Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The frenzy of leaving

I sent around an email yesterday telling staff what my schedule was for the rest of May and June. It involves my being gone to sea for much of that time, something that I really like but obviously something that struck a chord with others. Not long after my email went out, there were phone calls and knocks on my office door. There was a lot of discussion about other work projects and getting those done. One of my staff S. seemed put out that I was going to be leaving because the logistics of getting the cruise gear together was going to involve a couple of people that he didn't think could be spared because of another project. Ahhh.... don't you love Mondays when the panic button gets pushed by others and you're expected to join in?

Anyway, after a few more frantic phone calls from S., I could feel the resentment get a hook in me. There it was, like one of those worm creatures from a sci-fi movie, working its way into my brain. I could just feel my good humor and happiness evaporate. All I could think of was the number of workshops, conferences and other cruises that I had approved for staff to attend, while I sat back in the office. Somewhere along the way, the thoughts about "what a bunch of ingrates" took over.

So after having those nasty thoughts for a few minutes, I walked out of my office and outside. I looked over at the water, walked around for a few minutes, said a few words to my HP and then grabbed my stuff, shut my door and left. I listened to a Step Four study on resentment on my IPod as I was driving to the evening meeting. As I concentrated on what was being said, I could feel the anger and resentment leaving. By the time I got to the meeting, I was feeling good again.

I am always amazed at how quickly I can assimilate a resentment, but I am equally amazed at how things I've learned in my program help me to look at what I did to invite the resentment in. I think that I have some guilt over leaving, thinking that it's not okay for me to do something that I enjoy. It's the same old replay of my "responsibility" tapes. So after mulling it over, I decided that I was going to go on the ship, enjoy the work, and let the staff take care of things at the office in their usual competent way. That's progress for me, not perfection.


  1. Excellent. I call that 'guilt tripping' thing 'guilt manipulation.' There's a very useful reference to it on page 61 of the book 'Making Friends: A Guide to Getting Along with People' by Andrew Matthews, which looks a bit too simple at first sight, but has LOADS of really useful references for basic social skills in it. I recommend some of his books to Sponsees for learning basic ways of relating to other peoples demands, expectations, etc. I see all that stuff as common sense, in that 'normal' (meaning reasonably happy) people do these things anyway, but most people in aa have no idea how to do these things and they need to learn them from scratch. I say 'common' sense, but 'common' sense isn't nearly as common as I'd like it to be. I found his books really helpful. They just look a bit naff, that's all.
    Anyway, its pretty good going to be able to distance yourself from the 'scene of the crime' (in resentment terms) when provoked in less than a year. If I am feeling heated, I try to get some distance between me and the resentment, otherwise I just cant think things through. So cool.
    Anyway, I'm glad you didn't cave, and I hope you have a great time while you're away. Hopefully there will be some nice pics of the sea on your blog!
    Right. Back to study!

  2. yeah, sometimes it's hard not to run for more gasoline when there's a fire already burning.. I get caught up easily when I'm at work. You gave good advice today...I've got stuff on my ipod, I should just duck under the headphones.

  3. that was awesome.. I can see those damn resentments coming tooo LOL and I tell myself.. I am not taking the bait no - nope I am not... then the person keeps persisting and I get irritated or whateve and my head can go places where is just gross... LOL
    But because of this awesome program, I listen to someone else, read, write pray and relate, and get a better perspective. I really appreciate you writting about this. Thanks : )

  4. It's great that you can still be human, but also have the ability to not let those things maintain a grip on you and ruin your trip. I can see how the program has done this for me as well, allowed me to reflect and not just immediately react.

    I don't expect that everything will just roll off me when people behave badly, but I think I will be able to accept things with grace... after a moment or two of peaceful meditation.

    Good on ya for leaving when you needed to breathe instead of running over anyone. It's nice to be able to look at ourselves in the mirror, isn't it?

  5. I am glad you are taking care of yourself!

  6. Hi Syd,

    I love ur posts, I am catching up but it is bedtime. I will check upon u 2mollies. I just want to say thank u 4 visiting me . . . but more so, thank u 4 sharing parts of u, ur growth and colorful soul.

  7. Yes you are amazing! I just love when someone shares about how they've used the program to see things differently! Enjoy your sailing trip- guilt free!
    LOVE and HUGSS


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