Paulelmo's Blog

What’s with the new focus on food?

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Stainless Steel Fork on Green Paper

Those who have frequented this site over the last couple of weeks might be wondering why all of the sudden I have begun to write about food. The answer to that is easy: it’s what comes next.

Having more than five and a half years sober, alcohol is no longer the central focus of that battle. I’m pretty certain I’m not going to drink today, which frees me up to take on the other aspects of sober living, things that help to strengthen the foundation of that sobriety.

I can hear the old time AAers right now, admonishing me that I can’t ever take a day’s sobriety for granted until it’s in the books, that to do so is to let my guard down. Certain ones of them might add a “That’s how it always happens” for good measure.

And I know that; my guard is up, but I can’t deny that I have built a life around the habits of a sober life. The requirements of the day ahead of me don’t provide time or opportunity for drinking. The basic structure is designed to do just what it does: If I drink, I let my sons down, especially Finn, whom I’ll drive to school and might pick up also. If I drink, I run the risk of not being there for Simon when he needs me. If I drink, I break a contract with Becky. If I drink, I run the risk of missing appointments, of losing my place.

So, while I won’t say I have it licked by any means, I have put a successful system into place.

Five and a half years in is so much different than a year or two, or even three or four. At five and a half years, it’s the life. A collective memory of who you were still exists, but the time in proves well the contrition and the will to change. Promises have been kept and become reality; the primary thought over the aura of my life from that collective is, “Who knows? maybe this ol’ chap can do it.”

That last might just be in my head, but at least it is in my head.

There’s a confidence at five and a half years that can only be built with the legs of time. I’m sure it will have increased exponentially by years ten and twenty. This is just the life now, and while the one aspect is more manageable, the structure is forever being built. There’s always that sense of “What’s next?”

And now what’s next is food. I’m 52, and my boys are 11 and seven, and I’m determined to live well into the lives of my grandchildren. Thus, I have to take care of myself. That’s the skin I got in this game, lest one should doubt my commitment and sincerity.

I have an eleven year-old who needs constant direction to act his age and stay focused on not being a dumbass, and a seven year-old who spends parts of his time being too cool to love his daddy, but who will not wrestle easily if he expects me to be there and I’m not. I have a wife who works a full-time job and a part-time job, who oversees the children’s ministry at church, coaches soccer, and is a full-time wrestling volunteer and mom/driver. Then, as if it weren’t enough, she just enrolled in her first college class in more than a decade.

So, yeah, I got skin in the game, and this period is about food. If I want those years, I have to ask myself what it is that I’ll do to get them. That’s what this is, and that’s where I am right now. What I put into me matters.

Seems like a nice, clean break in the thought there. We’ll talk more of these things sometime soon. I love you. I really do. Thanks.

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