Friday, May 18, 2012


God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
-Reinhold Niebuhr
This is the original poem which has been adopted by AA and other 12-step programs. I like this longer version better. I can see why AA uses it. Live one day at a time. Isn't that one of their -isms? But here's the part that speaks to me the most: "hardship as a pathway to peace." No one ever got anything worth anything without working for it. Sure some people have things handed to them... bully for them. What is is really worth if you didn't earn it??

Take the world as it is, not as [you] would have it. It sounds sort of defeatist, but I don't think that it truly is. I think that what it's really about is that the world is a giant, heavy, amorphous idea. To worry about the state of things and how you think they suck is just a recipe for self-destruction. Focus on the positive. Focus on your self. You do you. I kind of goes back to this sticky note I have up at my desk at work that says, "the happiest people don't have the best of everything - they just make the best of everything they have." I have to remind myself of this concept constantly. 

Did I know, going into this marriage, that Hubber was an alcoholic? Maybe. I would say no, but some people would probably say I was just in denial. Does it matter? Not really. I knew he had issues, regardless of whether or not I knew the depth and breadth or how they would manifest in sleepless nights watching the time tick away wondering when or if he would make it home safely. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Hubber is an amazing man. He's incredibly intelligent, funny, loving, creative, supportive, romantic, and (except for when he's been drinking) honest. I fell in love with him. I chose to marry him. It was my choice. This is not the life I envisioned when he asked me to marry him, but it's the one we've got, and it's more good than not. Every marriage is a daily choice no matter what issues are there, and every marriage has issues.

Hubber is in counseling. It's not a magic bullet, but it's helping.  Last night Bunny and I came home to an empty house. He was at the bar. It was all very familiar... until it wasn't. He made the choice to drink, but then he did something unusual. He made the choice to come home, hours before closing time. Not "good," but "better." Sometimes that's all you can ask. I choose to stay because at the end of the day/week/month/year, the love in our house is bigger than any of his issues, and stronger than any disease. The moments of enjoyment outnumber the moments of frustration, and that's what's important.

I believe in God and the power of prayer, but I don't think God "grants" us anything other than life. We all have the power to choose serenity, courage, and wisdom, but we have to choose it for ourselves. I think that to ask God for these things is a little redundant. They are already in us. They were put there at the time of creation. No one can grant me serenity, or give me courage; not even God. I have to choose these things for myself. The tools are in the box, so to speak. I just have know when to use them, and then do it.

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