Friday, October 21, 2011

A Dark & Stormy Night....

Over the last week or so it seems as though Murphy's Law has struck quite a bit. I really think ole' Murphy shouldn't be allowed to take more than three swings when he's up to bat. In fact, I think I'd just like take that bat and take a couple of good swings...well, you get the picture. 

This week I have blown up two laptops, in as many days. The culprit appears to have been a bad power strip, that may have had a short, allowing the electricity to overload the motherboards. Fade to black. 

Last night, after returning home from a meeting out of town, I found myself looking through the windows of my truck, at the keys dangling in the ignition. With the doors locked. As the cold, torrential downpour rendered me into a comical, drenched mess, I was sure I resembled a drowned rodent. With my briefcase in hand, in the dark, I began thinking, "Really, what next?" I know better. I really do.

After some rather creative manipulation of my truck window (aka 'breaking into'), I was fondly thinking how warm and pleasant my bed would be. I was trying to ignore the cold, wet clothes, and the howl of the wind outside. Oh, but the night was yet young. As I turned the key of my truck over, everything went black. Click. Click. Then nothing. 

And just as I was trying to make sense of this ridiculous moment, the cab lights and dash lit up. Ah! I let out a breath. Ok, let's try this again. Repeat, rinse. Deja vu. After locating a flashlight (surprise--the batteries were working) and a wrench, I coached myself into thinking that a simple battery cable adjustment would do the trick. As the stinging, freezing rain pelted my hands and face, I disconnected the battery terminals, lightly yanked on the wires, and re-connected the battery. Nothing. After a phone call to a buddy and a ground wire securely re-attached, (and some muttering under my breath), I finally made it home.       

This week I have also been reminded that grown children can disappoint and cause more heartache than you think you can bear. But there comes a point where you've done all that you can, and hope that someday, someway, they'll get it. Maturity and experience comes with a price. Every gray hair I pluck has been well-earned, and represents a character-building, teachable moment in my life that has usually involved my children. I think I should have the wisdom of Solomon by now...but I am smart enough to know I am far from being sage.  

It is tempting to be self-absorbed and self-centered when everything seems to be going wrong. Daniel Goleman, author of "Emotional Intelligence," states that, “Self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion. When we focus on ourselves, our world contracts as our problems and preoccupations loom large. But when we focus on others, our world expands.  Our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller, and we increase our capacity for connection - or compassionate action.” 

Tonight, as I sit in my warm, comfortable home, with my belly full of good food, there are so many who want for basic needs. From the homeless, to the abused and neglected, to people with disabilities who need services and supports but are years away from ever receiving it, there are so many forgotten people on the margins of our society with unmet needs. And then there the countless young men and women serving in our armed forces, thousands of miles from home, who are constantly in harm's way. They have few of the creature comforts that I take for granted.  

So, yes, it's been a tough week for me. Most of it I could have done without. But at the end of the day, I am so thankful and grateful for the many blessings and wonderful things in my life. I have a good job that pays my bills. I have a wife and family that love me. And I have a place to come home to at the end of a cold, wet day. I know that there are those who have it much, much worse, and I wouldn't want to trade places.  

1 comment:

  1. That reminds me of that saying that if we all put our problems in a pile we'd fight each other to get our own problems back.

    Here's hoping this week is a better one!


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I work for a Community-Based, Not-for-Profit agency. I have worked in the disability field for over twenty-five years. I am the father of two boys, and have been married to my teenage sweet-heart for 23 years. I live and work in the same town where I was born & raised.
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