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  • Today, I took a few moments, in between the conference calls, the shoveling, and just the time spent filling a day of unexpected leisure, to reflect on my good fortune and my gratitude for the miracle that took place in my life thirty years ago. What seemed like a fluke at the time, an accident, something I had just stumbled onto, something that I would surely manage to screw up, as I’d screwed everything else in my life up to that point, turned out to be sustainable. I had no way of knowing that at the time. All I knew was, I’d tried everything for 29 years, and had nothing but pain, emptiness, and frustration to show for it. I was 4 years clean and sober, and miserable. I was just like my namesake, my maternal grandfather and my godfather, Pete Egan. I was a miserable ex-drunk, just like he’d been.

    Life was a daily struggle. It seemed then like it would go on that way forever. I couldn’t see how anything could possibly change. At age 29, I felt very old, and very tired. I wasn’t sure how much more of that kind of a life I could live.

    And then, everything changed. I stopped struggling – stopped trying. I just started to follow simple direction and guidance I was given that led to a spiritual path I’ve been on ever since. I’ve never had to turn back. I’ve never managed to screw it up – oh, I’ve tried to a few times. I’ve given it my best shot. I had been, after all, a first class screw-up, and I didn’t give that up without a fight. But, once I learned to live by a relatively simple set of principles, and made that my priority, whatever I have needed has always been there, often before I even knew I needed it. I couldn’t screw that up, not for long.

    I do remember what it was like before this happened. How could I forget? Looking back, it seems like another person’s life, not mine, but it was mine at the time. What a miserable existence it was. It very easily could have gone on like that for an eternity. As old as I felt then, I probably would have felt ancient by now, if I was even still alive.
  • Instead, I feel like a young man today, and I plan to be around for a long time to come. I’m gunning for a hundred, at least. I do what I can to ensure longevity, although there are a few things I know I’ll need to start doing soon if I am serious, which I am, about that.

    But, I am alive. I look forward to each day, ready for what surprises and challenges the day might bring. I like the curves that life throws my way, today. Over the years, I’ve learned to hit a few of those curves with authority. I do miss a few, as well, but at the end of the day, I maintain a decent batting average in life. I live for those days when life gives me a big, fat, juicy fastball to really nail – but, I am always ready for those curves.

    Today was more like a change-up. I was bracing for a fastball, but the pitch came in nice and slow, too slow maybe, but I managed to take it for a walk. This was the perfect day to take for a walk.

    Each day is different, each day is new – each day is now. Today, I have nothing but gratitude for the life I live today, free of the demons I once had to face on a nearly constant basis. I never stray too far from the knowing that I am one lucky son of a bitch.

    I have the luck of the Irish, and I know it. It’s good to be alive, clean and sober and in recovery. Each St. Patrick’s Day, I celebrate the rich life I live, as I remember the very last time I needed to get high in order to do that, those many years ago. The contrast of my life before and after that moment is like night and day. Here’s to good, old Irish luck. May it find you, as it did me, regardless of what your heritage actually is. Here’s to life!
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