Monday Smiles – 9/10/2012

When I told my wife, Muri, I was going to my first Thursday Night Men’s Stag Retreat, she was surprised.   So was I … I’m not the retreat type but a good friend convinced me I’d like it.  I more than liked it.   Before I headed off for my second retreat, Muri asked whether I thought I’d like it as much as I did the first.  I did.  The retreat that I attended this weekend was my fourteenth.  I haven’t really been counting but I know I started attending the Men’s Group meetings seven years ago.  There are two retreats a year, so there you go … fourteen.  Before I left for this one, Muri asked, Do you miss me when you’re at the retreats?  You see, for our entire life together, I’ve called regularly when I’m away but I only text her from the retreats.

The reason, of course, is that a retreat, by its very nature, requires stepping away from one’s normal routine to focus on a particular religious or spiritual discipline, in the case of our retreats, the Twelve Steps.  If you were to wander onto the grounds of Mission San Luis Rey this weekend and seen us laughing our way through dinner or sitting around the firepit shooting the bull, you’d say, This is spiritual immersion?  If you saw us in twos, threes or fours, strolling the grounds and were close enough to listen in, you’d say, Doesn’t sound spiritual to me.  But friendship between meetings is what makes the meetings so personally spiritual.  That’s more or less what I told Muri, after telling her, Of course, I miss you.  These retreats have become my Spiritual Reset Button, bringing me back to a state of gratitude for my life.   I’m glad I don’t travel so much on business anymore.  As Muri and I age, we like to stay within talking distance of each other but twice a year, off I go with the guys.  I miss her just as much as always and I called her between between meetings on Saturday to tell her so.  But when I come home, I appreciate her… and my life … more than ever.  That’s makes it worth the few days away.

The amazing rose gardens at the Mission San Luis Rey were in full bloom this weekend, bringing color and sweetness to our retreat.   Here are a few photos I took while strolling the grounds.   I hope you enjoy them.

It’s Monday … I’m smiling.

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8 Comments on “Monday Smiles – 9/10/2012”

  1. Paul Kinder Says:

    Beautiful roses, they are a spiritual experience in themselves 🙂

  2. cherperz Says:

    Such an interesting perspective of the retreat serving as a impetus of your gratitude for your life as it is now. That is just down right adorable that Muri asks if you miss her….and that you do.
    Those roses are beautiful.

  3. “These retreats have become my Spiritual Reset Button, bringing me back to a state of gratitude for my life.”

    That is truly wonderful, Bud!!

    I sure could use a few days to reset as well.

  4. Oh, and welcome home!

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