Sunday, February 21, 2010

Saturday Evening Post

On Sunday morning. Yesterday didn't turn out as I'd expected, although I guess life never does. I set out to get in about three miles yesterday morning before Meeting, but because I am sssllllooooowwww, it didn't quite work. I got in 2 miles before the clock told me I needed to hit the showers if I didn't want to stank up the group. So I did. I figured I'd come back and get in the mileage later. I was trying to seek a balance between body and soul - yes, my exercise was important, but so was working on my other stuff.

I went to meeting. It was rather dull - topic was service work. After the meeting was over, it was mentioned that no one had signed up to lead meetings for March or April. I've never led a meeting, but made the comment that if I had an opportunity to see what the "meeting leading book" looked like, I'd be better prepared and would feel more comfortable leading. A woman who has been in the program for years and years (actually started this group) stopped her conversation with another person and began listening to mine. She then proceeded to tell me that - well, I'm not really sure what she was saying because I'm still kind of stunned by all of it - what I HEARD her tell me was that I wasn't well versed enough in the traditions to lead a meeting. Now for those who don't know, leading a meeting isn't preaching or teaching, it's merely providing structure to make sure all the required elements are covered. Anyway, I just sat there kind of stunned, not saying anything.

Truthfully, I don't care if I lead a meeting or not. Makes me no difference - I lead plenty, and I do mean plenty of meetings in my work life - I'm not missing any opportunities to show leadership. Leadership I've got in spades. But I do have a couple of things rattling around in my head over this: 1. Most important - How can I not let this incident cloud what has been a very helpful program for me? and 2. What was she talking about? On item 2, if I decide it's important, then I will find an opportunity to ask her to be more clear.

Now to deal with my reaction - because I'm in this program partly to be able to deal with my reactive self - my reactions were usually fire or ice - opposite ends of the spectrum. Now trust me, I'm happier with Ice than my old fire-breathing self, but I'd like to be rocking the middle on this one. To be able to engage in constructive, instructive conversation, rather than just stunned, frigid silence. Both of these reactive states tell me that whatever this was touched someplace where I've a case of arrested development and that I need to work it through.

So I'm working on reframing this incident to see where it takes me. In the mean time, I cried a bit over it, after coming home. I drug out my on-loan bike and hit the road. I went for an hour plus bike ride, came home in a sweat and cried over it some more. Sounds like I needed to cry! That's probably true. I've been feeling a bit fragile and sometimes a good cry is exactly what is needed and it had been a while.

I cleaned up and did a little Thrifting, but found nothing of interest and then went grocery shopping. I bought myself a beautiful salad from the deli counter at the Super Target - grilled chicken breast over greens with sliced strawberries and blueberries - $3.99. Dinner! Score! And somehow it never made it home with me. I've looked in the car, and I know my basket was clean, so I guess it never made it into the cart. I didn't go back to get a replacement. I will take the receipt and explain the next time I go to the store, but it was disappointing.

Today is meditation/church, then Bick and Sadie are coming into town. We are going to brunch and a movie while his carpets dry out. He's having them cleaned this morning. We are seeing the new Bridges movie - the one with the alcoholism theme running through it. Not what I want to see, because I'm living that right now but perhaps it will be the perfect lead in to the conversation that we need to have. We are coming up on three months apart. Where the hell has the time gone?

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Find the middle of the road.



  1. What a rotten series of events! So, I am curious, you must have re-thought that meeting many times. If you had it to do over again would you have reacted differently?

  2. That woman sounds like a meeting Nazi. She started the group and is unwilling to let evolve to anything other than what she wants (my guess - I've seen a few of these myself). There SHOULD be a single-page guideline to leading the meeting...and if there isn't, it's because that woman doesn't want "just anyone" to be able to lead. And that's too bad, because meetings grow stale without a fresh voice. I've seen a couple of what started out to be popular meetings wither and die within a few years because the person who started them would not relinquish the reigns (and also, ironically, wouldn't produce a guideline for leading it). And what better service work than stepping up to lead when obviously no one else has?!? Argh, you've touched a sore spot with me, as if you couldn't tell.

    Hope you have a better day today (and not getting my beautiful dinner salad would have made me cry).

  3. "Reins" not "reigns" - although the latter kinda fits!

  4. It might be worth considering that she started the group because she has her own issues. It's likely that this had to do with her stuff and had nothing to do with you. Without knowing her, any of these issues could be at play: insecurity, protectiveness, needing to feel in control or superior to others... There are a million reasons her brain could be warping your interest in leading a meeting.

    Do you want to carry her baggage along with your own? Probably not.

  5. Remember, it's principles before personalities. There are assholes every where. I can understand how it would stun you. I know I would have the done the same thing.

    I love how you went to owning the feelings that she brought out in you. Nice job. It's not about her.

    Remember it's not personal. She has some control thing going on. Too bad for her. That narrows her world.

    I heard that the movie sucked. From the sounds of it I fear you are in for some more crying. I can't believe it's been 3 month either.

    hope I am wrong....hugs and your good enough, you're smart enough, and gosh darn it people like you!

  6. Sounds like you had a run in with a control freak Roxie. I'm sorry. I have seen you to be a very thoughtful person so I know you'll think this through and work it out but it's simply too bad that it happened in the first place.

  7. Hi Roxie - Wonderful thoughtful post. Smart to vent out the incident with the kind of person who apparently has not learned the essence of the program. I absolutely loved your processing - reframing the incident. Seeking middle ground. Neither fire nor ice. Crying sounds entirely appropriate. Also, keep in mind that her ignorance and her opinion of your readiness or not to chair a meeting has nothing to do with truth. It has to do with her. All her shit. Makes me want to to scream to hear that, because it could turn new people who really need the program away. Let her be your teacher today.

    Bummer about losing the salad in the shuffle. I hate when you have yourself all psyched for something like that and the universe doesn't comply. AARRGGHH.

    You really have your head on straight, Roxie. Don't let Cruella Deville keep you from meetings. Hey - I just saw that Fatty McButterpants used the old Principles before Personalities quote. Right on. I love program people!!!

  8. Sorry to double dip - Crazy Heart - was amazing. Fantastic music, and excellent story and acting. I went yesterday with 2 AA friends, and we came out saying they got it right.

  9. I really like the comment: stay in the middle of the road. It shows balance--not too far right or left.

  10. Wow, of course I'm days late reading this but feel your pain none the less.
    Taking the middle/ non-reactive are big with me. I am now to the point most of the time where I feel the reaction rising up within me and can quell the urge to feed my part of the story (which is 99% of the time none of my business.) The bike ride was probably a good idea. Since you've had and done your share of leadership, let that woman lead until she drops. She just sounds interesting. Maybe you can sit back and watch and think about how interesting she is...
    This past few days for you seems painful though at least the knitting (and exercise) sound fun.


We'll try this for a while.