Finding Peace in the Process



The 'Burbs, Illinois,
January 18
Married father of two girls. Was a writer in a previous life. Drove a truck for 20 years. Trudging the road of happy destiny since 1987.


MARCH 24, 2009 11:41PM

Attitude adjustment

Rate: 31 Flag

     Thick white sox are peeled off, rather than pulled. I stand and dump the pockets out onto my bed. Change goes into a Starbuck's mug, along with pens. The cell phone needs to charge. I turn the Nextel off, silencing the familiar chirp which durng the day causes any working man within earshot to reach for his own Nextel. Blue work pants with extra front pockets slide off my legs, sometimes sticking to the tackiness of my sweaty feet. I give 'em a once-over. No mud. I fold them and put them back on the closet shelf where they sat 13 hours ago. The whole get-up, pants, tee shirt, work shirt, wind shirt, is a small load of laundry. If the pants aren't too trashed I wear 'em two days.
     I grab to small black book and step into the adjoining bathroom, where I do a quick shower, soaping only the pits, groin and feet. I have dry skin so I scrape the rest with a stiff brush to remove the dead skin cells. A couple of drops of shampoo are enough for my buzz-cut. I turn off the water and shake my head. I like to drip dry. Most of the water that used to go into a towel drips off into the shower tub in under two minutes. I use this time well. A couple of slow neck rolls each direction. I reach up with the left hand and pull the head sideways, trying to touch left ear to left shoulder, then the other way. Then chin into chest, then swivel the head back and try to reach the chin into the ceiling. I breathe in the lingering steam though my nose in long, slow pulls, then let it out in a hearty dragon breath, haaaaaaaaaaaaaa. If you were anywhere upstairs, you would hear me.
     I towel off my hands and grab the black book. It's daily meditation book called Twenty-Four Hours a Day. It contains short verses for every day of the year, but I always open to my favorite, July 31.
     Anyone can fight the battles of of just one day. It is only when we add the awful burdens of yesterday and tommorow, that we break down. It is not the experience of today that drives us mad. It is the remorse or bitterness for something which happened yesterday, or the dread of what tomorrow may bring. Let us therefor do our best to live but one day at a time.
     By the time I toss on some soft, dry sweatpants, I am a new person. I now look forward to my wife's return from work. We have a couple, three precious hours before sleep and I don't want to waste a second. It is so easy to forget why we exist. For toil alone, it sometimes seems. But this is never so unless we have been turned around and upside down.
     I lived much of my life that way. Even after I quit drinking. I changed from an alcoholic to a rage-aholic. A friend counseled me to start each day over after getting home from work. Always shower and change. No woman wants to sit across the table from a pissed off guy with his name on his shirt, just above the company logo. I realized I was so testy around dinner time because this used to be happy hour, and I was missing it. Though I truly wanted to quit drinking, I behaved like a small child whose toy had been taken away.
     I started doing my readings after getting home from work, and it's a habit I've never broken. The spouse of a recovering alcoholic may forgive, but she can never forget. She'd drive home wondering which drunk would be home when she arrived, giggly drunk, morose drunk, pissed off drunk, horny drunk or disappearing drunk.
     One day she discovered nearly-dead drunk.
     So, after much wise counsel, I determined to heed the advice of St. Francis, to seek to understand, rather than to expect understanding. I try to reassure her every day. Let her see a man at peace, a man who has put aside all thoughts of yesterday and tomorrow so he can share a few hours of precious now with the woman he loves.

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recovery, spirituality, peace

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I think of the sober men that don't extend this kind of thought or courtesy and see that you are way ahead of the game. As usual. Rated.
If that is not the definition of a spiritual awakening, then I don't know what is. Nice post. I like the way you write.
wish you could gift some of that calm and self control
Your last para says it all, jimmymacc. You've figured out how to cultivate peace in your life, and extend it to the life created with your partner. Now do a tour with Man Talks and you will make millions. The partners will kiss your feet.
Rated, for the words and, most especially, for the actions. Peace.
Thanks for the beautiful post and much-needed reminder . . .
"To seek to understand, rather than to expect understanding." I don't think I've ever heard the aim of life put so simply -- or so well. Thank you, I will meditate on that for awhile.
A little tea is always nice too.
Thank you for the reminders that the great maw of our addictions can be filled with peace, if we are willing to change. Peace.
Wonderful that you can really change. Commendable. rated.
Beautifully put Jimmy.....and the time is very precious..hold on to it so tightly...
Wonderful! I must say I'm envious. Your wife is a lucky lady. Rated.
You....are so well advanced, you know. You have evolved so beautifully into a true man.

You are very impressive.
I love that saying from July 31st. That's one everyone can use. And the attitude adjustment was absolutely necessary.
Two quotes for you, Jimmy:

"Any idiot can face a crisis, it's the everyday living that gets us."

"Armpits, asshole, crotch and teeth."
~Carlin on the necessities of washing
"Let her see a man at peace, a man who has put aside all thoughts of yesterday and tomorrow so he can share a few hours of precious now with the woman he loves." That's what it's all about man. Rated.
I look at cartouche's comment and see that I need to resolve to do better myself. While I'm not completely inconsiderate, I can see that there are times I don't drop the work baggage at the door. Need to work on that.
Peace and harmony, like everything else, are achievable if you're willing to work at it.

*rolls up sleeves and gets to work on it*

Thumbed for introspection.
I remember that book. I should find it again.
Forgot to mention, Mom use to call it a PTA bath, I'll leave the details to everyone's imagination out of respect for Mom
I am a believer that peace and good spirit spreads and this is a great example of that. I also always also think happiness is a choice. You are choosing it!

Love the writing too!
What a great image, to literally and figuratively wash away the day before starting your evening with Adele.
Wait, I don't think I meant image. I'm not a stalker, picturing you in the shower. :-)

Perhaps I meant symbolism? I don't know. My head hurts too much right now.
Ah, Jimmy. You sound so fine here.
An honest post for us all to read and admire.
Thanks for sharing this with us all.
The love shines in this.
Your posts and you are always a source of inspiration. Thank you.
Loving thanks to all who checked in. Wish I could respond individually, but it's time for another shower.
Ahh. Showers and meditation. Two great things that go great together.
whore's bath, ma used to call it. it's necessary when you don't want to waste TIME.

Sounds like you're learning how to value TIME.

I could learn from you.
Jimmy, I loved this, thank you.
Beautifully said Jim. You remain a stable force and inspiration for me (really).
I've said this before; I'll say it again. You love well. If ever there was an example of how to make amends, you are living it.
Unless you are really a serial killer and hiding it (you never know online), you are a really great guy...a great dad...a considerate, kind, romantic husband...grounded.
I need my jimmymac fix & keep checking your blog for new writing (It's May 1st). So, I am back, reading all your posts --again. You've got grit for words. More wanted. (Please post soon.)