Friday, April 23, 2010

2010 Resolution Recap

So, I was doing so well. I have been smoking since I was two days into my road trip and I want to stop the insanity. I am glad I quit December 31 and I will do it again. I am thinking that I will keep quitting. I am thinking of the other resolutions and the "gossip" one is something I have been doing fairly well with. I am accepting minimal new gossip (listening to gossip is as harmful as spreading it; don't let anyone else tell you differently). It is just so juicy; progress, not perfection! As far as learning a new language, I am intent on learning Italian and making new recipes, but I need to actually unpack my kitchen stuff in order to make new recipes. I believe I ventured to do one new thing this year and I moved to a new state. I am making some good progress here! More to come.........Come back soon!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Rocky mountain farewell: two decades of friendships in Denver, severely abbreviated as this is just a blog post.

I actually wrote this in parts. I wrote some of it during the move and some after the move. I only edited for clarity(if you can call it that) and spelling to the best of my ability!

It’s really obvious I can’t stand the work of moving and getting our house packed. I am not trying to be selfish. I am not trying to get anything material and just hang out here and eat at restaurants. I can’t stand this haunted house. I can’t stand moving stuff from one house to another. I have done my best to let go of about 100 books (and we know I love books) and 100 more trivial items of unimportance. I have done my best to leave things alone that don’t belong to me when I would rather burn them in a big bonfire (certain photos, certain checkbooks, certain books that don’t belong to either Jeff or me). I will let Jeff inherit the headache I have lived with when he comes for a very short stay.

The only reason I wanted to come to Colorado is to see my friends and the fellowship at AA. That’s not altogether true, I confess. I knew that there was going to have to be a highly organized approach to the move and the disposal of unneeded items. I knew that I was going to have to get as much as I could get done every day and fit in friends and get together around the move and around the BMW, which happens to be a very self absorbed car if I may say so myself. I have gotten some closure, but not in the way that I thought I would. The people I thought I would get to talk to more I haven’t really talked to. Certain people are so distant now, it really does not matter. Some never change. The people I knew I would get to talk to more have been there and I am blessed to know they are not going to just discard me when I am in Florida.

It’s so different than moving from Maryland. I had my family, which was hard enough, but I didn't have friends I was leaving. Just family and at 22 I was in a hurry to start an adventure. Here I have a completely different family, my friends. I had no friends really in Maryland, except several (if that) high school friends. I just can’t seem to wrap my head around the fact that I have been here for 17 years (it would be 18 years this Independence Day). That’s almost half my life. I moved to Colorado in 1992 with Bill. I lived on my own since 1995. I lived with two guys VERY temporarily and under very bad circumstances (lost jobs and the like) for less than several months. Other than those undesirable aberrations, I have been independently living in Denver as a single woman from 1995 to 2009. I have made friends before sobriety and since sobriety. It is so interesting that there is ONLY ONE friend that really still has kept in contact with me from back in Pennsylvania through the years in Colorado, though there were some absent years for whatever reason (and I really don’t care why);she knew me in college and in Colorado and did not reunite with me just because of Face book. We went to the Deadbeat Club on Thursdays and we both dated a Bill at one time. We listened to the Cure and other music we had in common and muddled through unreliable cars. Then she married her Bill and had a couple of kids while I was still out there dancing around and doing a lot of experimental living for the rest of the decade (90's).

I met a lot of people during my sobriety, some who really back stabbed me and some who stood by me and were very patient (some people at work as well as those in AA). I had the good fortune to become involved in a book club primarily with work friends. I don’t think I could have joined if my sobriety was not stable, so because of working on my sobriety in AA, I got to meet non alcoholic friends as well. Isn’t that ironic!! I am going to miss them a ton and I can’t wait to celebrate my last in-Denver get together this Saturday night. Finally, we get together without the ruse of meeting for some book discussion. I am going to miss that group and they should be glad for their wine collection that I never drank with them. I think the only one from the RMPC that I drank with never really was friendly with those book club people anyway! Thank God!And I couldn't forget Brandi at work, even though neither of us are there any longer.

