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The blaring sound leapt under Jerry's skin and strangled him awake in an instant. His eyes popped open in terror and for a darkened moment he forgot where he was.
"Oh, Jeeze," he exclaimed in sudden realization-"the freekin' alarm."
He slammed his wrist on the snooze button and flopped back on the bed.
Nine minutes later the blare cried out again though the awareness came much quicker. Jerry smacked the clock and rolled his feet off the side and out from under the sheets. Slug-like, he dragged his sagging carcass into the bathroom and looked at the face that stared back at him in the mirror.
"Ugh," he muttered. "Nice breath," he added as he frowned and reached for a crusty toothbrush.
Only the growling in his paunch kept him from crawling once more beneath the covers, coupled with the painful knowledge that without a paycheck the cupboard would stand ever more bare and stay that way indefinitely.
"Life blows," he mumbled, scratching peanut butter onto the last nub of bread from a week-old loaf.
Throughout the day, as he most often did, Jerry ran the gamut of emotions, up, down, high, low, from the heavens to the depths, like a yo-yo.
His burst of creativity left him giddy only to morph into a morbid employment dread when the boss shot down his idea.
Jerry rode hard, dominated by one feeling after another, unable to separate or manage or compartmentalize-a black and white tango that left no room for gray.
Upon arrival at home, Jerry walked straight to the mailbox and stood in ritual, leafing through the daily arrivals.
"What?" he exclaimed, a sudden burst of exhilaration.
The envelope read U.S. Treasury across the top.
He ripped it open and began a disjointed funky chicken on the sidewalk.
"Pay to the order of ME-you know that's right," he grunted as he spied his income tax refund.
His bliss came to a jarring halt as he recognized the handwriting on an oversized card beneath the check.
She hadn't returned his calls in several days and though he had tried not to over-analyze, the sinking torment in his gut spoke volumes of his suspicions.
He tore the flap.
He sank to the ground, sat on his front lawn with his head in his hands, frozen. Numbness turned to anger turned to denial, to sorrow and into frustration, to a desire to regain numbness and a quest for his favorite bottle. The unexpected funds mattered little if at all.
Jerry found himself on the couch, alone, with no more company than his misery and his muse.
"Why does this always happen to me?" he questioned.
"Why can't I catch a break? Why can't I spend some time in cruise mode-live a normal space, mellow, stable, even keel-for at least a minute?"
He knew himself well enough not to expect an answer.
He had made this query many times before.
"Why can't I balance better? Why can't my pain and pleasure co-exist? Not like she hasn't discarded me before-why does the rejection so over-shadow my good fortune? Why don't I have any control?"
Still, he persisted, like a dog on a bone.
"If I'm me, then I need to accept me, feast or famine Jerry, the good and the bad, over the top to rock bottom-that's me."
A slight smile returned.
"Yup. That's me," he reassured himself. "In my sorrow, I'll find joy. In my hurt, I'll dig up some love. That's me, yo-yo Jerry."
He stopped nursing the bottle, set it on the coffee table and picked up the stack of mail, all except the card.
"Yup," he repeated. "Not bad, not bad."
He grinned and started laughing.
"Yeah, baby. Pay to the order of?"
That's A View From The Ridge?
About The Author
Author Ridgely Goldsborough invites you to subscribe to The Daily Column, a heart-felt collection of stories that inspire hope and courage. Please do so at www.aviewfromtheridge.com.
You Can Make a Difference
When I study of world these days, I see a lot of despair, and hopeless. There are countless problems that our society faces such as war, the degradation of the environment, and crimeHowever, I believe that there is hope for the future of society.
What Forgiveness Is Not
Is a grudge-laden heart sabotaging your success in business and in life?Much has been written over the ages about the value of forgiveness. And yet so many people continue to resist the idea of forgiving their transgressors.
Most of us, at one point or another, take a moment to evaluate our lives and the paths that we have chosen to take. We each do it at different times and with different emphasis.
