Head Down, Follow Through


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Insert own caption here (ha…he said “insert”)

Count me in as a duffer.

When I was in high school, my friends and I would golf.  Or, to put it another way, we would attempt to golf.  We’d hit the city courses, with our starchy collard shirts and rented clubs and we’d duff around the course.   Sometimes we’d actually get the ball in the hole, other times we gave up and inelegantly doctored our score cards.  Regardless of our final tally, we had fun.  It never entered my mind that this was something I needed to perfect or even improve dramatically.  It was something to pass the time and enjoy.

Years later, I picked up the game after a hiatus (yes – the golf world missed me terribly and mourned my absence), and found myself in a different head space.  This time I was going to take it seriously.  I picked up books on golf.  I subscribed to golf magazine and watched the Golf Channel endlessly.  I even plodded through the late-night informercials,  considering buying the most outlandish Victorian-era looking contraptions to lower my enormous score.  If it was golf-related, I was on it.   So one would think armed with all this knowledge, and hectic golf schedule, that I would have improved greatly.  That I would soon be hoisting some amateur cup and setting my eyes towards the horizon of a semi-pro lifestyle.

Hardly.

This is obviously made up and just ridiculous. Clearly his hooves should be more shoulder width and his horns facing North and South, with a more relaxed grip. Especially with a driver club.

The problem with all this knowledge was that so much of it was contradictory.  One school of thought collided with another. The intricacies of the motions were broken down into such minute detail, it precluded any sort of natural rhythm and invited over-thinking at all points of the swing.  Add to that any anxiety and expectations (there were always expectations, of course) and things broke down quickly – mechanically and mentally.  In the end, what was supposed to be a fun and enjoyable couple of hours ended up being, as Mark Twain described golf, “a good walk ruined.”

I was guilty of being like this in my recovery as well, except that it was the other way around.  When I first got sober, I was very much concerned with how other people were doing it.  I was very much concerned with how I was approaching recovery and working the 12 step program.  I was very much concerned with where I was in the pecking order of things.  It was an offshoot and continuation of comparing my bottom to other people’s bottoms.  This time, that debilitating and soul-crushing game of one-upmanship and one-downmanship sneaked into my recovery.

I used to leave meetings in a huff, because I felt that I wasn’t doing it as “well” as everyone else in the room.  As if I took a poll and I came out last.  Typical alcoholic thinking, yes?  Typical of me, at least.  Assume the worst and plaster that pathetic placard on everyone, whether they like it or not. I used that as the wet noodle that I lashed myself with.  I used to think that everyone else was on a magic carpet ride, and I was just the crumbs between the movie theatre seats.

Am I doing this right?

Am I doing this right?

So instead of just letting go and allowing the process to fuel itself and to trust the process, I casted doubt on everything. I had to get worse before I could get better.  Like my golf swing, I over-thought everything.  I looked around the course to see what others were doing.  I saw people riding around, laughing, patting shoulders, high-fiving, enjoying the sun rays.  I gazed on that and created stories about how crappy I was and how piss poor the putter in my hand was rather than just focusing on myself.   I looked at their scorecards while ignoring mine.

I compared my insides to their outsides. This sort of self-sabotaging sepia toning of my serenity and progress cost me lots of peace and centeredness. My need to know where I “was” in the grand scheme of things was like a small piece of thread on a sweater, continually pulling on, slowly dissolving and dismantling it. Instead of looking at where I was in my own progress, I turned my eyes and ears elsewhere, on everyone else’s journey, rather than looking at the path ahead.  I mean, no one was looking at my path, so why was I putting so much focus and attention on theirs? Once again, ego was at play.  But in one of its mangled forms.  I was over thinking it all.  I wasn’t allowing for the natural flow of my recovery come to me.  I was trying to twist everything to make me come out on the losing end of things.

