Monday, May 14, 2012

time flies

Time sure flies between blog posts anymore!  I hadn't realized it had been over a week since I last posted, whoops!  I hope everyone has been well, I know I sure have.  There's lots of good stuff going on, too much really to share.  That's not to say that life hasn't dealt me some challenges familiar and new.  But, all in all I have much to be grateful for!

This past weekend I took my Arrow of Light Den camping for their first outing with the Boy Scouts.  It was a simple overnighter in a nearby nature preserve but they sure had fun fishing and goofing off together.  The Scout Troop always hosts the Webelos for at least one campout before the cross over and become Boy Scouts.  This way the Webelos get to see how Boy Scouts works, what happens, etc.  It's a great way to get our boys excited about crossing over in February.  One kool thing, we camped close enough to town that we were able to go to church together.  Most of the boys are Catholic, so we put on our full uniforms and headed to town for Saturday evening MAss as a group, that was kool.  Ian had a pretty good time, but I think all their eyes were opened ot the fact that the boys lead the campout and do the work, NOT the adults.  That's the big difference in Boy Scouts, from Cubs.  They'll learn.  I think they all really loved it.

We took the two hour drive to Toledo or Mother's Day yesterday, was very nice of my wife to share her day with my moms.  My wife is going to spend most of a week at her mom's in WV in June so I think she wanted to be able to get me together with m mom and step mom yesterday.  That's marriage, compromise!  Other than being exhausted from the campout on Saturday night, it was a realy nice day, and the moms were all happy!  I am concerned for my step-dad.  He had stopped drinking and was dry/sober for probably 6 or 7 years (not in AA or any kind of recovery).  My mom pretty well put the brakes on the drinking because it had become habitual and annoying.  Thankfully he's a happy guy when he drinks lol.  Well, probably about a year ago I noticed the occasional glass of wine creeping back into the picture.  For the past several months, every time I see him, he's drinking wine like there's no tomorrow and ending up fairly well toasty by bedtime.  He starts at lunchtime and goes 'til bedtime.  So, the prayers have begun and I am awaiting my opportunity to be of some assistance for him and my mom.

It's all about balance right now.  It's a busy time (when isn't it?) with baseball (we're 3-0, undefeated so far, yay fun!), the playground construction finishing, work, real estate and a new mobile marketing business I'm starting.  So, meetings are VERY important for me.  I still manage 1-2 per week and I talk with AA's ALOT in between.  I just know that for me, I HAVE to stay fully engaged with the AA program and live by recovery principles, lest I find myself returning to that awful way of life.

Go get busy living life, but stay focused on sobriety as the #1 priority!  You'll be blown away with the result!

Friday, May 04, 2012

down time?

Our local high school band is performing at state competition this evening and I am going to listen!  This is the same group of kids I've worked with over the past two years as Asst. Marching Band Director.  So, this is a big deal to them and to me.  In fact, this graduating class is very special to me because five yrs ago, many of them were in my first ever CCD classes at church.  It is going to be a very emotional music awards banquet and graduation ceremony coming up!

I'm making the one hour trip north to watch the kids perform, then it's on up to Toledo to visit my folks.  Tonight I will crash at mom's and tomorrow dad and I will replace the brakes on my vehicle.  We'll get some nice one-on-one one quality dad/son time.  This is a rare occurance so I am looking forward to it.  Any more, I get few opportunities for that kind of visit.  Even rarer still are the chances I get to go off and do something I want to do, just for myself.  Retreats are becoming fewer and further between with all the family stuff, kid stuff, work stuff, etc.  So, even a two hour drive up and two hour drive home are highly anticipated for me lol.  If nothing more, it's quiet time :-) 

I don't really know why I need time to myself, I just do.  I love people, that's my thing.  I work in the public, I sell real estate on the side and I am developing a mobile marketing business.  So, people are a must.  But, I've always had a strong desire for quiet and peace, for "me-time" away from everyone, including my wife and son on occasion.  My wife never has understood that, and doesn't really accept if very wel or that matter, lol.  But, it's how I am wired and if I cannot get some time off, or apart I get frazzle-fried and edgy and so forth.  It's just a part of who I am...

So I am curious, do any of you feel similarly, or completely differently?  I wanna know, let's have a good old fashioned virtual discussion meeting on the topic :-)

ps-  our little league team, the Marlins opened our 2012 summer schedule with a strong 7-0 victory last nite.  Our kids won as a team with good pitching, hitting and baserunning.  Very kool and LOTS of fun!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

quick gratitude

I'm at my desk choking down a quick lunch between meetings, errands and all of the mayhem that accompanies a typical day and I just caught an overwhelming feeling of gratitude so I figured it would be good to come share that.  (In order to keep it we have to give it away, right??)

