Self Serve

When I was thinking about what to write about today,  I had this kind of split second flash that “I used to be a drinker”.  And almost couldn’t quite believe it.  I mean there are so many people that have so much more sober time than me.  But even so, in some ways, there’s a big disconnect between “then” and “now”.  Time wise, not so much- 2 3/4 years- or 32 months. 32 Months!! Wow! When I think of it like that, it doesn’t seem like that much.  But oh! It’s a lifetime.  I could list all of the positive things that have happened with this 32 month change of life.  But that would feel redundant. I mean, I’ve written about them as have so many people- much more eloquently than I.  However, having said that, I  have noticed a few things.  The first being that I’m really glad not to be drinking during this time of political upheaval here in the U S of A.  I’d be ranting (more than I do if that’s possible) and probably having crying jags every few days.  But there’s something else, and while I’m not sure it has to do with my sobriety, it might.                                                            It’s hard for me to articulate, because it’s so subtle. At least to me.                                         So, if you’ve read much of my blog (and I apologize for not writing more often recently) you know that I followed a dream and lived in the Mexican Caribbean for a time.  And while I moved back, because it was the right thing to do at that point, I still had a deep love for that little island that I used to live on.  I still continued to visit it when I could and keep in touch with some of the remaining friends that I have there. So, this past July I decided to go visit.  Mainly because my SO needed to go to London for the sale of a house he owns.  He didn’t want me to go with him because he didn’t want me giving him directions on how to clean out said house, attic, etc. Moi???  Ha!  So, I decided that I needed a break from all the crazy here-all the news-all of the awareness that there are so many people that are really fucked up making laws as that effect me and millions.  So, I decided that I was going to Mexico.  A budget trip. Well guess who wanted to come? My SO!  I was stunned as he doesn’t really like it there.  I was clear that I was only contributing so much and anything else he was going to have to pay for.  We weren’t doing anything fancy that might appeal to his London lifestyle esthetic.  He agreed.  So off we went to Mexico.  For 10 days.  We did decide to spend the last night in Cancun where we did all the fancy shmancy stuff he likes. I like it too-just wasn’t what I was thinking of in the beginning.  And, here’s the thing, by that last night I was ready to leave that little island.   That place that had been a part of me for so long.  The place that I thought was “the home of my soul”.  The place that gave me solace in bad times.  That place that I was in love with longer than any other relationship I’ve ever been in.  It didn’t do it for me anymore.  The love affair was over.  Yes, it had changed some in the 2 years since I’d been there-and not in a good way.  Not for me anyway.  Without listing all of the changes, let it suffice to say that for me, the energy no longer gave me the same feelings that it has for the past 30 or so years.  I was hyper aware of an almost constant party vibe.  Much of the cultural draw for me has been lost.  Have you ever seen that movie, “The Beach”? About a hedonistic place in Thailand?  That’s what it felt like to me.  I fell out of love.  (Funnily, my SO liked it more this trip than any other!  But he got what I was saying.)  And while there have been numerous things that have changed-as well as a huge growth in their tourism because of the likes of TripAdvisor, it was an undercurrent of something that just didn’t feel right for me.                                                                                                                                                  Would I have felt this if I’d continued to drink these past 32 months?  I don’t really know. Maybe-at least a little. But as much as that little island has changed, I think the main thing is I’ve changed!  And it’s been so ongoingly gradual, I haven’t really noticed.  I guess it was kind of like when you’re going to see the person you dated for years in college or an ex fiancée and then realize that there was absolutely no reason to get nervous-they’re not who you’d want to be with.  I feel lucky to have lived on that island when I did and to know it before it turned into whatever it is now. Lucky to have followed a dream of mine.  And grateful for all that it gave me.  But now, it no longer serves me.                                                                                                                                                            It no longer serves me.                                                                                                               Now there’s some words.  Kind of like-or exactly like- drinking my nights away. So here’s the thing to think about-and as I write this it’s not so much for you but a reminder to myself.  The goal is to have the consciousness to ask ourselves if something is going to serve us.  Is it something that will enhance our lives or something that will impair our lives?  Are we doing things to help our healing process along and enable us to live at our fullest potential?  Are we allowing ourselves to truly feel all of our emotions, all of our pain and discomfort as well as our joy?  Are we experiencing our best self?  Are we open to overcoming our fear of being who we really are?  Not who we were told to be by our parents, or family members or other facets of society-but who we are at our core-where that Truth is always patiently waiting for us to embrace it, to own it.                                                                      So, don’t be afraid to acknowledge when something no longer serves you. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a situation that’s not enhancing your life.                                                     Will I ever go back to that little island? I don’t know-maybe. Not anytime soon. It served me so well, for so long. And now, that love affair is over.  One more breakup.

Namaste❤️

 

 

 

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What a Waste

I had a totally different topic that I was going to write about today…but something else is bothering me, so ….

The son of a friend of  ours-really my SO’s- came to stay with us.  From the UK.  The parents are very old friends of my SO and he has spent a lot of time with them where they live in the country.  They go back “donkey’s years” as they say…Anyway, they have a son-32 years old- who still lives at home and is around whenever we’re there.  But the interaction is fairly minimal as he’s doing stuff-whatever that is.  Doesn’t really work.  He was in a band for a time and traveled around a bit with that in Europe-but nothing ever came of it.  So he really doesn’t work other than doing things around the property for money.  Kind of like when I was a kid and I had to earn my allowance.  Which stopped when I was about 15 and got a part time job after school..Which this guy has never done. And just to be clear-and set the picture, his parents are not wealthy, landed gentry.  Well, they do have some land-but they are not wealthy.  He is not a “trust fund” child.

