As I listened to them, I was reminded of two men I have known in AA. The first was a wonderful older man who smoked a pipe (yes, we could actually smoke in meetings then!) and had an amazing twinkle in his blue eyes. He was sober over 30 years. He was the most amazingly humble and wise man. And he could cut you to the quick so skillfully you wouldn't even know you had been nicked! One day, a young man and I were gushing over his 30 years. He absolutely astounded me when he said he would gladly be 30 years younger and have only 30 days of sobriety. But then I thought - why not? Why wouldn't he want to be young?
Another was a man who was also sober 30 years. I believe it was at his 30th birthday celebration. He astounded a young man there who picked up a 30 day chip by telling him "I envy your journey." Again, why not? He had enjoyed his 30 years of sobriety, why not look at a young man and think of all that is to come?
I spent my early sobriety wishing I had later sobriety. I consider that a waste. Why not enjoy the time for what it is? Early sobriety is a wonderful adventure. It is all a wonderful adventure. I try now to live and enjoy each day for what it is, not what I think it could be.
My favorite doctor at work is now making the rounds to tell people he has a particularly lethal form of cancer. He has not made it to my office yet. I am dreading it. I love him so. He is an older man (and there get to be less of those every day!) who I still call "Dr." He told me a few years ago that I really don't need to do that, I could call him by his first name. I told him there was no way I could call him his first name. He understood it as an age thing... and he was OK with that. All the rest of them are Bob or Lisa or David... but not him. He is a Doctor - with a capital "D." A few years ago we had a display for Veteran's Day... veterans were asked to bring a photo of themselves when they were in active duty. This doctor's photo looked just like Cary Grant. That is how I see him - Dr. Cary Grant. Oh dear, I am now sobbing. Must stop...
When I started this second career in healthcare I was in my 40s. I so envied those people who had 20 years of experience. Now I am nearing 20 years of experience, and I wish I hadn't wished for this! Why not enjoy being new and inexperienced if you are lucky enough to be?
Sorry, I am a bit morbid this morning. But beneath this morbidity is a point I really wish I could make every day:
Enjoy this day for what it is. If you are young, please enjoy that. If you are new in sobriety, revel in that! And if you love someone, really love them.
Enough out of me!
p.s., after I wrote this, I checked the blog of a young man (Jon) who was trying to get to his first meeting. He got there, and wrote this - it is a beautiful account of a first meeting. I think it fits with this post...