April 23, 2017 (this day)

IMG_0432We have to soak the dog’s glucosamine and dissolve it because if she senses any kind of chunk, she spits it out.  Someone fished the pill out of the water.  I’m pretty sure it was one specific cat.  I’m worried now that this cat is ill.  She is the best cat I’ve ever had.  She’s six years old, so hopefully if she is ill it’s easily taken care of.  I’m writing on Sunday, and on Wednesday both my work partner and my home partner will leave on trips far far away.  I’ll have the work place and the home place on my own, and that always causes me some anxiety.  A sick cat would just not be good.

I was protesting yesterday and I was protesting last week.  I’ve protested five times, I think, since that first one in DC in January.

Carole marked 21 years sober the other day.  Yesterday at our meeting I told a bit of a story I’ll tell here.  My daughter sometimes goes for work to the place where I grew up, drank and got sober.  The other days she passed by my university and sent me a picture from traffic of a main walkway of the place.  A walkway I used many, many times.  It made me think that the worst years of my life were spent there.  The years I was most drunk and that I’m only lucky I survived.  If you had told me then that …..34?  35? years later my scientist daughter would pass by for work, that she’s care enough about me to take a picture and send it, that she’d by OK and I’d be OK and I’d be approaching 33 years sober…… Beyond my wildest dreams, for absolutely sure.

My co-worker’s step son died from and overdose the other night.  My next door neighbor died from one two weeks ago.  Two young people in their 20s.

All really is well with me right now.  I’m still trying to adjust to the political “new normal,” the one where I’m engaged no matter what the outside conditions.  I’m heartened by all the people who think like I do and who join me in these endeavors.  I’m saddened by what I perceive I lost, knowing that it remains perfect in my imagination because it didn’t happen.  I’m taking a moment to consider what the very old lady I might (probably not, but maybe) turn out to be 30-some years from now might be like.  One thing for sure, if I don’t drink I should be a bit of an AA record holder by then.

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He Needs to Develop the Quality of Willingness (Step Three continued)

Then it is explained that other Steps of the A.A. program can be practiced with success only when Step Three is given a determined and persistent trial. This statement may surprise newcomers who have experienced nothing but constant deflation and a growing conviction that human will is of no value whatever. They have become persuaded, and rightly so, that many problems besides alcohol will not yield to a headlong assault powered by the individual alone. But now it appears that there are certain things which only the individual can do. All by himself, and in the light of his own circumstances, he needs to develop the quality of willingness. When he acquires willingness, he is the only one who can make the decision to exert himself. Trying to do this is an act of his own will. All of the Twelve Steps require sustained and personal exertion to conform to their principles and so, we trust, to God’s will.

Exertion!  I was just asking Carole if she thinks that a lot of “failure” in AA is due to plain laziness.  It does take effort to get in the car, drive to a meeting, participate in the meeting, go home again.  I does take effort to read the books, talk to others, write a blog!  I know that I want things to be easier than that.  I want to work electronics and appliances without reading the instructions.  I want AA without doing the work.

Sustained exertion.  Sustained effort.  Over good times and bad, boring times and interesting times.  It’s the absolute best thing about my life that I sustained this effort.  That’s how I “turn it over,” day after day.

So to apply this to today.

I’m still struggling.  I’ve taken lots of, if not constructive action, at least action that’s not destructive.  I’m still reading the New York Times (fake news) and my local paper.  I’m still calling and writing my representatives.  I’m trying to keep other people energized and engaged.  I’m beginning to support someone who will challenge my terrible congressman in 2018.

I guess I believe that applying the program and the way of life and way of thinking I’ve developed as a result of the program will eventually lead me to serenity regardless of outside circumstances.  All I need to do is to live long enough and keep exerting myself.