I am having the trim on my house painted today. This is so freaking exciting. I have lived in this house for almost 5 years. About 6 months after I moved in I realized that the paint around the windows was a little shabby. Obviously, it has not gotten better in 5 years.
Having been a renter most of my life, I have a hard time coughing up money to do stuff to my house. It seems to me that as long as I make my mortgage payment, all that other stuff should just somehow magically take care of itself. I decided that this year I have to do some stuff to my house, and the trim painting is the first thing.
I took today off work. Having gone to Catholic Schools for most of my 18 years of formal education, it just doesn't seem right to me to work on this day, so I usually don't. So, here I sit, lady of leisure, eating my special K, having just taken my shower, after my morning run... planning my day around my painters. This is cool.
You may wonder why this is such a big deal to me... let me tell you. At about 4 and a half years of sobriety, I had a meltdown. I ended up without my job, without my home, without my kids, without much of anything... except for my sobriety. Which I ultimately realized was EVERYTHING. All that other stuff I was so invested in was really secondary to my sobriety. Anyway, I spent the next five years kicking around, never living anywhere for longer than 6 months at a time, never being gainfully employed. Never having any stability. I think I needed to do that, (especially how involved I got in AA at that time) but I also think it gave me a greater appreciation of the "things" that sobriety brings.
I do appreciate the material things, but I do not let them rule me. I like my house, but if I needed to go, I could go. I like my car - probably a little bit too much. I like my job most of the time, but it doesn't define who I am.
The real gifts are intangible. Peace of mind in the midst of turmoil. Love for the unlovable. Joy at tiny moments. Ability to turn our most painful and tragic experiences into something that helps another. Etc., Etc.