Monday Smiles – 10/21/2013

park sunriseThe Sunday morning meeting of our Men’s Retreat is called the Spirituality Meeting because it focuses on the spiritual aspects of the 12-Steps.  It is usually my favorite meeting of the weekend because I have found a level of spirituality at the retreat that I have not found anywhere else.  But I won’t kid you … by Sunday, I’m also ready to be home with Muri.  I don’t go to meetings to learn that I’m more fortunate than most, but hearing how few men to have a significant other at home that they see as a best friend makes me ready to be at the side of mine, regardless what debris life is blowing into our lives at the time.  One of our older members, Larry … who is no longer with us … used to suggest trying to keep the peace found at the retreat going as long as possible as we go back to the real world outside the retreat center walls.  Our retreat center used to be in the hills above Santa Barbara, so we used to call returning home, coming down the hill. We don’t meet in the hills anymore but we still talk about coming down the hill.   Larry believed we shouldn’t share too much with our spouse or friends because it is hard for them to understand what happens at the retreat … and their reaction may take the glow off the weekend.  For Muri and I, though, going out to dinner to talk when I get home is a tradition, and I share what I can without sacrificing anyone’s anonymity.

In the center of the retreat center lawn is a statue of St. Francis Receiving the Stigmata.  I am not of a spiritual bent that allows me to understand why ast francis person would want the Stigmata but St. Francis did.  At this retreat, St. Francis had also received a swarm of bees in his right arm pit.  I could empathize.  This was a working retreat for me.  I knew it going in.  There are issues in our lives that two days of meetings and fellowship won’t resolve, no matter how many times someone says Let Go and Let God.  There are issues for which the answer is Acceptance, not Solution.  At this retreat, I was more restless during meetings and had fewer serious discussions one-on-one.  I slept more and I spent more waking hours in bull sessions filled with jokes, kidding and laughter.   I was snarkier than usual but directed it into Inner Curmudgeon humor.  I spent Saturday afternoon with my friend, Stan, on Stearn’s Wharf watching the world go by.   I didn’t come down the hill inspired.  And down the hill, challenges remain.  But today will be an easy day.  It is gorgeous outside, so Muri and I plan to spend the afternoon in our park, our post-retreat retreat before we dig back into the sometimes sticky, sometimes icky substance of life.  I am happy to be home and happy to have this home … and this woman … to be home to.  So, it’s Monday and I’m smiling.

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5 Comments on “Monday Smiles – 10/21/2013”


  1. Sounds like a good retreat. Sometimes just taking a breather and enjoying humor is the best medicin ! I was wondering what that was on St. Francis arm pit……. Bees well he is the Saint that is the patron of Animals !


  2. I love your Monday Smiles blog posts, Bud. They always ME smile too!


  3. Acceptance, rather than a solution -you’ve got a problem like that going on and so do I. Acceptance is not coming about easily though so it looks like a mountain in front of me, whether it is going up or coming down, still that darned mountain there. Now, how to find a nice way around it? That would be my solution I guess but perhaps too I’m just not willing to be THAT accepting, at least just not yet anyway. This too shall pass is my mantra of late and it sure is taking its sweet old time in the passing! Pray for peace -for you and for me. Maybe that’s the answer?


  4. One of the things I’ve had to learn about the difference between solution and acceptance is that the constant search for a solution is often attributable to ego. We think we can control things. Learning we can’t is when we learn the difference between those two things. Sometimes we have to learn instance-by-instance. I know I do.


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