One of my very dear friends in sobriety is now an RBS - which stands for Real Bearded Santa. I would probably not have noticed this man had I not known about this large collective of men who grow their white beards and white hair just to "play" Santa for 6 weeks or so a year. He was a blogger for a while, and I really enjoyed being able to interact with him.
He has long since moved away from this area, and I do miss him. He was my sponsor for a while, and we went through the big book word by word - and did what it said to do. That was one of the most valuable experiences of my sobriety. It is how I now sponsor women - but have found that most don't have the patience for it. They want some kind of magical answer in a workbook or DVD - someone else's interpretation of what is clearly outlined in the big book. He would always stress that we read "the black on the white, between the capital letter and the period."
I do hear from him about once a year now. He is happily married and living in another state. He is still sober! It will be thirty-three (33) years in November.
Yesterday I had lunch with my former boss and mentor. It was wonderful to see her. I had written yesterday about her and made the unfortunate statement that I "would not seek her career advice." That sounded a bit harsher than I intended. She has an unfortunate habit of getting angry and quitting jobs, and that is not something I would care to emulate - I have enough of those tendencies on my own. I reflected on that statement as she DID give me career advice and it was GOOD. I expressed my frustration at my dead-ended career that once seemed so bright - she said it was good to hit that glass ceiling , that way I do not have the target painted on my back that I would have at any level higher in the organization. I think she is right. There is enough of a target on me now, I wouldn't care for it to be bigger or brighter.
Sometimes I think my writing might be a bit too subtle. I trust people to read what I have written and draw their own conclusions. Many don't actually read, but do actually comment. And sometimes I just don't put my POINT out there clearly. I trust that people will "get it."
I have been writing about people who have been in my life. Some of them are no longer in my life. Some of them remain. I am grateful for all of them. I love all of them.
My point is - not to judge people. Not to throw people away when they don't live up to your expectations. Not to label people, but to love them instead. We are all fellow travelers here, especially those of us who are alcoholics - whether sober or not.
A utilitarian approach to human relationships is not good. I must not look at people for what I can USE them for. I must see each of them as one of God's children. Sometimes it is more difficult than others, but that is probably because of me, not them.
God bless us all, each one of us.