Tuesday, September 19, 2017

January 8, 2020
The Voice of Reason
The next day I wrote my resignation letter. I had worked for the rehab for twenty-one years, the last fourteen in the same office. The time was right, the only thing stopping me were those annoying voices that woke up whenever I made a change in my life. 

“Maybe you should give the rehab six months’ notice before you leave,” said the Procrastinator.

“You’ll never sell another book,” said the Pessimist.

“In a year you’ll be broke and living in the shelter,” said the Catastrophizer. “Brat Boy and Blondie will tell everyone you’re not their real dad.”

“You should start a detox for cats addicted to catnip,” said that bizarre nameless voice that pipes up when the other voices scare me.

“Or,” said the Voice of Reason, “You’ll worry a lot, make it work, or find a new path. In any case you’ll survive.”
Today I will listen to the Voice of Reason.

2020 Vision ©2017 by Ken Montrose
2020 Vision is a work of fiction. Any similarity between the characters and anyone you might know is purely coincidental.
Other works by Ken Montrose are available at: www.greenbriartraining.com

https://www.pinterest.com/kenmontrose/mt-rose/

Monday, September 18, 2017

January 7th, 2020 cont’d.

On Comfort, Safety, and Guinea Pigs
The Boss said, “You’re like keg-in-the-basement guy who meets his responsibilities, but knows he could do more if he didn’t drink away his free time. He has to let go of what’s familiar to find something more. Otherwise he’ll spend a long time wondering what might have been.”

“This is nothing like that,” I said, knowing I sounded like a big kid saying ‘nuh uh.’ “Besides, I’m better off staying where I am, retiring when I’m eligible for social security at 72.”

“Unless the conglomerate Congo Rats decide somebody pushing 60 could be replaced by someone half his age for half his salary. Don’t mistake comfortable for safe. Speaking of rats, did you have to order guinea pig?”

“It’s a Peruvian delicacy,” I said, feeling a kinship for the burrowing rodent.

Today I’ll ask myself what I’m missing, if I’m mistaking comfort for safety.

2020 Vision ©2017 by Ken Montrose

2020 Vision is a work of fiction. Any similarity between the characters and anyone you might know is purely coincidental.

Other works by Ken Montrose are available at: www.greenbriartraining.com
https://www.pinterest.com/kenmontrose/mt-rose/

Sunday, September 17, 2017

2020 Vision


January 7, 2020
The Boss, now my former boss,  implied I was being a big baby.  She implied it by saying, “You’re being a big baby. It’s time for you to move on.”

We were sitting in a Peruvian restaurant – the newest food fad.  Blondie had graduated college and was marrying AntPup in the spring.  Brat Boy was a sophomore, playing college volleyball and dating CharChar.  Doctor Deb and I were a year away from celebrating our 30th. My family was settled.

The Boss had retired. The hospital who owned the rehab had been bought by a healthcare system that owned half of Pennsylvania.  They had been absorbed into a conglomerate.  I didn’t have anything against the conglomerate, but didn’t feel the loyalty to them I held for The Boss and the rehab. 

I had started to sell books. Not Stephen King or J.K. Rowling sales, but enough to cover my salary.

I had run out of excuses for moving on.  And unlike a lot of people who came to rehab, I wasn’t being forced to change, or in so much pain that change seemed my only choice. 

Today I will be grateful when change is my choice.

2020 Vision ©2017 by Ken Montrose
2020 Vision is a work of fiction. Any similarity between the characters and anyone you might know is purely coincidental.

Other works by Ken Montrose are available at: www.greenbriartraining.com

https://www.pinterest.com/kenmontrose/mt-rose/

Thursday, September 14, 2017

120. Hope and Vanity
Holton completed treatment successfully. Months later his girlfriend had a little girl they named “Vanity Rose.”  Holton brought Vanity to continuing care and the whole office suite seemed to brighten. She might have been born into a crazy world, but she brought with her fresh eyes and new hope. Maybe her generation would solve some of the world’s problems.  
Today I will remember every day is hope’s birthday.

Time for a Change ©2017 by Ken Montrose
Time for a Change is a work of fiction. Any similarity between the characters and anyone you might know is purely coincidental.
Other works by Ken Montrose are available at: www.greenbriartraining.com

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

119. Under the Bright Lights
A week later Quinn completed treatment. Two weeks later they found Austin’s body on this side of the Canadian border.
It seemed they had gone to Canada for a noble reason, to save Austin’s brother.  Bright light. I could only assume my hunch was right, they’d attempted to drag his brother out, sneaking around in the dead of night.  Dark path.  
Quinn’s whereabouts were unknown.
Long ago Austin hadn’t wanted his brother to suffer. Bright light. He talked him into taking Percocet not prescribed for him. Another dark path.

