Plugging out of February

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That’s a pizza I was so impressed with, I took its picture.  Who knows why.  I have no such home-made delight tonight.  I have spent the afternoon in the dentist’s chair, I will wait until the last of the novocaine wears off and order a delivery pizza from the local pizzeria.  It won’t be as good as mine, but it will fill me up tonight.

I’m still not enjoying my job.  It is a long-ass winter.  Record breaking quantities of snow. Nothing like the east coast, but I am sick of it.  I am ready for spring.  I am ready for not working.  I am ready for a different life.

My daughters will be 36 year old on Sunday.   Holy crap.  It seems like yesterday that I was 36!  No, it is 27 years ago.  And my son will be 39 this summer.  My granddaughter will be 15 on the 19th.  Fifteen.  She is a full-blown teenager.  She went to her first high school dance a couple of weeks ago.  Life really moves fast.  Except the getting to retirement part.

This weekend I shall go to a meeting on Saturday morning.  Go to Mass Saturday night with a friend.  Go to dinner after Mass.  Sunday morning, meeting a friend for coffee.  I just need to focus on my free time.

Sorry I don’t have anything great to say.  I’m just tired.

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Plugging through January

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As I left work the other night, I looked at this tree as I often do.  Just as I pulled out my phone to take its picture, a flock of geese came by.  It was a lovely moment.  Can’t you just almost hear the geese?

Last week the cast on my broken left arm was removed.  And now it hurts.  Like hell.  I will have my first physical therapy appointment this afternoon.  I know that will hurt too.  But I have great hope that if I do what I am supposed to do, and diligently, my arm should recover.  The orthopedic surgeon did tell me it will take 3 YEARS though.  Yikes.

This is the first time I have sat down at my computer since early December.  I can type again, and I am grateful for that.  The iPad was a life-saver when I had only one good hand to type with.  It was so interesting to see which words it would suggest.  And sometimes very creepy.  Oh well.  What we trade in for convenience – it is scary.

Each day work is hellish.  I don’t know how I can get through 22 more months of this.  Honestly.  However, I am not in the depressed state I normally get in when I am hating my job.  I do not feel depressed.  What a miracle!  I hate every day of work and increasingly am arguing with people, including people who have the power to fire me on the spot.  Well, that’s probably not true, but they are people who most people won’t argue with.  It is very different when you are a short-timer.  If someone called me this morning and told me my services were no longer needed, I would have a party.  Then put my house up for sale.  hmmmm, that really doesn’t sound so bad.  The last house in my neighborhood that went on the market was sold in 2 days.  For a goooood price.

I’m spending more time in prayer than ever.  Every day I am seriously asking what I should be doing.  So far, I feel I am directed to stay on my current job.  But I feel my days are numbered.  I may not make that 22 month mark.  The month I would get Medicare.  I might have to go and get my own insurance.

Yesterday I was at my old building downtown.  I went to visit my old boss.  We greeted each other so very warmly.  Hugs and “I miss you!”  She was so excited because she had a Christmas present for me.  It was something I love, as she knew I would.  Thank God for living a program, or that bridge would have been burned to the ground.

Last week, the woman who had been my nemesis at my current job came to visit me in my office.  We had what might be called a “heart-to-heart.”  We didn’t talk about our specific relationship, but we talked about relationships in the workplace and how to deal with them.  She has been coming to me since then with day to day issues, problems, asking for advice.  Again, Thank God for living a program, or that bridge would have been blown up and burned and stomped into the ground.

I really feel God’s presence in my life.  Even though I am not particularly enjoying it.  Some sage old AA guy (long deceased) used to say:

The way we feel is not an accurate gauge of our closeness to God.

It’s easy to feel close to God when all is well.  The children are all healthy, wealthy, and beautiful, and so are we.  The career is sailing along.  We have a significant other who loves us.   Plenty of money in the bank.  Etcetera.

But I think we have a great opportunity to learn about God’s will for us when we aren’t having such a swell time.  Realizing this is not injustice.  It is life.  Meditating upon the Passion of Christ will give some perspective on suffering.  Yeah, I don’t think I am suffering.  I am just going through an uncomfortable phase of life.

And I am not depressed?  What the heck occurs here?

