Greetings, friends It’s your Captain! I know. The title. It’s not today’s date (unless you’re actually reading this on 7/31, and who knows maybe you are,) but it’s the number we’ll be focusing on this week’s Captain’s Log, and I’m sure a number I’ll mention a time or two leading up to 7/31. (We’ll get into more detail on that later.)
So, drivers, start your engines. Take a deep breath. You may need a pit stop midway on this one. We’ll see.
I’m a numbers guy, and by that I don’t mean I’m a math whiz. I’m okay at math. Was in school. Took some advanced Calculus and Trigonometry in high school/college. I was/am ‘ish’ at math. I remember the first time I used Calculus. I was 18, senior year in high (during the time I was taking Calculus.) I was helping build some A-frame cabins at our family’s campground. The floor was square, perfectly, and I used Calculus to get it square. #math I like numbers. My favorite number growing up was 7. I was #7 most every year in baseball until at least 12-13 years old. When I started playing football #74 was the number. I started collecting anything I could with 74 on it, including, off the record, a county sign…that’s unconfirmed. From there, so may numbers/dates came at me with something for me to tie around it so I could remember (like the string on the finger trick…but really, it doesn’t work – I tried it.) But, I remember many numbers. Some I wish I could forget. Others I’ll never forget. And some numbers I wanted to remember more but couldn’t seem to recall because….. and that’s where we’re headed, folks. I know, it’s not been too bumpy yet, but heck, it’s early. I’m just 2 cups of coffee in…
On July 31, 2021, assuming all goes as planned, I will be 365 days alcohol free. One year around the sun, no beer. No wine. No Jack Daniels. Did it. Yay. Now what? Was “one year” the ultimate goal when I set out on this journey? No. “TODAY” was the goal, I just did it “TODAY” 365 days in a row…(almost)…and, fingers crossed, I’ll give it another 365 just for good measure. But, who’s to really say…? Oh, that’s me. I’m to say, and I say: not today. That’s really all it boils down to to me. That one little phrase that I loathed when I hear muttered; I would shun those who whispered its stupid directive. Oh it’s simplicity yet complicated, twisted, mind-altering, gut-wrenching, pain-staking decision I knew I had to make. Every day. I didn’t like it. Notwithstanding, I remained calm, and took it …ONE DAY AT A TIME. THERE! I said it. Ugh… the horror, the attack of the cliche’s from those in recovery. Puke me with your longest finger. eye roll. I know. Sucks. Not really though. Think of this as an encouraging feature to reading this particular Captain’s Log. Consider that it’s not only okay to hear this, but also say and do this “one day at a time” In fact, I’ll take it a step further, and insert “if I can do it, so can you!” (Okay, I’ll stop there.)
Back to 7/31. That’s the date. The one year date. And, in my my quest of “building walls of accountability” as I am calling it, proposed to my core tribe of 708 CORNHOLE that we put on a cornhole tournament on 7/31. Every year on 7/31, despite what day of the week it falls. Tricky? Maybe. This year it’s on a Saturday, so it’s nice. Next year it’s on a Sunday. But it’s going to be on 7/31. A date for me to remember. A reminder of why I no longer drink. A date to sear into my head and LOOK FORWARD to every year, 7/31. Maybe this is my attempt to create a scenario that allows the Gods of sobriety to see what I am doing is good and reward me by kicking in a little more assistance here and there. Whatever works, right? But, on 7/31, the date is mine. The tournament is yours, and I want to make sure you have a BEST time in our first tournament. So to make sure of that, I’m sitting this one (and Lindsay too) out and being the best darn host/emcee/event facilitator this side of the Mississippi!!! Partner up! 50 teams/big cash payout – really expect some stiff competition and cannot wait to set up the Collection Room at The Bakery District! for a 10-board tournament! It’s going to be a great day – and the same weekend as the Peacemaker Fest, so we’re having the tournament at 1PM so we can all walk down to the river afterward for some live music!!
So, there you have it. My love for 7/31. Is it weird to say I’ve not drank in a year? Sorta. I loved to drink. I probably still would. I certainly understand its appeal. I mean, the whole idea behind alcohol itself makes sense. The culture surrounding it; the smiles and fun it can bring if done responsibly. The freedom it can seem to give you…It’s a way of life really, can be, but one I took a lil’ too seriously for a lil’ too long. Now, back to numbers. The legal age to drink is 21, and best I recollect, I drank a total of 21 years. Then I hung it up. Maybe that’s the rule. Or maybe it’s drink 21 years, take 21 years off? If that’s the case, 1 down, 20 to go! One day at a time of course. More on what this past year has done to be as a person, a co-worker, a father, a husband, a friend, and most of all, a cornhole player, I’ll get into on another day, cuz right now, it’s time to get out there and do something GOOD! Make someone laugh. Put a smile on someone’s face… oh, and if you love Fort Smith (and there’s a lot to love, so I sure hope you have a lot to give) LOVE IT OUT LOUD!
…..but then bends down and picks it up and puts in his back pocket. Never know when you need a microphone.