Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Commitments to the moment

I have a couple of things on my agenda over the next two weeks.  One is a meeting today to become an advisor for a local non-profit group that is conducting a study of water quality in the Harbor.  I don't have any idea what the work load will be so I want to find out more before I formally accept.

I have to say that I'm enjoying the freedom of not having too many commitments. I generally go to three Al-Anon meetings a week, meet with a couple of sponsees,  workout with a personal trainer twice a week,  and go to a couple of sailing club meetings a month.  I have freed my schedule so that a couple of days a week, I don't leave the property.  It feels good to not have "must do" things hanging over my head.  Sailing and visiting the parents-in-law are things that I do, but without a set schedule.  So, I am cautious about taking on more things.

A major commitment that I have made is to attend Sea School in June so that I may obtain my Captain's license.  I have been prepping for this through other courses over the past couple of years, and now it's time to do the final preparation to take the Coast Guard exam.  This will involve three intense weekends back to back, Friday through Sunday, and will include an upgrade to Master.  I have no idea what I will use the license for as the idea of chartering my sailboat is not something that I want to do.  But that may change at some point.  I know that doing eco-tours is something I enjoy, but dealing with the public on my boat feels like a serenity breaker.

Lately, I've been thinking about commitment with sponsoring.  I called a few fellows I took through the steps and made plans to meet up with one of them next week for lunch. I hear from two others on a regular basis and am working through the steps with another one every Tuesday.  I haven't heard from a couple of the others for months. I know that they still attend meetings, but I no longer feel connected to what they are doing.  A friend suggested that without regular contact,  I am no longer their sponsor.  I don't have hard rules about their calling me on a regular basis.  But I would still like to be connected to them.  So I have called each person.  The rest is not up to me.

Also, I haven't had face to face time with my local sponsor in a couple of months.  He emails and we occasionally talk on the phone. I feel disconnected there as well.  I don't think there is a substitute for having face to face time.  I talk to my original sponsor weekly.  He is adjusting to life on the other coast.  I know that no matter what, I can pick up the phone and give him a call, and he will listen to what I have to say.

Perhaps, the first experience with a sponsor is the one that sticks and is the yardstick for all others.  I don't know, but I often long for those times when we would read and study the steps together.  I feel like I am on my own now.  Yet, I know that there are friends in program I can talk to.  Somehow, it just isn't the same as having a sponsor who knows all about me.

I have often longed for the way things used to be--fresh starts, beginnings in relationships and knowledge.  I see such sentiment as the melancholy part of my personality that doesn't like changes that involve loss.  But I know the solution is to be in this day and this moment.  And to take action that will be positive and progressive.  Every day can be a fresh start.


  1. i feel you on this...the small group i used to meet with was pretty amazing...then we moved and it has not been the same since...and i often find myself measuring others by it...there are times too when i feel tht i am on my own...i have plenty of peripheral friendships but miss the solid ones i talk to all the time or see regularly...face time is important...

  2. Our culture teaches us to be always comparing. Letting go of this for myself means that I keep an open mind, and don't measure my present sponsor against my first sponsor. I heard an AA speaker say once that he felt he was in danger of his first sponsor taking on "mythical proportions."

  3. I really enjoyed this post. I am at a point where I have realized I need to get back to focusing on myself and my important committments as well. I have not yet attended AlAnon, I have made it to the parking lot but can't bring myself inside. It is inspiring to read how others have found peace in their lives.

  4. Hi Syd,

    I bet your first (long-distance) sponsor misses you as well. Sounds like you had a regular meeting of the spirit!

    Reading your entire blog, I feel sure any sponsor would be proud to see your accomplishmentds; also, to see you keeping the focus on yourself - by tending to YOUR needs first! As the program points out many times (both programs, in fact) - - - 'In order to keep what you have received, you must give it away.' You are certainly doing this.

    Giant Hug,
    Anonymous #1

  5. Syd, I think you hunger for life long learning. You will always want to master something, no matter how old you get.

    I think that is admirable, and I hope I can be the same way.

  6. I read something today in a book and it was talking about how there's an Italian word, I think, for memory with melancholia and the character wondered if there was any other kind.

  7. I'm very excited for you to attend Sea School. I have no doubt that you will, at some time, use the Captain's license. And get the formalities out of the way now while you're still (somewhat) motivated ;-)

  8. Sometimes people just click or connect and sometimes it feels like work. I think having the desire for connection and face to face meeting is good, but we have to meet people where they are.

  9. I am having issues with my sponsor she cant seem to show up to our face to face on time. Often she shows up one hour late in a panic with an ela borate excuse. Last meeting I just had to step back and not say anything...
    She tries I believe but it might not still work for me.

  10. My AA sponsor moved away also, but we keep in touch daily on FB, and we talk about once a week. Last month when I went to CA I visited her in her new home. I miss her as she has become a wonderful friend. I keep hoping she'll change her mind and move back here. Things change.

  11. Dude get your Capn's license and buy a tramp steamer and travel carrying cargo to all the archipelagos of the South Pacific.

  12. Enjoyed the photo! :0)

    I constantly have to check my commitment list and re-prioritize. I'd still have the same challenges even if I didn't work full time.

    Today, I can't image life without my sponsor... I know I would have a tough time grieving if she was not in my life on a constant basis. Not only is she my sponsor, but a dear wonderful friend.

    I admire your desire to always learn, Syd!

  13. you really hectically live according to the AA-book - eish


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