Monday Morning


I had a meeting with the church people this morning.  Very nice people.  They are all considerably older than I am.  I am the only one who is not retired and started feeling a bit panicky about the s-l-o-w pace.  I thought I would be one hour late to work, but it ended up being two hours.  

This is going to be a challenge for me.  I am a bit afraid of the elderly and infirm and I will be going into their homes! Alone!  I guess this is how God wants me to grow 👵🏻.  One of my readers (almost the ONLY one) goes into homes and cares for the dying.  I’ve never told her how much I admire her for that.  It’s So Not Me.  

I’m so done with this working life.  My heart is not in it.  Every day I want to be retired and be able to go for a hike or a bike ride.  Or sit in my chair and knit.  

Kitty puked up a hair ball in the exact spot where I knit.  My first thought was “passive aggressive,” then I reasoned cats are not passive aggressive.  I’m still not 100% convinced though 😺

Kitty has a new name.  My family did not like the shelter name “Mel.”  We brain stormed, which was fun.  Someone said Ginger.  I nixed that because my last name is similar, so we all said at the same time “GiGi!”  That’s her name.  It’s cute and it was more organic than the shelter name.  She wasn’t at the shelter long enough to really know that name, and the first time we called her GiGi, she came.  

Sorry for this stream of consciousness , I think it’s all I’m capable of at this moment.

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Wednesday Morning 


This is the back of the sweater I’m working on.  I have poked another hole in my left index finger from all the fine, detailed work (I did this last December too).  It has taken nearly a month just to knit what’s in the photo above.  I want to have this done by October… Not so sure that’s going to happen.

I got an email from my church yesterday asking if I would consider taking Holy Communion to the homebound.  The email said:

“I thought of you because I remembered how faithful you were to your hour of adoration. Anyone who has that appreciation of the Eucharist is a very appropriate person for this ministry.”

That made me cry.  I had to give up my Holy Hour due to this job.  I miss it terribly!  I wrote back and said yes to the request, with the caveat that I work a full-time job with a 60-mile-a-day-commute-through-the-worst-traffic-on-earth.  That makes my days 11hours long.  But to be able to do this small Corporal Work of Mercy would be life-changing and I know it!  

I used to feel that I fulfilled my quota of “service to God and my fellows” in AA, but no more.  The longer I am sober, I find the less people talk to me.  I am not their peer in age or length of sobriety.  I am “other.”  I am loved, don’t get me wrong, but loved from a distance of years.  

My sponsor has had the same experiences, so that helps me to not feel so alone.  But still… So sad.  

Another friend who used to be my boss has been calling this week.  She wants and needs to retire, but is frightened of the unknown.  I have been talking to her about taking the leap in faith.  How when I retired last year I thought it was the end of the world, but it was only the beginning of a new life.  How God had prepared a soft landing for me.  

And then I looked at myself… I want to be done with this job. By the end of last week I  had convinced myself that I needed to work until June of 2017 – just to make sure I was ok.  

What am I doing again?  Trusting in my finite self rather than infinite God!  

I’m looking again at January or April of next year as end dates.  

And I got my Medicare card in the mail the other night!  Never thought I’d be so happy to see that!!!!   Retirement is really in my future.  And it looks like I’ve already got a gig at my church 😀

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Mixed stuff


I got a new cat on Saturday, July 30.  Her name is Mel.  She came from the shelter and I think she’s beautiful.  She’s extremely friendly and affectionate – and temperamental.  She can switch from purring to hissing at the drop of a hat.   But it’s nice to have a kitty again.  I think she’s really happy to have her own house and be out of the shelter.   I hope she’ll calm down once she realizes she’s ok and not under any form of threat at her new home.

I’m thinking about doing another triathlon in mid-September.  It’s another sprint, it’s in the park where I do all my training, and I think I would like to do another one.

I’m taking a weekend trip to South Dakota with my daughters in September, but I think I need to schedule a “real” vacation.  I almost booked a train trip today.  Denver to SanFrancisco, sleeper cars, etc.  I got as far as the credit card info and just didn’t enter it.  My sister and I were going to take a train trip in September, maybe that is where my hesitation is coming from.  

I need a vacation!  But I don’t want to spend a lot of money.   Unless of course the vacation is super cool!

I saw my two little grandchildren over the weekend and will see my eldest granddaughter this weekend.  That’s wonderful.  And selfishly, it means I can plan to take a vacation somewhere just because I want to go there.  I don’t NEED to see anyone.  Except my brothers – but I’m not going to the east coast again this year.  

Ok, enough of this stream of consciousness…

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Race Report

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The race was great!!!  My hope going in was just to finish without embarrassing myself.  Seriously, I just didn’t want to crawl across the finish line last.  But it wasn’t like that at all.

The swim was difficult because of the way they had the waves set up.  There were too many people in each wave and they came to fast on each other’s heels.   I got mowed down several times by fast people in the later waves.  I had more contact in this race than I have in any other.  It got a bit terrifying for a little while.  But I just went back to my default breast stroke which allows maximum view.  I did a lot of breast stroke.  I finished the swim in 27 minutes.  I was a bit disappointed with that.

