Gratitude Is Still the Attitude

eleanor roosevelt - discuss

Hello to all!

Hope this post finds everyone doing well. Yes, I have been gone for a while, haven’t I? No excuses; it has been far too long!

It has been an interesting year, and I began to concentrate on other things. While I have not neglected my recovery, I obviously have neglected this site. To those who were following me, let me offer my apologies. I will make a renewed effort to write more often in this, the New Year.

This year, like any other was filled with many obstacles I’ve had to navigate; some ethical, some social, some business, and some spiritual.

There have been times this year when I had to make decisions that have put some people off. This is unfortunate, but in the end, I did what I thought was right. Those that were put off can either do their best to see my perspective, even though they don’t agree, or, they can just be put off. Their choice.

In the course of writing, one has to be ever mindful of political sensitivities, as well as personal viewpoints. I have striven to write quality content that is honest, on message, without unnecessary distraction(s) in the outlets I write for. If something is not on point, relative to the story, and the message or theme, I do not bring it into play. In these outlets, I am writing for a specific community, and I see it as my job to be informative, honest, accurate, always moving conversations forward in a productive, positive way. I do not feel I’m be duplicitous by doing this; it’s my responsibility, above all to be professional.

On the social side of things, I have made some changes; some small, and others not so small. I have not been a person that gives with the hope of “getting something in return.” There are those who can not really do anything for me other than be positive, and encourage me. To some, that might not be much, but to me, that is huge! My greatest joy has been to help these people in whatever way I can, even if it is something small, but I know it means a lot to them.

There are others that have helped me in ways that I can not ever repay, tit for tat. As I am usually the one saying, “Don’t worry about it,” this has been difficult for me when I am the one that can not pay someone back, in whatever way. I am getting better though. And, it makes me feel good inside that people care enough to help me achieve my dreams and goals.

There are some adjustments I have made this year as far as dealing with people during the course of “doing business.” Naturally, if a situation becomes intolerable, and the relevant issues can not be resolved in a mutually acceptable manner, one must simply walk away, moving on, and be thankful for the lessons learned. Sometime however, it is not best to move on, if there is a possibility that issues can be resolved.

The biggest issue I’ve dealt with this year has been with people taking me for granted. (Yes, I know that sounds so self-absorbed, but in reality, it is just a matter of practicality, truth, and self-respect.)  In the past, I have given people the benefit of the doubt, but this year, for some reason, I am less and less inclined to do so. There are two ways this happens: Those who just get busy and caught up in their own lives, and those who consciously do it just to squeeze the most they can get out of someone.

If the person is someone close, and someone who is important to me, I’ll see what’s up because maybe there is some serious shit going down in their lives I was not aware of. If I can assist them in some way, and they want my assistance, I will give it.

If it is someone with whom I must do business with, then I am inclined to bring it up and discuss relevant issues. If there is no change, then I speak through actions, or more appropriately, lack of action. Just as silence can be deafening, and as Miles Davis aptly said, “Less is more”, I do not do the extra I had been doing before. I don’t pick up someone’s slack anymore. I carry my weight, and I execute my responsibilities to the best of my ability, but everything else is no longer my concern. (Yes, I am concerned about it to the extent I want it to work out well, but if it is beyond my control, I have to let it go.) And lately, I do not feel angry, nor do I feel guilty. I have worth, as do we all. That’s not conceit, that’s fact. So, for those who no longer value my efforts on the team’s behalf, I guess they will have to pick up the slack, or show me they value my contributions.

As for me, just as me, I have made some strides. On the plus side, I am meeting new people, learning new things, and visiting new places. My recovery is in a good place, and on the 26th of December, I celebrated 26 years clean and sober.

Things I need to work on: Quit smoking and lose weight. Learn more, do more, be more.

The best thing about 2014 is that I am ever more grateful for my wife, Teresa, who encourages me, kicks me in the ass when I need it, and knows me, and loves me anyway. Sure, there are days we drive each other batshit-crazy, but in the end, she is my best friend. I am grateful as well to have a roof over my head, food on the table, and the opportunity to write about the music I love. I am grateful for these past 26 years that I have had, which I would not have lived had I not sought sobriety and recovery.

So, in the end, Gratitude is still the attitude!

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