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

 

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Winners and Losers

As you may or may not know-I LOVE European football-soccer.  To be honest, I say that I started watching it because of “co-habitation”.  My SO is a Brit and has been following the same team for “Donkey’s Years”-as he would say.  Isn’t that a funny expression? I mean, exactly how long is a Donkey’s Year?  If any of you reading this are British, I’m open to being enlightened on this one!  Anyway, because it was a World Cup year when we first got together and he watched EVERY game, I slowly started watching it.  And then became hooked on it-if it’s a good game.  What constitutes a good game for me?  Well, great open play.  I always like a little drama-some yellow cards and maybe a red if it’s not a player from a team I’m supporting-so a little controversy.  Tough play-although I hate to see people injured or even worse.  An agitated manager on the sidelines is always fun to watch as is a good, interactive “12th Man”-which is the crowd itself. I’ve come to appreciate the almost balletic dance a great player does-some would call this dribbling with the ball-but to me, watching a fantastic player or a team that is in total sync with one another, is like watching a dance performance.  Of course the sheer athleticism of these guys is amazing-I mean they’re sprinting for 90 minutes. And of course, I love goals-especially when it’s my team scoring them-but I can appreciate a great goal no matter who made it.

At the end of every game-there’s a winner and a loser.  Of course, depending on the team or the game, the losers can be devastated.  Although, at times, a tie, can be a win for a team.  So while I have been watching football games this whole season-following both English and Spanish football primarily, I keep up with French as well.  And, as you may or may not know-aside from the English League or the Spanish League, there’s also the Champions League.  This brings together the top teams from each league in Europe.  While every game is important and winnning is winning- in addition to winning whichever league a team is in, winning the Champions League is at the top–because it means that team is the best in all of Europe.

I’ve seen one of the favorites-Barcelona (my first and foremost favoirte team) knocked out by Roma-a team who completely gave it their all and totally and unexpectedly, won that round.  I’m not sure they’ve ever gone that far in this competition.  I saw Man City-a team that has won the Premiere League and plays a really beautiful game, get knocked out by Liverpool.  I saw Juventes fans totally decimated in the first leg against Real Madrid, but still stand and cheer when a Madrid player made an AMAZING bicycle kick goal.  Then Juve regrouped and outplayed Real Madrid in the second round-only to lose in the last minute of the game. Talk about controversy!!!

Of course the players and managers of the losing teams were devastated-In fact, many managers get fired if they lose this competition. I wouldn’t have been surprised if the Real Madrid manager had been fired if they’d lost-in spite of having a good record.  This football world is brutal-to players and to management.  But in thinking about this, I think one of the things that, in spite of everything else I have gone into at length, that always strikes me the most is how an underdog can pull themselves up and win. How at times, even though they’ve “lost”, they’re winners.  How they can pull way down deep to do whatever it takes to win.  Under immense pressure.  And just as impressive to me, is how that team that lost-those players who feel they’ve let their fans down and at times are seen crying on the pitch after losing an important game, pull themselves together and go on.  They just start over the next day-the next game.

See where I’m going with this?  I read so many blogs where people are trying to quit drinking-or quit whatever it is they want to quit-and can’t do it.  Or they go for a length of time-sometimes only a few days or weeks, sometimes a few months or years and then, they’re drinking again.  Beating themselves up over it.  Feeling guilt and shame.  Feeling like a loser.  Let me say this- there are no losers!  We are all winners.  We all, just like those underdog teams have the capacity to pull it together and win.  Do we have setbacks?  Yes, of course.  We all experience setbacks in our lives at some time or another.  And that’s okay. Because a “setback” is just that. It’s a “check in progress”.. It is not a failure. It’s an opportunity to think about how to do it differently next time.  I have a friend, who has a horrible time when she goes shopping.  Me-I love going to TJ or TK Maxx-H&M-I don’t mind digging and really focusing and finding a good something.  But it’s too much for  her-and yet she keeps going to these places and they are just too overwhelming for her. So the other day, I pointed out that she needs to find another store or stores that fit her and how her mind works-say Zara. ( I know in the UK Zara is always crowded and with lots of stuff going on, but here it’s always nice and tidy and never many people in it.) It’s just about finding a “way in”-finding what works best with who we are.

While we may not all be elite atheletes, but I do believe that we all share something in common with them.  We can each and everyone of us be the absolute best we can be.  I believe that we are meant to be the best that we can be.  I’ve mentioned the “Soul-u-lar Level” before- that place that knows what’s right for us.  The place where our Truth lies.  It’s also the place that lets us know when something isn’t right.  Continuous discomfort about something is a huge sign that we need to make a change in our lives.  It’s a sign that we should stop being afraid to be the best we can be.  I also recognize that this can be scary, but trust me, so much will open up for you.  It’s okay to be the best you can be! It’s okay to excel at being you-in your own, unique, individual way.  Why?

Because you’re a winner!  We are ALL winners!

With Love