Except that this wasn’t a game.  This was my life.  Of course there were things I had to do, to take care of.  I wasn’t going to get well just lying in bed all day and taking no actions.  But I had to make sure that the actions I did take were aligned to something greater and positive.  Aligned to getting well, and not throwing tacks on the road for me to step on later. And the result of me trying to compare myself to other people’s recovery?  Misery. Angst.  Depression.  Tears. Walking out of recovery rooms.  Walking out of the Creator’s view.  Taking my will back.  Whenever I thought I wasn’t “doing it right”, I had those old thoughts of not being good enough.  Of being a loser.  Hell, I couldn’t even do recovery well…what was the point? What got me through this all was just the sheer force of despair.  That pushed me through all the fear.

So wrong it's right.

She’s aligned to getting dinner ready.  So wrong it’s right.

I remember being on the golf course one day, and I was paired up with an older man.  He was playing what we call “old man golf” – slow and steady 100 yard hits, a pitch and a putt and off to the next hole.  Probably shot his age – 80’s.  Commendable stuff, especially for a bean ball player like myself who averaged 110-120 shots per round.  This man saw my struggles and told me very gently – “keep your head down, and just follow through.  Don’t think about it.”  And when I quieted my mind and allowed the flow of the energy to go through my body and mind, the ball went on the trajectory it needed to go on…or at least not nearly bonking someone on the head.

And that is how I see my recovery life now.  I have some old timers and those who are healthy tell me the same thing, in other ways.  When I am struggling, I have the soft, gentle voices of those men tell me “keep your head down, and just follow through.”  When I stop the internal strife and second-guessing, there is clarity.  And that clarity and connection with the Creator and others is what keeps me on the right trajectory.  When I just allow the process to go ahead unimpeded by my monkey mind, things go well.  I am par for course (sorry, will try not to keep the lame golf analogies going!)

My monkey mind's friends are all out to play.

My monkey mind’s friends are all out to play.

My old timer friend John once told me that I was “scrupulous” (I wrote a post about that here) when I talked about this kind of thing.  And while it can be a good trait, when it comes down to recovery, there is no need for that.  I can be accountable, responsible and willing, but I need not conform to some blueprint that is impossible to adhere to. When I remove myself from mulling crap over and over again and just doing what I am supposed to do and leave it at that, boy does life get simple.  Sometimes it’s just as easy to stand, address the ball, swing the club and move on. That’s it. When I try to have greater designs on my life, that’s when it goes into the woods or into the water.

Recovery is not a competition, nor is it a spectator sport.  I’m in it for the long haul and I have to keep my eye on the ball, so to speak.  Over-thinking the whole thing brings me to confusion and invites unwanted damaging thoughts.  My recovery is my own, and as long as I remember that no two journeys are the same, I will continue to stay on the course.  Of course I will hit errant balls around, but that’s okay.  I have my Caddy with me, and He will always guide me.

In this whole game of life and recovery, count me in as a duffer.

Crisis?  What crisis?

Crisis? What crisis?

 

 

37 responses to “Head Down, Follow Through

  1. ” Over-thinking the whole thing brings me to confusion and invites unwanted damaging thoughts.”

    This has been me in the last few weeks. I see others making progress and am so busy trying to figure out why it isn’t me smiling and laughing. I’m trying to stay positive and just go with things, but I can’t help wondering when is the day going to come where I don’t have to keep reminding myself of that.

    I think I will read this again tomorrow morning, before I leave the house, and start the day with these thoughts and reminders.

    Thanks as always for sharing your insight and journey with us.

    • So inspiring, Paul. So applicable in so many ways. I’m an ‘over- thinker’ too, and it is as close to insanity as I ever want to get. I remember a counselor telling me it was like my analyzing was on steroids..and for a period of a few weeks, I wasn’t allowed to think or process my life. Just be. Clarity, like you said, comes in those times when we aren’t trying so hard. The happiest and most peaceful times in my life were when I just lived in the day and trusted God for whatever would come or not come. One day is really all we can handle. Thanks for sharing!

