I just had my first encounter with another human being this morning. I spent an uneventful hour commuting, and now as I pass my fellow early bird co-worker’s cubicle on my way to the rest room I comment, “Boy, looks like it’s going to be a beautiful day today!  It’s already 46° and I hear it might get up to 65!”

Her face beams as she looks up and enthusiastically agrees. “Yes it is!  Can’t wait for my noontime walk around the lake!”

I respond as I’m turning down a hallway.  “Yeah,” I say, “where was all this good weather last Friday, you know?”  I’m referring to Halloween night, when it was 30° with a wind chill around zero.  She doesn’t respond, as I was already around the corner.  As I confront the row of sinks and mirrors in front of me I think, “What did I just leave her with?  I left her with bitching.  I left her with me bitching.  I started a conversation with the acknowledgment and shared hope of a warm weather day, she agrees, and then I complain.  About the past.  It’s like I was setting her up.

Unless I plan on returning to her later with a rejoinder, where we share parenting stories of how we got our children through the wickedly frigid trick-or-treating event, I simply tossed out a sour note for no other reason than it’s my way.

Well, that’s gonna have to stop.  Starting here, starting now.

Step 1: we admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.

For the longest time I worked this program under the belief that as long as I stopped drinking and continued to not drink, I’d get better in spite of myself.  But cutting out one aspect of my life, albeit the most destructive aspect, still leaves me with a ton of work to do.  Both in the starting and stopping, the tearing down and building up.

So I’m attempting to go holistic on the whole thing.  And by whole thing I mean me, and by holistic I mean no stone left unturned.  I need to eat better, stop smoking, cut out regular coffee, exercise more, sleep more, do more, enjoy more, live more.  It’s all chemical reactions anyway, right?  I need to scrape off all the gunk that’s accumulated over my connections, and reestablish safe base levels.  I’m realizing, not surprisingly, that I’ve never really been “in-tune” with my body.  It’s always just been something that came along with me, if you know what I mean.

Being physically aware.  Of my body.  I have obvious sugar sensitivity, and as I’ve gotten older, caffeine makes me start sputtering and shaking, and stretches a tooth-grinding rictus across my face that I can’t control due to involuntary muscle contractions.  If that’s not chemicals fucking around with the wiring, I don’t know what it is.

Be aware.  Be mindful.  Observe myself in my natural habitat.  Take notes.  Above all, be right-sized about my expectations, and always keep Step One first in my thoughts and first on my list of priorities.  It’s rare to see one like me in captivity.  Make the most of this daily opportunity.

I cannot afford to compartmentalize any longer. Trying to deal with my problems in a whack-a-mole fashion only leaves me with tired arms, a sore back, and resentments towards the five holes that did not present themselves.

Today: become fascinated with myself, but in a productive way.

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