Mumple’s Spiritual Laws: Lex I

Thursday and Friday I was saving up energy for Saturday and Sunday.  Sure, I still cleaned and vacuumed and washed dishes.  Sure I cleaned out the top part of the kids’ sink, because dear daughter’s hair clogs the tub AND sink drains.  But I was saving up.  Saturday I wanted to do things I HAD to do, Sunday I wanted to do things I WANTED to do, so I was saving up the energy and praying my back wouldn’t start hurting.  It’s not terribly painful, but it’s been cramping lately right where the chiropractor needs to adjust it.  And I’m not certain if it’s radiating downward from lower back, but it’s also bypassing THAT ASS, and attacking my left leg right at the top of the femur.

I have explained to my family, repeatedly, that they are in the habit of verbally correcting everything I say, which they immediately deny because when I say that, I am obviously wrong and need to see things more correctly…  The kids probably picked up the habit from their mother, who seems to think everything I do is incorrect, insufficient, inadequate,  and inane.  That’s Latin for “stupid.”  No, I’m only kidding.  Inane is Latin for “void,” or “empty.”  Probably some damned Latin teacher said that about his students, like, “…habitus et crania est inane.” Their “habits and skulls are void,” and it stuck until we say “inane” and mean “stupid.”  Except we Americans misproblounce it. Say “in- ahh- ne.”  “In- ayyn” must make the ancient Romans spin in their graves, but fortunately, many Americans are too inane to choose to use the word inane to describe anything, not to mention, it would probably be labelled as “bullying” the average dumb American.

They’d just call me “stupid” for suggesting anything was wrong because it’s less than it could be. Or wrong, so they’d match my familial contempt for all things Deon.  So there you go.  So far, the family doesn’t yet understand that constantly being told “you’re bad/wrong/stupid” does NOT motivate me toward success.  What’s it been?  26 years?  I was going to say there was a honeymoon period, but she hated our beach rental which we found while driving sight unseen.

I’m not trying to be a bully.  I’m trying to educate and entertain.  Sorry, I already know the attempt is feeble.  But fuck it, tit for tat.  So bully me and I may figure out a passive-aggressive way of bullying you back, or a snarky way to tell you you’re stupid (which is probably bullying).

I was saving up, and it didn’t matter.  I had goals for the weekend and they didn’t matter.  There’s a law of nature I experienced, or two, but I’m only getting to one today.  Because I have stuff to do and then work for work.  I got SOME of the things that needed to be done done, and ran out of energy and felt the pain in my hip and leg.  I took frequent breaks, to the dismay of Mrs M, who thinks one should gut through and finish whatever the task is before taking a break.  She’s right, but I can’t until this whatever it is, heals.

The law of nature is, “a nearly empty container will tend to remain nearly empty until you fill it, especially when steadily draining from it.  I put oil in my wife’s car, and the container is now empty.  It was a metaphor for me.  Or is it a parable?  Whatever.  If I fill a gas tank a quarter-full, it empties quicker than if I fill it the whole way.  I told my daughter her car wouldn’t start in the cold, not because it was cold, but because her phone charger was draining the battery.  She didn’t immediately accept my recommendation, and responded like she normally does under these circumstances.  I don’t know what I’m talking about, that can’t be the answer, etc.  But after criticizing my suggestion, she unplugged the damn thing and wouldn’t you know it?  Her fucking car STARTS now.  Because if you drain the battery, however insignificant you think the drain is, eventually it won’t do what you want it to do because it’s dead.

My emotional oil tank is running on empty.  My task-completing battery is nearly drained.  It chugs and tries to start, and sometimes it just won’t.  Something needs to happen to recharge them, or I’ll die.

The bills aren’t paid.  The bank account won’t handle the house payment until next weekend.  Sorry, home loan holders, although I know you desperately NEED some cash, you’ll have to wait until closer to the due date than you want.  So they’re going to call me while I’m trying to answer my work phone.  Every.  Day.  This. Week.  I can’t fill that tank fast enough, because the hole at the bottom is so much bigger than the trickle at the top.

