Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday's child

It was a nice weekend on the boat. I didn't get out to the anchorage until nearly 5 PM on Saturday. The tides were extreme highs and lows due to the full moon. I anchored the boat a bit too close in though and by 2 AM, I found myself sliding down the V-berth because the boat had heeled over in shallow water. I had to laugh because I hadn't done that but one other time. It makes for snug sleeping since two people are crammed against the bulkhead.

Once the tide came in, I moved the boat out further. We then rowed to shore in the dinghy. The dog had a good romp in the surf. We met some other people who were camping on the island. They had a good fire going but were trying to decide whether to all stay in the same tent for warmth. Nice and cozy with four adults, a child and a wet collie.

We got back to the marina in time to clean up the boat and to put the decorations up on Compass Rose. There were quite a few boats at the marina that had lights up. It just didn't seem right not to have the boat with a few lights on her. I wanted her to feel special this time of year because the time is special.
Tonight is my home group. The old nursery rhyme says that Monday's child is fair of face. I think that I have a feeling of being fair of face today. Although I also think that my face may show the tired feeling that I have after a sailing weekend. The time just goes by too quickly.

And to be honest, I've felt a bit disconnected from some things with the program lately. I go to meetings, but I seem to hear a lot of the same stuff over and over. I give calls to people who are in the program but seldom get a reciprocating call. I see people absorbed with their own stuff, their own business, and wonder if I'm keeping the focus too much on myself. I reach out but get mixed messages. These are all things that get my cynicism stirring. And these are sure pitfalls to launch a resentment. I don't believe that this is a program of rhetoric. So today I'm going to open up my ears, stop taking inventory and just listen. Maybe I'll hear what I need to hear.


  1. A few weeks ago I decided I did not want the program to define every minute. I go to 2 meetings and pray daily. I want to have other things going on in my life. I don't know if that is what you mean, just my thoughts.

  2. Thank you Syd for your images of the weekend. It feels so peaceful. It reminds me of when I was a child and we used to take our boat out to the little islands in the bay. I am grateful that I am able to have some fond memories of my father and my childhood.

    I love your lab. He looks like he is having a good ol' time. I am looking forward to spring and summer creeping back this way.


  3. I heard on the news this weekend that this was the biggest moon of the year. Was it beautiful on your boat and did you get a clear view. I guess that accounts for the tides. Interesting post...I understand, I think, how you feel sometimes...disconnected.

  4. The picture of your dog in the surf got me smiling because it brought to mind "Marley and Me" when Marley gets to go to the beach (no spoiler in case). Great book for dog lovers. Please read it if you haven't. I, too, have been battling some old feelings lately. I didn't fit in anywhere till I came to Alanon and when I start feeling like this, sorta neglected maybe (?), I have a hard time. That phone weighs 500 pounds to me when I feel like this. This too shall pass..or I'll just remain crazy as a loon :-)


  5. Great post Syd. It's funny, I hate sailing but love to hear about your adventures. ~AR

  6. One of the things I found very useful as I got more in to sobriety was to go to out of town meetings. Distances in England help because they are short. I have done this for over a decade now and I have built up a network of friends that know me but don't see me too often. I get to here different things . It refreshing. An dkeeps me from getting crumpy abpout hearing the same stuff over and over and over again.

  7. Your doggie looks like my son's "baby girl". We're strongly considering getting him his own puppy this winter. I am not sure how ready my husband and I are for a new pet.

    I know what you mean about meeting fatigue. Listen to your heart. You've got a good one.

  8. Sounds like a great weekend albeit cold. I'm newly in the program and have felt I am getting a great deal simply out of being there and starting to work the steps. I could see how you could get in a rut though.

  9. Sounds like a perfect weekend to me. I used to hear the topic of the meeting and get lost in what I wanted to say, not exactly following what someone else had to say. It was difficult but eventually I did manage to quiet that voice in my head, and finally listen. (Hugs)Indigo

  10. I liked Findons suggestion alot.
    Love the dog pic.jeNN

  11. I hope you heard what you needed to hear tonight. I know I did. Thanks, Syd.

  12. Aren't ya cold out there??! It sounds beautiful but chilly, and I love the way you refer to your boat as "her."

    I keep in my mind that Alanon is filled with a lot of imperfect people who are working their program the best they know how to. I know that would certainly apply to me.

  13. God bless you Syd. Hang in there, it will be OK. You will be the one who takes the responsibility when others don't. You will be the shining example to the new people. But this stuff hurts. You are a blessing to others.

  14. please come by here and collect something....

