Archive for October, 2009



October 30, 2009

Here on the eve of unemployment, one by one, we’ve said our goodbyes. Talked about our hopes and plans for the future. Made all the usual promises to keep in touch. Remembered the good works we have accomplished in this place, the lives transformed.

This week at each of the outside meeting places we attend I’ve addressed those present with the pertinent details and thanked the groups for the part they have played in the recovery of our clients. There has been a lot of shock, many questions, some outrage that a facility such as this could be closed in times like these. Business decisions at a human cost.

I can’t afford to dwell on the negatives. Instead I choose to focus on the experience gained, knowledge accumulated, skills augmented and successes with men I’ve worked with. It’s a very conscious choice…… else I’d be crying bitter tears.

Now if I could only get the taste of bile out of the back of my throat…… 2 hours until I hand over my keys and go.


everything ends


MIA Blog-iversary

October 30, 2009

What with all that has been going on lately I completely missed the anniversary of my start in blogging – which was back on October 20. It also wasn’t here on WordPress but over on Blospot. So, happy ‘3‘ to me. Here’s a link to those initial posts back at ‘The Only Constant Is Change’.

Many thanks to those of you who discovered me there or here and continue to tag along for the ride. There have been some terrific friendships forged and I appreciate each of you.


Signed, Me.


Countdown to Halloween

October 29, 2009

orange & black I

Maples at night illuminated by streetlamp.


orange & black II

Seeing as how I’m overtired, stressed and still sick I’m going to take the rest of the night off; going to plug a DVD into the machine and veg. I think I have bronchitis. ‘David Gilmour In Concert’ sounds like a good Rx.



October 28, 2009

In the comment section of the previous post I made reference to the Serenity Prayer. Routinely, the first 4 lines from this ‘long version’ are recited to open A.A. meetings in this area (and many others). For anyone who isn’t familiar with it…. it helps keep me from sitting on the fence. By using this I’m better able to let go of things beyond my control and get on with the work on things I can influence the outcome of.

God grant me the SERENITY to
accept the things I cannot change;
COURAGE to change the things I can;
and WISDOM to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it:

Trusting that He will make all things
right if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen

This journey in recovery from alcoholism brought about  the process of redefining my identity and attaching once again to ethics, values and ‘humanness’. This prayer has played an important part in my attitudes to others; in being of service to others. The Prayer of St Francis of Assisi:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

What jumps out at you in this? What do you use for your personal guides? Care to share?


autumn rushes


Things Fall Apart

October 27, 2009

through a glass, lightly

Where to begin? First off; If you’re looking for good news you had best move on.

Back on Friday morning I came to work for a staff meeting expecting a ‘state of the union’ address by both our CEO and Director of Operations updating the lot of us on how bad the numbers are on paper and according to budget. Instead of getting into the numbers they went straight to the bottom line….. they are closing this centre for a minimum of 6 months and all staff here are laid off come this Friday, Oct 30. Head office and both treatment centres in Toronto remain intact and operational. We are the sacrificial lambs….. 8 counsellors, 2 night staff, 2 cooks, our maintenance guy and oh, our manager got blindsided, too.


to the dump, dump, dump

I’ve been through this before when I was caught in a major restructuring back in 2003 which ended a 30 year career in pre-press in commercial print. On this occasion I was no less surprised, shocked, outraged, or disappointed. According to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in ‘On Death and Dying’ there are 5 stages in the grief process when you lose someone close to you. Those same 5 stages have been found in those losing their vocation. I can confirm that I’ve experienced stages 1 and 2 – Disbelief/Denial and Anger; moved right past the Bargaining stage and into stage 4, Grief and Depression. Having had a few days to process this I’m working on #5 Acceptance but with little success so far. I’ve been pretty occupied being angry and depressed. Angry at what I perceive as mismanagement and disregard; depressed as new job prospects are slim and I’ll miss my coworkers and our clients.

‘On Becoming a National Statistic’: the current national unemployment rate is 8.4%. Locally it is 9.6%. Those stats are built of straw as they don’t recognize the many who have given up looking for work. Job listings in local papers have shrunk in the last year from multiple pages to a single page. Most on-line ads are for call centres, McJobs, personal attendants for the elderly and disabled, and factory line work. Last week I saw an ad for the first time in over a year in the addictions field. Within an hour of arriving home Friday my CV and cover letter had been sent.


my cranium - internal view

Lots of credit to Lynda; these last 5 or 6 years haven’t been a lot of fun for her. Beginning with my job loss and a long term of unemployment; supporting me while I went back to college for a year; backing me in this new career direction. She surprised me with how well she took the layoff news. ‘What can go wrong, will go wrong’; shrug, *hug*. When I asked if she minded if I carried through with my plan to attend the weekend conference she simply said, ‘No sense hanging around here stewing about something you can’t change. Go hang with your A.A.. buddies.’ I finished packing and waited for my ride to pick me up.