The tasks aren’t done.  I can’t fill my energy tank fast enough because people keep borrowing from it, asking me to do shit that wasn’t already on my list.  I have to do that, and then try to focus on what I wanted to do, or what I thought I needed to do.  I can’t fill my energy tank fast enough because what I’ve already done was inadequate, insufficient, or done incorrectly so it needs to be done again, or done right.  Criticism drains the tank.  It doesn’t fucking matter if it’s so-called “constructive criticism.”  It still drains the tank.

Life goes on, and I got up again today and took the dog out for a walk, and then wrote this that’s been in my head all weekend.  I’m going to schedule a day off, and if I can get it, it’ll be this week or next week.  I need it already, and we’re only in the second week of the year.  Of course, you can’t fill the time-off tank fast enough because the company stole all the leftover time off hours they decline to roll over into the new year, so I’ll be told I’m not eligible for time off because there’s none in my “bank.”  Fuck it, I’m going to ask anyway.  I may ask for two.  In a row.

My tanks have been running on empty for a LONG time.  It’d be nice to be able to fill them.  I have a little hope, or maybe I’m just delusional still because everyone is telling me it’s a brand new year that’s supposed to be full of possibilities.  Anyway, I still feel kind of running-on-empty, but I’m riding that wave, and we’ll see.  I hope you can fill your tanks to the top and enjoy a little margin and a little peace.

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Brain Brunch Buddy

zombie love

I felt weirdly obligated by the suggestions above in the wordpress feed.  Sorry (a little) in advance.  And, Come Party at Deons!  First poem of the new year:

Brain Brunch Buddy
Deon Mumple, 1/6/2018

It’s Sunday, I’m hungry, what’s around to eat?
Not lunch yet, brunch, I’ll bet, will make a great treat.
My make-up is messed up! I look like I’m dead!
I’m starving, I’m searching, but not for just bread.
I want friends to descend upon my Sunday,
Satisfy cravings, try, there’s nothing to pay,
Just trust me, though you see yourself in a gamble
I limp, so you should know not to say I shamble
I’m quiet, but don’t let that deter your visit
We don’t need words to feed our relationship
You can bring gifts or drinks, come in cars or by trains
Don’t bring your z-whackers, just bring me your braaaaains!

One Thing

It’s a new year.  Welcome to 2018.  So far, same shit, different year, maybe worse than the previous year.  So I’ve washed dishes, cleaned the small bathroom that I use, put plastic weather sealant  on the north facing door and the little window by the sink, and washed the dishes.  That doesn’t include what I did at my mum’s house.  She’s busy taking care of my dad, who got the flu and almost died.  I’ve been told that’s not an exaggeration.  Fucking hell, what is wrong with the world, when the damned flu tries to kill my dad, and the flu shot is only 15% effective to those who bother to get a shot?   Late December was spent visiting him at the hospital and yesterday at the death-camp-for-old-people that he had the presence of mind to say “get me the hell out of here” about.  He was saying the same thing about the hospital.  It’s really just rehab, but there were a lot of older people there,  No, the death camp was the hospital where we actually heard about 3 people dying in the few days he was there, and he wasn’t one of them.  Happy fucking New Year.  Woo hoo, I have the day off from work, which is great.  See?  I’m not at all ungrateful.

It’s just that I haven’t won that $400M lottery jackpot yet.

Since I get the extra half hour every morning after today, now that my schedule is back to the ass-end of the day,  I’m sure I’ll be cleaning and running shit to my kids in high school  because they’re so very responsible.  Thank God they don’t start until Wednesday I think.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids, it’s just that for all their education, they don’t think like I want them to.  Plan ahead.  Figure out that homework needs to be done the day  before it’s due, not the day after.  Figure out that clothes need to be found the night before you want to wear them, not 3 minutes before the bus drives by the house.  You know, coping mechanisms I had to learn for my damn self when I was growing up.  I confess I didn’t learn them *well*, but I had to learn them.

Figured out the drain on the computer battery, and the setting causin “plugged in, not charging,” was due to a damned automatically installed WINDOWS UPDATE that I couldn’t defer!  Ass holes!  One has come to expect this from random links emailed to me by Nigerian princes and Russian bride-wanna-bes, and of course the most excellent websites referred to in WordPress.com-filtered spam but not from Windows.  If I had time and money to fuck with people’s lives on purpose, I wouldn’t.  Instead I already do that without anyThere might be just a few choice individuals.   Thankfully some smart people online figured that shit out and helpfully posted the solution online for free.  When I win the lottery I want to hire people who do that!

