Weekly Reflection: 09/22/2018

I am not good at being sick.

I know this is several days late; and frankly, I have a legit reason. I’ve been fighting a cold since the 17th, and today is the first day since Friday I felt remotely decent. As I usually compose these Friday night or Saturday, I had no capacity to get it done, at least not well.

So, here it is: better late than not at all.

1). The Week in Brief “Sickness Beneath the Physical”  Sunday, September 15, my wife and I served in the church nursery. Nearly every child that entered our class seemed to have a different colored snot, and I knew before the morning was finished that at least my son was going to be sick–if not all of us.

Landon’s illness manifested itself Monday night into Tuesday. Though I felt right-as-rain until dinner, by 7:00 PM that night I was feeling lousy myself.  Jamie was sick by Thursday. That’s just the way these things go, and it’s a small price to pay for serving the church community.

I tried to handle the illness well. I nursed myself through each workday on Dayquil, Generic Airborne, and Coffee; in the evenings I abandoned my typical eBay efforts to rest and watch flics. I thought I’d beat the thing before it doubled-down into something worse. I was wrong.

By Saturday, I was far under the weather that was already overcast and gray. By that point, the illness was going to run its full course, no matter how low. This is when things got poor. The hardest part of these “sick days” is the time spent laying in bed to rest but failing to sleep. That’s when the mind goes sideways. It’s in the space where I feel worthless because I’m not helping with my son, where I feel weak because I’m not well, and when I feel like I’m not living up to what I should be doing because I simply can’t do much of anything. For most people, I cannot imagine that feeling sick leads to this much self-abasement. I’m not so lucky. I spent the day in bed while abandoning my ill wife to care for our ill son, feeling low in every way a man can. Then I got on social media, which was the opposite of helpful.

Take an already sullen state of mind full of self-loathing, regret, and frustration and add to it socially engineered celebrations and successes, and you can imagine how one comes to feel about oneself.  Now it’s not only dealing with a virus in the present, it’s wrestling through all the mistakes of the past. Social media can have this type of affect on those of us who are already struggling. When something inside you has gone rotten, decent posts that should engender goodwill and joy for others can bring nothing but comparison and covetousness. It’s disgusting. And wrong. And I’m guilty of it. In a weakened state of mind and body, simple posts were read as reminders that many of my peers have faired far better than I in nearly every facet of life over which a person has any control. This observation, and the envy and jealousy that accompanied it, only served to make me ever more frustrated with myself. It was a hard thing to experience, to not only feel as I felt but to know that it was horrifically skewed to feel it–to know that the sickness in my soul goes far deeper than a cold to my lungs. I hate to admit this here of all places; I have been feeling good about where I was mentally and emotionally and stated as much, but I have to come clean when I find the dirt. That’s how real change happens.

So, where does this put me? Well, it’s another front to fight, another area of awareness. It’s not a welcomed one, I assure you. Once I was feeling better, I was able to have a bit more perspective on it all, but as you’ve likely read, I’m being pretty hard on myself for it.  It’s a hard thing to know that one’s own heart is full of such ugliness. Mine is. But that’s not all that dwells. I still believe that I am the Lord’s, that Christ rescued me from these very feelings, and that the Spirit of God himself finds residence in this broken vessel. That lends itself to a great deal of hope, even in the face of all kinds of illness.

2). More Hope and Happenings

eBay continues to go strong this full. plenty is moving day after day, and I am thankful for it. I have 10 Thursdays to list items between now and year-end, and I’m getting ready for the last push of new inventory before recalibrating what has not sold and moving into Q4 liquidations. It’s been a full year but a profitable one overall.

While I was sick, I rewatched Star Wars IV: A New Hope. I cannot remember the last time I actually watched that film with my full attention, but I have to admit: It is a stunning piece of pop culture storytelling. Given how long I was down for the count, I wish I had watched the Lord of the Rings, and I may not have another chance this year. I am still working through Final Fantasy III, after all.

3). Happy Landon! Happy Landon. This week is all about SLIDES. My son loves slides these days. I wish I could get him one, but we can’t right now. And even if we could I have no place for it. So it’s just tote lids leaned on bins and tables for his cars to cruise down and real-life slides at the park. That’s all the options he’s got. And that’s fine. I never had a slide growing up, and my childhood was legit.

4). Recommended Media. Though I was back to watching a few videos on Youtube, this past week I mainly continued listening to the JORDAN PETERSON LECTURE SERIES: Psychological Significance of the Biblical Stories. Here’s links to all to the next set to which I’ve listened (the first seven I linked to last week).

Lecture 8 – The Phenomenology of the Divine
Lecture 9 – The Call to Abraham
Lecture 10 – Abraham: Father of Nations
Lecture 11 – Sodom and Gomorrah
Lecture 12 – The Great Sacrifice: Abraham and Isaac
Lecture 13 – Jacob’s Ladder – Part 1
Lecture 14 – Jacob: Wrestling with God

And here’s a lone Youtube recommendation, Desiring God on How to Teach Christian Hedonism to Children 

#onthedaily Recap, once again missing a day (Wednesday, I believe)

This week, I was Grateful for feeling good on a Monday morning, my wonderful wife,my amazing wife , a noble, perfect GOD, my health !!! ! !

This week, I Focused on getting things done well, getting stuff done , allowing myself rest in order to beat this cold, loving my wife well , rest ! ! !!!

This week, I refused to Worry about upcoming challenges on the horizon, tomorrow, all the tasks I’ve put on hold until I am feeling well, all I have not completed this week due to my having a rough cold, whether I will still be sick tomorrow !!!!!

Collectible of the week: PINEWOOD DERBY BATMOBILE, Made by Fritz Stunkard, my father, and decorated by me  : When I was 5 or 6, I was in Awana, and there was an announcement of a Pinewood Derby. I didn’t know nothing about nothing back then, so I just came home and begged for my dad to make me a wooden racer for the event. My dad crafted this masterpiece, and I put on the paint and stickers. Apparently, the race itself was a weekend event not during normal Awana, and apparently, they expected children to utilize woodworking tools to make their own cars. Long story short: I was told that I had missed the race or wouldn’t be allowed to race, and my car would not qualify for anything else. I didn’t understand the specifics, just the broad point that I did not understand anything.  I was still able to show off my racer, and pretty much every kid in attendance envied this bad boy in all of its disqualified glory. I don’t remember much else other than that when my mom picked me up I livid, and I took it out on her. I told her everyone loved it, and that was the only good part because I was wrong about everything because I was stupid and adults are mean (or something like that, it was 30-odd years ago)…Yet, I kept this little racer all this time: like Batman itself, a product of a traumatic childhood event. And my first real Batmobile, handmade by my father. That’s a special thing, friends, regardless of the rules.