For the last couple of weeks or so, I've been thinking about going back to a Tuesday night meeting that I always enjoyed. I have cut my meeting attendance down to once a week, but I've been thinking about this meeting lately, and remembering how satisfying it was for me, because I really like a lot of the members, many of whom attend faithfully each week, giving the meeting good continuity. It's a meeting with a lot of laughing, which I think is a sign of health and humility.
Then, yesterday afternoon at the office operating committee meeting, my first since the operation, I met up with one woman for whom this Tuesday night meeting is her home group, and after giving me a big warm hug, she asked, "Are you going to be coming back to our meeting again soon?"
Her question, coming on top of the meeting having been in my thoughts quite a bit, made me decide to start attending again. Once the decision was made, I realised that I am feeling a fair amount of delighted anticipation. I enjoy the positive nature and good humour expressed there. When I moved back here, I'd gone to a meeting within a night or two of arriving, but didn't like it particularly, as I was pretty much ignored. Now, this doesn't matter for me, because I've been in Al-Anon for 29 years, I knew there were another 10-12 meetings in a week here for me to check out, and I know full well that each meeting has a different flavour. But it bothered me because no-one asked if there were any visitors or newcomers, and I believe that's an important part of welcoming newcomers to our meetings - that we make the effort to acknowledge and welcome new people, trying to ease the way for them to feel comfortable and at home in the rooms.
This Tuesday night meeting was the second meeting I went to when I was first here, and as soon as I entered the room, a woman smiled at me, patted the empty chair beside her, and invited me to join her. She asked if I was new to Al-Anon, and when she found out I was a long-timer, we had an amusing conversation before the meeting began. It's a warm, welcoming meeting, whose members do their best to make it safe for all who attend.
There's a strong emphasis on the Steps and Traditions, and I always felt good when I walked back out to my car afterward.
So I'm going to pay attention to this spiritual nudge, and next Tuesday evening, I will be sitting in a church basement, listening carefully to all the people whose experience, strength and hope is such a gift and a blessing for me.
I've taken the pockets apart on the winter coat I'm sewing for myself, there was something about them which I found unsatisfactory, but only slightly. Nevertheless, over the many years that I've been sewing for myself, I've learned that I'm far better off to unpick and re-sew, than tell myself it's good enough - were I to do the latter, it would bother me for the life of the garment. Patience is a virtue.
Part of Al-Anon's teachings are learning when I need to let go, and when I need to re-do.