      • Thanks Kate for the wonderful comments. I like that idea of staying in the present, and that is the goal for me. It’s not easy, as we are easily transported to the past or to the uncertainty of the future, but like you said, once anchored into the moment, and then to the next, there is no conflict in the present (thank you Mr. Tolle). Our minds are wonderful things, marvels of nature, but they can also thwart us 🙂

        Thanks for being here – really happy to see you 🙂

    • Sorry to hear that you’re going through these things, J. I have gone through this, and yeah, still do at times. I keep wondering at times if there is something that I am missing. But then again, I wonder if others are thinking the same. Actually, I do know that because I hear so many people share at meetings and out here and we all seem to have those fears and questions at certain times. Knowing that we’re in this together is a big consolation for me, and it gives me breathing room.

      Hope you’re giving yourself some breathing room 🙂

      Paul

  2. First….the new look! ROCKS!

    Great post as usual…so much here.
    I write a gratitude list every day and I finished it before i wrote this. One of the things I was grateful for was that every experience i have had makes me uniquely qualified to help another. I had lunch with a newcomer who had a son die at 8 days old, who doesn’t believe in God, who just wants to know that it will get easier, and who cries and rages in equal measure about WHY she cannot drink.
    I had a different kind of death, but otherwise she is me….no surprise I was talking to her.
    I questioned everything, I believed nothing, I fought and complained and yet I also kept doing the next right thing….took the next step all along the way to get to the place that I am today in my life and my sobriety. Others journeys were not mine, though I could identify.
    This was my life i was saving, my sobriety I was working for and however that happened was exactly the way it was supposed to, for me.
    I don’t question that shit anymore….I consistently remind myself that while others can help me, only I have my own path, and yes, that overthinking is my enemy. It’s such a load off, to lean into that.

    I’m a duffer too, and very grateful for the occasional mulligan!

    • Hope this is okay, but I will reply to MishedUp at the same time I am replying to you, Paul.

      Just wanted to say that I loved this comment, and what a powerful story about the newcomer. I am going to take the words “every experience I have makes me uniquely qualified to help another” with me. Loved this!

      Paul, I too love the new look, it’s edgy and cool, just like the author! I can so relate to the subject matter here. I have been caught in the “who’s doing recovery better” game here and there, but for the most part I can bring that back to center pretty quick… Am I sober? How’s my relationship with God? Good, then I’m good!

      Where I have had some trouble, and I think I wrote about this on your post about Robots (still mind-blowing information!), is in comparing my blog to the blogs of others, and boy has that had me in a funk from time to time. Still embarrassing to admit, but still true.

      I can do it with all sorts of things, but in the end, it’s back to what the old-timers like to say: comparing self to self. And when I do that, boy the gratitude list would be never ending!

      Thanks for this uplifting post and comment!

      • It certainly was a powerful story, wasn’t it? My goodness. Amazing how gratitude goes side-by-side with something like that.

        “Am I sober? How’s my relationship with God? Good, then I’m good!” Well, that says it all, doesn’t it? That’s what is most important, Josie, and I have to remember that when I get caught up in self…where is God in this whole picture?

        As for the blogs, yeah, I can still get caught up in that sometimes. Not as much as I used to, to be honest. On the other hand, I have seen some huge blogging “giants” leave and not much is said afterwards…not that they aren’t missed, but life goes on, and new blogs pop up all the time. It’s pretty fluid, so I keep that in mind when I get caught up in it all.

        Self to self…sounds simple enough that it just might work 🙂

        Thank you for the wonderful comments Josie 🙂

        P.S Thanks for liking the new digs. I sometimes need to freshen the paint up around here 🙂

    • Thanks M! It’s a different style, that’s for sure. Wanted something a little different around here 🙂

      I love your story there. Thank you for sharing it. I notice that a lot of folks do question this whole thing, and when they try to find the loopholes and over-intellectualize it, they are avoiding. BUT, as you mentioned, those who continue to just do the right next indicated thing, are the ones with a greater chance at making this deal. I think you are right that you and her were put in each other’s paths for a reason (so sad to hear about her son). I guess the ultimate question is “why me?” which is often countered with “why NOT me?” Hard shit to take, no doubt, but leaves room for some healing.