Today I will beware of the dark path that begins under the brightest light.
Time for a Change ©2017 by Ken Montrose
Time for a Change is a work of fiction. Any similarity between the characters and anyone you might know is purely coincidental.
Other works by Ken Montrose are available at: www.greenbriartraining.com

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

118. Kidney Stone People
I made another list of people, ones who had passed through my life like a kidney stone.  The list included a crazy ex-girlfriend or two, and bizarre teachers and professors I only had to deal with for a semester. People in the E.R. who seemed nice enough, but who I really didn’t want to see again. Bleacher coaches, and parents who wanted me to evaluate their eight-year-old’s chances of playing basketball at a major university. People who said they wanted to discuss religion, but had no interest in anything I might say. The crazy lady at the gym who talked to me even though I had my earbuds in, who yelled at me for not having a water bottle, and who always picked the treadmill next to mine.  
The list went on, but luckily for me none of these people had been part of my life for very long.

Today I will be grateful for people who, like a kidney stone, have passed through my life.

Time for a Change ©2017 by Ken Montrose
Time for a Change is a work of fiction. Any similarity between the characters and anyone you might know is purely coincidental.
Other works by Ken Montrose are available at: www.greenbriartraining.com

Monday, September 11, 2017

117. Just Passing Through
“Quinn, you tried to convince Austin that Middaymorrow was a dangerous cult before he went there the first time,” I pointed out. “This isn’t something you just discovered.”
We talked for twenty minutes, but Quinn was going to Canada. I understood Austin’s desire to help his brother, and Quinn wanting to help him.  I guessed they had a plan, one that involved grabbing Austin’s brother and dragging him out whether he wanted to go or not.
“This mostly likely ends with you and Austin in a Canadian jail,” I said. Quinn shook his head.
I doubted I’d see Quinn again once he completed treatment. There was much to admire about him –  his refusal to quit, how far he’d progressed, and his loyalty to friends.  I started a list of people who’d passed through my life, leaving me better for having met them.

Today I will be grateful for people who pass through my life.

Time for a Change ©2017 by Ken Montrose
Time for a Change is a work of fiction. Any similarity between the characters and anyone you might know is purely coincidental.
Other works by Ken Montrose are available at: www.greenbriartraining.com

Sunday, September 10, 2017

116. Burned
Later that day, Quinn told me he and Austin were going back to Canada to pull Austin’s brother out of the Church of Middaymorrow.  “This time will be different,” he said. “We know for sure it’s a cult.”
Shaking my head, I said, “Suppose you get burned cooking on an open fire. You think you’d learn your lesson, but you get burned on a gas stove you weren’t afraid to touch because the flame wasn’t wild like the camp fire’s. Next you touch an electric stove because there’s no flame. Finally, you get burned in the shower telling yourself water isn’t like a flame.”
“I get your point,” he said. “If I keep looking for minor differences between dangerous situations, I’ll keep getting burned.”
“Exactly.”
“But this is different,” he said. 
‘He’s going to get burned again,’ I thought.

Today I hope I only have to get burned once to learn my lesson.
Time for a Change ©2017 by Ken Montrose
Time for a Change is a work of fiction. Any similarity between the characters and anyone you might know is purely coincidental.

Other works by Ken Montrose are available at: www.greenbriartraining.com

Thursday, September 7, 2017

115. Don’t Just Open the Door
After group I asked Holton about his girlfriend’s pregnancy.  He said, “You know how they say when one door closes another opens.  I’ve been opening some doors lately and looking in.”

“You mean like opening the door to fatherhood?” I asked.

“Exactly. I opened the door and saw the diaper pail, a screaming kid, and me up at 3:00 begging him to go back to sleep because I had to work in the morning.”

I laughed. “And you still want to be a father?”

“I opened that door again and really looked around. I saw my brother’s house. Baby pictures everywhere. Big smile on his face as his daughter sleeps on his shoulder. The baby giggling as his wife plays with her.  Now I see what I really want not just what I wanted to see.”

Today I will open a new door and really look in.

