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The Three Most Important Rules of a Career in Construction and the Trades…. Maybe Four.

Show up. If you simply show up on time, you beat 50% of everyone in your field.

Work hard. If you’re willing to work hard, not “the hardest of anyone who has wielded a hammer, just plain old hard, you’ll beat another 40%.

From there it’s just a fight at the top, You’ll always be needed.

Finally, remember this little nugget. Everyone who works hourly thinks management and ownership is easy and the brass is making money hand over fist on the lowly hourly guy’s back. This is because you’re ignorant.

Management is twice as tough as hourly, and ownership is another twice over that. I should know, I’ve done it all. And I stepped back a notch. On purpose.

Don’t believe me?

Strike out on your own and find out for yourself. There’s a general contractor out there willing to finance you… right up till bankruptcy. Then you’ll be on your own. Good luck, and remember how easy it was to make all that money when you’re heading into court. 90% fail. Most spectacularly.

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It doesn’t matter how one gets sober…

I read a great post the other day, and it prompted a comment. My friend wrote that he hadn’t originally sobered up for “a will to abstinence” but for “the fear of misery”.

Friends, I see this as splitting hairs.

Whatever it takes to get us from where we were to where we are is all that matters. The impressive part isn’t what got us to finally quit. It’s that we made it at all.

And good on us for it.  Enjoy it like it’s going out of style.  First, not many are as fortunate as we are, to actually find happiness after what we’ve been through.  Second, it shows others what works without having to say a word.  It’s the best advertisement there is.  You’re a living, breathing, walking miracle.  Own it.

I read another post that encapsulated it perfectly in a neat little quote:

“Most of us feel we need look no further for Utopia. We have it with us right here and now.”

Bill’s Story Page 16 of the Big Book.

I feel that on a daily basis. That’s not to say life is perfect, but from what I came from to where I’m at… it’s really, really, really super-freakin-awesome.

While We’re on the Doobage; Why, You aren’t “In Recovery” when You’re on the Dope Maintenance Plan

Trigger (heh) Warning: I use derogatory terms when referring to drugs and alcohol, of any kind. I apologize profusely if it offends you, but it’s a defense mechanism for me so you’ll have to get over it. It has nothing to do with you anyway, so don’t get me started. You have been Trigger (heh) Warned.

Bill Wilson used PCP early in his attempts at recovery. He was wrong when he relied on it, but some drugs were actually thought to be useful back then, for certain mental issues. Thankfully, a lot’s happened in the last 80 years and we now know that PCP is bad. That’s a period at the end of the last sentence. It has no use in modern medicine, even though it did almost a century ago.

Anyway, this isn’t important – it has relevance, though. Let’s get into the Doobage Dain Broner Maintenance System and Recovery. More important, let’s start with what recovery isn’t. Recovery is defined by the thinking heads as:

“Recovery from alcohol and drug problems is a process of change through which an individual achieves abstinence and improved health, wellness and quality of life.”

Sucking on a joint, pipe, or bong is the opposite of abstinence. Now, I’m going to keep this very simple; there are no medical benefits in the use of pot worth sucking in the smoke in the first place. Politicians allow the ignorance persist because they want in on the money and it keeps the electorate stupid and easy to manipulate. The only thing better for that than alcohol is weed.

Recovery from an alcohol or drug addiction does not include switching drugs to keep you sufficiently high. Again, for the cheap seats, getting high the opposite of recovery. This is not rocket science. Let’s try to simplify this a little bit for the tokers in the crowd: In your comment down below, when you try to explain that weed can be an honest part of a recovery program, substitute heroin for pot for me. Try to convince me that because my drug of choice was alcohol, I should be able to shoot up some heroin and be fine. Heroin is too strong? How about crack cocaine? Meth? A drug is a drug is a drug. My friends, that’s quite literally how stupid it is to believe weed can be a part of recovery.

So why do I care? I’m going to be my usual blunt self (pun intended). I care because every person who puts down the dope and actually embraces recovery is a life saved from servitude. Every person who sees the light and stops using has a chance at freedom from the bondage to their addiction.

What it isn’t is a care that a stoner is going to somehow sully the word “recovery” by claiming dope smoking is a part of a recovery program. I couldn’t possibly care less how ignorant you remain. So long as you don’t expect me to cosign that bullshit.

No chance.

My Physician Avoidance and Sanity Stabilizing Unit for Order, Thankfulness, and Levity…

I was down to my cruising weight about two months ago. Now I’m just having fun with it. I figure, why not get light going into Thanksgiving this year. Then I can simply watch what I eat the rest of the winter and I’ll be a lot happier, and lighter, next spring (I let this last winter get me a little bit).

I’ve been losing about a pound a week for the last five weeks since I had my yearly physical and I’ve decided to keep that up.  The doctor’s assistant called a week after the appointment and said my bad cholesterol came back a little high.  She also added that my ratio was good, I just had to watch what I was eating a little more closely.

I took that to heart, of course, and changed how I ate immediately.  I didn’t completely cut the crap tasty food out, I’m simply more mindful about what it is I’m eating most of the time The way I see it, I’m way too active to be a saint all of the time.

