Simple Gifts, The Things That Matter

I’ve been trying to pull myself up by my boot straps.  I have had enough down time due to the move.  I’ve got things to make for Yule. Not much but still, things.  I’ve been feeling unattractive of late.   While I absolutely had to cut my hair, I don’t like it.  Lots of folks compliment me on it but I? Don’t like it at all and feel fat and old.  I can’t seem to find work that will support me.  That sucks.  My folks have come forward with a plan and intend to help me but Goddess knows that they don’t have much either and I feel terribly guilty. But also terribly grateful.  I gave my mom all the earrings I’ve made for her annual Christmas P-Patch fundraiser and she won’t let me give them entirely.  She plans on bringing me half of what she gets.  So nice.

Little things are becoming so very meaningful to me.  In some way I know I asked for this.  I wanted to bring more simplicity into my life, I wanted the US at least to simplify, to stop our shopping addiction and start reaching out to others more.  I knew that might mean that I too would be hit hard. And I have been.  But I am finding the simple gifts arriving, some days in quantity, just as I hoped they might.

Last night was a friend’s annual Christmas party.  She and her husband invite their sober and clean friends into their home for a potluck and fellowship.  I don’t go every year because a lot of the time I don’t know many folks but this year I’m pushing myself to get out and about as much as  I can because fellowship is really all I can afford.  So I got myself dressed up in a red and black silk taffeta skirt (that I got at the Endless Knot sale for $10!!) and a black top and my stockings and heels.  And lo, an opportunity…

The night before at the meeting after the meeting where we have a late dinner at a restaurant near by I was speaking with a fellow who got a year of sobriety a couple months ago. And then he disappeared.  I asked why he didn’t come to the Gratitude potluck.  He said he’s just too shy.  We talked about the purpose of these events and how important they are for the newly sober especially.  That none of us drunks knew how to socialize without booze and that they help us learn this social skill.  And that there are always friendly people who know us at these functions.  And there he was, taking the risk and attending the Christmas party.  He knew no one when I arrived.

And we sat an talked again.  About recovery, children, amends.  How sometimes the only amends you can give is to stay sober one day at a time and in that way bring a feeling of security to those who don’t believe “I’m sorry” any more.  We’d been talking about 45 minutes while munching away on really great food (king crab legs! and homemade tamales) and he turned to me and said,

“I’m really glad you’re sober.”

Verklempt I tell you.  To be able to help someone else is the simplest and best gift ever.

All this while I’ve noticed a woman walking around who I recognize but who I don’t think I know from the 12 step groups but from the pagan world.  As I’m leaving and stopping with my friend to admire her lovely tree (this is the woman, R, who has been attending OLOTEAS with me since this summer so she is both pagan and sober too).  I turn and there is the woman I recognize.  I ask her if she goes to OLOTEAS and she says “What is that?”  R and I laugh and say you’d know it if you went (I think R is still in the closet which is cool, I don’t tend to advertise either).  We’re still looking at ornaments and the woman says, “I used to go to Gaia’s Temple? Didn’t you used to go with The Forgiven?”  Why yes, yes I did.  “Did you mean Our Lady of the Earth and Sky?”  Why yes, yes I did.  So R and I have a new friend in pagan sobriety who will be attending the OLOTEAS Yule ritua with us this year, we will pick her up and introduce her around.  That was one gift.  The other, the third of the night was “I always thought you were so striking, your hair down to your waist and your lovely skin, you were always noticed when you walked into the room.”

While it’s tempting to keep worrying about money it’s evenings like that that make me think, who needs money?

2 thoughts on “Simple Gifts, The Things That Matter

  1. LOVE THIS! LOVE THIS! Thank you for sharing this!

    I was just yapping away about abundance vs. wealth on the blog, So This Is Wonderland. Hmmmm…seems like the need for a re-examination of riches is in order for a lot of us.

    I was reading your blog yesterday and saw that post. I should have commented. It touched me too.

    I had a freak-out when I moved. I used to live in a really glam apartment, a big loft, fireplace, etc., etc., but when I left my job to pursue yoga et. al, I knew I would need to downsize. That was all well and good until it actually happened, and I spiraled into, “What the fuck was I thinking? I’m too old for this shit. What kind of hippie-dippy, idealistic, sunshine-and-lollipops loser am I?” It really tripped me out.

    However, I realized that I loved the new place and that finding joy in the amount of things I do enjoy in my life is really key (and not as hard as one might think).

    I knew about your move but didn’t know the particulars. Go you! And I totally relate to the hating self talk. I’ve felt stupid and foolish to have made the decision I did last summer.

    It really is about an attitude of gratitude and changing one’s perceptions.

  2. That’s great that your friend’s give a sober alternative to holiday partying. Reading this entry made me wish that my husband had a sober way to practice his social skills, he’s pretty isolated when it comes to socializing. He’s not been to a meeting in a long, long time, although he does keep in touch with his sponsor from time to time, usually when he’s really stressed.

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