So, where was I?  Oh, it’s January 2 already.  We survived 1/1/2018 and the end of the world did not occur.  Again.  Yet.

What this means is that there’s something left undone.  I mean sure, the end of the world is surely coming, but not today.  With the temperature dropping to -11⁰F/-26C, I haven’t heard a single weather person drone on about fucking global warming for almost a week.  Hallelujah for small favors and improvements to the news.  We did have the normal shit as you might expect:  war, famine, disease, pestilence, wildfires, earthquakes, and my little corner of the world turning into a popsicle like overnight.  Oh, and murders and robbery-murders, and robberies, and domestic violence, and child abuse, and poverty and so on.  “Tonight, on the evening news:  DOOM!!” “But first, this! Hahaha!”

Yep.  And now it’s January 3, and I still haven’t gotten to the point.  And yet, I’ve been remedicating for a whole two days after the doctor refilled my prescription.  The point is, it’s a new year and I’m supposed to write something motivational and encouraging.

I have to confess, I have NO skills in the multitasking area.  I suck at managing things and juggling and spinning plates.  When I cook, I cook one dish and then another dish and then another.  I can’t do it so the whole meal comes out all at once unless there is progressively shorter resting time required for each dish.  I do meat.  Then I do vegetable(s)/potatoes/rice.  Then I do whatever else of a side, then I do dessert if there is one, and then I do dishes.  Pisses Mrs M off, since she has the damned gift.  I love her for it, but only when she’s exercising the beauty of the gift and not bitter and festering because I don’t have it.

Shut up.

And if you’re one of those people with multitasking skill, then come over and help.  Don’t worry, you can help us eat, too.  I have been able to figure out cooking a little better sometimes, but not always.  If I can start it cooking and leave it, then I can start the next thing cooking and leave it, and so on.  But I only have one timer, so good luck with that.

I’m not good at doing a lot, but I’m better if I can do just one thing.  At a time.  So I looked for something applicable to me in the Bible, and wouldn’t you know it, there were a few other guys who were single-minded in there (thank GOD!)  I found just a few things to be single-minded about, and decided that in 2018, I’m going to do the ONE thing.  Which one?  I haven’t figured out if I’ll just do ONE thing, or one thing at a TIME.  Probably the latter.  It works pretty good for dinner.  In the morning, the ONE thing is coffee.  It’s first and always first.  And sometimes it’s the only thing I get to, because I don’t have a brain capable of starting sausage and eggs and grits and toast, and screwdrivers orange juice as much as I would love to eat that after the nausea and sinus bullshit is done (bleaaahhh!) pissing (achoo! honnk!) me (drip! achoo!!)  off (achooo!!!  drip! honnk! drip!)  Oh, and after I get to walk the dog, of course.  Truth:  I spend more time than I want chasing my running nose some mornings, to the point of aggravated distraction.  And I swear, my body knows when I have shit to do and it’s time to do it, because that moment when I’m trying to vacate the house, or get some work done, is the exact same moment my body decides to exercise a beautiful regularity.  I’m not upset about regularity; that’s great.  It’s just that it would be better if it were 20 minutes before I am late, instead of making me 10 minutes late.  Or, if it were during a scheduled “down” time.  Almost NEVER happens.

King David’s “one thing” was Psalm 27:4:
Spending time with God

Mary’s “one thing” was Luke 10:38-42:
Letting others worry about whether the whole list of tasks that “have to be done” is checked off, while spending time with Jesus

Paul’s “one thing” was Philippians 3:10-14:
Leaving his past mistakes behind in the dust, so he could focus on spending time getting to know Jesus.

This sounds like a thing.  A thing I could focus on during 2018.  So that’s what I want to do.  One thing.  Fuck the universe fucker, messing me up and tormenting me with shit I haven’t done, shit I’ve done wrong, shit I can’t do.  Fuck that.  Regret is a waste of time and agita.  Fear is another complete waste of perfectly good stomach acid, so fuck that too.  Stomach acid was invented to digest food, so I’m going to cook (one damned thing at a time).

One thing I want to do is spend more time reading  and trying to understand.  I have a list of things I want to learn, despite reading it a lot.  And another one thing is praying, when situations or other people pop in my attention deficit brain, just to see what the answers to the prayers are.  So sure, I’ll still do the list when I can.  But I’m not going to wallow in it when I don’t.