The prescription was pretty simple. Eat smarter, more fast miles. Rinse and repeat.  The results have been uplifting, if expected.

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Keeping fit, active, healthy, and most important, out of the doctor’s office and the prescription medication trap, is a simple equation on any one of my bikes.  (Eat well + get fit) x ride hard = smile more.

So that brings me to my Physician Avoidance and Sanity Stabilizing Unit for Order, Thankfulness and Levity… or P.A.S.S.U.O.T.L.  

Or pass you on the left…

Ride hard, my friends.  It’s  cheaper than the doctor – and I’d rather cough up the funds for the McLaren* of race bikes than fund my doctor’s vacation home… if you know what I mean

*Or a Ford GT40 if we’re talking about the Trek – if you know your car and race bike history, you know putting the two together is quite accurate, historically speaking.

 

 

The Ten Commandments of the Cycling Enthusiast: The Ninth Commandment

Thou Shalt Honor the Recovery Ride

Every avid cycling enthusiast rides too much… in the estimation of normal folk. And this, we know, is because normal folk are wrong. One only rides too much if cycling negatively impacts life off the bike and is greater than one hour a day during the week and two three four hours each weekend day, then, and only then, can the notion of “too much” be contemplated.

That said, this commandment is for the avid enthusiast who rides daily.

One should refrain from riding in a manner that is “all hammer all the time”. Doing so will surely result in injury, and be boring. Therefore, the ninth commandment of the cycling enthusiast; Thou shalt honor the recovery ride.

Enjoy your bike on occasion. Spin your legs a bit and enjoy the scenery that you normally miss because you’re in the hurt box, head down, tongue dangling precariously close to the spokes.

Your body, and your melon will thank you for it.

The one thing You MUST get right for Recovery to Work… if Your goal is to get Better.

Having seen more people come in out of the storm, then turn around and march right out to face down a tornado than I care to recount, I will let you in on the one thing I did right when I decided to sober up – about two weeks after my back was against the proverbial wall:  When I finally gave up and asked God to remove my desire to drink, I was entirely ready to lose that desire.  And after I asked, nicely, the desire to drink was lifted…

This is a scary proposition for newly sobered up alcoholics.  A number of reasons pop up that seem to make holding onto the notion that we’ll be able to drink successfully one day, necessary.  What will I do with the rest of my life?  How will I ever have fun?  Why can’t I just enjoy one drink like everyone else?  What about business prospects? How will I ever entertain people again?

The answers to those questions are simple:  I’ll enjoy my freedom immensely.  I hadn’t had fun drinking in quite a while, I was managing the decline as the saying goes, and the decline SUCKS!  I simply can’t.  I’ll figure it out.  The new friends I meet won’t need drinking to be entertained… but seeing those answers when we’re not out of the haze yet is almost impossible.

One way or another, this noise must be ignored, fought, pushed back against, relegated to the scrap heap.  The good thing, though, if you’re experiencing these thoughts, you’re close.  Your addiction is against the wall and it’s trying anything it can to get you to leave just a little wiggle room.  If you just take that last little step to pushing it down into the cage, you’ve got a real chance at meaningful, lasting, enjoyable recovery.  Freedom is close.

The one thing we have to get right, without fail, if we want to salvage a life out of what we’ve created, we must be done.

That’s the only thing I got right when I sobered up.  I stopped fighting to stay drunk.

One last point, now that we’ve decided to put the monster in the cage and be done; just remember, even though your addiction is in a cage, there’s no lock on the door.  Don’t get cocky.

Recovery from Alcoholism or Addiction is a Daily Reprieve

A blog I follow posts a daily reading from recovery literature and one struck my fancy the other day…

There are a few things I’ve done that have helped me live a sober, happy, wonderful life. One sticks out above all others, though…

If we are planning to stop drinking, there must be no reservation of any kind, nor any lurking notion that someday we will be immune to alcohol.

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, pg. 33~

I take the notion of hope for immunity to another level. Not only can I never achieve immunity, I can’t even hope for decency, happiness, or anything that remotely looks like success if I decide to consume alcohol.

If I take a drink, I’m cooked. Done. Stick a fork in me.

I will give up everything that is good in my life, in a matter of months, to stay drunk. Alcohol won’t take anything from me, by the way, dears. This is a program of honesty. I will give it all away. Freely. My health will follow, shortly thereafter, because if we know anything about alcoholism and drug addiction, it’s that the disease is progressive. It doesn’t take time off, it just lurks in the shadows for an opportunity to wreak havoc.

I am evil when I drink, so every morning I wake up and thank God for my daily reprieve from alcoholism… and for helping me to remember just how bad I was before I quit. I have done this 9,360 times, and with a little grace and another daily reprieve, today will be 9,361.

I also remember that which is second-most important; I can have all of that misery back, if I miss it. All I have to do is take a drink.

The lesson for the day; don’t fuckin’ drink, even if your ass falls off. Put it in a plastic bag and take it to a meeting. Someone will be able to show you how they put theirs back on.