July 29, 2012 (this day)

Last night at our meeting a young lady celebrated one year of sobriety, at the age of 23.  As a recap, I got sober (finally) four weeks before my 22nd birthday.  It is beyond wonderful to see someone succeed at that age.  She chose, for a topic, “yets.”  I hope that the profoundness I feel about her choice really resides within her.  For her to acknowledge that every bad thing she’s ever heard of waits for her, if she drinks, if she’s lucky, will be a key to life-long sobriety.  Amazing.

Carole is traveling with our daughter, Erika, which is in itself amazing.  A gift of sobriety.  I’m going to attempt to walk the dog on my own, and go to a meeting, full of gratitude at right this minute.

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Acceptance (finis)

Of the six days we had to potentially swim in the ocean, we were only able to make it in on three. The water was too rough the other days.  Traffic to and from our destination was pretty bad and driving was difficult.  I had a painful chest for part of it (menopause), and my back hurt frequently.  The young family we traveled with struggled over the behavior and misbehavior of their children.  Carole didn’t catch as many fish as she had hoped.  The heat and humidity were unbearable for one and half of our days there.  Our son didn’t stay with my mother back home, like he had agreed to do.

Acceptance is what makes us say, after that experience, that the vacation was absolutely wonderful.

In trying to summarize the way acceptance works for me in my life, I had the thought that acceptance has made me give up “magical” thinking, or at least to try and recognize it for what it is.

People in the program around here like to say, “I don’t have to like what I have to accept.”  True enough.  I accept terrible things and I don’t like them a bit.

But, and I’m sure I can’t write this out to express exactly what I mean, I’d like to take it a step further and actually like everything in my life, good and bad.  I had read that as an aspect of humility once, and I’m sure I could never actually get myself to where I’m that together that I can actually do it with any real success.  But I’d like to.

I can hear it sometimes in the people who don’t have a program, this constant dislike of some aspect of reality.  I’m grateful that even when I have that, I still know right away that I need to follow those thoughts with thoughts of gratitude, no matter where I have to go in order to find them.

July 21, 2012 (this day)

The SAND in my bathing suit is just a memory now.  I’m really grateful I can still be pummeled to that extent by the waves and live to tell about it.  And enjoy it.

I’ve been back to work and all of our visitors are gone.  The swelling from my ankles is almost gone.  I guess that sunburn made my ankles swell?  Menopause made other parts of me retain water and that is not gone.  Nor is the pain.  I cancelled my mammogram for next week because there is no way I could bear it right now.  As soon as this subsides I’ll reschedule.

Today is an average Saturday.  We took the dog to the wash-your-own-dog place and she’s already forgiven us.  We have our meeting tonight and in between …….

It’s a bit of a joke that, like the commercial, I don’t like fun.  Really lots of things that other people consider to be fun, I dislike.  Many things that Carole considers to be fun, I dislike.  But I offer as proof that I do actually like fun the fact that

the Sims ate my life.  And last night they even made their way into my dreams.

But Today, in Well-Matured A.A.’s (Step Twelve continued)

But today, in well-matured A.A.’s, these distorted drives have been restored to something like their true purpose and direction.  We no longer strive to dominate or rule those about us in order to gain self-importance.  We no longer seek fame and honor in order to be praised.

It humbles me, first of all, to consider myself a well-matured AA whose distorted drives may have – should have been restored to something like their true purpose and direction.  I know that time is only a number, that if I don’t drink today I’ve won, that everyone has their own time and pace and etc but really.  If, after 28 years of sobriety in the program, I’m not a well-matured AA, I should consider giving it up.

I never tried to dominate or rule in order to gain self-importance.  I don’t like being in charge, and I’d much rather follow orders and have it be your fault when it goes wrong.  There are a few things, however, about which I am very certain that I’m right, and it should be done my way.

I have some opinions at work, and mostly my problem there is that I am right, and I’m called to judge, assess, and lead others in the right direction.  It’s a responsibility I need to constantly take more seriously.  I need to do it more, and better, and not consider my own dislike of conflict so much when I direct others.  Oy.

At home, it’s more complicated.  There are a few things I feel right about and really can’t change my opinion, even if I don’t get my way.

But I think those things are few.  Seeking fame and honor – that has never been me.  I don’t like praise, it brings attention to me, and I don’t like attention.  My dislike of attention is more than it should be.  Thanks to AA, I know it is a kind of twisted “pride in reverse.”

Boy, “a well-matured AA” is quite a thing to think about.  Honestly, I don’t like the ‘progress not perfection” kind of cop-out I so often hear.  For me, personally, it is just as true that I can always, always, step it up a bit.

 

July 12, 2012 (this day)

At meetings on vacation, I never know if the people I’m listening to say the same thing every week.  I don’t know if they are full of it, or truly wise, or coming back or new or old.

I’m grateful to the people who keep these meetings going in seasonal, touristy places.

July 9, 2012 (this day)

I had to look up the date!

There is internet access, thank goodness.  I was ready to do without but not happy about it.

The awful weather broke here and back home, thank goodness.  Today was a perfect day for me to be on the beach.  It was cloudy, so no sun.  The waves were awesome and the friends we’re traveling with and their kids joined me in the water.  I stayed in until my fingers shriveled up.  Very, very nice.

Carole and I sponsor this couple – me, her and she, him.  The plan is to go to a 7:30 meeting tomorrow morning.  Groan.  We’ll see how that goes.  We’re in a very vacationy spot.  I don’t think many people actually live here.  We went to a meeting here last year and one of the regulars was talking about the stress of having tourists come and go.  It must be strange.

Anyway, extremely much to be grateful for, including, of course, the internet.

July 6, 2012 (this day)

Hot heat, and I’m packing to go away.  I really don’t like to go away.  But away I will go.  My mother and son are staying with the dog, so I can’t ask for more than that.

I’ll go to a meeting while I’m away.  I’ll be with one sponsee, and I’ll tell the other to call me.  Part of what I don’t like about being away is being out of touch, but cell phones should take care of that.  We’re staying somewhere with no internet, though, which really kind of stuns me.  So I’ll be out of touch in that way.  I know it’s good for me, but I don’t like it.

There’s so much to be grateful for.  The end of the heat wave, which isn’t here yet but is promised soon.  My mother and kids staying with the pets.  The ability to go away and swim!  I grew up around water and I miss it.  A wife I want to go away with.  Pets and a job to come home to.  Books and swimming and Sims (OMG).

Are we there yet?