This evening, I was talking with a friend about life. While I feel as if I have gotten to where I need to in life, the same cannot be said for this person. Understandably, a lot of my side of the conversation focused on where I am in life verses where I used to be. It was by talking about such things that I made the realization that brings me to this page.
Anybody who knew me in my drinking life knew that I needed to get sober. They can probably also imagine that, having been sober for nearly eight years, my life is much better than it was when I was drinking. It is, indeed, a much better life than the one than I had in my drinking years.
That being the case, it is easy for me to think that quitting drinking was the one thing that has had the biggest influence on how I live my life now. It was so easy for me to think that that I did think it. I thought it until this evening. That conversation made me realize that there is something other than being sober that has a bigger influence on how I live my days now.
My life is better and my days are more successful not because I live sober; rather, my life is better and my days are more successful because I live first for others.
I can’t say that I don’t live for myself because I don’t think anyone is going to be successful at anything if he or she doesn’t live for him or herself; still, I don’t live primarily for myself. I live primarily for my sons. I strive primarily for my sons. I stay focused primarily for my sons.
You see, as bright and adroit as they may be, my sons can’t provide for themselves. They need their mother and me to do that for them. Knowing this and thinking of them before I think about my own wants and needs is more important to the well-being I have in my life now than being sober is.
In fact, that focus is my reason for being sober. I can’t say that I would have prolonged my sobriety the way that I have if I were living primarily focused on myself. In fact, that’s how I lived when I was drinking. When I looked for the reason for my drinking, I thought of myself. When I looked for the solution to my drinking, I thought of myself. Like all drinkers, I was self-absorbed.
That has all changed now, and I am a much better version of myself than I ever was when I was trying to be the best me I could be. These days, I don’t worry too much about that. These days, I wake up every morning and go through my day doing everything that will give Finn and Simon the best advantages they can have in life. I just do that all day, and then I go to sleep and wake up and do it again. I make mistakes, and I don’t always get everything done as soon as I would like, but I do the best I can.
I’m pleased with that. It’s all I can do, so it’s enough for me. After that, I just let God take care of the results.
There’s a quote you may have read on these pages before, and there’s a good chance you’ll read it here at some other point in the future. This quote, which comes from John Adams, has become the one thing that I try to remind myself of when I might otherwise get down on myself or feel overwhelmed by a situation. “Duty is ours. Results are God’s.”
It’s not always that simple for me these days, but it is more often than not. It is so because I live for others rather than for myself, because there are people other than myself who depend on me to do the best I can. As important as being sober is to my well-being these days, I don’t know how long I would stay sober if I didn’t remind myself of these words every now and then.
Be well, my friends. I hope these words have helped you some. You’ll be in my warm thoughts and prayers, and I always appreciate it if you keep us in yours.
Until next time…