Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he sometimes disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Stuff Happens

At one time what happened yesterday afternoon would have had me enraged. I might have even thrown something or used some profanity. At the very least I would have been depressed.

What happened was that while backing out of a parking spot I ran my car’s rear bumper into the front bumper of a heavy pickup parked behind me. I have no excuse for it. I wasn’t tired. My dashboard has a backup window the size of a television. I just wasn’t paying attention. Fortunately I was only going 2-3 miles an hour so not much happened to the truck.

And when I looked at my car it doesn’t look too serious either. But the last time someone ran into it and did just a little damage it came to nearly $2,000. That’s because it’s a luxury car. So I’m expecting something around that amount for this repair.

What I noticed later though was my reaction. It was minimal to nothing at all. I immediately accepted the idea that I must constantly pay attention when my car is moving. I accepted that I’d had a lapse in attention.

And probably because I’m growing more mature in my recovery and meditation I know on a deep level that nothing stays the same nor lasts forever. We live in a constantly changing world where no two days are exactly the same.

I tell myself I’m lucky to have a vehicle at all. I’ve learned to not become overly attached to material things because someday they’ll be sitting in someone’s scrap yard waiting to be turned into some other model of expensive car or gadget.

Not only that, in my early recovery I was delighted to have a bicycle to ride. And then later someone gave me an old beater of a car that got me around for six months.

In any case, what I must keep in mind is that they’re only things – and only temporary.