Then there is my AA family. I really don’t know what to say. There are a bunch of people that fall into the following category: “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say it at all”. Then there are people that fall under the category of “if you have four friends like these, you are one of the lucky human beings on this planet”. I am blessed that I can name people in the second category. Remember, I am not naming anyone in the first category! But I bet you wish I would, you petty thing! I am not, however. So there! For those people I have been blessed to meet, I don’t want to leave Denver. I have this fear that I will never ever meet anyone in AA, in life, on this planet quite like the small handful of people I have met in Denver (AA or non-AA). I never had the social skills, in high school perhaps, to meet and maintain good friends throughout. So maybe I am making up for lost time. Maybe these friends with the exception of the one I mentioned above came at a time when I was capable of being a friend to them.

Like I said, I consider myself one of the lucky people on this planet. I can’t thank you enough, people of Denver, for making this such an awesome place to spend two decades of my life. I am going to name some people that had a positive significant impact on my life in Denver and I am only naming positive people that I have had repeated (read: too many late nights talking to start counting) beneficial interactions with, because really the list could go on ad infinitum. Due to anonymity, I am going to name only first names and specific references: Bill, Diane, a specific RN at OBHS, Brandi, Shireen, Vickie, Kim J, Bryan, Sarah F, Mark S, the guy who bought me to DHMC on my last night of drinking (I know his name but keeping this anonymous), Heidi, and every single sponsee I have ever had the pleasure of working with. There are a few others that I absolutely am not certain what I will do when I leave Denver other than hold them hostage in Florida. Just kidding. Kind of. I have made so many mistakes and have had so many experimental blunders in Denver. It turns out I had an experimental life. I turned it in and exchanged it for a spiritual one.

It’s obvious the death of distance had made 21rst century friendships more plausible across area codes; God knows, it has worked for me and Brandi and foreign land is only several hours away if I want to hang out with Heidi (and did so). The problem is the frequency of intimate conversations, just kicking it on the sofa watching Sopranos or Intervention, is minimized or even dissolved unless a sincere effort is made on both sides. Sarah and Steve are two people that I am going to miss so much. And guess what, in the beginning, the birth of these friendships, neither is one that I gave much mind to. Can you believe that insanity?

I met Steve at a time when I was not talking to ANY guy that I did not meet in my first year or so and was established friends with (like Mark S. or Bryan). I had apparently snubbed Steve a few times, not really talking to him outside meetings and did not really give him the time of day. I am pretty sure he thought I was a bitch. Then, at a particular 4th of July party in 2005 (yes, Steve? 2005?), I started talking to him mostly because he seemed harmless and didn’t try to talk to me. Give it up, I am no intrigue addict. Anyway, Steve and I started talking that night. I realized he would be more of a big brother kind of guy and for whatever reason, would remain platonic. I think that not talking to guys for a long time really helped me here. I really scored big, more than I would EVER know till now, by discarding my old behavior for an exceptionally valuable friend. I don’t know where to start with Steve, but I don’t think I have to start. I know he’s going to be around for a long time. I can’t explain how this friendship persisted because I know I have had my selfish and self-absorbed times. What I know about now and what I learned as a result of befriending Steve after a year or two of sobriety is that NOT every guy has to be my boyfriend and I can stay as loyal and true to my friends. That’s really I think the success there. When I mean loyal and true, these are important virtues to both of us. I am going to see more of Steve, maybe in Florida. I definitely hope I haven’t seen the last of Steve.

Now, as far as Sarah. Wow! What can I say about a best friend that has one of the biggest hearts of any human being that I could have ever come in contact with in one lifetime? I am not even going into detail about how we ended up being friends. My friends know by now. I would not even have the opportunity of having this woman in my life if it wasn’t for her over sized heart. Of all the years I have had in Denver, I did not even get to meet her until 2006. I don’t have time or space to even qualify this woman as my kindred spirit. There is no space here to describe how kind she has been when I have had a trillion emergencies. I just can’t go into it here. There are just not enough words. I have the worst confession. I wasn’t sure if she would want to move on and find another best friend. I didn’t have the faith. I knew I wasn’t going to even want to find another best friend. Then she told me she wasn’t going to even try to replace me. I felt awful that I thought she might. That I didn’t believe in her level of friendship. Is that awful? I wish she would move to Florida. I really don’t even know if I can go without her. I hope she knows that by now. Especially, since she has my furry sex and the city coat.

