Friday, April 13, 2012

Thank You

One of the most valuable things I have learned in Alcoholics Anonymous is to be grateful in all circumstances.  I am not by nature a very optimistic, hopeful, and grateful person.  My default is a cynical look at the glass half empty and maybe conclude that the liquid within is poisonous.  

When I was sober about a year someone broke into my (brand new) car and stole my car stereo and all my music collection on tapes (it was 1985!).  Funnily, they left all of my Talking Heads tapes.  The police officer even agreed that the person obviously lacked taste in music!  

I was livid.  I was feeling unsafe.  I was feeling that the world was conspiring against me. 

I called my sponsor.  She had the nerve to ask me to write a gratitude list!  The nerve of some of these AA people!  I was indignant!  

But as a person who wished to stay sober, I followed her instruction.  I sat down at my dining room table with pen and paper and grudgingly started on a gratitude list.   I still remember it to this day because it was such a seminal moment in my sobriety.  
  1. I have plenty of cigarettes
  2. I have a pot of coffee on the stove
  3. No one can steal my bathtub
  4. I am so easily entertained!  
And then I learned that if you look hard enough, there is always something to be grateful for.  When I learned that my life improved immeasurably.  

I also think that God really likes it when we thank him.  When I wonder at how exactly God loves me, I look at how I love my children.  And I know he is infinitely more loving than that.  I like it when my kids tell me what they want - because I want to provide that if I can.  And then I love it when they thank me.  I think that is a good place to start with God.

So, Thank you God for all the abundant blessings in my life today.  And the challenges.  

And thank you Dave for sharing your "thank you" jpg.  Let us see how this experiment works!


Patty said...

No one can steal your bath tub! I love it! Thanks Mary!

Debbi said...

My favorite gratitude list share was from a young woman with three little girls who was frazzled all the time. Her sponsor required a three-item list every day.
1. Her sobriety
2. Her sponsor
And 3 had to be something she thought of herself. One time she said 3 was coffee filters, because when you run out of toilet paper, coffee filters will do in a pinch!
Always, ALWAYS something to be thankful for!

Syd said...

There is something to be grateful for every hour of every day. Gratitude brings smiles and changes my outlook on life. Have a good day, MC.

Lou said...

I guess I'm not the only one who didn't "get" the Talking Heads.

dAAve said...

"no one can steal my bathtub"

Damn! I wish I'd thought of that.

Kristin H. said...

The bit about the bathtub made me laugh out loud, and, and I agree with you. And the analogy about God and our love for our children was awesome. I needed that.

Unknown said...

Hi Mary Christine,
I love your posts -- great stuff. I'd like to talk to you about sharing your story on the Today's Step: Recovery iPhone app.

You can reach me at or check us out at

SoberMomRocks said...

No one can steal my bathtub! I love you MC!