A round dozen

Does anyone know why we have the expression “a round dozen” in the English lexicon.  Why not a around right or a round ten?  I googled this little thought and basically found very little.  Oxford English Dictionaries site (a reliable and citable source I’d wager) suggests it was originally Scottish or of nautical background – how many British idioms are nautically based?  Loads that how many.  However that was for a punishment by lashes and they quote it was 13 not 12.

Whatever, despite the vagaries of the slow and haphazard development of the English language, now all but stifled with the government insistent in the latest SATs tests for 11 year olds that you can only use an exclamation mark at the end of sentence starting in with “What” or “How”.  Nonsense!    The bottom line is that on Saturday I passed another sober milestone and am now officially 12 years sober.

How’s that happen?  Buggered if I know really.  I’ve just not picked up a drink, gone to AA meetings and tried to work some form of recovery programme based on the AA 12 steps.  It is on one hand simple and subtle on the other  complex and obtuse.  Frankly like in many ways only those that have walked the path of daily misery of active addiction can truly relate to others who’ve walked that path trying to explain trudging the road to happy destiny (rephrased from Chapter 11 of AA big book) to someone who hasn’t had a flavour of recovery is next to impossible.

The one thing I can attest to is that I have undergone a profound change as a person.  Yes I don’t drink alcohol any more but that is only one part of what has changed.  Some examples…

  • I no longer take notice of what car people drive and compare it to what I drive to determine if I’m just doing well enough.
    • That expands to all consumer items, my house, my family, etc. etc.  I no longer am in a constant state of comparison with an external focal point.  I look inside, am I happy with my car for me now, my house, my family… what can I do if I need to about that?
  • I garden.  It used to get me so angry, I’d gut the grass… it’d grow back… I’d weed and the bastards would grow back.  I’ve learnt that you have to do a little often to encourage the plants you want and discourage the weeds you don’t.
    • This translates to so many other things too.  If I want to improve some aspect of myself or my life I need to do some encouraging and discouraging regularly.
  • I’m no longer embedded in the rat race.
    • I don’t strive for the ultimate money earning position any more.  It isn’t what makes me happy or makes me feel like I’ve made a worthy contribution.  I seek out opportunities that feel right not simply add money to the wallet.

I could go on but those three I think serve to show an example of how I’ve changed and continue to change and grow in recovery.

By the way – thanks to all bloggers, past and present who’ve been an inspiration to me on my recovery road.  You are all part of the reason I’m where I am today.


About furtheron

Music and guitar obsessive who is a recovering alcoholic to boot
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9 Responses to A round dozen

  1. I don’t know ‘a round dozen.’ I’ve heard a baker’s dozen (13) but not that. Should come as no surprise. I continually read mysterious word combinations here all the time.

    12 years is quite a show. Not easy, I’ll bet. Congrats. Well done, sir. I wish I could adopt your attitude about cars and material things. I need to work on that but I don’t know where to begin. A nice post.

  2. looby says:

    I’m not sure whether they accept questions, but you could see if the OUP blog would be interested. If you like finding out about the origins of our fantastically elaborate language, it’s well worth a read.

    About the ratrace — it’s been my life’s work to avoid work, to be honest!

  3. JJ says:

    12 years, that’s a long time, well done you!! (Oh 2 exclamation points, they’ll be giving me a ticket.)

    This bit about comparison is very important. I think part of ageing is that you can let comparisons go and just enjoy what you have, what you see.

    Your gardening experiences remind me of the Zen saying: Before enlightenment chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment chop wood, carry water.

  4. Lily says:

    Well done on achieving 12 years of sobriety. You have done an absolutely amazing job and I know it hasn’t been an easy journey. Long WILL it continue. 🙂

  5. Happy over anniversary 🙂

  6. Beautifully said!
    Happy 12 Years!!
    It is interesting the changes I am seeing in myself the longer I am sober.
    Gardening is not one of them, however!
    And I thank you, too!!!
    Wendy from Minnesota!!

  7. byebyebeer says:

    Woohoo! Congrats on a round dozen! Next up is a bakers dozen. I want what you have, especially the gardening part.

  8. Lisa Neumann says:

    Ok … now I’m reading the blog backwards.
    I love your list of changes. I tend to forget all that has changed when I get resting in a lull. I think I’ll work on this little exercise today.

  9. Liz Hinds says:

    What brilliant changes to have brought about. And great advice for us all.

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