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Grapevine : December 2011
helped expunge my bouts of depres- sion. I was diagnosed with sunlight deficiency, sometimes called winter blues. It was bad enough to require prescription medication. Regular workouts allowed me to stop the green and yellow pills. The discipline to step back and observe the ebb and flow of my deep- rooted feelings and character defects is a result of my involvement in the Fellowship, where the “know thyself ” motto is suggested and practiced. In my case, the gap between knowing the right path and following it varies from day to day. I guess that makes me normal. Growing up, normal was a concept that seemed out of reach— silly me. My ongoing goal is to stand tall and be wife-approved, even if it takes an extra lifetime (or two). If you’re wondering why it is im- portant for me to be wife-approved, you’re not alone. At times, I wonder myself. It may be connected to the roundhouse punch that socked me into sobriety. My first reaction to the hit was not something I’d like to repeat in this Grapevine forum. Today, I call it a lucky punch, for it signaled a new be- ginning for both of us: I stopped drink- ing, and she ceased being a victim. My attitude has made a slow turnaround over these many years. When our opinions clash, for in- stance, the result is a skirmish, over and done with before sundown ... not a war, prolonged by resentment and blame, as it used to be. Having an in- house second opinion helps reinforce my self-improvement efforts. Without my wife’s unique input, I could easily revert to old ways, justifying a softer behavior and forgetting discipline. One final note regarding my sec- ond-chance lifestyle is the joy I expe- rience being an old-timer. In the age of multi-tasking, I can step back, and be an observer, enjoying the present moment with no speed bumps re- quired. Rushing never won me any trophies. Trying it today would most likely land me in a hospital, followed by a stint in a nursing home rehab. I have heard that a slow pace can boost the immune system, contribut- ing to longer life, and so I justify nap- ping. “Easy Does It” is a slogan that my Fellowship adopted, and it’s good medicine. Dying healthy would be a glorious result of right living. Some- thing to shoot for, don’t you think? P.T . New Britain, Conn. When our opinions clash, for instance, the result is a skirmish, over and done with before sundown ... not a war, prolonged by resentment and blame, as it used to be. 50 December 2011 For more stories like this, visit aagrapevine.org /topic/oldtimers GRAPE_48-50.indd 50 10/28/11 2:25 PM