My first post of 2017! Unfortunately I was unable to post last week.
Around this time every year, I have take time to reflect on my past year and the many years that have passed since 1993. This past Saturday, the 7th of January, I was 24 years clean and sober. I can not help but think back on my life and how different it has become for me. I am so far away from the person who drank alcoholically everyday that I recall certain painful and damaging events to reminiscence and remind myself how much gratitude I have for the life I have today. For me this second chance at life has been a rebirth. I always think of the first verse to John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High when I’m thinking of my rebirth.
He was born in the summer of his 27th year
Coming home to a place he’d never been before
He left yesterday behind him, you might say he was born again
You might say he found a key for every door
The gift I have received from my Higher Power is so great, it can be overwhelming at times. The gift is this rebirth; this do-over that I have been Graced with. One, that in a different lifetime, I never knew was available to me. Not all my days were bad prior to January 7th 1993 but with a few exceptions, like the birth of my children, the best day I had back then would still be worse than my worst day today. It was never what was going on around me but what was going on inside me that was so damaging. These past 24 years have been exceptionally great and gratifying. Not so much because of outside changes but because I changed. I have a new perspective on life and I continue to allow it to change. I came to believe in a power greater than myself and I do my best to turn my will and my life (my thoughts and my actions) over to the care of that power everyday. Today it’s not about what life owes me but it’s about what I owe life.I’m no longer a bystander watching my life pass by but I am fully engaged in every moment. I do not have to control every outcome or situation in my life and this has certainly been healthier and less stressful because I am leaving the heavy lifting to my Higher Power. I have a peace of mind today instead of an anxious mind. I have an ability to accept an outcome instead of continue to battle a decision. For any of you who have ever coached kids or been coached you have said or heard the words “Leave it all on the field “or “give everything you have” or “leave it all on the ice” and if you do that then the outcome is irrelevant because you tried your hardest. Well this is kind of how I try to live. I do my best in my actions and after that I have to leave the results up to my Higher Power. I do the footwork and leave the results to something much more powerful than I. My 12 Step Fellowship and Program never once gave me the promise or thought that they would teach me how to not drink.What they did promise was they could teach me how to live. That promise has been fulfilled over and over and I am not sure I can ever pay back my debt. These past 24 years have been amazing and I’m grateful to everyone who has played a part in my recovery.
I believe it’s never too late for me or for you to change our lives. It’s never too early either. I have heard people say I’m too old to change and I have heard people say I’m young; I have lots of time to change. We need to be honest with ourselves if we want to change and I find these two statements to be very opportunistic for us to lie to ourselves. I had to get very honest with myself 24 years ago. I had to admit I had a fear of change. I had to admit that I had so many resentments that were blocking me from the sunlight. What was worse was my fear of living without my resentments. All I had to change was everything. Everyone has the ability to change. They might not have the willingness but everyone has the ability. Honesty, Open-mindedness and Willingness, these are the keys required for personal change. Not everyone I know believes in God and although I find God to be essential for my change and growth, the lack of belief in God shouldn’t hold anyone back from making the changes necessary to live a complete and rewarding life. Identify the changes you want to make and start today.
I’m going to change gears and tell a little story about the youths in my neighborhood. I keep seeing a meme on Facebook that shows some teens carrying shovels in a snowstorm and the meme asks “where have these people gone?” And it goes on to berate them for their video games,texting, etcetera etcetera etcetera. It get’s tiresome listening to people complain about kids texting and gaming. It reminds me of my dad telling me I was wasting my time in the pool hall and wasting my money on pinball machines. Last week I was sick and was man down for a few days and my sidewalk was covered in a few inches of snow and some was now hard-packed from being trampled on. We live on a large corner lot and our sidewalk is a chore at the best of times. I found the kids with the shovels! I went to my community page on Facebook and said “does anyone know a kid in the neighborhood who wants to make $20 shoveling a large corner lot sidewalk”. I had 3 responses within 10 minutes and I gave the work to the first kid who responded. I texted my address and I also said this is a large corner lot and I need it taken down to the concrete. His only response was “it pays $20 right?” A real nice 17-year-old showed up and went to work in minus 26 weather. 30 minutes later it was done and done very well. He gave me his cell number in case I needed him again. So those kids are out there we just need to know how to reach them.
Changing gears again it’s over to football.We’re down to the Divisional Playoffs in NFL which leaves 8 teams vying for the Super Bowl. Games on Saturday will see Seattle vs. Atlanta and Houston vs. New England. On Sunday we have 2 more great matchups with Pittsburgh vs. Kansas City and Green Bay vs. Dallas. I’m predicting a Seattle/New England Super Bowl. But regardless there should be 4 very good games this weekend.
The song this week is from the Dexys Album Dexys Do Irish Country and Soul and the song is titled Carrickfergus
Most of you will know the Dexys as Dexys Midnight Runners and their very well known song Come On Eileen. I’m a huge fan of the band and even more so of Kevin Rowland. Although Kevin was born in England both of his parents were Irish and in this album he pays great tribute to his parents.I would love to see these guys but they play about 1 gig a year.
The quote this week is from Norman Vincent Peale.
Change your thoughts and you change your world.
I appreciate you reading this far and I hope I will see you again next week………..