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Prep Time

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I recently attended an OA workshop about working an action plan. The leader shared many examples of how she uses this Tool in her recovery, while other members asked questions and shared their experience as well. I felt inspired in this roomful of recovery, but I also felt a nagging worry about such plans. After all, my self-will has created mega-plans before, and then run me ragged trying to execute them. Sometimes “plan” is a four-letter word for me.

As I continued to listen and write notes in my journal (as I do in OA meetings), it dawned on me: Things go better with preparation. My workshop went better because someone prepared the event, someone prepared the space, and the leader prepared what she shared. Maybe planning is simply preparing? That’s when HP inspired this word game:
P—Prepare for
L—Life
A—Ahead of time
N—Now

In recovery, I am learning to accept what life is planning for me, to be prepared for the way things might go. I’m used to carrying an umbrella in case it rains or charging my phone before it dies completely. Now I arrange my food ahead of time, choose an outfit the night before, and go to meetings even if I don’t feel that I need to. This is preparing. This is acceptance.

Program has helped me to prepare for life ahead of time now so I don’t feel like a victim of life’s plans. This insight is vitally important because when I feel like a victim, I’m prone to turn to food for solace. Preparing ahead of time is surrendering to a lifestyle guided by a Higher Power. I don’t have to exhaust myself in headstrong self-will. When I use a little bit of my energy today to prepare for what’s ahead tomorrow, I find a much happier road of happy destiny.

Thank you, program. Thank you, HP. And thank you, my new favorite Tool, action plan!

— Mary L., Seattle, Washington USA

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