I love you Denver!

Safe and sound at home

 It has been 5 days adjustment, of Jeff and I being around each other all the time, of walking the dogs, acquainting Julie with Florida, etc. I love the warmth and I knew I would. There's also the adjustment period of becoming immune to the annoyance of the mosquitoes. I don't know how I will get used to that, but it beats shoveling snow and dealing with being trapped by snow. I will surely deal. I am looking forward to getting everything unpacked (that took me 5 weeks to pack, mind you).

I am still a bit nervous about meeting new people. I am so picky about who I am friends with that I imagine that this will be the largest adjustment period of them all. I haven't met anyone yet that I would want to hang out with at all (except maybe one person and I have only seen her once since getting back). There was another girl I had met prior to moving, but as she completely blew me off several times in February, I doubt seriously she wants to befriend me. I will make an effort, really, but I know I am not even trying to replace my best friend Sarah and others who know better than  to think I am just going to "make a bunch of friends" right away out here.  I have some options though, like a meet-up group and AA. We will see what happens. I am looking forward to engaging in my beginning Italian language text and a new interest in gardening, as well as a new start up company that I think I will try to activate after Independence Day when I get back from Texas.

I have written a little blog post that I will run next reflecting on my (almost) 18 years in Colorado. I find it fascinating I stayed in Colorado this long. I had no idea I would leave, that I would have this opportunity.  I am going to work on the reflection piece and then I promise to get more photos on this site of the house, the dogs and Jeff and me! See you soon!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

On the road...with Julie

So I finally got it all done! With a lot of help from Stacy, Tom, Molly Maids, my mother and others that I am sure that I am forgetting at this moment. Collaboratively, we got it all done with out me having to smoke. For now, I am going to be pretty grateful about that. Ask me later, on the road.

So two days ago, when I thought I was almost all done and my mom and I were getting the car all packed, Julie appeared out of no where. I have NO IDEA how she materialized because while Jeff was confident she was "around somewhere maybe with a new owner", most other people told me to resign myself to the fact she was eaten by larger mountain animals or was just dead because of all the cold weather. What faith I had! I was so happy to see her and I wanted to immediately go to Walmart and buy her supplies. Mom thought I was nuts to bring a cat in my crowded car as was Tom. Tom gave me a few helpful hints.I know cats hate travelling like this and I am almost positive she will sound like she is dying and she will carry on, but I will make sure she is walked (though I know walking a cat looks horribly ridiculous). While I realize that cats don't eat much while travelling, she has been getting food in her room at my house (and I am picking her up today). I have food and water dishes for her for travel and fortunately Brandi has been kind enough for me to bring Julie in her house. I have toys for Julie, catnip and I will give her a comfy towel or something to lay on.

So enough about Julie's travelling idiosyncrasies: let me give you my itinerary, in case I don't have free wi-fi. I have already entered each general city into my iPhone so that I know the weather coming into each town. I must buy a bathing suit as some of these places are seeming mighty warm and everything is all packed!

April 4: Goodland, KS
April 5 & 6: Staying with Brandi in Blue Springs, MO (right near Kansas City, MO)
April 7: Cape Girardeau, MO
April 8: Ridgeland, MS (just barely north of Jackson, MS)
April 9: Navarre, FL (just east of Pensacola)
April 10: after a 8 hour plus drive, I will be HOME in Englewood!

I am truly nervous about this adventure, but also extremely excited!!
If anyone has feline travelling tips, leave me a message on this site or email me; most of my hotels have free wi-fi and I will be bringing my lap top in every night.

NB: For those in fear of my directionally challenged ways: I have used mapquest, my iPhone and most helpfully, my GPS on my dashboard! I think I will be okay!!

I am going to miss all of you in Denver! Wow!! almost 18 years!! and 7 of them sober! How cool is that!!
See you on the road!