Saturday, September 16, 2006

A Good Saturday

It's been a good day. I woke up breathing, didn't hurt too bad, everything works properly, nothing went wrong throughout the day, my team won - convincingly, as they should have - and I lost $23 playing poker with some friends tonight. Oh well, I had fun anyway, it was a friendly game. All in all, a pretty good Saturday. It beats the hell out of spending the day on the blacktop lot of a car dealership, which I was doing not so long ago.

After I got sober three years ago, I went to work at a Toyota dealership as a way to get back on my feet financially. I've been in sales my entire illustrious business career, and I knew if I only worked hard at it that one day I would achieve the pinnacle of success and land a job as a used car salesman. A purveyor of high quality, pre-owned automobiles. Finally, I had reached this goal. It only took twenty years of hard drinking to elevate me to such a lofty status, and I was happy to be there.

Actually, I was happy to be there. While in the hospital with plenty of time to survey the wreckage that my life had become - how I ended up in this condition is obviously a long story, but it's sufficient to say that alcohol had kicked my ass - I had what some would call an epiphany. There I lay on an examination table in an hospital emergency room, deteriorated to a puny and frail one hundred and twenty pounds, internal organs screaming and shutting down, and for some reason I was still alive. I decided at that moment that whatever time I had left, no matter what condition my body was in, I would try to live it right. I surrendered with complete abandon. I was beaten, I knew this. I couldn't win the war with the bottle. But if by God's Grace I was given more time, I'd live it right. And I've tried to do this. And for that reason, when I was once again employable and was hired as a salesman for the used car department of this Toyota dealership, I was grateful for the opportunity.

I found that I could make a living selling cars. I didn't have to be pushy, lie, cheat, or be cheesy, and I did okay. The one thing that I always hated, though, was working every Saturday, especially during college football season. I'm a college football junkie, what can I say? Even so, I stuck it out and did pretty well. I was promoted into the position of selling our cars on eBay and handling our internet leads for used cars. It was a pretty good gig, actually. The money was good and the hours didn't suck too bad. This gig lasted for almost a year and a half, but it was destined to change when our General Manager was fired and a new GM was brought it. I saw the handwriting on the wall and several things came together at the right time, and I made the decision to leave the dealership and promote my book full time. That was the middle of May of this year, and for the last four months that is what I've been doing. I promote locally and market the book to agents. I've just recently begun the agent marketing but I'm in full swing now.

In the three years since I've been sober I've regained my health, worked hard and made some good decisions, written a novel, published it myself, and because of the earlier good decisions, have had the opportunity to promote it and get it out in some bookstores, do some signings, generate some local print and broadcast publicity, and I've started another novel. I'm trying to get an agent for the novel I've written and the ones that I'm working on. These things are miralces and blessings and I try to remember to be grateful every day.

It's been a great few months. I work my own schedule, which is usually mornings and evenings, and I have the afternoon to either work or play. I can switch things up as I need, and it's a wonderful thing to have that kind of flexibility. I'll make an excellent writer, once I start getting paid for it. I'll have to go back to work before I start getting paid for my writing, I'm sure. I've a budget set that when I hit a certain point, it's back to earning a paycheck, and I'm trying to make that last as long as possible. Having an agent locked up by the time I have to go back to work has been my primary goal since I started this adventure, and I'm doing my best to make it happen. And in the meantime, I enjoy my Saturdays. I'm grateful for them and I try to wallow in them all day long. I watched college football and took a nap this afternoon and it was wonderful. Almost free, too.

Are you cheering for me yet? Are you fascinated by my tales of danger and adventure and overcoming adversity? Are you fighting down a lump of emotion in your throat or is that your dinner coming up?

My brain grows weary. These perambulating ruminations have exhausted the resevoir of perspective and now I babble. That's a couple of five dollar words there. Nice work. Peace and biscuits with sausage gravy...

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