Service, gladly rendered . . .
Thinking about my character defects, the number one impediment to my service is my dog. Service is helping or doing something for someone. Service usually takes me out of the house. I work full time and I usually feel like it isn’t right to leave the dog all day and then all night. Sometimes I take the day off, or work half a day if I need to go somewhere at night. That somewhere doesn’t usually involve service, though. I’ve told Carole that, when this one is no longer with us, I want a year without a dog.
But but but but but . . . She was on death row, a big black dog in a kill shelter. On top of that it turned out she was deathly ill and cost a lot to get well. I thought I could feel like a life with us is better than no life. All this having nothing to do with service.
I know that we have to serve AA, in order to keep it here for ourselves and help secure it for the people of the future who need it. Last night we celebrated the seventh anniversary of the meeting we started and Carole said we have 15 members. I wouldn’t count them all as members, but many do participate and help now, whereas until maybe a year ago it was mostly me and her. That service, of going early and making coffee, I usually did gladly and gratefully but there were times she and I argued about it and I tried hard, after that, to remember that doing that was nothing, and I do mean nothing compared to the lengths I went to in order to drink. The time and expense of helping an AA meeting is a day at the beach compared to the planning, the securing of funds, the buying, the hiding, the drinking, the lying, the missing school, the midnight dialing, the puking and clean up and a thousand other awful things that were part of my drinking.
I still set that meeting up often but not nearly as often as I used to. And the argument about whose turn it is has become moot because the person who we fear at local meetings comes to the meeting very early, so we travel in pairs now without a second thought. I also am the treasurer for the group and that is a bigger service than it might seem because it involves math. The only other service I perform in AA presently is helping people when they ask, mostly sponsoring. That is 99% joy and 1% frightened sadness for me right now.
Personally, I am temperamentally a helper protector type. The easiest and most frequent service I do anywhere is when I directly help someone with a severe disability. I do that at work, a lot less directly than a few years ago, but still daily I get to push a wheelchair down a hall for someone who cannot do it him/herself, as an example. I struggle to turn the work I do directing the direct care staff into service for the people with disabilities and the staff as well. It is potentially more helpful to a greater number of people and, of course, it’s harder than helping directly. Still it works perfectly with my personality and it is an easy, easy way for me to serve. I even get paid to do it. AA has taught me to be grateful for that.
We have a dog walker come walk the dog when we’re at work, serving. A lot of our financial resources go there. It helps keep some lovely ladies in business and I’m sure that’s a good thing.
Now I’ve agreed to help with a presidential campaign after work. It’s something I feel deeply about, although I’m skeptical as to the work I do really making any difference. But I’ll do it, regardless. I keep asking for a work at home opportunity, because at home, I haven’t left the dog all day and night. Four years ago I hand wrote cards to get out the vote. I like to serve and protect but I don’t want to leave the dog and I don’t like people, so I won’t do calling or knocking. If only the candidate’s campaign people realized what a worker bee they have in me, as long as I can stay in my hive . . .