The “one thing” is more important.  I’ll keep you posted.

If I’m the one who wins $440M off the ticket I bought this morning, I sure will be enabled to worry less about a million things and concentrate on the one thing.  But if not, I still want to try to concentrate on the one thing.  Who can spin a million plates into a tidy, un-chipped and un-broken stack?  Not me.

One thing.  I think it’ll be enough, and I bet it’ll work out fine.

Santafacation Still Incomplete

So, not only have I lost twenty pounds on this medication,so I’m south of 225 lbs, on just

avatar 2

over 6’1″ but also, the beard and moustache hair still doesn’t match the head hair.  I’ve redone my avatar and I may hook it up, but it’s only until Mrs M decides she can’t stand the fuller beard and either cuts it back or makes me cut it back.  The avatar isn’t very adaptable so this beard shape is the closest thing to it.  My face is much more angular; this makes me look fat.  And all Mrs M Anyway, here’s my adorable face in avatar form, submitted for your adoration or scorn.

As you can clearly see, I look exactly like Harry Potter pretending to be Santa Claus…  Nah, I won’t be changing to this avatar.  I may shave, except then I’d look like Harry Potter BEING Harry Potter.  Only, taller.  And older.

IDK whether to say FML or LOL.

Merry Christmas

We did the normal In-Law Christmas thing.  But I have to work day after, so back home I go.  That is the only part of Christmas that sucked this year.  Those of you who know me know that might be a double entendre half joke about a present I didn’t get this year.

There were presents and family gatherings and now I drive home alone while the rest of the family finishes whatever festivities they finish.  It wasn’t a terrible Christmas, although it still felt a little like socks and underwear.  There was clothing, including (damn it!) a PAIR OF PANTS.  I swear I am not making that up.  And there are times when I wish God did NOT read this blog, especially when the joke is on me.  I admit, it’s kind of funny.  At least there wasn’t underwear or socks.

I hope you didn’t have to work on Christmas, and I hope your Christmas didn’t suck.  And even though I have to work tomorrow, at least I got off on Christmas day.  Which might be another double entendre half-joke about a present I might have gotten this year.

Whether your Christmas sucked or not, whether you got what you wanted or needed, I hope your New Year is full of blessings and bloggings and friends when you want them and solitude when you need it.  I stole 5 minutes of solitude to write this because I needed it.  And now, to pack and go back home.

 

 

Christmas is Supposed to Inspire…

We interrupt this advertisement of indignantly joyous strength, self-reliance, and independence, supposedly available to humanity, for an awkward reality check.

Yeah, this is going to probably become an annual thing because as much as I wish life made me a stronger better human being, the harder I try the more I see the truth, that I suck at the self-reliance, self-determination, grab-life-by-the-balls-and-make-it-give-me-what-I-want lifestyle.  Or, maybe there are those exceptional few who seem to be fortunate and get what they want, and the rest of us have dreams in our souls and shit in our hands.  And while one reader worries about my compulsivity, all I can say is, thank God for soap.

I could detour here and comment about how gender-insensitive the above was toward life, because who’s to say life is a guy, but if it was and if you were that guy, how would you feel about it?

It doesn’t mean I’ll give up praying for miraculous intervention, but rather it means that in my recent experience I haven’t seen my prayer requests answered with a resounding “yes.”  A soft one, sure, I have to say:  there’s a roof over our heads, it’s just that the lease payment hasn’t been made yet and they’ve already called to gently remind us.  Yeah, thanks, bankers.  And we have utilities, like trash pickup, but they’re calling and gently threatening to leave us to rot in our own trash pile.  Yeah, thanks for letting us know. You’ll get your money after we get paid Friday.  And we have food on the table, for which I am extremely grateful, it’s just that a large percentage of that is coming from a local ministry’s pantry.  Thanks very much.

