Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What's Going On

Here's a recap of what has been going on here.
  • The state Al-Anon convention was a great experience.  The speakers were inspiring. One workshop was exceptional. These conventions are run like those in AA with speaker meetings and workshops going throughout the day. We have several raffles which are fun.  Each group brings a basket filled with all kinds of things.  One of the groups I attend did a dog theme basket. There is also a general meeting theme, and this year's take home message was service. I came away with wanting to do more service work. Thinking about starting an Alateen meeting on the nearby island and a downtown meeting at the city hospital (only one downtown meeting now). I actually contemplated putting my name in for the District Representative, but decided that the time spent on the road to the state capital would be more than I could bear for three years. Made that road trip too many times in my career.  So I sent in a resume to be on the regional literature board. Do more, get more. 
  • The anniversary of Mom's death was Feb. 27.  The day passed quietly on the boat as I thought about the feelings of grief we had last year.  It seemed at the time that we would never feel good again because everything was so overwhelming. Pop was sick. We were grieving. The house needed to be sold. So much all at once. I'm glad to have moved past that difficult time. She isn't forgotten, but the acuteness of the grief is gone. We can look back and take comfort that Mom lived a long life, and we have the memories of her to smile about. 
  • The birthday of my cousin who died last June from glioblastoma multiforme is tomorrow.  His wife has moved on with her life, reconnecting with old lovers from her past. I'm glad for her because she had no life for the 8 years that she cared for my cousin. She has also been caring for her 96 year old mother for years, but she has finally decided to move back to her country home in Virginia and has told her sister that she can no longer be the caretaker for their mother.  Sounds to me like she is now taking care of herself. 
  • Landscaping has been moving slowly with the weather.  It's either rainy or miserably cold. So the back yard is all torn up. The birds are going crazy with feeding and mating.  Male cardinals are seeing their reflection in the glass and flying into windows all day trying to drive off a competitor. We call them the "crazy cardinals" because they seem to not get that there isn't another male. 
  • Speaking of crazy, the town is all fired up over a new reality TV program called "Southern Charm" that stars a bunch of characters that live the high life in the old city.  One of them, Thomas Ravenel, was the state Treasurer until he was indicted and convicted of cocaine possession. Now he spends time playing polo and living the life of a wealthy bachelor. I wish that some of the intellectuals of the city had been featured, but I suppose people would much rather watch a train wreck than learn something about the train. 
  • I have come down with a cold and am generally feeling lousy. This too shall pass.  In the meantime, I am drinking hot tea and not doing much on these rainy chilly days.  I did build a fire yesterday which pumped out heat. And I took a nap on the couch.  
  • Last night, I chaired the Al-Anon meeting. It was on Step Three--Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.  I don't think of my Higher Power as being a male or female but rather something greater than me. I am not religious, but I believe in the spiritual connectedness we have to each other, animals and Earth. A lot of people in meetings are religious and take comfort in religion. I think that is good.  It took me a while to come to believe in something other than myself. I share honestly about my struggles with finding a Higher Power--at first, it was the group, then my sponsor and eventually, it was a feeling of freedom and release, of empathy and compassion, and connectedness to others.  
Excuse the stream of consciousness writing. My head is foggy and it's time for me to take something to help with the cold.  Hope that you have a good day. 


  1. Same here with the weather, the cardinals. They dive bomb their reflections and I wince as their beautiful scarlet bodies hit the ground. Oh, they are so silly, so determined. So much like us, in a way, attacking that which is not even real.
    You are exactly right about the train wreck.
    Reality TV. Oh my. Why? And yet, I admit that I do watch a few of those shows. I am not immune to train wrecks.
    Higher Power. I struggle with that one, Syd. If I had to name one, it would be very similar to yours.
    Now get better. Be in service to yourself for this time you have your cold. And be proud of yourself and your wife as you reflect on all that you have done in the past year- all the way you have come on that journey.

  2. smiles. you have had a little bit going on eh? interesting on the tv show coming to town...hope it does not make things too crazy....i am glad you can face the anniversaries of the passing of both mom and your cousin with perspective...they are never easy....hope the weather cooperates and you can get that yard done...

  3. Did you take that cardinal picture? It's amazing.

  4. I enjoy your updates like this Syd.

  5. Interesting and "getting-to-know-you" type stuff. A rough year has been lived through with grace and calm. Left are the memories. Alanon Convention, yess, these conferences are almost like a retreat, so spiritual, in that we meet many others, and experience that instant "connectedness", which you well describe as integral to the understanding of your Higher Power.

    Spring is on the way...enjoy it, as I know you will, Syd.

  6. I suspect that your stream of consciousness writing is therapeutic for others. You depict struggles we can all relate to with honesty and hope. I am religious but I have found the rooms of AA and Al Anon to be among the holiest rooms I've ever been in. My Catholic faith is a road map for living a Christian life. But, the actual living is spiritual. Al Anon has provided me with more concrete examples of living spiritually than I've ever found before. That is what I am in awe of and what I often tell fellow parishoners.

  7. Our understandings do evolve with healing and maturity and greater inner freedom.

    And I hate to admit it, Syd, but most people would rather watch a train wreck than learn something about the train. We have global voyeurism about the Oscar Pistorius trial and it makes me flinch to think of real crime and violence turned into entertainment.

    Take care and I hope you feel well soon.

  8. I love these stream-of-consciousness posts of yours. The social media world thinks blogs are dead and mine only gets traffic when I post to social media. So I enjoy the longer catch-up posts. I don't look at blogs daily but keep my favorites at feedly and look when I need a pick-me-up. I have read you for years and loving reading your evolution and growth. You are a true life lover.

  9. Is it wrong that I laughed about the cardinals? Great shot by the way.

    I am actually charing a meeting tonight on Step three. I am looking forward to it!


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