February 1, 2011 (this day)

A stream of consciousness, written to avoid writing about (really, reading about) Tradition Four.

This time of year is tough, with the unrelenting cold and ice and snow.  There are no “big” holidays and every day is a battle to get out the door and get somewhere safely.  Even when the roads are relatively clear, there’s a constant stream of yuck thrown up on the windshield and an endless stream of windshield washer fluid pouring out into the world just so we can see.

Football.  I despise it.  Truly.  It is so very wrong.  Millionaire men seeing who can smash whom the hardest.  The language of football is the language of war.  The resources that go into football make me weep.  Not so much the pro football, but in football for the children, football over books, football that endangers their very brains.  It is everywhere right now, and I hate it.  My problem, entirely.  I’m apparently not quite ready to have God remove this defect of character.

Sunday, instead of watching football, I will go to a meeting, and I hope there’s someone there in addition to me and the friend I asked to meet me there.  It’s very possible there won’t be.  But in talking about it today, this friend asked me why I love this particular meeting.  It’s not in my neighborhood and I pass many meetings to get there.  The “home” group is mostly if not entirely men, and I’m sorry, but I vastly prefer the company of women.

But.  For one thing, it’s different.  Just the sameness of AA meetings repeated for hours a week over what feels like a lifetime – for me, truly, it is a lifetime.  Just the sameness can cause people to drift away, I’m sure of it.  I vow to myself and my God who gave me this second chance at life that I will not drift away so long as I am able to attend, but not everyone shares my commitment.  Hardly anyone does.  But anyway, something different is nice, just because it’s different.  I know that I was raised that way, to prefer diversity, and I’m grateful.

Beyond that, of course, something can’t be good just because it is different.  At this meeting they read the big book, but they then discuss it in a way I haven’t experienced at any other meeting.  They have an actual discussion, rather than raising hands or taking turns or only having one turn.  An actual discussion.  That’s different, and in a good way.

The people who attend the meeting are smart.  I’ve recently stopped apologizing for being smart (and having smart children).  Being smart is a good thing, a gift, like artistic ability or athletic ability or some other ability.  I wish everyone could be smart, because it’s a good thing.  Given that everyone can’t be, I’m grateful that I (temporarily) am, and I enjoy being intellectually stimulated.  The discussion at this meeting is at a high intellectual level that not everyone would follow or enjoy.

AA is not a “smart” program.  Above average intelligence is by no means required to get it, thank goodness.  But like anything else, I believe, it can be intelligently enjoyed and explored an exercised in a way that, personally, gives me pleasure.  They do that at this meeting.

Some of the oldtimers and some of the newer people there have studied AA and AA history in a way that makes what they say interesting to me.  Again, I enjoy history.  I am on no crusade to bring AA back to the way it used to be.  Times change!  But I find history interesting and enjoyable and, for me, it adds to my experience.  I don’t question the credentials of the people at the meeting.  I know full well that they may be full of hot air and spouting things that are wrong or worse.  That would never endanger my sobriety.  I guess it could endanger sobriety for some, and they should certainly stay away.

So I’m very much looking forward to this meeting, and I will be disappointed if it’s a bomb or worse, if no one shows up because they’re too busy doing something else …….

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