Direct Answers - Column for the week of May 26, 2003My sister is celebrating her tenth anniversary this summer, and I'm concerned she is letting her relationship go. Her husband refuses to acknowledge any problems and doesn't believe in counseling.
Your Inner Wisdom -- Crouching Ego, Hidden Guru
Wouldn't it be nice if you had a spiritual counselor that traveled everywhere with you, answering all your questions and guiding you down the perfect path? Well, you do! Take a look in the mirror--it's you!Within each of us is our wise higher self, the part of us that connects our human self to our God self. God is everywhere, even in you, but sometimes the connection is forgotten.
What is Passion?
What is passion? Recently after a presentation, I was once again thanked for my passion. The compliment was genuinely given, as was my returned thank you.
How to Use the Ebb and Flow of Life to Your Advantage
Are you overwhelmed with so many activities you don't know where to start?Are you always in a hurry but seem to get nowhere?Do you find yourself in a state of perpetual over-drive?Do you constantly feel tired?Perhaps it's time to take inventory of your life.But how?Here is an excerpt written in the early 1900's by an author who has very wise words about this modern day problem.
The Secret Of Lasting Personal Change
Why do so many of us end up frustrated when we try to improve our personal reality?Why do diets end up in gained weight?Why do some people fail again and again at business?Why do others get into one bad relationship after another - in spite of their deep desire for a "good" relationship?Obviously no one *wishes* to fail in their personal or business life. Yet this is an all-too-common problemLet's face it! We want and deserve to make our lives a better place to be!We want and deserve success! We want a sense of security! We want a good relationship with ourselves and others.
Letting Go and Letting Be
In Corrogue it is frosty.The earth is hard and unyielding.
Play It Forward --Living A Life Youve Always Wanted!
What would your life be like if you lived each event backwards? If you knew what was coming in your life next how would you react?John Eldredge writes in his book Waking the Dead, "God what do you have for my heart today?" He continues by saying, "you may be stunned by what he guides you into. I began the day at six in the morning asking God, "What do you have for my heart today Lord.
Its About That Time
As we've reached the half way point of the year I'm thinking this might be a good time to pull up and evaluate things. Look back over the first 6 months, and look ahead to the upcoming days and months.
You Dont Find All Drunks in the Gutter: The Story of a Functional Alcoholic!
Today, August 22, 2005, I am clean and sober for eight years which simply means today I am still an alcoholic and on this day I will choose not to pick up a drink. If you look at me today and compared my appearance to eight years ago you probably would not notice much difference (with the exception of a few more wrinkles).
Direct Answers - Column for the week of May 19, 2003I'm currently in the classic older man and younger woman relationship. I'm 50 years old, Nancy is 30, and we are both divorced.
Wherever You Are, Be There
One of the major reasons why we fail to find happiness or to create unique lifestyle is because we have not yet mastered the art of being.While we are home our thoughts are still absorbed with solving the challenges we face at the office.
Opening Hearts is as Easy as Opening a Window
Two-year-old Owen goes to speech therapy twice a week. The therapist's office is small and gloomy.
Why Anyone Can Be Prosperous
In nature, when the season is right, all things flourish and overflow with abundance.Similarly, any person can also benefit from the abundance of the creative force in life, the quantum soup from which all life arises.
DREAM IT, CREATE IT, BECOME ITIf you've been reading my newsletter for awhile, you know that I continue to incorporate and teach the 'how to' principles behind successfully achieving our goals and dreams. One important piece of wisdom I've gained is that nothing happens, no forward steps are taken until we first have a dream.
Lisa was born into a loving Christian family and went through life knowing of The Lord and his supreme sacrifice. She was accustomed to Amazing Grace each Sunday and saying grace before meals.
Charity - Give To Receive!
We all know the truism that "charity begins at home." Does it? And what is charity about, anyway? Is it just a square on a Monopoly game to you or is it a regular practice of giving from your abundance to those in need?My American Heritage dictionary has 5 definitions of charity.
20 Ways To Improve Your Life
People often ask me how they can improve their lives.I always give them very specific advice on simple things they can do to create a radical shift in their experience of life.
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