My life today is really quite good.  I'm not without stresses, disappointments and challenges, don't get me wrong.  But I am overloaded with opportunities, little simple pleasures and big joys.  I can't even tell you about all of them if I am being honest!  I just know that I feel like I am dead in the middle of the "stream of life" these days and it feels very good.

If it were not for my HP, the fellowship of AA, the 12 Steps, all of the amazing miracles that make up my life today simply wouldn't exist.  For that I owe much, so I try to give much.  Having said that I have to remember to expect little and celebrate what goodness comes my way.

Thank God for this day!

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

miscellaneous debris

Late night at the office...  I have a few activities happening in my building tonight and I have to be here for technical support and to lock up when they are done.  So finally, I  have blogging time.  It's a fresh caffeine free diet coke, Genesis "Supper's Ready" playing on YouTube and some quality time with my blogger buddies.  Awesome!

We've got a newcomer at the noon meeting!  I love that!

No sooner did I put away the resume and turn my attention fully to the tasks at hand with my chamber of commerce gig, real estate and my fledgling mobile marketing business and dont ya know old God sent a potential employer calling lol.  It figures!  Well long story short, it's not an ideal fit for a few good reasons and so I am going to continue on with the tasks at hand.  I just think it's funny that as soon as I quit looking, something stumbles along.

Rule #62, why can I not remember this?? lol  I still find myself taking myself too seriously!  I will continue to seek God's help with this.

Al-Anon has a great bookmark with a bunch of recovery principles upon it...  It says "Just For Today" at the top on one side.  Each principle is introduced with the phrase "Just for today, I will..."  I need to pay special attention to this one in particular: "Just for today I will avoid two pests, hurry and indecision..."

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I was at the noon meeting yesterday, minding my own business, checking emails on my iPhone a I am prone to do and I was listening to a discussion about Step 4, and resentments, and whether or not others like us, and all that assorted stuff.  A gal was sharing about how she gets all upset if she discovers that someone she knows (or doesn't know) doesn't like her, or something she's said or done.  Now she's gotten to be much better than she used to be since getting sober a year and a half ago but it's still and issue for her.

Another attendee shared that in his 2+ years in AA, he still hasn't completed his 4th Step and finds himself feeling somewhat anxious about doing it.  He knows he needs to do it, and he knows he is simply making excuses and putting it off.  (I just love the honesty in AA)  I recall in my own story that early on in AA (about 9-10 months sober) I was in a particularly funky, grouchy mood, sitting in a Tuesday night meeting in Toledo, Ohio.   I was analyzing and judging all the comments inmy mind, rationalizng how stupid everyone else is, or how dumb that was, etc.  (the itty bitty sh*tty committee was in full session and I wass miserable)  When out of the blue, a particularly annoying member said (and I quote) "If you're sitting in an AA meeting thinking everyone around you is an asshole, it's time to do your 4th Step."

Suffice it to say, he caught my attention immediately.  I was shocked at what I'd heard, and obviously he was talking to me (although he probably didn't know it lol).  Well, I HAD been agonizing about doing my 4th Step, putting it off, worrying, etc.  I went home and began writing, using the basic format from the Big Book.  I knocked it out pretty much in one sitting, leaving only some finishing touches for later days.  I recall finishing and thinking to myself "Well, I don't know why I waited this long to do this, not a big deal."  I made arrangements to meet with my sponsor and we worked Step 5 together shortly after I finished Step 4.  That was actually a little more nervy than the writing but he helped me through it.

I learned a few valuable lessons:  1)  I'm not nearly as awful as I had thought.  2) I'm not nearly as wonderful as I had  thought.  3) Just do it, man!  I learned that writing my inventory helped me detach emotionally from the "truth about Scott" and seeing the items on paper helped me not be so freaked out about them.  Sharing these things with a sponsor helped me see that while important and some serious, they were not earth-shattering at all.  In fact, John had had many similar situations in his drinking/drugging days.  Going through the inventory process helped me realize also that there are many, many more good things to write about myself than I first realized.  Which taught me that reverse pride is just as damaging than pride itself.  I began to develop some humility.  I learned the truth about Scott, without all the filters between my ears.

All I can say about Step 4 and Step 5 is that once you're on solid footing with a sponsor or a spiritual advisor, AND your HP, its time to take a lesson from Nike and "just do it."