Day 36: Putting On The Brakes

Ah, life’s little disturbances. Aren’t they a bitch?

I’ve always had trouble managing the little things. I’ll allow all the small crap to build up into an epic, infuriating avalanche of drama. I struggle to find patience. To let things come and go as they will. I think that’s why staying in touch with my higher power has been such a relief and release.

If you could hear my inner dialogue throughout the day, you’d see. While my spiritual fitness has improved exponentially in sobriety, I still battle my inner urge to lash out in passive aggressive ways: On line for the self-checkout at the grocery store, tapping my foot maniacally, going off in my head about how this old lady is taking forever. Just scan the damn thing. For God’s sake, bag your items faster! The group of nine tweenie girls ahead of me on line at Starbucks, ordering the largest, most labor intensive, blended drinks. If you want Baskin Robbins girls, go to frikin’ Baskin Robbins! I need my Americano!

I hate the little passive aggressive elf that resides in my head.

My schedule at the moment in no way necessitates that these people ahead of me should move any faster. They have their days to live out. They need and want what they need and want too. It’s still a challenge to stop myself and acknowledge that I am not, in fact, the center of the universe. I am just one of the ten people on line, and, I will get what I need when it’s my turn.

Today, I used my AA tools to the best of my ability, and succeeded. It was a race against my ever-ticking patience clock, and, I won a little battle. Only a few scrapes.

This morning, I hopped in my car to head to an AA meeting, only to be greeted by a most awful, high pitched, metal-on-metal screeching noise. My brakes. Fuck. Alcoholism has blessed my little car with a DUII empoundment, busted taillight, and haphazard maintenance. So, in sobriety, I’m fixing things little by little. Yes, Herman the Honda Civic is going to be just fine. But, today, his fucking brakes are fucked. Fuck.

I took the car up to the service center. They quickly identified the problem. A brake siphon in disrepair. An easy fix. Not super cheap, but, not going to “brake” the bank (Ha! Sober humor, it’s the jam!)! They quoted me a time that seemed within reason. It would get me to my meeting with my sponsor just in the nick of time. Well, in theory, of course.

Naturally, things didn’t go as planned. The replacement siphon had to be driven over from their parts distributor. Blah, blah, blah, I’ll spare you the snooze-worthy details. Long story short. They totally under quoted the time I’d be getting out of there with my wheels.

I sat in the waiting room, mind running. Thinking about being late to meet my sponsor. The money I was going to have to fork over. The horrid, horrid coffee available to us, poor customers, in the eerily sterile waiting room.

Then, God showed up.

Withoutaglass, calm the fuck down. You need your car. You need it to be in good, working condition. You need to pay money for the good people who fix your car, to fix your car. Your sponsor, she’ll be there when you get out. Accept these things you cannot change. Change the things you can! Instead of sitting here stewing about all this, pull out your Big Book. Do some reading. Do some journaling. These things you can’t control, they’re not going to end you, or this day. Get it together bitch!

And so, I did. I just let it go. I accepted that I was going to be in that service center until my brakes were fixed. And I had no fucking control. So, I pulled out my Big Book and did some work. And, you know what, I ended up being pretty productive. So, when I did meet my sponsor, only an hour late I might add, I had done all my work for her, and then some.

Sometimes we need to put on the brakes. Stop the wheels spinning in our head. It just makes things easier, more manageable. Every little detail of the day is not the impending apocalypse.

Herman the Honda Civic and I both got new brake siphons. And, I’m happy to report, things are running smoothly.

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