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2006-07-28, 3:28 p.m.

Day 705 Learner

From weaner to learner in only 8 hours. Spoke up at last nights meeting. Found out several of the attendees are journalers. Don’t know if it’s paper or electronic that they’re using, but journaling is journaling. Provided a nice avenue to explore.

So I fessed up about journaling. Explained how I started this journal as a way to keep track of how things were going with the whole quitting smoking thing. Went on with how it morphed into a getting fit, lose the weight journal. Now, with the quitting smoking thing going really well, the getting fit thing going pretty well, this is kind of transforming into a place where I bitch & moan about my wife’s drinking issues. (Hey – it’s anonymous there, I left her name out of it. Of course, for all you know, I’ve always left her name out of it.) I’m not real happy with that change. I know I should not be focusing on those things. The quitting smoking and getting fit were excellent diversions. Keeping fit is a bit of a diversion, but it’s become so second nature to me that I don’t have to try very hard. Takes little effort to focus on it, and the times I am out there working on it aren’t necessarily the times I need to decompress. The times I need to decompress the most are mostly when I get home from work and find the same old shit happening again. I get to feeling like I could punch my way through a steel door. Not a good way to be.


That prompted the kind of response I was looking for. Knew it was all in how the question was (or wasn’t) asked. Plus my own newness and former reluctance to speak up. Folks just itching to help, if I’d only let them. So, a couple folks shared some experiences. They also were amongst the journalers, but the journaling wasn’t the point of what they shared.

One of them related how he’d run into the same situation in his own recovery. He asked his sponsor about it. His sponsor got him turned on to the idea of doing something for himself – something along the lines of giving himself a gift. Didn’t have to be expensive, didn’t really have to cost anything at all. It just had to be something he could give to himself. Something he could use to decompress (a favorite word today apparently) and take his focus off of his own spouses troubles. When it occurred to him what he could do, he described it as one of those “d’uh” moments. Something so obvious (to him at least) that it was really quite simple and is also something he still uses every day.

Something to ponder.

Another contributor, whom I also talked with after the formal meeting for a bit, mentioned a different technique. She told me that rather than focusing on what Cindy has done to irritate, aggravate or enrage me, think instead about my own reaction. I was going to say ‘what exactly is it that she did that prompted my response’, but I think the correct focus is ‘what is it in me that is causing the response’. I think. Gotta read up on that one a bit. I know I’ve run across it in the little ‘good books’ in the past.

Gobbled up some food for thought last night. Time to digest it.

In more mundane matters, helped youngest one (Eric) and his future roommate build a beer pong table over the last week or so. These guys are serious about their beer pong. Heck, there’s even websites that list official specs for table dimensions, rules for play, starting leagues, the works. No doubt all this is fueled by college students and their voracious appetite for cheap entertainment and even cheaper beer.

Now, this table isn’t exactly a work of art, but it does have some neat features. It sports folding legs, can be broken down into two pieces for storage, includes latches for assisting in alignment when putting it together, and also includes some pretty substantial internal bracing to keep it aligned and stable when assembled. Total cost to date: about $60. Features still to be added include a large decal of the school mascot (Bam’s an art student with some connections – might get it free), possibly a spare ball drawer at each end, fancy, schmancy moldings to cover all the end grain of the pieces, and maybe something other graphic detailing to be included under the overall varnished surface. Water proofing, ya know. Apparently important in a beer pong table.

Believe me, the (irony?, coincidence?, hypocrisy?) of the two situations I included here doesn’t escape me. Building a mechanism to help a kid get himself and his friends thoroughly polluted, while the other side of my mouth is griping about the alcohol abuse going on in my own house. Don’t know exactly how I feel about that.

The abuse is being done by a person who knows better (don’t they all?), but who is also in the grips of a disease (please keep reminding me of that). For whatever reasons, she can’t yet step back and assess the situation as even her kids can see it.

Eric is a young man who’s at an age where the type of thing he’s planning on doing is part of the culture. To my knowledge, he doesn’t regularly abuse alcohol. He does enjoy partying with his friends. Waaay to many of us did the same thing back our college days. Am I concerned? You bet. But once he’s off to college, there’s nothing I can do about it. So I hope his mom is providing an good example of what could happen.

But you know? If he’s got the predisposition for an –ism, or any type of addiction (alcohol, gambling, nicotine, gawd, there’s soo many) it’s already too late. On the good side – he doesn’t smoke, likes to play poker with his buds, but doesn’t go nuts about it and doesn’t do drugs either. I like my odds do far.

One bad thing I just realized last night. I have about 5 Al Anon meetings left with this group. Then bowling starts, same bat time, same bat channel. I will not be giving up the bowling. That’s a me thing that I do as a reward for quitting smoking. I still don’t smoke, therefore I still bowl. So it looks like I’ll be looking up another meeting to hit up. I’d like to find one a little closer than the one I go to now. That half hour ride is getting hard to take, especially when there may be options that are more like 10 minutes or less. Only bad thing is the time. Most seem to start at 7:00. The one I attend now starts at 5:30 which makes it worth the drive. So convenient being right after work. The 7:00 ones will force me to go home, then come up with a reason for leaving again. Might have to confess. Wouldn’t that be a shame? No? Didn’t think so.

Updated stats:
Weight start: 206.5 on 1/1/06 (265.0 on 1/15/05)
Current weight 185.75 on 7/22/06
Next weigh in: 7/29/06

New target – 8/22/06 to be at 180 (my 2 year quit anniversary)

The Keep on Truckin goal: (idea stolen shamelessly from Marn’s Big Adventure)
Miles at speed 7/28/06: 589.23
Miles with cooldown: 648.02
Target for 2006: 1000 miles
Plus 45+ miles biking so far.

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old habits - new tricks