Thursday, September 15, 2011

What Am I Doing With What I Have?

Online again at last. Our cable hookup resembled a Monty Python skit:

Installer: "There you go, all done."

Customer: "But it's not working!"

Installer: "Sure it is, you just have to squint - see, there it was! There it is again!

Customer: "But I can't watch tv with it flashing on and off like that!"

Installer: "Well, it's because the moon is too close to Pluto, eh? It affects the satellite signal."

Customer: "Well, can you fix it?"

Installer: "No need to fix it, it's working perfectly."

Customer: "But it keeps cutting in and out!"

Installer: "It's supposed to do that."

Customer: "No it isn't!"

Installer: "Well, I'm glad you're satisfied, I'm off now."

Customer: "I'm not satisfied, it's not working!"

Installer: "Oh, no need to thank me, I'm just doing my job, you know." (zips out the door)

(Customer beats head against wall, screaming loudly.) "AAARRRGGGHHH!"

The same installer returned, and we had the same result when he left. My husband is trying to work up the emotional strength to try calling the company again, since every call means at least an hour on hold.

With the internet, the installer came and left, and I had - nothing. Very strange. A different installer came, fiddled for about 2 minutes, and it worked perfectly.

I'm deeply grateful for Al-Anon, since the old me would have been furious and upset for days, and even angrier when she went over to the old place last night, to discover that someone stole our lifetime hoses, and hose reel. The neighbour saw someone in our back yard a day or so ago, and if it was she who stole the hoses, she very thoughtfully unscrewed the watering wand, and left it behind.

I was very angry about the hose for a few minutes, then said to my husband that I hated the feeling, and wasn't going to torture myself with it for any longer than that. I let it go. I can't do anything about it, and I don't want to allow the thief to disturb my serenity. Before Al-Anon, I'd have made a meal of it, chewed over that hose theft for days, told everyone about it, ranting and raving. I'd have seen it as further proof that the universe was against me, that things never went right for me, blah blah blah. I'd have been able to completely forget all the positives of this move, and I'd have chosen instead to focus on the one negative thing - the theft of my hoses. When anyone asked how the move went, that would have been the first thing I told them.

When I hear the phrase "a disease of perception," I remember that this is who I once was - an unhappy woman who focused solely upon the negatives in my life, and who couldn't let go of anything. I was talking to a friend last night, who mentioned that when his dad was alive, he would talk about the past and be just as furiously angry at whatever it was he was recalling, as he'd been when it first happened - he seethed with bitter resentment.

I know that without 12-Step, I'd have been that same way. An AA speaker jokes that one needs to be careful about praying to our Higher Power for help with being patient, tolerant, forgiving, etc, because we will then be presented with many opportunities to learn, and practise, these new skills.

From Courage to Change, page 259:

"My Higher Power's gifts sometimes take unusual forms. Perhaps something I regard as a problem is really a form of assistance."


  1. Yes, I have had to let a lot of things revolving around incompetence go. And the theft of a considerable amount of jewelry a couple of years ago was another thing that I had to just relinquish emotionally.

  2. Great Post! Thanks for the share. (and I LOVE Monty Python!)

  3. I can get negative very easily due to the enviroment I have to live within. Creating a gratitude list pulls me out of the negative thinking funk that can weigh me down. Also saying out loud "How important is it?", helps me not sweat the small stuff. My two simple but very important Al-anon attitude adjusters.