Sunday, August 2, 2009

Holiday Lessons

There have been a few family vacations where my wife and children wanted to buy me a bus ticket home so they could go on and have fun on the trip. I have been known to get "grumpy" on these trips, especially if there are no social lubricants available to ease the stresses of being close to others for an extended period of time.

In preparation for this, I thought it might be wise to pray before I went. Prayed that I could be of service in a way that I would make the holidays more enjoyable for my partner and children and grand children. Well, I'm here to report that God did not rush out and smooth the way before me. There were plenty of challenges and opportunities to practise my program in all of my affairs. Restlessness and irritability were companions on this trip but I didn't visit with them for extended periods. Each time they came around, I looked for something I could do to help someone else. The most valuable teacher I had during that past week was my four year old grandson.

On another level, being on vacation means you get to leave all your other troubles behind. The worries of being unemployed, of trying to get everything set up to attend school in September, of my addicted child, seemed to be forgotten as we went through the days hiking, biking, playing in the surf, camp fires, talking and talking. Vacation time numbs out all the day to day issues that I face and (even though vacation came with it's own set of challenges) comes with a measure of serenity and blissfulness. Catching a big wave on a body board, falling down the face of the wave, the rush of speed, gliding along it's glassy wall, having the wave crash down upon the rider, all washed away my day to day anxieties.

So guess what happens on the way home, when the holiday is over, and reality starts to reappear. More grumpyness. Struggling with it for the past couple of days. Having to really push myself to do the right thing, to not want to isolate and hide. Not to go to anger and control. Not to pout and stamp my feet. Just the way I am. The good news is that I have fewer and fewer apologies to make as these episodes happen. It is getting better, much better.

I feel a lot of gratitude for the changes in my life. Especially that I do not have to stew in self pity for extended periods. God has made possible for me the things I could never change for myself. I feel blessed.

From page 102 of the Big Book:

Your job now is to be at the place where you may be of maximum helpfulness to others, so never hesitate to go anywhere if you can be helpful. You should not hesitate to visit the most sordid spot on earth on such an errand. Keep on the firing line of life with these motives and God will keep you unharmed.

Thank you for letting me share.

Photo Credit - Random Shooter


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this. I am so glad you are back here.

Lou said...

"I have fewer and fewer apologies to make." I am experiencing this too, what a relief!

Syd said...

The geographic cure helped me for a few days but I always came back to my problems and to myself. Facing the struggles and being grateful for what I do have in my life (good and bad) helps a lot. Great post.