… and it all begins with cookies!
A couple weeks ago I shared with you that my two coffee buddies were not in a good place, Ms.Nikki has flown the coop and left the group, she was our resident cookie lady. And Peter has been a no show for now two weeks running. Today I went for coffee at the diner and I was all by myself, again.
I had to go buy coffee and cups for the meeting on my way to the diner, and as usual I had to buy cookies. Our meeting is reknown for our selection of tasty cookies to go with tasty coffee. When Ms. Nikki left the group I figured that I would just carry forward the cookie job. But one week morphed into two weeks and two weeks into four… Cookies are not cheap, even buying the generic cheapies.
A package of cookies runs $4.00 a package. In keeping with what Ms. Nikki was buying, that ended up being 4 packages of cookies a week. That’s $16.00 for each week. Milk runs $3.80 for a 2 litre jug. That’s $20.00 a week for cookies and milk. I spent $25.00 today for supplies. So this month I spent $85.00 for supplies out of my pocket for the month of November.
At the business meeting I wrote out a check to myself so that the group could reimburse me for the monthly expenses. I then posed a question to them about buying cookies. I assumed the responsibility and so incurred the expense. But this month they decided to reimburse me. Which led to a very loud discussion about whether or not the group coud afford $100.00 a month in expenses. We decided NO. But my co treasurer did give me $10.00 a week budget for cookies which will come out of the kitty.
The other group members decided that we would all pitch in and buy cookies from now on.
We had a new comer attend our business meeting. His name is Owen. He is button cute. He’s got some time under his belt. And he and his fiance have decided to join the group. And he pledged some service time to the group. In order to get on the meeting roster as a new comer [to chair meetings] you have to have 6 months of sober time and 3 months of service and attendance at the group. The rules used to be that you had to have a year sober and 6 month service time to the group in order to chair.You need over a year of sobriety to get a key… and there are only 3 keys out. We have relaxed those rules to try and get some new blood into the system. Although attendance has been really bad over the last two months. More to the point, we haven’t had new members to the group in almost a year. [none that stayed any length of time] We lost 10 members in the last year as well.
Now, I know new comers. We haven’t been able to maintain our new comers. They come for a few weeks and then they turn tail and move on. We haven’t had anyone new come to do set up in YEARS!!! And Nikki, Peter and myself have been setting up for the last seven years together. And now that they aren’t there, it all comes down to me doing it all by myself. Which is alright. I get there early and take my time making coffee and putting out all the chairs. So supposedly, these two newbies are going to come and do some service.
I am not going to hold my breath…
My whole Tuesday routine is shot to hell, and some of our group members want me to delegate power to new people. Well, if history is our mirror, there hasn’t been a newcommer doing service at our home group since I first got sober. And that would be seven years ago. Even coming early and having the room open 90 minutes prior to the meeting and putting cookies out, we haven’t been able to attract newbies to come and fellowship with us.
It was brought to our attention by a visitor from the states that it was his experience in his home town that Alcoholics Anonymous had stared to become [everything] anonymous. So they closed their meetings specifically for and serving only Alcoholics and that raised their numbers. We at Tuesday Beginners have gotten really lax over the years. Many of our regulars are cross addicted and they share that at the meetings both the early meeting and the late meeting. And that might be our deathknell.
With Ms. Louise leaving in January to go to Florida that leaves 3 people to chair two meetings and get speakers for the late meeting. If we don’t get some new blood into the system over the next two months there is a good chance that we will have to close the meeting down. And on December 17th is the groups 59th anniversary. That meeting used to have over 100 people coming to the speaker meeting. And once we used to average upwards of 50 plus people at the discussion meeting at 6:30p.m. We haven’t seen numbers like that since I got sober.
Owen talks a good talk. He has connections. And he is young and on fire. And really I would like to hope that he fuilfills his pledge, which would be really nice. So we’ll see. I don’t know if I can adapt to any more change to my Tuesday routine without loosing my mind at the same time. I’ve been doing this for so long and I enjoy doing it they way I do it. I need to keep some normalcy to my Tuesday routine or else I am going to go crazy.
God grant me serenity…
As I sit here in my office early on this Tuesday morning my window looks out towards the house and behind it the eastern sky is starting to lighten up. It’s quite beautiful and amazing.
The rhythms of life are intricately connected here on this earth, and they feel even more tied together here in this field. Winter is coming, so preparations are being made. Equipment is being placed into storage, poultry is being sent to market, cattle is being shipped or moved to winter homes. And the land is allowed to rest.
Rest. Hibernation. Winter brings that to us in different ways, at least here on the Canadian prairies. We are forced by the coming rhythm of winter, to change gears, downshift, conserve energy, rest. And that is a good thing.
I don’t know who we would be if we didn’t have winter. I suspect choosing to rest if it wasn’t forced upon us might be difficult. Probably even seen as a weakness. And if our neighbours didn’t rest, then probably neither would we.
So we are forced, by the plans of God and the grace of the land, to rest. And even if we inside ourselves don’t slow down, that’s our choice. Sometimes the land and the rhythms of life God has given us, are smarter than we are, and if we are teachable we will learn a thing or two about seasons of rest.
Learning to live well in that balance is a secret to life that not all people understand. Whether you are a high stakes banker living in the glass towers of the big city, or a farmer working the land. There are things about the balanced life that we need to learn, so that our lives too will be blessed in ways that give us life.