Friday, July 01, 2011

Upright again

A year ago today, my daughter and I were in San Antonio, Texas - for the AA International Convention. What a thrill that was for both of us.

Today I am up again after three days in bed. If I woke up feeling the way I feel today on a normal day, I would call it "sick" and probably not go to work. But compared with the way I have felt for the last three days, I call this "healthy," and I am thanking God and getting ready to rejoin the living in my workplace, on the highways, and everywhere they are!

One of my best friends is a "normie" who has done everything right in her life. She would laugh if she saw that statement, but it is the way I see it. She started her job when she was 20 something, bought a townhouse, worked two jobs for years. With every raise she got, she put the "extra" money into savings. She lives very modestly. Except for her extravagant trips. She has traveled the world - paid for by her savings. She paid off her townhouse and has no mortgage. When she was in her late 30s, she went to nursing school, and when she graduated she moved into management and made a ton of money - again, it went into savings. In January of this year, on her 50th birthday she retired from her job. She worked enough years and invested enough money to make just as much money retired as she did working. I wondered how she would enjoy retirement, but I shouldn't have. She is just as happy as a clam.

I, on the other hand, have not much in common with the above story. I am 59 years old and my best hope is that I will be able to work until I am 70. Seriously. I cannot possibly retire. Financially or Emotionally.

I NEED to be out there working. I need to put on my dress up clothes and get in my car and go forth every day. I don't want to stop.

I always need to remember that I spent many years not working. I "wasted" many years... unless you count, as I do, the time reaching a true alcoholic bottom never wasted. I stayed home with my kids when they were little. I baked bread, I sewed clothes, I knitted little sweaters. My friend likes to remind me of this when I do that odious comparison thing.

Ten years ago, I sat down with a financial planner and plotted out my future. We had a plan. Based on the reality of 10 years ago, I would have been able to retire this year. Based on what reality really has been for these last ten years, I am lucky to still be solvent. Retirement is not even something I am looking for at this point.

So, I go into my AA birthday month... my life is not where I thought it would be. But it is still wonderful. And here's why:

  • I have come to know God, who we choose to call "higher power," more and more through His Word, and it is a wonderful, life-changing revelation.
  • My three children are healthy and happy, and I enjoy close relationships with them all.
  • I have three grandchildren who could not even imagine their nana drunk. They trust me!
  • I have a couple of sponsees who are really sober and we share close relationships.
  • As I have been sick the last couple of days, I have had so many phone calls and people who are really "there" for me.
  • I am gainfully employed in a job I actually like!
  • I am dating a man who is also gainfully employed and it is fun to go out on "dates," instead of diving straight into a "relationship."
  • My running club has introduced me to some really fun and healthy (physically and emotionally) people.
  • My roses are blooming all over the place! As is the honeysuckle, clinging to the back fence. The lavender along the side path is in full bloom. Olfactory heaven, I tell you!
  • It is Independence Day weekend - regardless of the mess we are in, I still believe we live in a blessed place.
OK, I am ready to get ready for work now. I hope you all have a wonderful day. Thank you for your prayers. It meant a lot to me as I could not get out of bed except to run to the bathroom. I still had my iPhone at my side and got your comments. It was like a lifeline. Thank you.

God bless you - and lets stay sober today, OK?


Lou said...

Nice. I'm in the same kind of grateful mood.

shadowlands said...

"God bless you - and lets stay sober today, OK?"

AA OK! Glad u well again Mary C.

dAAve said...

Guess what?

It passed.

Steve E said...

Sober today? It's a DEAL! It is good to read you are on the mend.

Jeremy said...

OKAY! :)

So glad you're feeling better!

I very much enjoy your perspective, hope & acceptance.

Carverlane said...

I'm SO GLAD you are better! Loved what you said about the time spent reaching our bottom not being wasted. Makes me look at it in a whole different light.

Syd said...

I'm glad that you are better. I am sort of like tour friend-- retired fairly young and making the same as when I worked due to investments, 401k, etc. I am glad to be done. I thought that I would work forever. But I now realize that there is much living to be done away from work and school. I too am grateful today.