Posted tagged ‘12 Steps’

Feeling It

December 6, 2018


When I was 69 years old, my wife Muri and I were at a Neil Diamond concert at (of course) the Greek Theater. Isn’t it odd to see your childhood favorites age along with you? At the intermission, an older gentleman (six years older, to be exact) and I were talking. For some reason, he felt compelled to bestow on me these prophetic words: The road from 69 to 75 is a tough one. At sixty-nine I was blogging here regularly and based on my posts, several of my back-then readers had told me, You seem to have this aging down. I believed I did and so I filed the advice from my momentary concert acquaintance as his problem, not mine. But he was right.


Good. Bad. Indifferent.

July 10, 2016

park sunset1I will tell you that this post could be a ramble.  It addresses a topic that’s been rattling around in my head for months and unless I write it out, it won’t stop.  It might not anyway.  I am fortunate to be part of several men’s meeting where guys talk about life and how they live it in a much more intimate way than I have ever known before.  Sometimes, I get to see our similarities, how we all do our best to deal what life deals us and how we can learn from each other’s struggles.   Other times, I get to see differences in the way we view the world … and the way we deal with it.  In those instances, it would be nice if I could just say to myself, This is what I do … that’s what they do.  But sometimes, their way looks easier if I could only mange to follow suit and I need to articulate my beliefs … to myself. (more…)

The Real World

April 26, 2016

P1020197Friday afternoon, I drove to Arrowhead Ranch, a camp and retreat center in Lake Arrowhead, for a retreat with a group of about 40 men from my Thursday Night Men’s Meetings.   That is my official … if not totally genuine … reason for not posting since last Wednesday.   The truth is, nothing inspired me to write.   Yes, Jack London said, You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club, but since writing is my avocation not my vocation (avocation sounds so much more grown-up than hobby, doesn’t it?), sometimes I choose to just wait.   Or retreat, in this case.  But here I am, back again.  Did you miss me?

Happy Now

March 22, 2016

snowI am sitting at the kitchen table in my daughter’s house in Herriman, UT.   Through the window in front of me, I can see an early spring snow flurry lightly coating the back lawn with white.  My daughter just got home from work, stylish and beautiful (much more so that she believes, but isn’t that true of many of us?).   I’ve been sitting here, writing and emailing friends for a couple of hours.  I am at peace.  I am happy.  It is all too rarely that I stop to acknowledge that kind of happiness, simply being in a place I want to be, doing what I enjoy doing.  Too often, I want the Capital H Happy.   You know.   Everything is going well, the future looks bright and, by the way, any unhappiness from the past is resolved, forgiven or forgotten. (more…)

How Are You? Fine.

March 3, 2016

image Many (many!!!) years ago, Older Eyes, his wife, Muri, and their two children took a vacation in Florida.  Naturally, part of the trip was a visit to Walt Disney World and the other similar attractions that had sprung around Orlando.  The second half of the trip was a relaxing stay at a beachfront hotel in Clearwater.   On the first day there, my gregarious little girl, Amy, made a friend at the pool and, as often happens on vacations, we ended up sitting with her new friend’s parents several times.  I don’t remember much about them except that Dad had a heavy Scottish accent and knack for spotting the idiosyncracies in the tourists around him.  One day, after saying good morning and settling into a chaise lounge beside me, he said, Let me ask you something.   When you Americans say, “How are you?” you don’t really want to know, do you? It’s just like hello.   And Fine is just hello back. As one of those Americans, I’d never thought of it in exactly that way.


August 2, 2015

numbers1I usually divide commercials into two classes: those I’ll tolerate, which means I don’t change the station or channel; and those I can’t stand.  Change the channel.  Every once in a while, though, one makes me think.  On the way to the park this week, I heard one of the latter.  I’ll try to paraphrase.  You may think that the most important number in your life is your age or your IQ but it’s not.   The most important number in your life is your credit score.   You might guess that the commercial was for a credit report company because, after all, ads are meant to convince us to buy something, not inform.  Advertisements will tell you that owning such-and-such a car is tantamount to Nirvana, that losing weight will make you an entirely new person (it won’t … you’ll be the same old whatever-you-were in a smaller body) and that a foul tasting concoction of chemicals in a can will give you wings.  But it is an interesting question … what is the most important number in my life?  Or, given my inability to narrow any list down to a single favorite, what are the important numbers in my life? (more…)

Being Happy

May 22, 2015

Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be

happy1Last night, the topic of our Thursday Night Men’s Meeting was slogans.   Twelve-step programs are big on slogans and there is a reason.   In a crisis, wisdom is easier to recall in a bumper-sticker sized bit than some sentence-long or page-long chunk.  As someone who’s always hated bumper stickers, I accept that particular bit of wisdom reluctantly and, by the way, usually cringe when the topic is announced.  When the topic is slogans, inevitably someone brings up the one at the top of the page, usually attributed to President Lincoln.  Last night, I beat them to the punch and brought it up myself, and in keeping with my contrarian, curmudgeonly nature, I dissected it. (more…)


May 11, 2015

aloneOver the last month or so, I found myself avoiding conversations before and after my Men’s meetings … and sitting by myself at breaks.  I wasn’t being consciously anti-social, but there I was, feeling alone in a room full of people.  I was fairly sure other people noticed, too, but nobody ever said anything, so who knows?    But it bothered me.  So, naturally, being an analytical kind of guy, I tried to figure out why I was doing it.  Isn’t that the way an engineer solves a problem … understanding the root cause then addressing it?   I came up with several good theories.   I’m feeling sheepish about several decisions I’ve made lately and I don’t want to hear anyone’s comments.   I have nothing to say to these people (even though I’ve chatted at breaks with these people at breaks for a least ten years).   My ego is running amok, making me either arrogant or defensive.   Nothing helped. (more…)


May 3, 2015

After my Thursday Night Men’s Meeting, someone came by to help me put away the coffee supplies.  It is not a hard job and I know that if someone comes by to help, they probably want to talk.   There is a lot going on in his life, and he wants to learn not to let those things bother him so much.   He’s heard me share in meetings and he thinks I can help him be more positive.  He wants me to sponsor him.  When I asked my first sponsor to work with me, he didn’t say Yes immediately.  He said, Let’s have dinner together and talk about how I do this and what you expect.  If you still want me to sponsor you then I will.   I did and he did for 16 years.   That is precisely what I said to my Thursday Night friend.

Getting By

April 26, 2015

park sunriseI belong to a spiritual community.  Unlike most spiritual communities, it does not require me to believe in anything, even something as fundamental to most spiritual communities as a Higher Power.  That has been a good thing for me because it has been the pressure to believe things contrary to my experience that has led me to keep religions at arms length, even as I pick and choose from their spiritual concepts.  One of the spiritual concepts of my spiritual community is Take what you like and leave the rest.  Imagine that.  But  being able show up and participate believing whatever I want doesn’t mean there aren’t orthodoxies, notions that are largely accepted and commonly shared at meetings.   When I came in as an agnostic/atheist, the continual use of the slogan, Let go and let God, drove me crazy.   I’d ask myself, Let God what? since many seemed to be saying that the act itself solved problems, phrased as God did for me what I couldn’t do for myself.   Now, I say it myself as means of accepting whatever outcome occurs.