January 1 – Day One of 365. The Blank Book is Open…

tumblr_nhh1gukofI1qh2nv9o1_500 cris art

Courtesy: Cris Art 2014

With the New Year upon us, the book of life is open to page one. What will you write on this first day of the new year? How will you begin this chapter of your life story?

Snow has been falling since last night, not too much to be a problem, but just enough to blanket the city and/or everything that will stand still is covered in snow.

After the ball fell, we washed the flutes and crated them away for another year, hubby got into bed and I decided to crate the tree and the decorations. The tree box is over a decade old, and is falling apart, it seems every year we box the tree, the smaller the box gets, that it came in. I can never get the branches to shrink, no matter how good I compact them, to get them into the box so they will fit, hence, the tree box is wrapped in layers of tape to keep it closed.

The closet we keep the decorations in, can only fit the boxes we have, which is why we don’t buy new decorations every year, because there is just no more space to store them.

Eventually I got to bed. And then I spent the day in bed because hubby had the day off.

It was a bit blustery and chilly out and like I said, it was snowing. The city has put back our local bus stops on the park downstairs, so we don’t have to walk three blocks to get the bus, which was good, had it not been so bitter out. With the construction going on, they took away the enclosed bus shelters so one has to stand in the open while waiting for a bus.

We had a full house at the meeting tonight. Where else would one be, on the first day of the new year, but at a meeting with friends. I seem to remember that on January 1st, 2014, we also hit a meeting on that night.

I listened to the message, and it got me in the end.

One night, in the first days of our speakers journey, she arrived at a meeting and the hall was empty of people, and there were several couches in the hall. And our speaker thought, “Well, I am a sick a suffering little girl, I might as well lay down and take a nap!” Our speaker was only 16 years old.

A woman walked up to her and said, “get up, you can’t sleep there. What if someone comes in the hall and sees you sleeping on the sofa? What would they think? What kind of message are you sending to the others that will show up here tonight, if they see you sleeping on the job?”

YOU MATTER … We all matter.

You might not notice you doing anything for anyone, at a meeting, but just from your presence, to how you present yourself at a meeting is noticed by others, if not noticed by yourself. We might not pay attention to the newcomer coming in the door, or that someone might need a kindness or a hand shake or a cup of coffee as important, but it is …

Our presence is required. And we should notice and pay attention.

That’s why we join a group, to do service. We get there early to set up, we make coffee and we get ready to shake hands as people come in the room, because you never know just how much you can impact someone in their first hours or days, merely by your presence and how we greet others, or how we “Don’t” greet others. That is entirely up to us.

She was like, or the gist of the message was … Don’t get caught sleeping on the job, so to speak.

I see certain people, who always stick to the fringes of the meeting. They hang outside until the very minute the meeting starts, they sit in the back row, and at the end, they may or may not stay for the final prayer, and can usually be found standing outside alone.

That is when the iron is hot, when I step outside and speak to them, to make sure that they are noticed, and that they matter, because it looks to me like, nobody noticed them, again tonight.

Then there are those who come to the meeting and make a spectacle of themselves, they arrive late, and clatter, clatter, clatter … They talk the loudest, and at the final prayer, have to be the only one that you can hear, amid the entire room full of people, yes, we see you, and we totally hear you as well, you really don’t have to shout or make a scene like you do every week. That really puts people off and they in turn ignore those folks. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Tolerance for those with different struggles.

When you go to a meeting, you might not get it in the beginning, or understand what it means, but we are happy people, who have “been there and done that,” and “we get you, even if you don’t get us,” our girl didn’t get that in the beginning, but someone paid attention to her on that first day, and that made ALL the difference.

Itty Bitty bad girls in early sobriety at the age of 16 is a daunting prospect.

How many kids in their teens, come, look around and stay? They don’t usually.

Because we are not usually present or think that we matter to someone new who just walked in the room. We are too occupied with ourselves to notice others.

Our girl knew that she had a problem. And at that point she realized that her “problem” was not her solution. And had presence of mind at sixteen to realize this, to know she needed help, and she actually asked for help and got it.

Ten years on now, she has found the “Solution.”

The newcomer is the most important person in the room, and it is our job to see them, to welcome them, and to make sure we present ourselves as ready for that job, every night.

You matter, to every person in that room, even if that word is not spoken directly, which turn back to this thought … We show up so that YOU will show up.

If we remember that, it all comes back around.

What will your first days of the New Year look like ?

In the end there was coffee, and cake and a twenty five year anniversary.

A good night was had by all.

Happy New Year. More to come, stay tuned …

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