      Thank you for this…got me really thinking this morning.

      Paul

  3. “When I stop the internal strife and second-guessing, there is clarity. And that clarity and connection with the Creator and others is what keeps me on the right trajectory”

    LOVE this. So true. I attended a workshop once that was called something like “heart therapy”, and it was all about getting in tune with what your heart wants, and learning how to recognize that internal calling, instead of listening to the incessant nattering of the mind. What you wrote there reminds me of this. It’s hard sometimes to isolate it but it’s the voice or feeling that knows what’s best for you. Call it your heart, your inner guide, spirit, or God… but everything else outside of this is just noise. Thanks for this reminder!

    And, I love the graphic! Hope you’re well 🙂

    • You’re right – it’s all noise! But we have heeded to that noise for so long, that it takes time to learn to separate the wheat from the chaff. I still am learning, but I have a pretty good feeling. Intuition, as that heart therapy probably explained, is pretty strong. And we instinctively *know* what is right and what isn’t. When I pay attention to that voice (which often asks me to do things outside my comfort level), things go well in many ways. When I go against it, I am into ego and things aren’t so great.

      Thanks Lee for the wonderful comments…

      and I am fine – how are you doing?

      Paul

      • I’m doing pretty well, Paul! Still here. Sober. Grateful.

        I agree with what you say- it takes courage to listen to intuition I think because we’ve become so conditioned to external beliefs, ideologies, discourses, etc. It’s hard to separate and weed out the truth sometimes. but, practice practice practice.

        best, lee

  4. To be in this present moment is to know serenity, peace, and I keep forgetting life is what happens while I am busy making other plans.

    • Well said, JR. I couldn’t agree more. Need to practice more of that goodness. Not getting wrapped up in tomorrow or yesterday. Not always easy, but gets easier the more I practice it.

      Thanks for the insight and wisdom, my friend 🙂

      • Thanks Paul. This song helps remind me of what it’s really all about, and what good folks like you and others are trying to remind us hardheads.

  5. Hi Paul, I’m taking this away with me. Today is day 27 sober for me. I spent my first 4 days in a hospital and when I left, it was the first time in years that I didn’t want to drink. At the same time, I was daunted at the prospect of not drinking forever, and started to over think. On day 7, I emailed a friend and told him I was “only” 7 days sober. He told me that 7 days was big and not to sell myself short. You know what? He is absolutely spot on. I consider each day without alcohol a victory. I may not have the longest time, but it is my time, and another day I’m not poisoning myself. Thank you for this post.

    • Congrats in day 29 (as of this writing) I have made a few hospital visits because of the drink too. I know how that feels…and it’s terrible. Crushing guilt and shame too. The worst part is being in the place where I can’t live with the drink, and I can’t live without the drink. It’s a dark and frightening place.

      Your friend is right. There are some guys who can’t string more than a few days ever. And some of them die, bottles strewen about. To have the time you have is a gift. The time we all have is a gift. Grace from the Creator. Or will. However you want to see it, it’s a good place to be. The bigger thing is staying there, my friend. That’s where the work was for me until one day I woke up, like you, not wanting alcohol.

      We don’t have to let it be the way it was. There is a whole new life out there. It’s a beautiful one. Sure there are tough times. Life doesn’t stop because we get sober, but we learn to be in this world, living life on life’s terms.

      Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you. You can email me at: carrythemessage164@gmail.com

      Peace and blessings
      Paul

  6. Sometimes I have to kick myself so I don’t get stuck in the nitty gritty. It’s so important to put things in perspective and see the big picture… Cliche I know, but at least I don’t make myself miserable! Great insightful post as usual Paul. 🙂

    • It isn’t cliche. Or maybe it’s often said and not practiced…and that is something I am guilty of. When I see the other folks in recovery and in general life who are truly struggling, it puts things in perspective. Not in a “better them than me” way, but of “thank you”. We may not see it, but there are millions on this planet who would kill to have our lives.

