Last hours of the last day of the decade, less than 4 hours to go here in New York. And I know that there are people who say the decade ends next year, but I ain’t here to argue with people who argue bullshit. I say the decade ends tonight, therefore the decade ends tonight.
Had a less than fun year, but they can’t all be gems, can they? I lost my job, I’m still out of work, but I’m still looking, and I’ll find something, I’ll be fine. I’ve had lows in other areas as well, but frankly those stories aren’t worth telling, so I won’t tell ‘em. But the decade itself has been pretty good to me. I sobered up, quit smoking, got married, and learned a great deal along the way. A list of the most important events in my life in the past decade follow, in no particular order.
Sobering up in 2002 made putting my life together easy. I had no Idea I was ill til I got better. I was bad, really bad. I was passing out regularly, I was blacking out regularly, deep down I knew I was in trouble, but I didn’t mind, and didn’t really want to admit it to myself. Being that drunk for that long alters perspectives a great deal. I might have cared more, but when I fell in that hole it was impossible to see out of it, and it just felt like it didn’t matter. It was just the norm, the way things were. I didn’t think I was spending much, but I was. I didn’t think I was drinking more than anyone else, but I was. I didn’t care.
After that last day I was a real drunk back in Late February 2002, things got better. I had more time to do what I wanted, more money because I wasn’t spending it in a bar, and I felt better. With that time, first I played video games, then I worked out, then I decided to run. Unfortunately I was still smoking, but that stopped soon after.
Stopping smoking was actually easier than quitting drinking. It was really easy in fact. I had tried to stop hundreds of times and failed. I
never smoked as much as some other smokers, I was never 2 pack a day guy…unless I was drinking. They made that old one liner for me, you know the one. Someone says: ”I only smoke when I drink” and the response ” Oh, so your an alcoholic” That was me.
I started running around this time, more because I was trying to find something to fill the time I had on my hands after quitting drinking. I never ran far, I couldn’t, I wasn’t in very good shape, but I tried. And on top of it I was smoking. Not exactly the picture of good health. It happened accidentally, the first time. I lit up almost as soon as I was done running. I just wanted a cigarette, addictions being what they are I bit on that want. Almost heaved my guts up all over the place. I didn’t have the urge to smoke as much after that. But the urge would hit, so I decided to run whenever I wanted a smoke. Several times after that I would light up after the run, and it always hit me hard, nearly had me barfing my brains out.
After about 5 or 6 times doing this, the urge to smoke disappeared. I tossed out the smokes and that was that, lost the smoking and kept the running. That was mid 2002.
Becoming a Runner
This bit was fun, as opposed to the first two. I was a fat bastard, much less muscular than I am now…let me rephrase that. I am not
muscular, I have more muscle now than I did then, but I am also 20+ pounds lighter. I was over 200 pounds,with a 38 inch waist, and those 38 X 32 pants were tight. Running and quitting drinking took a LOT of weight off. At one point, before I put the (alleged) extra muscle on I got myself down to 159 pounds.
The early runs were done in dungaree shorts around snug harbor and walker park, done so no one I knew would see me. I didn’t want people to know I was running, if I saw someone I knew I would hi-tail it in the other direction. I took to running in the small woods in snug harbor. It was a while before I got actual running gear. It was a while before I found the nerve to admit that I was a runner.
But I became one. Haven’t looked back. I had down times from running too. Three years in a row of sprained ankles, 2004-2006, each time in June. There was the 15 months of on again off again injuries that struck starting in Late 2007 that lasted until January of 2009. I tried to run through those injuries, I was never able to run more than 3 weeks in a row during that time. It kicked my ass.
June 23rd 2007. Biggest day of my life. Married that wonderful wife of mine that day. She has made me happy and helped me through these rough times. Makes me feel like everything that I do is the right thing to do, and pushes me when I need a push, holds me together when I feel like I’m falling apart, gives me strength in times of weakness, and has made me a better man.
And to think I made her wait 12 years before we had the ceremony. I bought her the engagement ring and gave it to her on December 23rd 2004. I remember being on the couch singing a song on the radio, and just handing her the ring while I was singing. I being the christmassy guy that I am, made sure I had Christmas music on.
“I saw three ships” still has special meaning in this house. We waited until 2007 because we just didn’t have the money to get married sooner. If I had more money back then we would have had a prettier ceremony. I gave all I could, little though it was.
I love my wife, she is my best friend and the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. The ring my wife put on my finger that day is still the only jewelry that I wear. Anything else would be superfluous.
I hereby declare the upcoming decade the decade of MIKE! Hell, Al Franken had a decade, why the f*** can’t I? lol
Resolutions tomorrow. Later!
Today’s nuggets, via wikiquote: Of all vices take heed of drunkenness; other vices are but fruits of disordered affections—this disorders, nay, banishes reason; other vices but impair the soul—this demolishes her two chief faculties, the understanding and the will; other vices make their own way—this makes way for all vices; he that is a drunkard is qualified for all vice. Francis Quarles
Then let every one of us, being warned by this sentence of the angel, acknowledge that he as yet cleaves to first principles, or, at least, does not comprehend all those things which are necessary to be known; and that therefore progress is to be made to the very end of life: for this is our wisdom, to be learners to the end. John Calvin