I was thankful to get away and have a full weekend of workshops and meetings to keep me occupied. My home group’s new GSR ( General Service Rep) Francis did the driving and we shared a room. We attended a couple of workshops together but mainly split up so we could cover a greater variety of topics. There were quite a number of people I knew there either from having attended the same meetings locally or because they had been through treatment here. This was my first opportunity to attend one of these regional Assemblies and I’m really glad I went. Interesting to see how the service structure operates above the group and district levels, right on up to world headquarters in New York city. Alcoholics Anonymous home page.

(In case anyone is curious…. no, I didn’t experience any cravings for a drink.)

There won’t be any sitting around collecting unemployment benefits and waiting to be recalled to work. So far as I’m concerned I’m done here…. plus I don’t trust the powers-that-be. I think the 6 month layoff is a way for them to get out of paying severance – most of us would look for other work and if employed elsewhere they aren’t obliged to pay anything.


Under Wraps

October 26, 2009
bound to happen

bound to happen

I’m back from my trip; back at work. I have news but seeing as how I’ve been up for about 22 hours now I’ll keep it under my hat until tonight.

Catch you later……


Something Weird

October 22, 2009

My OLD gravatar keeps popping up. *WTF*!

I don’t understand this at all.

I don’t expect to be around for a few days as I’ll be a couple of hours down the highway at a conference. T.T.F.N.



October 22, 2009

Heading out to spend some time with Mother Mary and my loverly wife for a few hours today. Then it’ll be back to do laundry and pack for my weekend trip. Tomorrow morning I have to attend a staff meeting at work with the big-wigs, then back home to pack up the car and take off. I honestly can’t think of the last time I went anywhere, for anything. Kinda sad really. Tied to home and work.

Gotta go – later on….


Catch-Up / Catch-All

October 20, 2009

Since I got off work Sunday morning things have been pretty much a blur. After that lengthy stint – 130 hours over 11 days and nights – there’s a long, long list of things to catch up on.

Sunday afternoon I was to chair that district meeting at 1:30. I sorta, kinda came to in bed knowing I was supposed to be somewhere and wondering what time it was. Roll over to see the clock and it is 1:05!!! SHIT!! Threw some clothes on, ran a brush through my hair, crammed a stick of gum in my mouth and I was off. I broke a few speeding laws on the way but made it across town by 1:25. The meeting itself went well; nothing contentious but we ran almost a half hour long. I walked in the door at home and Lynda loaded up her car and left for her Mom’s place. This ‘hi & bye’ existence is wearing thin, I tell ya. Too soon to tell completely but it seems her Mom is doing pretty well.

Monday was a sleep-in, slow to wake day. Lots of calls to make and arrangements sorted out for this out-of-town trip Friday, S & S. Today, Tuesday, I finally made it to get my hair cut. If it had got much longer I’d have had the full retro early 70’s look happening – not good. A trip to the library for more book and music – found a book that cousin BJ recommended; ‘Water For Elephants’ by Sara Gruen. I got into the first chapter while I waited for my oil change to be done.

Dinner looked like it was going to be complicated but because I’m ‘batching’ it I decided to keep it simple. Instead of dirtying a bunch of dishes I baked chicken pieces, hot Italian sausage and spicy fries all on the same baking sheet (on foil for a quick clean-up.) My evening is mapped out – there’s a re-broadcast of Steve Earle’s appearance showcasing songs from ‘Washington Square Serenade’; followed by ‘Hank Williams – The Show He Never Gave’ featuring Sneezy Waters in the lead role. Time to grab some dessert and park it in front of the TV. See ya…..


The End Is Nigh…

October 18, 2009

(Night #9; the end of a long stretch. Looking forward to some down time.)

Seems I’m among the last to find out… the end of days is coming. It is within sight. It’s all over the internet so IT MUST BE TRUE!! Mark December 21, 2012 on your planner and don’t bother buying Xmas presents that year.


Now I’m kicking myself in the butt for contributing to retirement savings plans when I should have been living the highlife and playing the lotteries. Damn! I hate it when that happens.

I had better start working on that pesky ‘to-do’ list though. Wouldn’t want to leave things in a mess.

dusky treescape avec underlit cloud

dusky treescape avec underlit cloud


I’ve just finished Jeannette Walls ‘The Glass Castle’ and thoroughly enjoyed it. A wonderfully detailed and engaging memoir. Thanks Amuirin for the recommendation.