Another Monday, another week beginning. The second week of school, the first week of September, less than two weeks before Steve and I’s fourth “anniversary.” It felt like fall this morning, the air cool and damp, the leaves just beginning to fade from green to gold. A good day.
It was an eventful weekend in many respects. First, we had our AA Speaker Meeting on Friday night, and it was an exceptionally good meeting. The woman who spoke told just the right amount of pre-AA stories, enough to give us a clear idea of where she came from, without turning it into an endless litany of drunk stories. She focused most on what she is like now, what her life is like, and those are the good kinds. After the meeting, I talked to a woman about becoming my sponsor, and she gave me different things to work on until we can meet next weekend. I haven’t had a sponsor in the traditional sense for a couple of years; instead, I have a small network of people whom I can call, and vice versa, when things get dicey (and yes, I actually use that network quite frequently). However, when push comes to shove, it isn’t enough, and when I feel like I have lately, it means it is time to sit down and work the steps (again). One of the things I need to really concentrate on right now is re-learning how to keep my own peace and serenity despite what outward circumstances are, and for me, the best way to do this is to get right back down to basics and start from the beginning yet again. I used to think, when I first got sober, that I would be able to zip through the steps and be done, that it would only take one time and I would magically be cured of the necessity for doing them again. However, as my life changes, as different things happen, I have found that the only thing that really stays the same is that I will have to do the work over and over and over again. I don’t want to drink again, and I don’t want to be crazy all the time, and this is a proven remedy for me.
Also on Friday, Steve and I talked about the money situation, and we both resolved to do what we need to do in order to prevent either of us from having to take on a second job. It isn’t easy for either of us to get used to this sharing of things, including money, and harder yet to talk about it. I mean, he contributes to the household expenses, part of him moving in, but we each have our own bills and pay them and neither of us questions what the other does with his/her money beyond the basic necessities. We have talked about the recent developments, of course, but hadn’t really explored the options in depth. So we talked, and we both agreed that our time at home in the evenings is really important-for all of us-and that we really need to be committed to honoring that. We talked about different budgeting strategies, agreed that for the time being we needed to simply pool the resources and get all the bills paid and what is left-precious little-is simply what is left. Being aware that living even more frugally is a short-term venture helps; this isn’t going to last forever, though things will be stretched pretty thin for a time. Funny, too. We talked about this and are on the same page as to what is truly important, and then on Saturday I found out that a child support payment was posted to my account. My personal belief in God tells me that because we as a couple verbalized that our time as a family is the most important aspect of the situation, He made sure that we will will be provided for (and I know that a lot of you don’t believe in that, and I respect that). Of course, it is money that is owed me; I just find the timing especially Divine. So things will still be tight, but not as tight as they were going to be, so that is good (and by the way, am I the only one seeing the irony in the fact that I will be using child support to help pay the bills that I wouldn’t have to pay were it not for the ex?).
Saturday, we didn’t do much. It was Steve’s Saturday to work, so the kids and I cleaned and did yard work and folded laundry. Eli had a friend over, too, so after we were done with chores, they set up his Rock Band game in the living room and treated me (I do say that tongue-in-cheek, thank you for asking!) to a lovely concert. This friend has the works; two guitars, a drum set, and a microphone, and we have a killer surround-sound system that they love; I just had to laugh at them all. Even Owen was getting into the act. After that, B. went home and Eli went to another friend’s house and the rest of us napped. I tell you, that was the best nap I have had in a long time. amazing how much better I sleep when the most immediate problems are if not solved then at least whittled down to a manageable size. After our nap, we had the family b-day party (that was supposed to be on Friday), and it was okay. Rarely do I walk away from one thinking, “Wow, THAT was FUN!” but yeah, it was okay. The pizza was great, anyway, and the kids had a great time; that is enough for me.
Yesterday was bittersweet; we finally took my dog in to be put down. Yes, it was a Sunday, but Steve knows the vet and he agreed to do it on a Sunday to save us $$. In fact, he did it for free, we just had to, um, dispose of the body. It was so hard. She hadn’t eaten anything other than some rice and warm milk for three days, and was skin and bones, but also very cheerful. We had to carry her to the car, and all the while she was trying to wag her tail and was whining; she loved car rides, so was as excited as she could get. She tired to stand up to look out the back window and promptly fell back down, which made me really sad to watch. Still, she wagged and licked up until the moment that she went, and that made me happy for her. We took her out to Steve’s parents’ house and buried her there. So, I am sad, and already I miss her, but also I feel glad for her; it was very, very quick, she was already pretty far gone, and it was very gentle. I would ask it be like that for everyone.
We took a couple of hours, Steve and I, and went fishing yesterday evening. Didn’t catch a blessed thing, but for me it never really IS about catching the fish. Don’t get me wrong, I really love the feeling of a fish on the line, but I like most the simple act of casting and reeling, the way the water smells and the lack of any noise but the birds and the water. It brings me back to myself, calms me when life is stormy, and I really needed that bit of peace. And I don’t know whether it was the fresh air or the lessening of my anxiety or the fact that I am taking action toward personal healing or a combination of all of the above, but I slept like the dead last night.
So I begin the week feeling better than I have in quite some time. Like I said, a good day. And really, sometimes a good day is simply a blessing to sit back and be grateful for; sometimes it is enough.