An Ordinary Thursday Afternoon


I was in a triathlon on Saturday morning.  I had broken 2 ribs in August, so I had not trained.  I had kept walking daily throughout my recovery, and tried swimming and biking in the last couple of weeks and found it felt OK, so I did the race.  I knew I would be slow, because I am not running, just walking, and I hadn’t really trained.  But I did finish, and did not come in last, and wasn’t among the 20 people who did not finish, so I felt good about it.  Imagine my surprise yesterday to see some race photos where I am smiling and look happy!  So, that is what is above.  Me, walking along, feeling happy.

I think lately I may be doing a little bit of comparing my insides to other people’s outsides.  As an alcoholic, it seems there is always something that is there to fill that hole in my soul.  First it was alcohol, then drugs, then back to alcohol, then absolute abstinence from alcohol and drugs.  Then I had coffee and cigarettes, and I used both of them to wretched excess.  At seven years of sobriety, I was able, by the grace of God to quit smoking.  And as a result of that, my coffee consumption fell precipitously.  I really did like men an awful lot and relationships and dating take a lot of time and energy and sometimes make you absolutely ecstatic.  And then miserable.  In the end, that was something that I realized I would need to give up if I were to follow God as I wanted to, and felt called to.  That is difficult.  It is an entirely different lifestyle to live alone and not have any desire to have a “special someone” in your life.  Aside from God.

Through a great deal of time spent in prayer and meditation, I have realized I still am clinging to a major defect.  I like to buy things.  I like to get things.  I like to have things done.  I want what I want when I want it, pretty much.  In my working life, I could convince myself this was all OK because I worked hard for every cent I had and thought that as long as I was tithing and paying my bills, I could do what I wanted with the rest.  Sometimes that had led me into debt.  A few years ago, I was able to pay off the debt, and now I avoid it like the plague.

Recently, my neighbor and I decided to get our houses painted.  We got two different painting companies to come out and give us estimates.  Her house is much smaller than mine, so her estimate was approximately $3,500.  while mine was over $5,000.  It would be absolute folly for me to spend that much money right now, even though my house needs to be painted.  I had to say no.

It hurt me to say no.  I want a happy shiny freshly painted house like my neighbors!  Thank God I do love her enough to be happy for her.  But still pretty miserable for myself.

Then I thought about the fact that she wears jeans and men’s t-shirts every single day of her life.  She wears sneakers every day, for every activity.  She bought her house when it cost less than $100,000. and has just stayed there.  She has no debt.  She saves money.  She does not take trips to Europe and Hawaii.  She eats things like bologna sandwiches and hot dogs for dinner.   She doesn’t spend a couple grand on a bicycle just because she wants to.

This feels like the final frontier in recovery for me.  I just need to sit still and be satisfied with what I have.  I must stop thinking the next thing I purchase is going to make my life complete.   I know how untrue that is.

One day at a time.  Seriously, just like early recovery from alcoholism.  One day at a time. And doing things like unsubscribing to all the e-mails notifying me of SALE!s on everything I ever clicked on.  I can live very easily on what I have.

And I can eat soup.  And my delicious sour dough bread.  Simple.

It is time for me to knock off the acquisitiveness and covetousness.

By the Grace of God.


This entry was posted in Bicycle, Clothes, Food, Friends, Meditation, Race, Sobriety, Thrift, Training, Triathlon. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to An Ordinary Thursday Afternoon

  1. Love your blog post. We must have gone around the same stuff in our addicted life. Sometimes it just takes time to get in all in order. I am only newly sober and 65. It feels good—very good. I had my last relapse because I’ve ask God to help me. I picked up a book about anxiety by Max Lucado. I’m led through some wonderful scripture. I’m Protestant but currently don’t have a church but am happy with my relationship with God and sobriety. The book I’m reading is a great read. It addresses so much of what you said in this post.
    Keep blogging 😁
    Marsha Helias

  2. daisyanon says:

    Once again, thank you for articulating some of my story.

    ” I like to buy things. I like to get things. I like to have things done. I want what I want when I want it, pretty much.”

    Exactly this. I have been like this all my life.

    I do not feel so guilty about my debt mountain now. By the grace of God and with the help of a wonderful husband I was able to pay it off. I started work on this before I got sober and then started to realise how much money I was spending on drink! And how little I had to show for it!

    Now I work hard at living life on life’s terms, and resisting the urge to spend. I also used an online budgeting programme called YNAB.

    I still fall into old behaviours sometimes but am able to reign it in at a very early stage now. I try not to think about how much better off we would be if I hadn’t accumulated so much debt.

    • I use the Dave Ramsey budget form. Every single month. Without fail. Using that got me out of a mountain of debt – over the course of a couple of years. Amazing really, what we can do when we put our noses down and really apply ourselves – and ask God for help.

  3. Congrats on finishing the race ~ on your terms! I’m the opposite when it comes to money/spending, . My defect has always been a fear of not having enough, so I’ve always penny-pinched or denied myself. Today, thanks to life and my higher power, I know I will always be provided for and it’s let me loosen up a bit. Glad to see another post (or two) from you! Sandra

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