one year later — looking up

Big Dipper above as I walk to the trash can by the road. A bag of cat shit in hand. But the sky—full-blown with sparkling pinholes of light—gets me right for the day.

This is an opportunity.

Be mindful. Aware. Listen more today than you did yesterday. Learn.

And forgive.

They know not what they do. Though they should.

Common sense. Think before you speak. Be kind. Courageous. Do what you say you’re going to do.

I said I’d stop drinking alcohol a year ago today. I did it. Doing that—ceasing the act—was easy. Everything that comes along with getting back to basics, facing life as it is and not how you want it to be—that’s not so easy.

But, most often, it’s not the act that’s the culprit. It’s everything else that’s been put in play—some of it your own doing, some of it innate—and that, deciphering the narrative you’ve created, that’s the hard part. The sobering part, if you will.

Once you start taking a hard look at yourself, measuring your decisions, weighing consequences, it’s easy to not drink. It’s easy to turn the other cheek. It’s easy to believe in others, and most of all, it’s easy to believe in you. And once you get on that path of believing in yourself, you pick up steam day by day, and become, in a way, unstoppable.

There are endless opportunities to live a better life. To get happy. Sure, there are moments that are still utter shit. That’s how it’s supposed to be. You don’t learn much when everything’s roses.

And there’ll be days…days when you’re teetering on that familiar edge, wondering if you’re gonna make it. Doubting yourself and your ability to help create conditions that foster safety, comfort, and good for your family—for your wife and kids. But clarity will come and balance will be restored with strange, everyday, magical moments.

Like stepping outside on an early Wednesday morning. Feeling the cold. Letting that clean air into your lungs, into your blood, and looking up. At all those stars. So bright, patient, and knowing.

~ KJ

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