Some time ago I went shopping for a dress for a specific occasion. I had been thinking about this purchase for a couple days, and I had in mind exactly the dress I wanted, down to the cut, color and fabric. So you can imagine how frustrated I was after several afternoons of several hours of shopping did not produce the dress I was looking for. Then, when I had almost given up, I found the dress. It was the exact colour and design I wanted, in the exact fabric I imagined. I was over the moon – until I tried it on and it didn’t look at all how I thought it would. I was beyond disappointed.
I spend most of my days with children. Some days I am with children who are functional. Other days I am with children who function differently. Society has lots of labels for this second set, labels that are mostly polite ways for saying they are damaged. We live in a world where broken-ness is not tolerated. Instead it is something to be defined, analysed and fixed. This is fairly easy to do when you wear your damage at a surface level – when the way you walk or talk or behave is clearly different from the way everyone else does. But what about when your malfunction is not on the surface? What about what your broken-ness is so deep inside that no one can see it? Or so deeply woven into who you are that you don’t realize it is broken-ness until you try to untangle the reasons you behave the way you do?
I am an over-thinker. I get hung up on what people say and what they don’t say. I obsess about what I say and how I think people may have interpreted what I said. It may be a bit neurotic, but I know I am not the only one with hang ups. I have a co-worker who gets hung up on dirt, so as soon as she comes in to work she starts wiping down everything with Lysol. I know someone else who is obsessed with their food preparation, so they need to know who prepared what they’re going to eat before they eat it. Naturally, this person finds it difficult to eat out. A lot of people have quirky hang-ups. Continue reading
I have the memory of an elephant. An elephant with short term memory loss. So in order to ensure that I get things accomplished I have to make lists and use calendars and the like to remind myself of what I need to do. It doesn’t help that I usually have a million things going on from week to week. Between my ever-changing work schedule, my activities at church, appointments with my family, favors for friends, and the volunteering I manage to squeeze in, I can barely keep track. Continue reading
This week, after a long conversation with my best friend about our mutual unfitness, I decided to join the gym. Now if you have ever tried to join a gym, you know they try to upsell you on a whole bunch of extra stuff. In my case they insisted that I do a health assessment with a personal trainer. I did said assessment and turns out that I am overweight (no surprise) and also at risk for lifestyle related diseases (big surprise). Naturally I immediately set out on a mission to lose that extra weight and get my health right (more water, more exercise, more sleep). The problem with all of that however is that it requires a lot of self-discipline on my part – something I have always struggled with. Continue reading
The other day I was in the storage room at work with one of the kids I supervise, putting away some items after an activity. The storage area is very small, so many things are pushed up against walls and stuck in corners, including a long rectangular bin we use to hold balls, volleyball nets and other sporting equipment.
On this particular afternoon one of the boys was putting a couple balls into the bin. After putting them in he closed the cover of the bin, except it went almost all the way but wouldn’t really close. He tried again – same thing. Then he proceeded to use more strength to try and shove the cover into place, but it wouldn’t fit. I attempted to help him, but of course, he refused my assistance. After about five minutes of this, with him breathing heavy and getting frustrated, and the cover of the plastic bin getting more battered, he finally gave up. When he did, I didn’t say anything, but merely shifted the bin slightly away from the cupboard which it had been shoved against. Without either of our efforts, the cover for the bin fell smoothly into place. Continue reading
The other day I parked my car at the bank and was walking away when I noticed a rust spot on one of the doors. It was a small spot but knowing how rust spreads I decided to inquire at the bodywork shop next door about what could be done. As I walked around the car with one of the guys from the shop I noticed for the first time a consistent layer of rust underneath the side of the car, an area that had been nicely concealed by layers of snow for the past six months. When the guy gave me an estimate of how much it would cost to fix it I was shocked. I imagine that I would have been plenty upset had I paid many thousands for my car. But since I hadn’t invested very much into it I wasn’t too distraught. Continue reading