Anyway, when he called or e-mailed my SO to say he was going to be here in Austin for a week and would like to stay with us-we said fine.  Almost immediately, I suggested to my SO that it might be an nice idea to treat him to a hotel one night in the downtown, music part of town. When we realized that the second night he would be here we were committed to “Ashram sitting,” which is another blog post, and would be out of town ourselves, we thought that the perfect night.  So we arranged it.  We also offered him my old, beat up van to use while he was here as well as asking questions about what he would like to do. To be honest, my thought was that he really wouldn’t want to be with us at all and would love the freedom a vehicle would give him, etc.  But, no he said.  He didn’t want to use the van. So, my SO left me in Brenham, Texas at the Temple of Compassion taking care of the 2 sacred Brahma Cows and came back to Austin to pick him up from the airport and spend the night.  The next morning, he took him on a tour of Austin and checked him into the hotel that we’d booked.  My SO then returned to me and the cows.

So, to make a long story not so long, the guy wasn’t at home when we came back.  My SO went and picked him up and brought him back-where he ate some leftover pizza he had and then crashed out.  I’m not sure exactly what happened that night, but I can guess that a ton of alcohol was involved… Fine.  Now my SO and I are not into going out-driving downtown, etc.  Trust me, I have done that a zillion times and I just can’t be bothered.. The most we ever do is take people to a place called The Continental Club-which is iconic-for the 6:00 show..Anyway, earlier in the day on Saturday, he said he wasn’t going to go out.  Was just going to sit by the pool or hang in the back yard.  Which he did. Drank 8 beers and smoked a ton of cigarettes.  All before 6.  Then he decided he would go out.  My SO said he’d run him where he wanted to go and he could get an Uber back.  Sunday morning around 11, I was just trying to figure out how to check the previous evening’s arrest records when he called and said he was on the way back-some guy he’d met the night before was bringing him.. While he didn’t say so, I’m sure he was hungover..the shaking gave it away.. He had some toast and juice to hold him over til we had our usual Sunday lunch.  Then he took a nap…passed out is what I would say.

We didn’t see much of him that evening and he didn’t want to go out the following evenings. Just sat outside and drank and smoked.  On Tuesday, he decided to sit by the pool in the morning and had 7 beers by 2:00 p.m. Then took a “power nap” as he called it.  I call it passing out.

He’s gone now.  Left yesterday to drive to El Paso (God knows why!) before going on to California for a couple of weeks and then back to the UK.  The thing is though, I have had some major buttons pushed and am not exactly sure which ones.  I never once wished I was drinking.  And I don’t give a flying f*** if someone else does.  And, as I watched him sitting on the patio, drinking, smoking and listening to music, I couldn’t help but think about how I did that every night for, well, donkey’s years.  So what’s bothering me?  I will say, that his interaction with us was very minimal. He never seemed drunk.  He was always polite.  Said “thank you” and “that was lovely”.  But I couldn’t help but feel that those were canned responses-the kind he uses to appease his mother.  Of course when I was drinking a bottle of wine on the balcony every night-it was after working a full day.  Being productive.  After having gone to the gym and working out.  Walking the dog.

Which brings me to the question of, is there really any difference?  Is there any difference between someone who’s pretty lazy and spoiled and abuses alcohol and God knows what else-and someone who puts in their shift and more.  Someone who still gets the laundry done, the shopping done, dinner on the table, earns a paycheck? Does that make that person a “better” abuser of alcohol?  More deserving? There’s a part of me that feels that he is lost.  He’s in some kind of pain-on a “soul-u-lar” level.  As is everyone that abuses.  I don’t know-I wanted to put a list in his suitcase that went something like:                1)Move out of your parents house  2)Move out of that podunk town 3)get a job-any job-earn your own money 4)interact with different people… Shit like that.  Although as I’m going over this list here, it occurs to me that I never thought about telling him to quit drinking.  Huh! I don’t know.

Don’t know why I can’t just say to myself, “he’s gone..” and just forget about it.  Something about his energy-or was it the energy of a person in that state that is upsetting to me?  I will say my SO even picked up on it.. I thought I smelled something burning yesterday and when I mentioned it, my SO said he’d lit some incense to cleanse the energy-smudge the space!!! Of course after that, he’s just moved on-and I can guarantee you he hasn’t spent any time analyzing the whole thing. My SO I mean.  But in my case, this feeling of dis-ease is lingering.  I know in time, it will pass.  As I write this, what has occurred to me are the words “what a waste”.  And, maybe that’s it.  You know, I try to not be a would’ve, should’ve, could’ve kind of person.  I also try not to dwell too much on  the cringeworthy things in my past.  I don’t like to think about the drugs I took or the moments I was extremely drunk in a public place.  I also don’t lay a guilt trip on myself about it all.  But seeing it play out in front of my eyes-and I want to be clear-this guy wasn’t acting like this because “he was on vacation”.  No.  This is his life.  He’s 32.  I’ll be 62 in a few weeks.  Less time in front of me than behind me.  And while I had a long drinking career, I’ve also lived a life.  Had a career.  Traveled.  Met a ton of people. Grew in many ways.  Could I have grown more and maybe been more successful if I had been sober the whole time? Maybe..Probably.. Who knows?  I’m not going to beat myself up with those questions. I also came into this world with some drive.  Some desire to accomplish.. I’m a worker.  Just am.  It’s in me.  I realize it’s not in everyone.  But being a witness to this guy’s behavior was very upsetting to me.  Because, as far as I can see, it’s a waste.  It’s sad.  Don’t let that be you.

With love