Thank you God.

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Third Career

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The hospital is in the middle of a huge remodel project. All of our offices have been moved to temporary quarters. Very unglamorous quarters. Very small quarters. Each morning I walk through one of our old hallways and find it creepy, dark and empty. See photo.

Yesterday I was at work (on a holiday) and found myself in a conversation with a couple of nurse administrators. One of them mentioned CAC training for I don’t remember what reason. I had an epiphany! I could do that!

Which is very weird. In all my sobriety I have not once thought about doing this. In fact, I have a bit of a bias about treatment and counsellors in general. Just in general, I do know there are good facilities and good counsellors.

I think I would be a good one. I think I can get certified before I retire. I think this career would be so different and I think I would like it. I asked my friend the RN who makes personnel decisions every day if there would be any way for a 65 year old newly certified person to get hired. She immediately said yes and rattled off a list of reasons why.

I’m still praying about it. I registered for an informational class in the beginning of February. And I’m feeling kinda excited.

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Monday morning

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Breakfast at the hotel in Rome. There are no words….

Back to work today. Here’s what I endeavor to do: work to the best of my ability, being cognizant that I bring a lot to the table, in my experience, knowledge, and work ethic. I refuse to feel bad about myself, no matter how woefully inadequate any one person is in the face of what I need to get done.

I will trust God that I am where I am supposed to be, until it becomes clear that I should be doing something else.

God and I have been through a lot together, this should be a cinch!

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Back where I belong

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This is a photo of me & my daughter near Positano, Italy. It is a beautiful place and we were blessed with good weather.

Yesterday I got to go to a meeting at my home group. It was my friend’s 30th AA birthday. I cried, several others also were crying. I was somewhat comforted knowing that my friend was reacting much the same way I did when I celebrated 30. Unbelievable gratitude, but a realization of how much of our lives are over. His sponsor, my old boyfriend, is now in a nursing home, and seldom even knows who he is when he visits. So sad.

But what a beautiful thing to have spent such a huge chunk of time living sober. We were all very sick alcoholics and recovery from that is a lifetime job. Thank God we had each other, and still do.

Newer folks sometimes don’t want us to say we are still recovering and still need the program, the fellowship, and God’s help every day. And I see lots of AA members who say they’re only involved in AA to “give back.” Oh yes, we do need to give back, but I need to have fresh, green, sobriety every single day. My alcoholism did not go away, it’s still alive and well and still desires my death.

I’m so glad to be back home, and grateful to still have 3 days off before going back to work.

Happy new year everyone.

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Photos from Italy

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This was a little throw-away photo of the Colosseum.  I am not even sure I stopped to take it, I think I might have just snapped it as I walked by.  It was Sunday, the last day of the trip, and I was so tired.  I think it is my favorite photo.

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I fell and broke my arm on December 12.  The radius is fractured in 4 places.  The orthopedic surgeon looks at my x-rays and shakes his head and tells me how fortunate I am that this bone is staying in one place and I don’t need surgery.    They thought it might drift apart during my trip, but the x-ray yesterday revealed that it is healing miraculously well.  Thank God.

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The line at St. Peter’s to get the tickets for midnight mass .  It was hours long. The Swiss Guard man took my letter and went to get the tickets.

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Waiting in the square for hours to get in the door was a wonderful experience.  Meeting people from all over the world.  Really nice.

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At Mass.  I took this photo, and then felt like an idiota for taking a photo at mass, so I stopped.

It was beautiful, profound, moving, awesome.  The music was phenomenal.

I wanted to post more photos, but WordPress has changed and I can’t see what I am typing as I type, and it is so tiresome.  Typing with a broken arm is not easy.

I hope to publish my photos of Florence, more Rome, Pompeii, and Sorrento later.  But this is too much for now.

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Takeaways from Rome Trip

I’m going to put a more positive post on top of this, so if you have found yourself at THIS post, you will find a reflective Mary.  Not a “Wow!  What a great time I had in Rome!”

I traveled with my daughter, who I admire so much it makes me cry.  Seriously.  She is a phenomenal person.  I always kind of knew that, but now I am just absolutely dumb-founded that this wonderful woman is in my life in any form, let alone being my daughter!

