Monday, August 22, 2011

Memory making

We came back to the marina just in time.  A bad thunderstorm hit not long after we arrived.  So we cooked dinner on the boat and peeked out at the electrical light show that was going on.  At last, we were able to make our way home where a good hot shower felt wonderful. The main thing that I miss on the boat is taking a thorough fresh water shower.  The cock pit showers are more about washing off the salt water.  But on a hot day, any fresh water that is cool feels good.

It was a really nice weekend.  Once again, the magic of being on the water and being surrounded by so much beauty fills me with such gratitude.  These moments are the memories that are stored up for the future when things aren't going quite so well.  They give me something to draw from, like a sip of water to quench thirst.

I am glad that most of the memories are still there for me to turn over in my mind.  And my memory is jogged by the events that I write down in my journal which I have been keeping for years.  When I first began writing, I seemed to focus on the pain in my life.  There was so much unhappiness that I blamed on others.  It was really unfair.  I didn't look at myself and what my part was.  As the years have gone by,  I find a different flavor to what I write.  I don't complain as much and don't blame what happened on others.  There definitely is something very different in my attitude, which I attribute to having a better understanding of myself through Al-Anon.  I have become more aware. 

One of the greatest changes in my life now is seeing the humor in things that happen.  We are easy with each other and spend a lot of time simply enjoying each others' company. We sing, dance, hug and hold each other close.  I suppose after being married for a while that is a good thing.  Sadly, I know that there are people who are living in terrible circumstances related to alcoholism.  Their lives are like a dirge every day.  What is to be gained by staying in a relationship with someone who you loathe?  What is the point of being a hostile martyr?  I know that I could not have continued on another week living with active alcoholism.  It had beat me down to the point that I had nothing good to draw from.  There were no memories that could breathe life back into the relationship. 

Or so I thought.  I find that I don't focus on the terrible things that happened.  I think about the good times that we had camping and fishing.  The love that we had for our first dog who went with us everywhere.  Buying our first house and the dreams that we shared about it.  All these could be picked apart to concentrate on the role that alcoholism played.  But today I am preferring to focus on all those good times.  And it seems that with both of us in recovery programs, there is reasonable probability of the good times that we are now experiencing being the memories that we will hold dear in the future.


  1. there is much good to focus on...and it makes our days all the sweeter when we do...

  2. you write, " What is to be gained by staying in a relationship with someone who you loathe? What is the point of being a hostile martyr?" my grandmother stayed with my violent alcoholic grandfather in large part because she couldn't afford to leave him. she had quit school at 14 to work, and then quit work when she got married, and when his alcoholism became violent she had two kids and nowhere to go. and she indeed became a hostile martyr. ... today i feel fortunate that i could support myself if i needed to leave. it's still a fact, though, that women are by and large paid less then men for the same work, and many women stay in unacceptable circumstances because they've given up time in their careers so they can raise kids, and if they were to leave, they couldn't support themselves.

    it's so good to see that the boat is bringing you such happiness, Syd. x/g

  3. All good. Now stay tucked in and safe and keep a wary eye out for Irene. I know you will.

  4. Syd you do realize that life is linear eh? What was yesterday can never be changed and what is tomorrow can only have a course set for, even then a good wind can blow you off course.

    All there is, is today, this moment, this actual single beat of the heart. Fill that moment with the good and let the rest take care of itself. Just keep a stay hand on the rudder.

  5. This is great. I've been thinking lately about my relationship with Mr Shanachie, and how much we laugh when we're together. We're making plans for shacking up in November. Might as well, he's always here. We are both in recovery. It's true, living with active disease and dysfunction is unbearable. I feel much compassion for those who are stuck.

  6. Syd,
    I am thinking of you and watching the approaching hurricane with anxiety. Please stay safe.

    You are loved.


  7. Hi Syd,

    I just found your blog through Mrs. Moon's blog. I've read back through several posts, and appreciate your reflections on your life and the changes you've gone through.
    Stay safe in the coming bad weather.

  8. For some reason I keep humming the lyrics to a song I detest... "The way we were" when I think of my daughter Nicole. I try to remember the smiles but all I remember is alcohol.

    Would I do all this again? Yes, I loved her that much, as damaging as everything was. I know her, I know she would have been devastated by the devastation she left behind if that makes sense.

    Damn alcoholism. Damn Zinfandel. Damn our bad choices.

  9. What a truly amazing and heartfelt honest post. So good to be grateful for all of life...not just the good parts but the parts that make us whole.

  10. Lou, I am leaving it all up to your imagination. It would probably qualify for the Half Naked Thursday photos that we used to do.

  11. If I didn't constantly see the humor in almost everything...none of it would be worth it. You seem to be on a very good road. ~Mary


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