frig on gas. I am trusting they work because the camper was owned by an older couple and they took good care of it from what I can tell, plus I trust the farmer who sold it to me, yes blind trust. I was shocked to find an owners manual with it. I know enough about gas systems to clean and fix most problems I may have, thank you Dad. New tanks are only $20.00 and a connecting hose is $10.00. Tires will need replaced before we venue too far from home, remember I travel a lot in rural Nebraska where most of the towns are small and finding a place to fix a flat after 5:30pm is almost impossible, plus on some stretches it is 20 miles or more between towns, trailer tires are less expensive than car tires, so this isn't a big expense. I will also replace the curtains and rods, couple of the curtains were stained, tried to wash but that didn't work. Mich and J suggested new cushion covers since the current ones are a green pattern, older and less attractive pattern, not sure on this one, depends on cost, think the couch will just get a throw blanket on it. Used campers for less than $2000 are hard to come by, the ones I found on Craigslist were being snatched up within a couple of days of being posted. I wasn't able to find any close to home, I found this one in a town 125 miles away, closer to Lincoln, took off work Tuesday to check it out. Since I had the funds available I was rather obsessed with buying a camper now plus the closer to spring the hard to find and the more people would be wanting for them.

The 4 guys who traveled with me Saturday to pick it up are all part of our Happy Campers camping group. We had a good time visiting, talking recovery and thoughts on summer camping outings. J and I at least will start doing some scouting trips on Sundays to check out various camping areas, places that offer enough privacy for campfire meetings plus have things to do like swimming, hiking or canoe-ing, I found inflatable canoes on Amazon for a reasonable price so will get one about May. The nice thing about our group is not only do we enjoy fellowship we are also living in the solution via working the steps, regular meeting attendance and working with others. We have some new people who want to go camping with us this years which is great.

Awe yes living in the solution! I have been going over to my backup sponsors house on Tuesday afternoons. We are listening to the Joe and Charlie Big Book discussion, which basically is about taking the steps. I feel it is healthy for me to review steps and even take a new 4th and 5th steps. Working with C and listening to the tapes are giving me new perspectives on the Big Book, steps and recovery in general. My sponsor is a wonderful man and we went through the steps rather thoroughly, I have changed in recovery, the person I was when I was new is different than the one I am today. C and I have more in common in a lot of ways than my sponsor, so working the steps with her allows me to work through some of my challenges more closely with someone who has been there, my sponsor likes this idea, so I am not back dooring him. Yes C is a woman, mid 60's, she has gone through some of the same spiritual challenges I have, faced the same social challenges, a veteran, she has 35 years sobriety and experience to share with me and others.

One of the things we have been talking about is, fellowship verses solution. She feels sometimes there is too much emphasis placed on fellowship; dances, potluck speaker meetings, camp-outs and social events and not enough on working the steps. It is through working the steps that a spiritual awakening happens. I am a person who promotes social functions so I had to sit back and think about my prospectives on this. The group of people I hang out with attend social events but we also work the steps, use sponsors and are active in the groups we attend via helping the newcomer. I forget that others who promote social events don't always do this, so the newcomer gets the wrong message. What this brought home to me was, when I share about social events I also need to place equal emphasis on working the steps and the solution which is to find a God of ones own understanding via the steps which will remove the compulsion to drink on a daily bases.

Fellowship saved my ass the first time around, getting sober on a remote Air Force base in South Korea it was essential to be with others in recovery. The guys who helped me get sober showed me how to live without alcohol and how to basically work the steps. Later on I really didn't work the steps I just went to meetings, I went for more of a social club and not as a place for spiritual growth. In doing this I believe this created the breakdown which enable me to pick up the first drink. I have said it before I never really worked the 11th step and needed to do another 4th and 5th about my marriage. I never sat down and got totally honest with another or myself about what was going on in my marriage. I don't regret this, I am just acknowledging a flaw which lead up to picking up a drink. The desire for a drink came back, I was under pressure, I didn't have a strong enough relationship with my Higher Power, a relationship that would have stood between me and the first drink. My relapse experience has shown me how I need to continue spiritual growth.

I do a 10th step all day long and at night laying in my bed, I think about what I have done wrong and seek the awareness and strength of character not to repeat the same mistakes. I still make a load of mistakes but the awareness or God conscience grows stronger so I tend not to make them as bad, have mental reminders to keep my big mouth shut when I want to assinate someones character.

A few factors come into my wanting to rework the steps, go through the Big Book again with another person. One is the relationships I have had in recovery, mainly with T last summer and with my sister in recovery, C and I have talked a bit about both already. Another is because of the hours I work, I really don't have a good opportunity to work with others, working with others really keeps me out of my head, keeps me focused on the solution and in strong contact with people in recovery. The 1 or 2 meeting I attend each week are good but they are not enough. By seeing C each week I am getting a good dose of the medicine which helps keep me sober and sane. I need to hear what others have to say about my actions and thought, I need their input for personal reflection, reflection which allows change to happen.

So this is my current ramble. I need to take a shower, do a bit of things around the house prior to work. The new job opportunity which seem so promising fell through at the last moment, it hurt but I dusted my butt off, got back on the horse, started doing the footwork again to apply for a couple of job openings which I am qualified for. For now I am good with what I am doing, the money is good via the overtime. Nothing is permanent, some day I will have a different job, just not today.

Peace Love Light