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  • Writer's pictureeschaden

Shock & Awe...

Let me start with the fact that I am in shock and awe that I am up at 3 am on a Sunday. This fact should not be shocking or awe is happening with increasing frequency...

The truth be told, I am shocked and awed by life more and more these days. I mean, who knew when I got sober almost 28 years ago that this would be my life! I mean who the fuck knew?

On my best days, one of my first thoughts upon awakening is this:

“OMG! I can’t wait to see what happens today!”

On my worst days:

“OMG! I can’t WAIT to see what happens today!”

Same exact sentence and sentiment...totally different meanings.

Side bar - it is very hard to write with a cat paw on your track has taken me twice as long to get this far because she insists on being part of this whole process which is actually more of an ordeal and less of a process with her involvement...ok back to shock and awe...

I wake up everyday and almost immediately I can tell you what kind of day I am going to have...

Those days that I wake up and think:

“I am here. I am alive. I get to do this! I am so fucking lucky to be here. I can’t wait to see what the day brings!”

And right there, I have had a good day no matter what comes at me.

Those other days (and thankfully there are far less of them than the ones I mention above) I wake up and think:

“I am here. I am alive, and not going to lie, finding that to be kind of a bummer. I do not feel lucky to be here. I dread whatever new shit the day is going to bring...”

Right there, I have a shit day no matter what.

Blessedly, I have far more of the first mentioned days than the later days. Like a million to one. But there are these other days which happen far more than I would like to admit where I just wake up. There is no shock or awe. I am just up and I have forgotten the purpose of living. I go on all day and never once check in about the fact that I am here and that is inescapably lovely or painful. These are the sleepwalking days. The days where I am alive but barely living.

Side bar - the cat has now moved her paw to the top of my hand so writing has gotten so much easier in that I am not having to write and then re-write it all over again. I love this silly cat.

I heard someone say last night that they keep coming back because they can’t wait to see what will happen next...which served as a great reminder and also a bit of a reality check. I mean, that is why I keep getting up every day and choose not to pick up a drink or drug. The life sobriety has afforded me is great and amazing and wonderful and filled with a great deal of shock and awe.

But, the truth be told is that there will come a day where the shock will have to out weigh the awe. It can and might just keep getting better and better but eventually the day will come where the life will end. Mine. Those I love. My pets. My parents. No matter how good I have it today or how much better it gets, the end, well, is the fucking end.

Side bar - the cat now has BOTH her paws on the tops of my hands in some cat like manner as to tell me with haughty arrogance that my typing is annoying her...

But perhaps that is the lesson for all of us...that no matter the ending, it is what we do with all the time in-between. Whether we wake up each day in agony dreading the rising sun or leap out of bed, completely vibrating with excitement for what this new sunrise shall bring to bear. And then there are all those days where we are so consumed with worry or dread or fear or loss or grief or just the irritations of being alive and having to do the same boring shit one day after another.

Side bar - the cat, annoyed with my incessant typing has decided that the warmth from my body was less inviting than my typing is annoying.

Life is meant to be as shocking as it is awe-inspiring. And of course, it all seems to revolve around just how present we are for the daily journey. Our perspective the great limiter, the great preventer, or the great revealer.

Yesterday, I awoke at 3 am and was immediately annoyed that my mind kicked in and with that came the knowledge that I was not going to be returning to slumber...but my next thought, my very next thought was, “ohhhh, more time to write uninterrupted by the beings I share space with...” Joke was totally on me because as you have previously read, the cat had her own agenda this morning.

The mind that I woke up with was dark and brooding. Upset by the things that I tell myself, the stories I create mostly from trauma and grief that remain despite all my years of working so hard to banish them from my interior. But, but that head only served to propel me from my bed, and into writing. And with all this writing came the knowledge and gift of a new perspective.

I am alive.

I am here.

I have absolutely no idea how this day or life will turn out.

Let me say that again...


Today I have the absolute gift of being shocked and awed. I do not know what will happen and to be honest, I am not even thinking about it. I am so consumed in this moment being grateful that I do not know the next scene, only that I pray to show up for whatever comes in my most authentic skin, in my most humble endeavor. To live and love better than I did yesterday or five minutes ago...

This life just keeps getting better and better. I get to do this. All of it. And I am amazed, shocked into living this moment with what seems like an appropriate amount of love, and of course, awe that I am here, breathing in and out.

I know not what comes. But I do have a choice. To numbly move forward in some sleepwalker state barely noticing the blades of grass on the hillsides exploding in verdant green or to completely miss the rolling hills because the foulness of my taste for this life. My spirit and joy dampened by my refusal to be here, right now.

My point being that the hillsides awash with new life, are not things that are promised for any other day than this. My obligation to this life, to wake up and be present. Amazed, shocked and awed by the sheer aliveness of my being. Of all the days and weeks and months that have led me to this point in time where I am delivered again to a moment that fills me up with excited anticipation to begin again. To be privileged enough to see that I am here, I get to do this, and this life continues to show up for me, growing better and better with each passing moment, never, ever being freed from our ultimate destiny.

It is what we do now that matters. In fact, it is all that really matters. I stay sober now. I love now. I live now. And if that isn’t enough to shock and amaze you, I am not sure that anything ever will.

Footnote - yesterday was an amazing day, full of shock and wonder and a feelable joy for living. Who knew?

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