There’s No Business Like Show Business

We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show… Page 88

Why constantly? Because we alcoholics are going to regress when it comes to this principle. Not running the show is weird for me. I was the eldest child, the teacher, the single mom, the presenter and trainer, the administrator, the all to end all!

I say was because I’m trying to be not in charge anymore. I’m not talking about jobs, but attitudes. No matter what my job description, there’s a way to be humbly in charge and a way to make everyone wish I weren’t—to make them wish I’d take a vacation, a very long vacation.

Let me give you an example. When I watch a play, I’m very busy. Entertainment is work for me. I don’t get much further than the playbill before I’m working. Is the font right for that? Does the cover work? Is the opening scene the best choice for establishing a setting? Is the music a bit overpowering? Do I want to see the play or have they already lost me. I look around. How involved is the person next to me? Is this capturing them?

All this … and the actors haven’t even started! I love to run the show. When the cast appears, I’m asking if the wardrobe department did the best job of establishing authenticity. Is that couch in a color that even existed back then? Is his haircut appropriate, or too trendy for this? What on earth are they trying to say about her in that clingy outfit? If she doesn’t end up having identity issues then … (Now someone is talking to her.)

Dialogue. Is it disingenuous? Would a kid that age use this language? Is he supposed to come off like an ingenue? Wow! That was a great line. Maybe I like the writing, it’s the acting that’s a bit off. Where did they find someone with teeth like that? It’s distracting…

Distracting. My mind is what’s distracting. I can’t just be without working at it. That seems a paradox. I do have to work at just being. Constantly. I guess that’s why Bill says, we constantly remind ourselves we’re no longer running the show. This is a new concept for me. I’m working on it. I’m trying to learn how to be right-sized.

In the above example I was me; just being a spectator– wait until I’m the player. In my day to day interactions I have to stop being the director, too. I must let people be who they are and remember that they aren’t going to change much, at least not as much as I’d like. In fact when people change, it’s often to become more ingrained in the behavior I was hoping to eliminate. I have so many good ideas for them! If they would just …

I’m not their director. I’m just an actor. On page 60 in AA Bill says, Each person is like an actor who wants to run the whole show; is forever trying to arrange the lights, the ballet, the scenery and the rest of the players in his own way.

Bill knew his alcoholic tendencies and he nailed mine!