Being able to properly enjoy opportunities is something I‘ve found unique to sobriety. I have a penchant to be out of control, at least in my past. I was recently afforded the chance to join a group of guys from the Carla Ridge house on a trip to Arrowhead Lake. Now had this been the good ole days, I would never have been invited back. Instead, a pervading wholesomeness occupied the weekend. From the first few hours in the car winding through and around the property for those initial bearings, a vague appreciation for the ability to appreciate life came over me. The home we would be vacationing at rested a hundred yards from the edge of the water, the distance between traversed by impeccably entwined rock paths and large prehistoric pines. The house was old and narrow but immaculate. Rough hewn wood and fireplaces abounded. ‘Better Homes and Gardens’ would have had a field day. The first day was spent in repose, the starting eight of us drifting languidly from room to room, from chess to cigarettes. Looking back now it all seems so boring and formal, but in the moment it held an inexplicable contentment, a rare need to be nowhere else. Finally, inner peace in sobriety.
We broke the group in half, four of us going into the village across the lake for food and coffee, the others in variances of sleep for some reason. We got what we came for, poked into a few quaint, wooden shops and returned. By then the arrival of a few new faces rallied the stupor and after due assimilation, we all piled into cars for a place to eat. As a Transcend alumni with sobriety attained, I realized how lucky I was to be able to spend some time with some guys getting their life together and help them wherever possible. Back at the residence, it was a fire building competition, pleasantly unadulterated resignation, and smores inside. It was late and I walked to the lake alone. Standing at the dock with all the holiday lights bouncing off the bowl of glass, I smoked. Serenity is a strong word, but there was perhaps a glimmer of it that could not be repressed. The next day would be skiing and three hours inching down a forty minute hill thanks to a little powdering and the impeccable skill of California drivers in anything but sunshine. Coming in late, the four of us sat down to steaks and the usual courses. The whole weekend went over with such a calm and decent effect on me. There was no furious need to accomplish something or that unexplainable requisite to be proven worthy. A refreshingly virtuous weekend, an antithesis to the comfort of being sad. I was born bored. Initially, I thought the only way out was removal, but one day I realized I had nothing left to remove and nowhere left to go. Having things is always nice. Life has a way of working when your there.