  15. it is better to understand than be understood.
    the road gets narrower.
    most are preoccupied with self. few seriously think of others. we are all different. takes ages to teach people how to think of others. 12 step progs can provide a great excuse to become terribly self absorbed whilst deluding oneself that one is a spiritual giant. easy to do!

    sounds like disillusionment. Idealism. Thinking people feel and think the same as you and being surprised when they are not.
    I have lower expectations than you.
    you are naturally thoughtful of others. most are not. be grateful for this natural orientation of the mind that you possess but do not expect to find it often in others.
    face to face is not necessary for friendship and support but yes we are social animals and we tend to perform worse without the pressures and conflicts social interaction provide. Without these rough spots, we never grow tolerance patience or acceptance.
    So I like people because I learn from them and am supported by them. But friendship and support comes from absent friends too. People who are not 'in the building'. Books can be friends. Books can be teachers.
    Active imagination is as real to me as people are. Sometimes feels more real than physical presence. So I can get support without the other needing to be in the building. So to speak.

    As regards general friendship. It is the norm that whomever instigates social functions inevitably deals with reluctance and flakiness from those they invite and organize for.

    My home group was very ? Girl guide aa. Meaning we did it by the book. Were very morally restrained. Restraint of tongue and pen. Etc. a basic ethics principle of 'do onto others as you would.."
    Most meetings do not work from a basic ethics principle of 'constant thought of others' so yeah, people can be very flaky and unreliable.
    My home group people could be relied upon absolutely as they were expected to be in 'service mode' constantly. It just went with the territory. Service, service and more service!!!!

    Personally I think you will find you have more in common with non alcoholic step 11 types. The sort you meet in decent meditation centers. Would have to be fairly cosmopolitan though.
    12 step meetings are for doing service. Not for making friends. If friendship occurs it is a bonus. I look for friends outside but Sponsees (and ex Sponsees) are very good friends as they understand me better than most regardless of how little I see them or speak to them.
    I find I need time spent being sociable with friends less and less, as I feel connected to them all the time anyway. But yes I need social stimulation to function well.
    Good luck syd.
    Ask your HP to guide you to the people, places and things that support your journey the MOST. And ask for the power to carry out that journey. No matter WHERE it takes you. Then do the footwork. you paddle god steers.
    Cool huh? Scary as well. But that's what growing up is about. We never know where we will end up..

  16. Boy there is a theme running here... I don't know what it is about this season, but it seems there's a lot of self-reflection and difficulty that goes along with it.

    I love the holidays, but even I'm in a bit of a blue-funk regarding the transition between the memories that I imagined in the old self and the imagined traditions not in place for the new one.

    What can I do other than pray for the next right move?

    I go to meetings (sometimes I do step out and change it up a bit), I continue to try to be of service where I can, and I thank God for what I do have. It helps a bit.

  17. Dear Syd,

    I hesitated making comment to your blog yesterday, since it seemed to spark a twinge of guilt in me. After briefly inventorying this feeling, and determining that the past (sometimes present) shortcoming of taking on others' opinions as facts about me - when the situation or statement really had nothing to do with me at all - I decided to simply 'Let Go - - -.'

    I remember in the early days of my recovery how I wished I could 'speak' the language of Al-Anon. I found it very strange that most long-timers were able to identify my time in the fellowship by how I shared (and was embarrassed by this as I considered it a display of my own lack of confidence). I was told by empathetic long-timers and my sponsor to simply listen and I would learn by exposure. I was also very very busy with service work, which kept me from settling into my personal pity-party.

    I, too, became restless after about a year of constant service, resenting those who had NOT stepped forward to do things. So, why did I DO THINGS anyway - to get attention, obtain praise, provide my ego with power and pride? Hmmm - - - probably all of those! It took a while to learn that quiet performance of jobs in service earns the greatest accolades, and these acts often go unnoticed. But, the fact that I was satisfied with my performance of service to my fellows and to my Higher Power at the end of each day, provided the greatest gift of all: peace, and contentment.

    I know this is your blog, but I was particularly touched and impressed with the comments from Lou, Annette, and Irish Friend of Bill's. You all had a great message for me: keeping the focus on myself and doing for others with no expectation of return is most satisfying.

    Thank you for letting me take up so much time and space here. It's Christmas, and I suppose my emotions are riding a bit higher than normal.

    Much love, and good luck, and God bless you!
    Anonymous #1

  18. I just realized this weekend that I have been focusing too much on others and what they are or aren't doing...I have lost my focus.

    I am getting back on the wagon so to speak...trying to regain the serenity that I felt a little bit of a while ago.

  19. oh...forgot to, the pictures of the boats are BEAUTIFUL, what a great experience you get to have being out there with them!


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