Monday, September 26, 2011
Showing up for Life
This will be another full week for me. One of the things that I appreciate is that even in my darkest moments, I still showed up at work, for commitments with family--for daily responsibilities of all kinds. One of the things that I didn't do much of was to show up for my own life. I let the needs of others dictate what I did. My wife and I worked in the same place, so we saw each other all the time. When it came to doing things on my own, away from her, I really struggled. I thought that it was important to be there for them, putting my own interests on the back burner.
Eventually, I realized that I needed some kind of hobby. I have had a couple of serious hobbies over the years. Eventually, they came to be tiring and a burden. I kept at them because I needed some kind of outlet from all the drama at home and didn't want to be a quitter. In recovery, I discovered that I wanted to go in a different direction, one that didn't involve being competitive. And I needed a hobby that would allow me time for quiet contemplation.
I like the idea of showing up for life to do those things that bring me joy. With the luxury of being retired, I can devote time to the artistic part of me through photography and writing. And I also can devote time to sailing which brings me immense pleasure in a non-competitive way.
There are many people in meetings who have no outlet to get away from alcoholism. Sadly, they have no hobbies or a healthy activity that brings them enjoyment. I once asked a person I know what they liked to do. She answered, "I don't know. I can't think of anything that gives me pleasure." I know that alcoholism can rob me of just about everything, including my life.
Even if it is a small thing such as walking, gardening, going to meetings, having coffee with a friend, I found that it is important for me to do something that gives me pleasure, that gets my mind off myself and the alcoholic. It is important that I show up for my life. Otherwise, what is the point?