My wife tells me that I am truly a creature of habit. One habit I have gotten into is walking to church on Sunday morning. At a leisurely pace, the trip takes about 15 minutes. This past Sunday the sky was overcast and rain seemed likely. I could have driven but I made arrangements instead to get a ride back home if a typical New Orleans deluge hit.
Despite the rain, I wanted to walk because I have come to value the entire church going process as a big part of my weekly recovery – an opportunity to escape my false self/persona for a bit and explore and live into my true self.
As I walked this Sunday I reflected how I traveled these same streets some 40 years ago as a practicing alcoholic. Then my frame of mind was on how life sucked, everyone was out to get me, etc. etc. and if you had to deal with all that, you would drink too. I compared that past with my standard line today – I have not a problem in the world that is not of my own making. This Sunday, I felt an exceptional rush of gratitude that in retirement I am able to have a second shot at living in my favorite city in North America. I had the same sense of well-being when I went to the French Quarter last night in the rain for some coffee and beignets, assured the Cafe Du Monde would be reasonably empty of the tourist crowd. I thought about how my wife and I came to New Orleans on our first trip together, later spent our honeymoon here, and now have been able to return.
And I realize too that all of this only comes through continued recovery and it all goes away if I choose to drink, drug, or live into my addictions today.
For all that, I am truly grateful.