Time for a Change ©2017 by Ken Montrose

Time for a Change is a work of fiction. Any similarity between the characters and anyone you might know is purely coincidental.
Other works by Ken Montrose are available at: www.greenbriartraining.com

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

114. Holding Onto My Marbles
When I got to the office, The Other Ken told me Austin was marbling out.  The group would pass around a marble, each saying a few words of encouragement before handing it off to the next person. When everyone had spoken, Austin would be given the marble as a reminder of his time in treatment.
He had done well, but he seemed worried. “Thanks guys,” he said to the group.  “So if each time someone encouraged me I got a marble, you’d think I’d have a bag full, right? Each time I accomplished something I’d get another?” He rubbed his temples and stared at his shoes for a second or two. “When things get a little tough, I forget the good stuff people have said. I don’t look at what I’ve accomplished.  It’s like I lose my marbles.  Not this time. I gotta remember what you guys said, look at what I’ve done, stay clean, and hold onto my marbles.”
Today I’ll try not to lose my marbles.
Time for a Change ©2017 by Ken Montrose
Time for a Change is a work of fiction. Any similarity between the characters and anyone you might know is purely coincidental.
Other works by Ken Montrose are available at: www.greenbriartraining.com

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

113. Hitting the Pause Button
I ran into Jameston at Dunkin’ Donuts the next day.
“How are you holding up?” I asked.
He took a second to gather his thoughts. “My sister says there’s a moment, after she gets the triplets to bed, while her husband takes the dog out, before she puts toys away, where she hits the pause button.  She will stand at the kitchen sink with her eyes closed for a minute or two, sometimes as long as five. Just stand there and pause before she gets ready for the next day. I am sick, but I’m living in that pause, do you know what I mean?”
I shook my head, “I’m not sure.”
He continued, “Some people think I must have instant spirituality because I’m terminally ill. Maybe I look like I’ve discovered some ancient wisdom. I’m really just me, at peace with my eyes closed, knowing I’ve got to open them and face the world soon. I’ve hit the pause button. It’s the eye of the storm, but it’s calm.”
Today I will hit the pause button.

Time for a Change ©2017 by Ken Montrose
Time for a Change is a work of fiction. Any similarity between the characters and anyone you might know is purely coincidental.
Other works by Ken Montrose are available at: www.greenbriartraining.com

https://www.pinterest.com/kenmontrose/mt-rose/

Monday, September 4, 2017

112.  There’s a Reward
 The next night I curled up next to my wife on the couch.  She said, “I thought you were going to work on your laptop.”
“I stayed up late last night to get today’s speech together,” I said. “I’m beat and I’m gonna take a break.”
“You’ve earned it,” she said. “You deserve a little reward. There’s a great movie coming on.”
“What?”
“A real tear-jerker.  I know you’ve heard of it, but I bet you’ve never seen Beaches.” She saw my face and started to laugh. “Oh, that look!  I wish I’d said The Notebook.  Here’s the remote. You pick the movie.”
We watched a sci-fi movie and I thought time with her was the best reward.
Today, if I’ve earned it, I will reward myself.
Time for a Change ©2017 by Ken Montrose
Time for a Change is a work of fiction. Any similarity between the characters and anyone you might know is purely coincidental.
Other works by Ken Montrose are available at: www.greenbriartraining.com

https://www.pinterest.com/kenmontrose/mt-rose/

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Heroin, Oxycontin, and Other Opiates: Breaking Your Addiction to Them
The Kindle version is FREE 9/3 - 9/7 http://www.amazon.com/Ken-Montrose/e/B001K8MG0S
This workbook looks at the carrot and the stick of opiate addiction. The exercises are geared to helping the reader recognize what motivates him to continue using these drugs. It also discusses common-sense approaches to recovering from addiction.
Excerpt           
"There is a “carrot and stick” to opiates. Imagine a jackass chasing a carrot dangled in front of him on a stick. The animal will chase that carrot until he is exhausted, remembering the taste of the first carrot.
"Now imagine that his master finally allows him to eat the carrot in the shade. The carrot only satisfies his hunger for a few minutes. In what seems like a moment, his master will be hitting him with a stick to get him moving again. Soon his belly is rumbling, his sides hurt from the stick, and he knows he must get up to chase another carrot.
"Opiates are the carrot and the stick. The high, and the escape from pain, are the carrot. Withdrawal and all the problems opiate addiction causes are the stick. Addiction is the master. Guess which role you play. This workbook will help you stop."
Heroin, Oxycontin, & Other Opiates © 2005 by Ken Montrose
Other Free eBOOKS 9/3 - 9/7, available from: http://www.amazon.com/Ken-Montrose/e/B001K8MG0S
  • Forgiveness: A guide for people in Recovery
  • AArdvarks: A Daily Recovery Message Novella
  • g-NAts: Another Daily Recovery Message Novella
  • Smart Bears, Angry Rats: A somewhat sci-fi daily recovery message novella
  • My Favorite Character Defects: The Next Book Written By Your Addiction

Friday, September 1, 2017

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Time for a Change will return Tuesday, September 5th.