even our trees are wearing sweaters these days

So, here we are already one full month  into the new year, and almost halfway through the second. Holy moly, my Gramma was right, time does seem to pass at the speed of light with every advancing year. Last week I officially turned another year older and while turning fifty was epic and magical and a GOLDEN JUBILEE, now I will simply be, in my fifties. I’m okay with that. The other day while waiting in line at the grocery store I heard an employee say to another, “I’d rather be here working than in any cemetery in the world” and I had to laugh with the profound truth of that statement. I smiled and thought to myself “most days“.

So, someone at work the other day was talking about their elderly dog losing its eyesight and they mentioned getting a “proximity collar” for it so that it would be alerted and forewarned when he’s about to hit a wall or run headfirst into a parked car, say. All I could do was listen with piqued curiosity because, seriously, why wasn’t I wearing one of those in my drinking years? I had no idea such a thing existed and now I’m extremely disappointed that I never got to try one out. For the blind, AND the blind drunk, says I. The bruises I could’ve avoided in my lifetime would have been worth whatever the cost of one of those things.

Speaking of “the drunk” in plural, I would also like to throw in here that I now work with a lot of younger people and I’m stunned/disappointed/impressed by the amount of people who have casually mentioned that they don’t drink. I’m also a little embarrassed by my surprise. I have known for years, nay. . . DECADES that something was way wrong with my drinking but I assumed that most people imbibed, just less than I did, and probably way more responsibly. BUT THEY DID, is my point. Now, I realize I’m a product of the 1980’s and I grew up with the tainted illusions of excess that many of you did – ie; sex, drugs and rock and roll. These aliens that I work beside have no interest in the epic lifestyle partying that I was immersed in when I was their age. Of course, in my mid-twenties I was cruising the Sunset Strip and Venice Beach and trolling for parties, boys and booze wherever I could find them. Notsomuch these guys, these days. They are focused, career-driven and healthy. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging them any more than I would crucify myself for indulging. It’s just different. Of course there’s still the occasional college student who skids in the door a few minutes late with disheveled hair, sleep marks on their cheek, and stale booze still on their breath. I always tip my hat to them, though. I’ve been there, fella. And it certainly didn’t stop after college.

The days are flying by but staying busy is my sweet spot. The less time I have to ruminate and obsess, the better for everyone. I’m constantly wrapped in a gratitude tortilla and want to pinch myself on some days out of pure disbelief. Not to say things are always pink and sunny, of course, but I’ve noticed in sobriety that my highs and lows aren’t as dramatic as they used to be. My emotions are still very much an experience, but I don’t plummet and soar anymore – I stay pretty even keel, and that is a peaceful place to be. Maintaining that balance is challenging work and I’m certainly putting the effort in and seeing the results and that, in itself, is nothing short of a miracle for this gal.

So, I want to write more, and more often. I hope you’ll join me.

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