It’s like getting underwear for Christmas.  It’s what I need, and it’s enough, barely, and I am grateful because there are a lot of people who have a lot less, and need a lot more, and probably live in a lot more anxiety.  I almost have what I need, but I’d really rather have a sense of security, the ability to pay for what I need for myself, the ability to pay our realistic living expenses with what I earn, and the ability to buy my own underwear, so maybe for Christmas I’d like to open a box with a new laptop computer someone got me because I didn’t need underwear (because I need a new laptop this year, but I don’t have much faith in that event.  It could happen and I hold out a little hope still because I haven’t opened all the boxes that aren’t under the Christmas tree yet).  I was going to say “pants,” but I don’t want God to tease me by having someone actually give me pants.  He has a sense of humor and if I said it and He provided pants the joke would be on me.

What if I really needed underwear and begrudged when it came?  How would that make the gift-giver feel?  I can hear me now.  “Oh.  Underwear.  Thanks, it’s just what I wanted.”  I think that’s a 5 to 7 year-old’s thought about getting clothes.  They take it for granted that they will have clothes to wear, so a gift of clothes isn’t maybe their idea of a good gift.

My idea of a good gift is a million dollars a year for the next hundred years, transferrable to my kids after I’m dead.  I have so many first world things, that I have a matching number of first world problems.  My laptop battery isn’t holding a charge, so I’m tethered to the wall.  Not that I don’t prefer it, but that the lurking lack of mobility and waiting for the next thing to fail are hanging over my head adding to my insecurity.  I’m saying, the gift (and it IS a gift) of connectivity is not something I can take for granted.  My car is rusty, prone to leaks in the rain, the check engine light is on and I’m in need of new tires to feel safe if I have to drive in rain or snow. But I have a car and it runs.  As mentioned before, the bank called to remind us not to forget them this Christmas, and so did the trash truck driver and his support staff.  But it’s Christmas, so I’d like to go get something nice for my wife and kids to open on Christmas morning (NOT underwear!)  And it’d be nice to be able to give gifts to family and friends.  But after bills are paid, a little later than I’d like, there’s not a whole lot left to spread around.

I’m thankful for underwear, literally and proverbially.  It’s warming, protecting, and supporting, which is what I need in life.  I’m thankful for people in my life who have provided that warmth, protection and support.  And I’m not going to offend these kind souls.

I do have a gift to share, so I’m going to share it.  I have the gift of Christmas itself.  Say what you want about the origins and history of Christmas as a dated holiday, about the commercialization of the date, about when Jesus’ actual birth date might have been, but Christmas as a religious holiday is a celebration of God’s gift to us.

I’ve been reading in Romans, and the earlier chapters are all about how and why we need a savior.  Our heritage won’t save us, our culture can’t save us, our race won’t save us, our family tree won’t save us.  Obeying the law won’t save us.  Being “a good person” won’t save us.  Paul was talking about eternal salvation, not temporal.  At the very end of Romans, Paul talks about his travel plans- he wants to visit with the Christ-followers in Rome, on his way to Spain.  But then Paul was arrested on trumped up charges and ends up going to Rome under arrest, and later, being executed.  Some travel plan.  It proved my point that the salvation Paul was talking about is not necessarily going to lead, in this life, to a life of ease and comfort.  He was in prison, falsely accused, and headed for beheading.  And I’m worried about a car breakdown?

In the middle of Romans, Paul reaches a point where he’s established that we can’t save ourselves.  And then he lets it out, after teasing us a bit with hints.  It’s only 16 chapters.  I recommend reading it all.  He finally says it- Those who are in Christ are not under condemnation.  By “condemnation,” he means, under a sentence of punishment to come in eternity.  And then in later chapters he talks about how Christ-followers can live in ways that prove their faith, and show the world without all the preaching, that it’s real.  I think many professing Christ-followers would do well to read it through, because there are even two chapters about how we Christ followers should get along with each other!

I LOVE that he acknowledges that even after we become Christ-followers, we still are human and need to remember we have to work to get along with each other.  There are still problems and conflicts.  But it’s not completely hopeless.

The gift I’m sharing is a gift lots of people  have heard about already, and you can say what you want about proverbial underwear.  You can say you’ve got your own already, and you can believe you’ll be fine in eternity.  I have to ask you to give some thought to the origins of that belief.  Were you taught it by a parent, a teacher?  Did you think it up for yourself?  Are you trusting that someone else was right?  Are you trusting that you are right?  Are you sure about all that?  Have you ever READ the book of Romans?  If you aren’t sure, the box of Romans, in lovely gift wrap, has those eternal underwear inside waiting for you.