Monday, September 15, 2008


It's a Monday and that usually means getting a mind adjustment for going back to work. Instead, I was greeted with a car that wouldn't start which meant another trip to the dealership to determine why, with a new battery, there is still something (a short, a bad alternator???) draining the battery. It wasn't exactly how I had planned to start the day. But somedays you just have to roll with the punches.

I'm glad that all the blogger friends in Texas withstood Ike. I don't think that my colleagues at the Galveston Laboratory are doing well at all. They probably lost not only their homes but the lab is likely devastated. I haven't heard any news on that yet. The Houston and Galveston areas look really bad. Recovery from damage like this takes time and a toll on people after a while. And it's made worse by no electricity.

Living without electricity in the South means hot, humid days and lots of mold. We managed to survive 23 days with a generator that ran the well pump and kept the freezer and refrigerator going. I have become a creature who like air conditioning, especially when it's near 90 F and about 80% humidity.

These are obstacles that can break serenity. Yet, in spite of all the problems, buildings can be rebuilt, the electricity will be back on, and life goes on. Like my father used to say, "Get back on the horse after a fall".

At tonight's meeting, I'm going to chair and have as a topic the 3 obstacles to success in Al-Anon:


Al-Anon is not allied with any sect or denomination. It is a spiritual program, based on no particular form of religion. Everyone is welcome, no matter of what affiliation or none. We defeat our purpose by entering into discussions concerning specific religious tenets.


We meet to help ourselves and others to learn and use the Al-Anon philosophy. In such groups gossip can have no part. We do not discuss members or others, and particularly not the alcoholic; our dedication to anonymity gives people confidence in Al-Anon. Careless repeating of matters heard at meetings can defeat the very purpose for which we are joined together.


Our leaders are chosen not to govern, but to serve. No member of Al-Anon should direct, assume authority or give advice. Our program is based on suggestion, interchange of experience, rotation of leadership. We progress in our own way and pace. Any attempt to manage or direct is likely to have disastrous consequences for group harmony. The key thing to remember is that we all are equal in Al-Anon. The newcomer has as much a say as the old timer.

When we are sure that we are on the right road there is no need to plan our journey too far ahead. No need to burden ourselves with doubts and fears as to the obstacles that may bar our progress. We cannot take more than one step at a time. Orison Swett Marden


  1. Sounds like it will be a great meeting tonight. Wish I were there.
    Hopefully it will make up for the inconveniences of the morning.

  2. Sounds like you are going to remind everyone of the rules. That's good to do every so often. I find in our group newcomers come & go and don't always understand what is going on.

  3. Hi Syd,

    It's always nice to hear about the basics. These rules were quite comforting to me in the early days when the last thing I wanted was to hear about religion - - - I felt totally abandoned by God and formal religion. As for gossip, that was what sent me spiraling down into a nervous breakdown. I can't say much about dominance, since I must say honestly that I have that dreaded Type A personality (which has been tempered nicely by the Traditions). To end this little dissertation, I am sooo very grateful I came, I listened, I stayed. Today, I am at peace, and love life. Thank you for 'dusting the corners' again! Love, Anonymous #1

  4. Syd, after all these years an alkie, I attended my first Alanon meeting at noon today.

    So I'll be reading your posts with more than usual interest.

    I remind me of a PEANUTS cartoon: Lucy's uncle was trying to learn how to play a violin--by watching the violinists in the orchestra at a concert! Love it!

  5. Interesting, I make it a point to write my blog before I read yours, so I am centered in what I need to say. (Not really always centered, but I say it anyways.) Tonight you are right on track with the topic for me.

  6. i think our cars have a bond of sorts... yesterday (monday) morning, i firstly had to phone hubby to move his bikes out the way 'cause i couldn't get the car out, and then.... when i tried to start her, the battery was flat! but there's an explanation. she was washed on friday, and the passenger door wasn't closed properly, so the interior light burned all weekend and drained the battery. a lesson in checking on stuff immediately after they are done, hmmmmmm. good luck getting yours fixed!

  7. Hey Syd thats the reason I like the UK its very rarely hot just usually rain and cool, I couldnt stand being hot all the time and without Electricity life is hopeless now a days, I guess we should be grateful to live in the time and place we do.
    Brill share last night left me on a high, even my mate Uncle Buck I reckon was secretly bowled over by it

  8. hey near 90 degrees is winter for us ;). It was the 99 degrees that was kicking our ass. We have a cool front right now...Gods way of blessing Texas I suppose.
    Thanks for checking on us and remembering us in your prayers. We are all tired and a little whipped.

  9. Yep, get back on that horse. Otherwise you may never ride again. This is so true in every sense of the word.

  10. hey! pop in my side, there's something there for YOU

  11. Sometimes its even harder to maintain serenity when there are physical obstacles as opposed to mental obstacles. The physical ones are usually something you cannot change...the ones you describe for your meeting are ones that you can. Now for the wisdom to know the difference...

  12. That's pretty funny - I had to chair last night and my Higher Power had sent me the same topic. I thought I would get lynched, but the topic was amazingly well received . . .


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