      Just sayin’

      🙂

      Thanks for being here
      Paul

  7. Phew! I’m so glad I’m not the only monkey mind in the world :-).
    Hey you, great post once again. I could relate to so much of it. And I’ve never been an alcoholic, but I have had to overcome a whole ton of destructive thinking and wrong mind-sets.
    “I over-thought everything.”
    –Me too my friend. I sooooo know what that’s like. Thankfully, I think I’ve come to a place of maturity enough to stop being so intense with my over-thinking. But then again, maybe not. We’ll see.
    I loooooovvvvve your photos and captions. Your humour is hilarious Paul. I really do laugh out loud. Really.
    Hey, listen, I will be in Toronto all day on July 21st at the Travel Lodge near the Toronto Airport. I know it may be a longshot but I would soooooooo love to meet you. If you have the time to come and visit, I’d more than LOVE to meet and talk. At any rate, if that’s not possible, maybe we can talk by phone. You could always email me with your number if you;d like to chat for a few minutes.
    Let me know ok.

    Blessings and big hugs.
    Staci
    p.s. Have you been following the World Cup? Brazil is still in. YEAH!

    • Over-thinking isn’t sole territory of the addict and/or alcoholic! We all do it in one form or another. So don’t need to qualify to have that resonate! We all have our monkey minds 😉

      Yes – so excited you’ll be in the big city!! I don’t have my schedule yet, but should know in a few days. Very exciting. And yeah hopefully we can meet up. Phone call at the least. We’ll make it happen 🙂

      I’ll email you the deets. And perhaps you can autograph my laptop from your podcast thing you did not so long ago 🙂

      Toodles

      • Hehehehehe. Huge smile on my face right now.
        WooHoo! I’m so excited. Even if we can’t connect in person, a phone call would be so cool. Definitely let me know by email ok.

        Lol, autograph your laptop? I’m so flattered.

        Btw, I love that expression, “monkey mind”. I’ve called my son a monkey man before. But that’s because he’s a climber. I remember when he was a toddler. He would scale the bus stop shelter thingy.

        Later 🙂

  8. Lovely thought provoking post, Paul. I am an over-thinker, too, and a comparer. And it is so unhelpful and unhealthy… and I know it and I still can’t help doing it. Obsessing about all the things that it’s not about – ruining a good walk. Like with my blog, I keep looking at the stats and then asking myself, why? For me, it’s about communication and reaching out to people, and I am so so grateful that I have found this community, it’s not a numbers game. Even my drinking, I’ll worry that I didn’t do it “properly”. (How mad is that?) It’s not about what other people do or did, it was about how I felt, how much I drank and that I needed to stop… why do I obsessively read about what others do? Houses, jobs, kids … the comparing game never leaves me happy, or a better richer person, but rather it hollows me out. I try to catch myself when I’m at it….

    • Good that you’re catching it. Often we did that whole game you outlined so well there and had no clue we were doing it…then wondered why we were miserable, and hey wouldn’t a glass of wine help with that??

      I will be honest – there were a few times I thought of shutting this baby down for various reasons. none of them particularly noble. So I understand what you mean. But I moved through the comparison thing and still try to, and in the end I find some great things that do come. It’s been a lot of fun doing this, and now have returned to the point of this blog – to just share my thoughts, insane or not and hope that they resonate with others. that’s about it (and love learning from the comments too – I *always* need to see that I am not alone).

