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And I wasn’t even aware it was packing.  My family and I successfully navigated a two-day, one-night stay in a minor metropolitan city where nothing went right, except our reactions to the various situations.  From an obstruction of traffic ticket upon arrival at our hotel, to the pool being closed, we were called upon to adapt and adjust quite often over a 24-hour period.

Step 10:  continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

Where we perfect responders?  No, not at all, and I will readily admit that I had the lowest batting average.  But it still never completely went off the rails like it used to.  This time, instead of battling against my family, I battled with them.  For the most part.

And it didn’t take yelling and screaming at the outside world.  The hotel credited our account for the amount of the ticket, saying that, “this kind of thing happens all the time, and normally we’re on top of it.”

Full disclosure:  it wasn’t my idea to take the ticket to the front desk.  That was all on my wife, who I instantly resented for making me do it.  See, I wanted to sulk.  And I was embarrassed.  But 40 bucks is 40 bucks, and it turned out I wasn’t uniquely special; that people get ticketed there to the point that the hotel has a reimbursement policy already in place for their clientele.

So why am I still upset? Because they weren’t specifically picking on me?  Or because now I don’t have something to bitch about?  As anybody who’s walked in shoes similar to mine can tell you, it’s a little bit of both.

There were two or three, “if we had known that, then we would have done this” moments, but when I realized that the expectations I had were totally different from those of my daughter and her friend, I thought letting go would be easier.  But for some reason, I just got more tense and agitated as the giggling and the silliness continued.  There were a couple of occasions where I simply walked away and sat myself down.  It can be overwhelming, watching an eight-year-old try to decide which flavors of stick candies she wants.  They’re only three for a dollar at Ye Olde Candy Shoppe, located inside the museum.  They only sell candies you can’t get in stores anymore!  Well, maybe there’s a reason for that.

Tonight, as I write this along with the Tenth Step inventory going trough my head, I’m angry at the number of times I fell into old behaviors and thoughts.  I’m also grateful that most of them were caught within a fair amount of time.  Notice the growth and notice the room for growth.

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