One of the first things we hear, and are encouraged to remember when we enter a Recovery program is, “one day at a time.” Many of us are over-achievers, despite our Alcoholism, and it would be easy to get overwhelmed if we did not heed these timeless words. As I have evolved in my Program I have come to believe that my higher power can be found in the present – not in the past or future – but in the now. Ironically, this present is where my actions matter more than my words. What we do today reflects what we have done with our past and where we will ultimately move to in our futures. Coins are how we honor the culmination of sober actions and attitudes represented by living “one day at a time.” For new comers we help them reinforce this philosophy by offering up 30, 60, and 90 day chips to encourage a further commitment to this new way of living. Just as families celebrate the birth of a new child, when a member of the Recovery community reaches the 1 year mark we honor them with a coin or chip to celebrate their AA birthday and continue to honor them each subsequent year that they stay Sober. For example, with the grace of God, I will celebrate my 22 birthday (or anniversary depending on where you live). There is a huge caveat here, a but, because while birthday and anniversary celebrations are about our individual Sobriety, they should not ultimately be about us. Recovery is about surrendering to a power greater than ourselves. Sure, we followed the direction of a sponsor and the literature, but what we really did is stop fighting because our higher power helped us see that it could be different from when we running our own lives. So, as the wonderful Ed F. taught me, “I did not quite drinking, it simple quit working.” These celebrations are in place to honor the spirit of recovery, to show all people who may wander in to a meeting that the “spiritual life is not a theory.” By standing up and saying, “Hi, my name is X, and today I celebrate X years of Sobriety,” not only do we show others it works, we commit ourselves to continued Sobriety “one day at a time.” This helps us go from event living to daily living according to spiritual principles. So we briefly, pause to encourage others who come behind us that it works, but we know that it is our commitment to the relationships, and the changes we have made in Recovery, that we are celebrating. Just like secrets that will kill us if not exposed, we must expose our celebrate to the Recovery world; speak up and say Happy Birthday when it is your turn so we know who you are and that it works, it really does.