      Hope you are having a wonderful weekend 🙂

      Paul

  9. I read your post last night and the words continue to jump out at me this morning. I have a lot of trouble not giving into my thoughts because in sobriety I am experiencing so many new feelings. It’s a vicious cycle and I’d like to get the monkeys off my back! Today I will try to keep it simple…stand, address the ball, swing the club and move on. That’s it. 🙂
    Fern

    • Nice to hear you keeping it simple, Fern. I am not a fan of slogans, but Keep It Simple does have merit. We can complicate a toothpick, as they say, so when I quiet the monkey mind and allow the process to happen, unimpeded and without judgement, then I am putting my will and my life in the care of God as I understand Him 🙂

      Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.

      Paul

  10. Hey Paul
    Thanks a lot for the share. You are helping me today.
    I recently read this somewhere. “I have 89 problems and 86 of them are completely made up scenarios in my head, that I am stressing about for absolutely no logical reason”. Dude, I still have verbal arguments with people while I am alone in a room. I’m yelling at people who aren’t there, and I am answering back what I think they would say. You see, I’m sitting home alone, nobody else is there, and I am manipulating conversations in my own head, and sometimes even throwing in lies to make my point. That’s whacked, right? Manipulating, lying, telling people what I think they want to hear, and doing just about anything to get my own way is my natural state of mind.
    Do I still do it? Yes. Do I know better now? Yes. Do I try to stop myself in the moment? Yes. Am I always successful. Nope.

    When I was a few years sober and been through the steps, something’s got better right away and some things pretty much stayed the same, or even got worse. I was under some kinda impression that god was going to remove all these defects and that my whole life was gonna be peachy all the time. I didn’t get that whole progress, not perfection thing. And here I was in meetings, feeling like a fraud if I told the truth on how I was still feeling, and feeling like a fraud if I did not say how I was still feeling. Here I was, still manipulating, trying to get my own way, and caught in the middle. A very crappy place to be. And talk about un grateful. Here I was sober more than a couple years, had gone through the steps and trying to practice them, and the compulsion to drink was completely gone. Here I am an AA success story, and I am feeling whack sitting in meetings not wanting to lie and not wanting to tell the truth either. So what did I do, besides talking to my sponsor about it. I did what comes natural to a self centered person. I stopped sharing, I declined every opportunity to tell my story and I eventually stopped going to meetings. More than a few dry years went by and I was seriously contemplating eating a .38. Don’t get me wrong, I was completely honest in my step work, and always have been. But I still felt like a loser because I wasn’t perfect, I thought god let me down and morbidly I concentrated on the bad stuff instead of being grateful for the good stuff. It takes what it take Pauly. It all happens for a reason.

    • I was laughing at first there Mikey because I get what you were saying. I am guilty in having an argument with someone 30 times in my head, all played out in different ways (with me always winning, of course), and then not having it materialize in any way, shape or form. Wasted energy, anger building up in my bones and like you said, playing manipulator once again.

      “I am feeling whack sitting in meetings not wanting to lie and not wanting to tell the truth either” Yeah. guilty of this at times, especially in early recovery. Then again, I would tell my morning group that I felt like jumping in front of a train that morning, and some would come up to me later and tell me that they felt the same at some point…so man, did that make me feel better. It was later on (and sometimes now) where I felt that I had those coins jingling in my pocket and that I wasn’t in so much pain and that a good “share” was more important that telling on myself. That is where it gets slippery for me. thank God though for my sponsor and the before / after meetings at times. If I have a burning desire, it goes there.

      I am still fairly new to this recovery and life living thing. I know that things come when they are supposed to, and as you say, it takes what it takes. I will hit bottoms in sobriety no doubt, and they will serve as learning moments. Tea time of the soul kind of things. But knowing that I will get through it…well, that’s the part that helps most. Talking to others at meetings and hearing them share…wow, do I realize that I just a garden variety drunk and just another soul on the planet and beyond.

      Thanks for all that you do, Mike.

  11. I hear ya Paul. I’ve been over-thinking the whole journey recently too and it just makes it painful. Lesson to self: just do it – don’t over think it! 🙂

    • Nike had the slogan down just right eh? just do it. Well, I can do my best to get behind that one, you know? Best when I just don’t think about stuff. The world is a safer place that way 🙂

      Thanks for being here, Lucy!

