Antisocial ramblings of a pessimist (you’ve been warned)

(written 8/20/14)

I’m not trying to be antisocial, despite what it looks like … now leave me alone.

A lot to think about recently.

Recent trip to Israel has got my head whirling in a couple different directions.

Today I heard Manny Scott at our district convocation, one of the students highlighted in Freedom Writers, and was challenged in a number of ways.

My students arrive on Monday for the new school year and I’m redoing my curriculum … I have to keep revising it since I know once I reach perfection, they’ll move me to another subject.

Add to these tributaries the Catholic conversion of my wife and all that that entails.  Not to mention …

So there’s a lot on my mind. So much so that I started to feel sorry for myself the other day and decided to peruse Facebook… And came across posts about ISIS killing Christians and Yazidis in Iraq, and Boko Haram slaughtering Christian villagers in Nigeria.  Boy am I an ass.  Pity parties don’t do well in light of the real life/death problems that others face.

Nevertheless the party must go on: I prefer to talk problems out and bounce ideas off of others… But emotionally vomiting on your friends really seems to limit your friendships – or so I’m figuring out.

The recent thought that’s been bouncing around my head is to “keep my own counsel.”  I don’t know if it’s scriptural, or even healthy, but I’m in a time where I need to process and some of the stuff I’m processing is like making hot dogs.  A process, I’m told, that you don’t want to watch if you plan on ever eating hot dogs again.  And I like the occasional hot dog… Actually I like bratwurst and pawn the hot dogs off on my kids. But it’s probably a similar process – though I will never know for sure.

Besides I don’t have an abundance of friends and can’t afford to lose the two I have (yes, I’m being overly dramatic … I’d say I have at least 4 if I round up).

So who do I vomit on?  In the past I’d pour out my problems to my wife.  But I’m learning that’s not the best of ideas.  And it only took me 16 years to realize this.  She figured it out a lot sooner than I did.

The obvious Christian answer is Jesus. But this seems so one way that it only seems to highlight my loneliness.

Paul Bunyan calls my state as the “slough of despond.” The good news, besides the actual “Good News”, is that I’ll bounce back.  I’m stubborn, resilient and I believe generally optimistic (though I’ve been told I’m a pessimist recently – which really made me sad).  Like the weeble wobble toys from my childhood. “They’ll weeble and they’ll wobble, but they won’t fall down.”

The problem is, here comes some emotional stuff, I really wanted to be He-Man. “I have the POWER!”

Except, not so much.  The longer I live, the less power I realize that I have.  There’s a line from a Steve Taylor song that’s been coming to mind a lot lately and calming me down.  The problem is that the lines sarcastic, nevertheless, “since I gave up hope, I feel a lot better.”

There’s another cryptic line from “Nathaniel the Grublet” that says basically “when you lose yourself, that’s when you find yourself.” I love that musical so much I named my son after it.  Grublet does have a ring to it, unfortunately, my wife prevailed so we named him Nathaniel instead.

There is no conclusion to the valley / quagmire that I’m in. As the saying goes… “when you’re going through Hell, stop and take pictures.”

Or at least that’s what I did, it was too much to resist. I even flubbed one of my favorite hell jokes. I don’t know what in Hell was wrong with me. (Click on this sentence to see video).

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