I can tell my secret now because the opening night of the retreat I am attending is over now: the guest speaker for the opening night was ME.   I have been immersed in preparing for this thing for the last several days, forfeiting my regularly scheduled study and writing.   It did not go the way I wanted it to.  But what in life does?  My speech was supposed to be ninety minutes long and based on the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous as it relates to the Twelve Spiritual Principles of Overeaters Anonymous.  I don’t even want to do anything that feels GOOD for ninety minutes!!  This was like giving a lecture and, even with a ten-minute break in the middle, I couldn’t count all the nodding heads with closed eyes.  It was awful!

This I know: I would rather write than speak.  It’s not done the same way, you know.  No one speaks the way they write.  My voice kept changing dialect with the depth of the thought, one minute Orson Welles and the next, Barney Fife!   I am relieved that is over!  I wish I could say I was “glad” it was over, but it really is just relief.  Comments afterwards were noticeably non-complimentary.   I heard things like, “Thank you for your service,” and, “You clearly put a lot of work into that.”   One lady said, “It’s too bad they didn’t record that. I just couldn’t keep up!”

I’m going to close the book on this day and look forward to a do-over tomorrow, with no responsibility all day but to enjoy the retreat.  My next service time isn’t until Sunday morning when I get to lead the meditation.  I plan to recycle the 12-Step Meditation I have used before and even posted here on this site.  It is just a list of all the prayers I could find in either of the two books: Alcoholics Anonymous and The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

One day at a time…  Whew!