Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 29th year of recovery.

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

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Stuff Happens

Tomorrow we return home from Mexico and I'm looking forward to getting back into my routine. I'm one of those people who can take so much idle time, then I start wondering what to do with myself. Plus, we had a few mishaps along the way.

After coming down here for 25 years, it seems like I would get tired of going back to the same place. But that's not the case. One of the things that was different this time that has never happened before in my many visits is that it rained virtually five days out of seven – at least part of the day. A lot of people would look at that kind of weather as a negative. But not me. I come from Arizona, where it rains an average of about 9 inches a year. And I think that it rained 9 inches on some days since I've been here. I thoroughly enjoyed that aspect of my vacation.

Also, I had an experience that I've never had in my 80 years on the planet. About three days after we arrived here we'd gone out to eat and were coming back from grocery shopping and riding up to our condominium in the small elevator. However, when we got to our floor the door would only open 4 inches or so. We tried calling the emergency number that was imprinted in the metal on the elevator, but nobody answered. So we then pressed the emergency alarm, but nobody showed up.

Finally, I called the rental agent and told him that four of us were locked in the elevator and there was no way to get out. He didn't seem too excited about the dilemma we were in and said he would call the company that had installed it  – but because it was a Sunday he wasn't sure he would get any kind of a response. However he finally reached someone and after an hour of being crowded in a hundred degree elevator someone from the company that installed it came and released us. I promised myself that I would never get in that thing again, even after it was fixed. Now, three days later it still hasn't been fixed but I haven't changed my mind at all about using the stairs.

Another thing I will never do is book a vacation through VRBO or it's subidiary, Home Away. The advertisement on their website said that the 3000+ square-foot condominium had all of the amenities, including cable and Internet. However, when we arrived, the agent in charge of giving us the keys and showing us around told us that the owner "didn't believe in cable or internet" and therefore we were out of luck if we were expecting to find any in the unit. After a couple of days I figured out how to use my laptop to watch Netflix and Amazon Prime and use my iPhone as a hotspot and so we were able to get by. I was able to contact my office computer on a regular basis and the three women with me were able to use my iPhone hotspot.

And while I had a resentment for a few days I got over the resentment part. One of the things I learned in recovery and through my mindfulness practice is that things will usually work out if I simply allow myself to be patient. At the very least I expect to get some of my money refunded for the inconveniences we suffered during our stay. And if I get nothing back at all I'll have to accept that life sometimes happens.