Monday, February 06, 2012

Lecture Circuit

Acadia National Park
This morning I went on the lecture circuit and none of you noticed.  Well, maybe you noticed but didn't say anything.  That's OK.  I went to a meeting and did the same exact thing.  I went bla bla bla about how *other* people can stay sober.  I guess that is not out of the ordinary for most people - it sure is for me.

Now we have two women taking notes at the meeting.  The first one got on my nerves.  She was told to knock it off but didn't.  I decided it wasn't my home group and I don't feel like getting into it.  Today, there was another one.  Taking notes.  Referring back to her notes while she was sharing.  She told us all about the acronyms for FEAR.  Oh God Save Me From Rolling My Eyes - that's not an acronym for fear, but it was my prayer.  I think I rolled them anyway.  Then the other one asked her to repeat them for her notes.  That was when someone intervened and said "No - if you need to ask her something, do so after the meeting."

But honestly, taking notes in meetings?  How is that OK?

When we say "Who you see here, what you hear here, when you leave here, let it stay here," That's about anonymity.  A meeting is supposed to be a place where you can share honestly without fear of others repeating what you said.  I will never forget my old boyfriend Ed confronting me - yelling at me - when I repeated something someone had said in a meeting.  I was horrified.  I had no idea that was wrong - I thought a meeting was a public place and if you shared it there it was public knowledge.  Not so.  Now, I don't have any secrets these days, but if I did, I wouldn't share them in a meeting where there were two people taking notes!

I talked with the chair of the meeting after the meeting.  I explained to him why it might be a bad idea for someone to take notes during the meeting.  He was honestly dumb-founded and told me he would talk to her.  I guess he never considered that it is an anonymity issue.  Neither did anyone else apparently.  Except for me and my buddy Larry.  So, hopefully, this nice gentleman will nicely explain to her why she should just leave the notepad at home.   Because she cannot be blamed for it - how would she know unless someone talks to her.  Thank God it isn't me, because I don't feel like being that patient right now.

So, I head back to the office tomorrow and I am very grateful about that.  I worked at home Friday and today.  I miss seeing people.  Today I did get to go to a meeting where I saw a bunch of people I used to work with.  I hugged a woman who made my life a living hell for a number of years.  Thank God for the program, I had to pray for her for many years.  And today, we can smile and hug each other.  I ask about her son in the military and she asks about mine.  We never mention those awful years.  That, my friends, is evidence of a Living, Loving God in my life.

Who knows what can happen when we truly turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand him?  It is a wonderful adventure to find out!


Mary Christine said...

And yeah, I know, I wrote about a meeting.

Anonymous said...

I take notes. In meetings. And not to share later but more to meditate on, consider, look up a passage mentioned, something that occurs to me while listening. I get why it would upset some but hey it really isn't all about them! Lack of pen and paper does not secure anonymity. I love your blog. You are one of my three sober blog buddies. So I'll take what I like and leave the rest :)

dAAve said...

I see people taking notes. To be very honest, I've never given it much thought.
So now I have SOMETHING ELSE to think about. LOL

Annette said...

Well gosh. I see people take notes in my meetings all the time. I figured as long as they aren't using names it was ok. I figured the same thing about repeating ideas I hear in meetings that speak to me, I mean I hear some life giving stuff there....if I'm not using any names aren't they still anonymous thoughts? I know enough not to share anyone's story of course.

Maybe I have been wrong. I have to think this over some more.

Syd said...

I take notes in my reading books when someone shares something that really strikes me. I hear many profound things in meetings. I couldn't tell you who said them later but at the time, some of these "pearls" are worth writing down. I don't think that I am compromising anyone's anonymity by doing this because I am not attaching a name to any of it. But those note books are reminders of what I have heard and what I can ponder later. To me this is perhaps less innocuous than taping speakers at meetings or conferences. JMO.

Pammie said...

LOL...ok, I have never seen anyone take notes in a meeting!

Lou said...

My Alanon group is the most polite, attentively listening, non-note taking, no sleeping, bunch you will ever meet.

We need some newcomers to shake it up a bit!!

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

:) I always appreciate the reflections you share!

Furtheron said...

Never really thought about it that way - but I see the issue. There is a guy who takes notes at one of my home groups were I hold a service position. I've found it a bit "odd" shall we say but never thought about it. However given what you've said I will think on it and have a private word with him. If the notes he takes away are things like "Read about Step 8" - "Think about my resentment against x" etc. that is probably ok but like you say if it says "X said Y about their other half" etc. that isn't good.

Anonymous said...

I scribble in meetings sometimes. Because it helps me focus on the moment. Sometimes I'm even writing words, phrases and sentences. I learned a long time ago that I need to have my intentions and actions square with my higher power and my sponsor. I respect and regret that it bothers you. But I've been told not to knit, crinkle a paper bakery bag, put on shoes, take off shoes, turn on the fan, turn off the fan, open a can of pop, you get the idea. I can't please everybody.

Guinevere said...

I take notes all the time. Nobody has ever told me I shouldn't, including my sponsor, from whom I learn quite frequently about the Traditions. ... I'm a lifelong writer, and writing something down (even if I never look at it again later; even if I burn it afterward) helps me be able to remember it. It's a process thing, more than a product thing.

But I can always see that there is More Than One Side To Every Issue. Even to every Tradition.