Day 61: Late, With Clinky Keys And Coffee

It’s the little, uncanny occurrences that seem to light me up these days.

It might be a change in my behavior, or how the light from the rising sun casts a shadow on the church where my daily 7AM AA meeting is held, or how I’ve been praying for a few people in my life and when I talk to them, it sounds like maybe, just maybe, they’re just a smidgen happier than the last time we spoke. It’s strange, small things. Things that I can’t be sure are a result of me working my program, God working in my life, or just happenstance.

Regardless of the reason things seem a tad different, I’m grateful for the shift. I’ve been anxious lately. About little things, big things, and all the things in between. And, balance is a tough road to navigate. I’m not sure where I’m headed these days, and I’m doing my darnedest to turn my life and will over to my higher power. But, be advised, going with the flow sometimes means that I don’t know where I’m going at all.

All I know is I’m working this program, and, I’m hoping that it’s working me.

Today, a weird little happening made everything seem okay. Worthwhile even. And, it made me so grateful for the small, fortuitous moments that sneak up on me in sobriety. The moments that, with a drink in my hand, I never would of had, or if they had happened, I would have totally missed. Little blessings. Nothing too significant, but, nothing to scoff at either.

In my 7AM AA meeting, there is a woman I see almost everyday. I’m there seven mornings a week, so, I know she’s working a tight program too. I know her name, but, we’ve never chatted outside of the meeting. I know her story, she shares with the group frequently. I know her habits, she always comes in five minutes late, her clinking key chain in one hand, her travel coffee mug in the other. She’s a part of my routine without even knowing it. Another passenger on our little AA ship.

I know her, but, I don’t know her. And, for as long as I’ve been attending this particular meeting, I’ve been pretty convinced she didn’t know me, other than my face. But, this morning she surprised me.

She was the last person called on to share at the end of the meeting. She said something poignant, laced with expletives, very typical of her usual style. But, at the very end of her share she said, “And, I’d like to close by saying congratulations to withoutaglass for getting her 60 days. I didn’t get a chance to say it at yesterday’s meeting. I think she’s a shining example of this program at work, and I’m proud of her.”

I sat there, blushing, taken completely off guard. Not only had she noticed me, but, she knew me, just in the way I knew her. Something I’d never considered. Something that AA reminds us of all the time: You never know when what you say is going to effect someone at a meeting. And, it’s true. It’s one of the mysteries and miracles of the program. One alcoholic reaching another, just by being there, just by being what and who they are. So simply amazing.

After the meeting I went up to my fellow shipmate. I thanked her for her kind remarks. We chatted and exchanged phone numbers. And, all day I’ve had this strange, good feeling that God and the universe are looking out for me, even in my moments of complete and utter confusion.

Yes, the poignant, foul-mouthed woman with the clinky keys and travel mug knows who I am. And today, that made me feel like somebody.


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