The worst part of my training was the bike.  I was dreading it.  I had been using my mountain bike for training and about a month ago decided I really had to get my road bike tuned up and ready to go.  I noticed that when I got on the road bike I went much faster, but I was still averaging 10 miles per hour.  Which meant it was going to take me over an hour for the bike ride.  BUT, today, I felt good and went out fast, and passed lots of people.  There were killer hills, which I guess I was prepared for, but I was a bit surprised at how long the hills were and how hard it was to sustain that effort.  But I did.  I finished the bike ride in 51 minutes!  I was shocked!  And happy!

I thought if I could just sustain a good walking pace, under 15 minute miles, I would finish in a decent time.  That was something I was not expecting.  I was able to sustain a good pace, but it ended up being over 15 minutes.  But under 16.

I finished in 2 hours, 18 minutes, and 5 seconds.  Which is 5 minutes better than the last time I did the race in 2009…. When I was 7 years younger!

I feel like a jock today.  By tomorrow I will probably get over it, but what a great feeling.  I trained and I was ready for the race.  Yay.

I’ve been telling myself some awful things lately.  About being old.  Fat.  Lazy.  Over the hill.  Etc.  Today I feel tired and spent and very very good.

64 years old, 32 years sober, life is good.  Never ever thought it could be like this.  I thought I would drink and smoke (2 packs a day) forever.  I thought I would be an old lady sitting at the end of the bar with too much skin showing.  Oh no, it is not like that at all.

Thank you God.

 

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Another One

My long-time boyfriend died yesterday.  I have such mixed feeling about this.  Mostly though, if I’m honest, I feel relief that his years in a nursing home are over.  The last time I visited him he didn’t know who I was.  I should have gone back, but I didn’t. 

Life’s really complicated.  We had an extremely complicated relationship.  It involved marriages to other people in the middle of it.  We picked up where we left off once we were both divorced (and not one second before).  His ex is my friend.  My ex was his friend.  

He hurt me very deeply and I’m quite certain I will never be over that.  He was a liar.  He would admit it.  When we were first dating and I realized he had been lying to me, I confronted him.  Actually I pinned him to the floor in his living room and asked him if he would lie even if telling the truth was easier – and he admitted he would.  

He was a former Hells Angel.  He was a former atheist.  He probably helped more people in Alcoholics Anonymous than any 10 other people I’ve known put together.  He could be very tender, which would lead the innocent into proclaiming that he was a “big teddy bear,” but they would be sorely mistaken.  He was as mean as a snake.  And he could turn on a dime.  

He was sober 42 + years.  He was really sober and that was his life’s work.  His greatest heartbreak came when his son died of a heroin overdose.  He might as well have died right then.  His life was officially over.  

He helped my daughter so much as she was getting sober.  She hung out with his son when he was sober.  They were two of a kind.  And Ed and I were two of a kind.  No, it doesn’t look like it on the outside, but we recognized each other.  We were kindred souls. 

He was an AA luminary, but laughed when I called him that.  The hangers-on are all over Facebook today spewing their half-truths and legends about him.  It makes me sadder-than-sad.  

Rest in Peace Big Ed.  You were one of a kind.  I’m probably one of the many who would not be sober without your help.  I loved you.

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32 Years


On Sunday, July 24, I celebrated 32 years of continuous sobriety.  I got sober when I was 32, now I am 64 and have been sober for half of my life.  

I had called my sponsor last week and told her I felt a bit sad, like all the good things are in the past.  I told her I didn’t feel particularly plugged in to either group I regularly attend and that I was feeling rather isolated.  She asked me to make a list of people I like and then reach out to them.

The list surprised me, there were so many people on it.  I reached out to many of them and asked them to come to the meeting where  I would be celebrating.  Everyone showed up except for a friend who was out of town.  It is not always easy to get people to come to a 6:30 a.m. meeting, but there they were! My feelings of isolation miraculously vanished!   It was a wonderful birthday.  I felt deeply loved.  

My daughter sat next to me, which means the world to me.  It is nice to know that I have had a positive impact on her and many others.  When we get down to it, that’s all we leave behind.  

I hope I have lots more time to impact others positively, but I am so grateful for this sober life I’ve had – so far.  

God has been so good to me.

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Pre-alcoholism

This is my OPINION, not to be confused with any official stand from anyone else.

I believe my alcoholism entails a lot more than my inability to drink normally.  I believe I was a little alcoholic as a child, unknowingly waiting for the magical elixir of my first drink.  The drink that would answer all my questions and settle that “restless, irritable, and discontent.”  

Why else would my childhood friends also be alcoholics (with some exceptions)?  We had yet to have a drink, so the problem was as yet  Ill-formed and unnamed.  I call it “pre-alcoholism,” the alcoholic before they ever have a drink.  We were attracted to one another because we shared this misfit-ness.  I spotted it in my daughter when she wasn’t much older than a toddler.  And sure enough, the first drink turned her from a contrary teenager to a full-blown alcoholic.  The disease was just waiting.  

Obviously this is why recovery from alcoholism is much much more than abstinence from alcohol.  Without alcohol, we are left with all the “reasons” we drank like pigs.   Thankfully, we have the program to deal with those reasons so that we can live sober successfully.

But that’s not my point. 

There’s a person in the political arena who has never had a drink in his life.  His older brother died of alcoholism.  So he never drank.  When I look at him, I see that overly intense look in his eyes, which I have seen so commonly in alcoholics.  I believe his whole body and soul is just screaming for a drink! 

Hence, a pre-alcoholic.  And not someone I’d be comfortable with holding a high elected office.

That’s my opinion.  That and  ~$4.65 will get you an iced latte at your local Starbucks.

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