      Paul

  12. Comparing myself to others happens inevitably when I’m in a new and uncomfortable situation. I try to see it as a sign that at least I’ll have the opportunity to grow if I stay on track.

    And this is a complete aside but I wonder who dressed all those monkeys and how long it took. I did just think “I could never do that!” Comparing myself about imaginary monkey dressing, apparently.

    • Comparing myself is one of my greatest defects of character, Kristen. I am getting better at it, or at least I am catching it sooner and doing what I can to break out of it. Some see that situation you talk about as a challenge. You see it as an opportunity to grow. Some of us fear it. And when I am on board with the first two, I am usually okay. It’s when I get to the last one…that’s where it goes pear shaped.

      As for the monkey dressing…oh lordy lordy…who knows. They apparently have the time AND desire to get it right. More importantly – where do you buy monkey clothes??

  13. Over thinking, perfectionism – I’m recovering from them both! I tend to want to be the poster child for anything new I start. I want to be the best at it and if I can’t, I won’t do it at all. At least, I used to be that way. Not so much anymore but the pull is still there sometimes. I like your friends advice to keep your head down and just follow through. Great post Paul!

    • Don’t get me started on the “I have to be perfect at this one thing I have never done” deal! I lived that life and it kept me frozen (“let it go!”) in fear. Never did anything because I knew I wouldn’t ace it off the bat. What a way to live. Like you, I have that pull sometimes, but I can now laugh at myself when I fail. And I do fail in spectacular fashion at times 🙂

      Hope you’re having a fab long weekend!

      Paul

  14. Paul, this entire post was beautiful and quite relevant to all of us as we continue to recover, grow, and regain all of the continued knowledge we dropped just a few years ago.
    But I think you said it best when you wrote, “Recovery is not a competition, nor is it a spectator sport.” I admire your honesty in admitting how it bothered you to watch the way others basked in their sobriety. But you’re right; when you committed this act, you were losing your “centeredness.” You were sacrificing your own gift to enlighten and inspire others by sucking in the aroma of someone else’s path, or got drunk off of their fragrance. No pun intended.
    I’ve been a hypocrite most of my life. I would often tell myself, “Do what you do best and do it so well, that others around you will have no choice but to admire your strength and perseverance.” Whether this had to do with running, writing, or public speaking, I wanted people to admire me. Yet, during this time, I was allowing selfish notions and jealousy get the best of me and take away my own “centeredness.” See, when we give others even a minute of our thoughts, we better be doing it for a good reason. Just like your previous post with your ex-coworker and how you gave him the freedom and beauty of your thoughts. We need to stop worrying about others and realize that sobriety is a journey. It is not a race. Sometimes, we will experience the same obstacles or even have similar inspirational moments. But where our creative tendrils are meant to spread toward… well, that is entirely up to us and Him. We do the work on His time. Everything else is just an experience, a lesson learned and another step toward the final destination… and wherever that may be, well, we have a long way to go; I’m sure of it=)

  15. Dear Paul,
    Your post has been sitting in my inbox since you first published it. I read it right away. Then again. And again. Still, I can find nothing more to add that you haven’t already said (beautifully, I might add). I love your perfect mix of message, malady (duh, golf!) and positivity. You make the journey authentic and attainable for anyone else who struggles along with same path.
    And, as for golf…I learned that there are only three real lessons you need there. 1) Keep your head down 2) Keep your darned head down 3) Keep your gosh darned head down (well, that’s the nice Mama way to say it!) xo

  16. Love love love the new blog look 🙂 Very nice. Also, this post? This post is one of my favorite things you’ve ever written. Mostly because it resonate so much with me (and we all know it’s all about me, right?) but also because the writing matches the message. Your voice is so clear. Your words are well-written (I’ll let the sports analogies slide). It’s just a fantastic piece of work. Well done!

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