Monday, December 01, 2008

Stepping Out Of Line

Monday and the first of the month.
Lord have mercy.
That combination used to trigger insanity for me.
Used to be the day when I would promise myself
that this month I would get my shit together,
would revamp my life,
would chase after perfection.
It would be the month when I got all my ducks in a row
and woe to the one that stepped out of line.
I just might shoot it.
(Kid.ding. We have guns in the house and I never so much as touch them. They make me nervous. Well, me handling a gun makes me nervous. It should make everyone around me nervous, too. Did I ever tell you about the time youngest son was fixing a rifle for someone else? He was about 12. He brought it upstairs to show me the cool lever action, reassured me he had counted 22 bullets in and 22 bullets out, and promptly shot a hole right through the wall just inches above the dishwasher. We were all standing very close. A coat zipper on the other side of the wall stopped the bullet.)

Well, that was quite the tangent.

As you can see, the ducks have no fear of having to be lined
up perfectly these days.
They know I'm not going to shoot a one of them.
I'm grateful a perfectionistic mindset is not running my life anymore.
I have no other goals for today other than
what I'd have if it were any other Monday.

I had a very full weekend.
Two AA birthday meetings - a treat for me.
When I hugged my sponsor hello yesterday,
she asked me to present her card and medallion to her.
I sat there and had quite the conversation in my head
about what I was going to say,
reminding myself that it wasn't about me,
and prayed that I could simply speak from my heart.

The funniest moment was when an elderly member said his goal was to live to be 100 and then get killed by a jealous husband. I imagine his ducks will have to be slightly misaligned for his goal to come true.


steveroni said...

Since "Hope" is one of my very favorite names, you shall receive my own 'poem-of-the-day'...

For Hope.......
See what you are
Be what you are
Fear not what others
Are saying....

Be what you are
Show what your are
Care not what others
Are doing....

It's time to be
It's time to see
That one who does matter
Just might somehow be!


steveroni said...

Explanation of comment #1...It was a reference to your "ABOUT ME":

Although I'm still trying to figure out who I am, I am done letting other people define who I am. That's only taken 45 years. We'll see what the next 45 brings.

OK? steveroni

Hope said...

I'm 46 - it took until I was 45 to stop letting others define me as well....I used to have a better handle on that than I have had lately.

annie said...

I hate when I let myself get so behind on reading your blog! You write so much that is such a blessing to me and yet I don't take the time to go back and comment on each and every thing that touches me.

So I'll just say thank you for sharing so honestly and vow to myself to try and keep up from now on!

owenswain said...

Startin' Monday
from the album "Avocado Faultline"
Words & Music by Terry Scott Taylor
©2000 Careers-BMG Music Publishing, Inc
Startin' Monday
I'm cleanin' the slate,
gonna quit smokin'
start losin' some weight
tell someone I'm sorry,
oh its gonna be great
Startin' Monday

Startin' Monday
I'll be cheatin' fate
Here, I've written it down,
I've circled the date
Right now is not good
but I'll charge out the gate
Startin' Monday

I know I've said it before,
but this time I'm determined
to be what I know I can be
Don't need a "how-to" book
or some do-gooders sermon
to change my own destiny

And Startin' Monday
I'll be playin' it straight,
choosing only the good things
to put on my plate
reversing the engine,
rewinding the tape
Startin' Monday

I'm well aware of the fact
I've got only a weekend
to get all my ducks in a row
I'll be workin' real hard
to get out of my system
a few wild oats left to sow

But Startin' Monday
there'll be no debate
I'll start readin' my Bible,
rise early, work late,
recycle, stay sober,
chose love over hate
Startin' Monday

Startin' Monday
fix all my mistakes
Startin' Monday

Love to you Hope

Hope said...

Owen - have never heard that song - so weird that my post was reflected in its words, eh?
Thank you for sharing it.

owenswain said...

It's one of the few artists I listen to from my protestant evangelical days and it's only because they are so creative musically and so naughty. They were calling out the Braggerts and the heavy mascara wives of smiling hucksters. They also did a lot of finger pointing at themselves too for which I have always loved them. Terry Scot Taylor is known for his solo work, the mainstay band Daniel Amos also known as DA, and the infamous Swirling Eddies and the semi-famous Lost Dogs. I still buy his stuff when it comes out when I have money to spend that way.

Terry has written more about heaven than any other recording artist I've ever heard except it's not syrup and slosh.

This song is from Avocado Fault Line, a brilliant take on life. One song brings water to my eyes every time and that doesn't happen often. Sheesh, now I have to play it.

Steve F. said...

Happy long-distance birthday to your sponsor, sister. I hope she is blessed half as much as we are, sharing your journey....

I still struggle with "what I'm going to be when I grow up," even as I approach sobriety plus 18 years. There are still so many changes I'd make...but the "courage to change" hasn't quite shown up yet.

Isn't it funny? No one ever says, "Come Thursday, babe, it's all gonna be different!" As a friend says, "Starting over on Thursday would be like sobering up before the Super Bowl! Why bother?..."

[The answer, of course, is that some folks (like me) didn't care that much about football (that's one stereotype that DOES fit...). And some of us, like me, just couldn't hold on until the 3rd weekend in January. I'm not sure how I held out until Dec. 12th, to be honest.]

Having had one friend shoot himself rather than deal with his alcoholism and his sexuality, I won't sponsor anyone who owns guns. They can go hunting with someone else's guns (or their own guns, stored at someone else's house) after they've done the majority of their amends. If a gun's not nearby, it's much harder to grab hold of in an early-sobriety moment of desperation. And they're less likely to shoot themselves - or anything wearing orange - after that point in the steps. (As always, of course, the ad disclaimer applies: "Your experience may vary....")

I have been on a blogging sabbatical, but I am so grateful to find people like you still here - folks who are more constant, and more enduring, than I will ever be.

Anonymous said...

So THAT"S what it is. Boy I have really been having a crazy week Hope. The mention of perfectionism really rang a bell with me. Thanks for posting this.