It’s a super yucky Friday morning – it’s still dark and outside it’s cold and pissing it down with rain. I’ve lit candles and am all cosy and warm here on the couch as I glance over at the windows that are being lashed by rain. Glad I don’t have to head out in this at this early hour. Someone else had to though, at 6am.
I’m a very proud mum right now, because as we speak, Bambino is cycling around the neighbourhood with a heavy bag of newspapers on his back to deliver to a bunch of addresses. It was his own idea. I’m not even going to pretend my kid is some wholesome, keen, God fearing little dude – he likes cash, is all. He came to me last week and said he wants to get a job so he can earn extra money and get some experience, and he asked how you get one. So I explained what he needed to do and with a bit of direction from me in terms of layout and what to include, he sat by my laptop and typed up a letter. At 15, a CV really just contains his date of birth and address, what school he goes to, what subjects he’s chosen for his GCSEs and his hobbies, but he did a good job of it, pointing out which subjects he enjoys most and why he wants to work.
Bambino isn’t one to get nervous like his mama – he’s always been confident to the point where it sometimes resembles arrogance, but as he went off to hand his printed off letters to local businesses he gave me a big grin and told me “I’m actually really nervous! Do you just go in and give it to them?“. “Just ask for the manager or the next best thing if they’re not there, introduce yourself and tell them you’re looking for work and can you give them your details, that’s all,” I told him and off he went. When he got back, having handed out 20-odd letters, his eyes glittered. “That felt so good, I don’t know why!” I think the feeling he experienced was empowerment – it simply feels really good to do something you find scary, find you can actually do it and it gets you somewhere good.
Today was his first day at 6am on aforementioned cold, dark and rainy morning.
So I’ve been sitting here feeling really proud of him, partly because getting out of bed is for my teenager a bit of a struggle and at weekends he rarely emerges before lunchtime. He was his usual, sulky teenager self when he left, but as he walked back in just now (legs soaked and fingers red from the cold, but at least he had a rain coat and cap), he flashed me his beautiful, cheeky smile and I could tell he feels good about it. I hope he gets that great feeling when he gets his first little pay cheque of “I DID THAT“. I hope he doesn’t get that defeated feeling of “did I do that for THIS??” looking at a paltry sum in exchange for the pain of seven mornings a week. Time will tell.
I do hope he’ll stick with it. I’ve said to him it’ll probably be more of a pain than he expects it to be and at times disheartening to earn so little for so much effort, but to keep an eye on the end goal: stick with it for however many months and treat it as the most important thing in your life, and then you have exactly what you need to move on to a better little job. Because what he’ll have if he goes about it that way is a reference. Not just a job to add to his little CV, but also a person to confirm he’s showed up, done the work and done it well. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? JUST SHOW UP. DO THE WORK. JUST FOR TODAY. Life, amigos. Life.
Today I need to take a leaf out of Bambino’s book and get on with something I’d rather just avoid and leave to the last minute, after having spent the last few days feeling anxious. Case study essay. I know I can get it all done within a matter of perhaps three or four hours, it’s shorter than the previous essay but fiddlier to do as it has a transcription, contract and some other bits with it – it’s one of those things that seem complicated and like a mountain of different things until you methodically just burn your way through them and realise it’s not that bad. Like the essay I left to the last minute. So I’m going to approach it with Bambino’s current (!) work ethic and just get on and do it.
And I’m six days away from two years sober. 724 days today – Jeez, that number makes me laugh with disbelief and a huge dose of joyful gratitude! How this is even me I’ll never know, it still seems so unlikely. But here we are and I’m the woman who’s 724 days sober but most of all FREE today.
It’s such a great feeling and I never want it to change. That’s why I’m so thrilled to say:
Today I’m not going to drink.