Sunday, December 27, 2009


OK - as I remember, it only takes a day or 2 for this food hangover to be over, right?  I certainly hope it's no longer than a week. I'm so sick of rich food and sweets that I crave peanut butter and a hamburger.

So, it didn't help that breakfast this morning was a big piece of pumpkin pie.

This morning, we put the last of the kids on an early plane and came home and took a 4-hour nap.  I think I'm more than a little spent.  It was a wonderful holiday and I'm glad it won't happen again until next year at the earliest.

I wrote an email to someone yesterday about something completely unrelated but it caused me to think about the small miracle of learning the principle of "restraint of tongue."  If there is a "theme" for me for this holiday, I'm very impressed on how little really needs to be said (by me) at these family gatherings.  I'm hoping I can learn the same thing in my AA circles.

I'm sure my wife would disagree (we seldom have the same holiday experience together), but I can't think of a single time where I needed to correct her - if I did, it was certainly a small fraction of the times that I thought of something that would add accuracy or perspective to the conversation and had the discretion, lacking in the past, to not offer it.  Sometimes, what I would have shared came to the conversation another way.  Sometimes it didn't.  In no case was anything missed by my not having said what was in my mind.

You have to understand just what a jerk I've been around this "errant member - the tongue" (as Dr. Bob related it in his farewell address in 1950).  My ego is generally so tightly wound up in needing to not only be right but have everyone else know it that it looks like a matter of life or death that I get you to "understand" me.  In some sense, it has been about life and death.

This holiday was different.  The 5-second conversation with my brother-in-law was perfect.  The silence was perfect.  The sharing was greatly improved from other years - by my actively seeking times where I could not have to speak.

And, still amazing to me, I am sober.

Tomorrow (12/28) is my birthday.  I feel like, in the past week, I'm finally learning something about being responsible and authentic.  Not bad for someone only 57 years old.

Thank you God!


Scott W said...

When we pay attention, wonderful things happen. Love it!

Mary Christine said...

Just think how good it is going to be when you are 58! But seriously, I admire your restraint.

Steve E said...

Ed, I could very appropriately written this post--restraint...etc.
Thank you for sharing the "good stuff".

And HAPPY BIRTHDAY, young man!

Kathy M. said...

I can so relate to the whole paragraph about the "errant member-the tongue." And all this time, I thought it was only we Al-Anons who suffered from this particular malady! Thanks for sharing.

Syd said...

I did my share of that as well--just listening and not having to make a lot of comments. Happy birthday Ed!

The Turning Point said...

Hold my tongue? What a relief that I found writing and my blog and the delete button. Thank God I have to think before I publish.
Happy Birthday.


Mary Christine said...

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Ed G., Happy Birthday to you. I hope you have a wonderful day.

Little M said...

Very wise words. Every once in a blue moon I display some restraint too. Usually I just jibber-jabber to deal with my anxiety.