Sunday, November 20, 2016

Long Four Days

I've been going sixty miles an hour, working, or sleeping (or trying to) since Wednesday morning. I have gotten a whole lot done, pretty much was able to do everything that I wanted to do, except make meetings on Friday and Saturday nights (and that was simply because I had to sleep sometime, considering how full my plate was otherwise). I'm in the homestretch now, 2 1/2 hours into the final night shift of the week, and after going shopping for the week directly from work (it will be easier to deal with the dog that way; Sabrina is going hunting--yes, I am appalled, but this is what happens when she goes out with a non-urban kid--early in the AM, and the dog is going to be all over me when I get home. I would rather be able to walk him right away), I am going to watch football and crash, even if it happens at 11 in the morning.
I spent yesterday visiting a friend that is preparing to come home from drug treatment, or what passes for it in the New York penal system. Communication is limited when in the facility, but to make a long story short, she will be home in ten days, and is going to be attempting, again, to get involved in the fellowship. It also helps that Lauren is now in the same place, and that she and this woman are friendly; Lauren is going to need as much support as she can get when it is her turn to come home, and if Ally is established in the rooms when that happens, that will be helpful. But Ally and I have been friends for some time, and the place isn't all that far from home, so it was a pleasant few hours to spend.
I also did some research on the age-old subject "What is the best way to get to Ithaca from Binghamton?" There are two basic and several variations off both to travel there. I got in the habit in recent years of going up 81 to Whitney Point, then taking Route 79 to Ithaca; when I was working for Berkshire and we had an office there, that was the best way from the Binghamton office, and last winter, Sabrina had track meets at Cornell, which is on 79 just short of town. Since I was going 25 miles past Ithaca yesterday, and I can get on 17/86/whatever what you want to call it a few blocks from my house, I went 17 to Owego and went up 96/96B to Ithaca, and then 89 up Cayuga Lake before crossing to 96 right before my destination. It took an hour and 40 minutes. I came back 96 all the way to Ithaca, then 79 to 38 in Richford, then 38 to Newark Valley, and then three back country roads to Johnson City. It took an hour and 32 minutes. The first time I went up to where I was yesterday, six weeks ago, I came home the same way I went, the 81/79/96 route, and it took an hour and 40 minutes in both directions. So the back roads saved me eight minutes today. Which is good to know in the future, since I will be returning several times, weather permitting, in the next few months.
And after some trouble settling down after I ate, I did sleep from about 6:30 to 9:30. Three hours isn't enough, but it's better than zero, and my ass isn't dragging too awfully bad tonight. But I'm not going to lie;  9 AM can't get here fast enough, and I am not even going to try to get in some hours with the new program this week, not with the holiday. I'm going to get two days of time and a half working Thanksgiving and Black Friday; if they haven't moved me to the new program yet, they can wait one more week.
I spent a lot of time relating a lot of my early recovery experiences. It gave me reason to reflect again on just how much I have changed, and how different my life is, than it was then. And I am very grateful that I made the decisions that I did. The money I used to have is gone, and there are times when I miss the level of affluence I used to have. But the cost in every other sense wasn't worth it. I read many years ago that "American poverty is more irritating than anything else," and I have to say that, in New York at least, that's true; you can live a fairly decent and reasonably happy life without a lot of money here. And the level of financial security I used to have was not worth selling my soul over. I like who I am today, and I like the values I have passed to my kids and the way I model my life to those that pay attention. My way of life, both in the sense that I am clean and in the values and actions that I have, are not for everyone. But I am comfortable in my own skin, and I am confident that, even if I don't go to church or believe in explicit Christianity, that I live the way Jesus of Nazareth taught us to live, to the best of my ability. The rewards aren't material, but they are tangible and real.
It's a blessing to have full days, good friends, good kids, and to like what I see in the mirror. And to serve as a point of light to those that have struggled to keep drugs down.

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