Aren’t these practices joy-killers as well as time-consumers? Must A.A.’s spend most of their waking hours drearily rehashing their sins of omission and commission? Well, hardly. The emphasis on inventory is heavy only because a great many of us have never really acquired the habit of accurate self-appraisal. Once this healthy practice has become grooved, it will be so interesting and profitable that the time it takes won’t be missed. For these minutes and sometimes hours spent in self-examination are bound to make all the other hours of our day better and happier. And at length our inventories become a regular part of everyday living, rather than something unusual or set apart.
As I’ve realized and written, I don’t really do this in a formal way most days and in most situations. I have learned to quickly look for my part and what’s wrong with me when I’m disturbed, but I feel kind of stymied when I think about it now.
This morning, at work, I quickly got overwhelmed and angry and upset. I’m listening to Manage Your Time to Reduce Your Stress in the car, and on the way in it asked me to identify stressful situations and work to minimize them. The book has nothing to do with AA, but so many of the procedures of AA are universal and practiced in many times and places.
The work situation was something that has upset me there for years. Basically it is “Mondaymorningitis,” a malady that afflicts too many of the people I work with. We work in a situation where we are taking care of people, so the less staff there is, the more stressed and less cared for everyone gets.
Part of my frustration comes from the fact that as a supervisor I am called to tell people what to do. Like, “This job is Monday through Friday, please come to it each and every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.” I’m supposed to tell them what to do, yet, like with my children, my ability to actually get them to do it is severely limited. I try to trick, threaten and bribe them into doing what they ought to have done to begin with.
I do provide a power of example by actually going to work every day myself.
So what is wrong with me here? I am judgemental, for sure. Those people who failed to make it work today may be really sick, and here I am angry and stewing at sick people. I’ve certainly failed to avoid stepping in a hole I know very very well. I could, maybe, avoid the scheduling of staff on Monday mornings so that I don’t get involved in the process and think about who is not where, and when they are not there. I could (try to) accept that this is the way my agency operates. This will be tolerated and if I can’t tolerate it, I should leave. The pros outweigh the cons, and so I stay, but this is part of staying.
In thinking about this Step and inventory, I have not kept up with a review or with the list or anything like that. I really dislike thinking about myself but I also trust the program very, very much, and so I will continue with this still.