My friend I traveled with?  I had told my daughter and several others I was afraid this trip would ruin our friendship.  It had soured a LOT in the last few months.  I just had the feeling she was arguing with most everything I said, challenging me over ridiculous things, and generally acting like someone who doesn’t like me much.  I had expressed my concern to her, and she assured me we would have a great time!  The first day we were there, she yelled at me!  At the Vatican!   Yelled!  I have known this woman for 20 years and have never seen her act like this.  I know she was tired, and I was tired, but she yelled at me for a “look” I gave her.  And she said mean things.  Mean.  Which to me means that she was plenty irritated with me and the “look” was just the icing on the cake.

Being an AA member and having 30 years of practice at trying to resolve issues immediately, I tried to talk with her twice later that day, but she just brushed me off.  At that time, I resolved to enjoy the trip – my trip of a lifetime – and spend as little time with her as humanly possible.  I also had my daughter with me, who was awesome.  My friend was getting on her nerves too, but we resolved to not spend any time talking about her.  We would spend all of our energy enjoying our trip.  And we did.

On  Christmas day at dinner, I had an epiphany.  Really.  I know, 12 days early, right?

My daughter and I  each purchased the whole who-knows-how-many-courses Italian meals.  Oh dear God, it was beyond anything I have ever eaten!  But for dessert?  A fruit cup.  It looked divine, with all manner of fruit.  I took one spoonful and realized it was drenched in alcohol.  This has happened to me once before in my sobriety, and at that time, I ran to the rest room and spit it out.  This time I was in a restaurant that was too crowded to move, and I had no idea where the rest room was.  I swallowed the fruit, closed my eyes, and prayed.  I am quite certain it was less than a 1/4 teaspoon of some kind of alcohol, but it was absolutely the first time in 30 years that alcohol has gone into my system.  I felt like my head was going to explode.  Not one feeling of pleasantness at all.  It was slightly terrifying.  I prayed a lot.  Asked God to help me with this.  If my recovery is threefold, physical, mental, and spiritual, I asked God to let the mental and spiritual overcome the physical.  I had no compulsion at all after that, and it may sound silly, but I think that was by the Grace of God.

In that moment, looked across the Christmas table at my friend and her mother, and realized I am simply with the wrong people. Not that there is anything wrong with them, it is that there is something terribly terribly wrong with me.  They do not understand that, and they do not need to understand that.

You see, I am an alcoholic.  I am not like other people.  I believe that I am (not was) different physically, mentally, and spiritually than others.  And I am so very grateful for that.   I don’t believe a non-alcoholic could ever completely understand what was going on in that moment.  They looked at me like I was nuts.  Again, they don’t need to understand, but I do!

I think my experiment with hanging out with “normies” ended in that simple moment.  I need to be with people who are like me.

As this year ends and another begins, I would like to make some changes.  I want to blog again, it really added to my life, and maybe helped others on occasion.  I want to get back into the life of a devoted AA member.  No more hanging around the fringes.  I tried it, I lived through it, I stayed sober.  But my quality of life would be much improved if I embraced my true calling.

Seriously, I have a calling to work with other alcoholics.   I got sick of it and wanted to branch out, so to speak.  Time to get back to my basics.

My AA meetings, my AA friends, and working with garden variety drunks  (just like me).

My regular humble little church, in a poor little town in the middle of Denver metro.   No gold, no souvenirs, no pope.  Just humble.

My dumb old job where I am working years past when I should have retired if I were good with money – which I am not.  An aging female in the workplace is not having fun.  Why should I be different?  I will make the best of it for as long as I can.  And if I need to retire, I will.  I can change my lifestyle.  I have done it repeatedly in my 63 years.  I am good at being poor.

I need to reconcile who I really am with the life I am living.  I don’t intend to try to be who I am not.  If a person cannot accept three attempts to apologize, I can do no more.  Seriously, don’t like me then.  I can not make my face look other than it does.  And at 63, with 36 hours without sleep, and a painful broken arm, my face might not look really nice.

I am grateful, grateful, grateful for these revelations!

Not sure I have time to write that other post, but I hope to post lots of pictures of beautiful Italy.

Thanks for reading.

xxxooo,

MC

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