Poison Ivy

Okay anyone noticed it is hot! I have to work in the heat, though I don't mind. I am just a walk away from a hose that I can douse my head with, which works nicely. Guess that is one of the perks of working on 20 acres of land. Of course we have a stream that I could just lay down in, our dog Luke does frequently. Really I don't mind, my farmer's tan is coming back and usually after that first layer of sweat develops I'm good to go. Don't get me wrong, I feel it at the end of the day, as if the energy has just been sapped out of me. But it sure makes me sleep good!

Of course now poison ivy is starting to make itself known in the woods. I have an amazing resilence to the stuff, as if I was made for what I do (I give God ALL the credit for this one). My former boss used that little fact to his advantage, but then again... It'd go something like this:

"Paul, there is a bunch of poison ivy over there, I need you to chop it all down."
"Yes, sir."

So there I'd go, always careful not to tempt my resilence. Then he'd go, take a big handful and put it on the trailer. You guessed it, he'd get poison ivy rash. I'd always use my gloves. I've grown older I realize it's just not smart to not to be prepared when you handle something dangerous.

If you know something is dangerous, but you have to be around it, it's always best to be cautious. Though I'm 8 years sober and I'm quite resilent to the temptation now, doesn't mean I can wade in and "take a handful." There are times that I'm around alcohol. It's inevitable. I'll walk into a gas station it's there. I go into a resteraunt and I'm offered it every time they come to take my order. So how do I handle the poison ivy? If I'm in a gas station, DON'T GO BY THE STUFF! Oh trust me, the gas station would get me every time back in my addiction. I'd walk in intent on being good and just stop and look at all the pretty bottles. Now they don't look so pretty anymore. You go in, pay for your gas, get out or now I pay at the pump. No need to go in. Cautious, a plan.

Resteraunts are better. It goes like this:

"Good evening sir, would you like something to drink, tea, a coke, a nice cold beer?"
(As if making the beer so inviting is going to do it)
"No my wife and I will take water and lemon."
"But that is such a boring drink, not very adventerous?"
(This has actually happened more than once)
"Well, maybe so but I'm a recovering alcoholic with 8 years clean. No need to be adventerous now."

This comment works quite well. One time we were the first to arrive at the place, and the above dialog happened. Not a single person in my group was asked what they wanted to drink beyond water, tea, or coke. I don't say that to every waiter or waiteress. But if I'm pressed or pressured, I have no problem standing up for myself. Which is important. You have to be able to say no. You have to be willing to stand up for yourself.

When I work with poison ivy, I have a plan. It is the same way with alcohol. I have a plan. I'm not immune to poison ivy, nor am I immune to alcohol. But by using caution and having a plan you can live a successful, sober life...

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