15 July 2008

Majoring in Minor Frustration

These are the days that try my soul.

Okay, that's perhaps a bit melodramatic. But the last 48 hours or so have been, shall we say, less than stellar for the Johnson family. Some good things happened before then, but since yesterday morning-ish it's been a study in frustration and those nippy little problems that really don't matter except when all 94 of them are nipping at you without end.

We bought a minivan over the weekend. Huzzah - we've joined the Breeder class! (Thanks to LeeAnn for that one). We were pre-approved for our loan, just needed to do the necessary paperwork with Kristin's credit union, get the check to the dealer and in a day or two, "Voila!" Did I mention that Kristin's credit union is in Oregon? And that they mailed the check yesterday? Thus we are a one-car household for the remainder of the week. grrrr

Our internet access at the Center was unavailable over the weekend due to our ISP changing something in the DNS and not telling us about it, which meant checking email via webmail from home and not having any of my contact information available when I needed it. GrrrrRRR

Ainsley had a rare cranky day yesterday. She fell - constantly. Like seven or eight times in the hours I was home. Once she was trying to get Kristin's attention, turned around, lost her balance and fell onto the end table, nearly knocking out one of her teeth. Much crying ensued. But she was NEEDY like you wouldn't believe - clingy and crabby and just an all-around pain in the tuchus. This is all the more noticeable because she's normally an unusually agreeable child. At one point Kristin just looked at Ainsley and said, "You're just having a Monday, aren't you, sweetie?" To which Ainsley continued pouting and crying and whining until Daddy picked her up AGAIN. GRRRRRRRR

Today my boss called to tell me that when we submitted our report by July 1st as required, I neglected to fill out my portion. Oops. So, instead of working on this blog post, or Sunday's sermon, or even tomorrow night's Wednesday Reflection, I've been navel-gazing about our accomplishments from last year and goals for this year. Necessary work, to be sure, but stuff I should have been doing in May, not now. GRRRRRRRRRRR!

The phone has been ringing - the church at which I preached last Sunday forgot that the mileage rate for the IRS has changed, and thus didn't send the check - my hostas are dying and need water - these things and everything else here are problems that individually matter very little, but taken together add up to one heckuva messed up week thus far. I've developed the practice of turning off my web browser and email when I'm working on my sermons, to encourage better focus, but I could have turned off the computer this week and it wouldn't have mattered one bit. But that's the life we live sometimes - frustrating and petty and unimportant stuff rises far above its station to derail us, and GRRRRRR is the result. Or worse. Sometimes harsh words get spoken, or, God forbid, tempers flare and fists fly and abuse becomes the end result. Thankfully that hasn't been the case for us, but it is for many, and I would do well to remember how easily it can happen to all of us.

Okay, so this has been one long bitch session of a post. I'm not asking for sympathy, mostly because in the grand scheme of things none of this matters very much. But the next time you see a friend or a complete stranger who has that GRRRRR look on their face, maybe you can remember this post and cut them just a little bit of slack. In the midst of all these minor frustrations, I've found major grace in the kind people around me who've heard my complaints and offered words of kindness. I can do the same even when I'm most frustrated. In fact, trying to be graceful when I'm not feeling particularly grace-full might be the healthiest course of action. I dunno - it's just messy and that's the way life goes sometimes.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've forgotten to leave early for gymnastics class with Ainsley. grrrrr...




  1. A minivan?!?! Please tell me it isn't true!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    (The rest will get better--but a minivan? Seriously?? :P )

  2. Oh, Scott! A minivan? I was raised Catholic and I am SURE that this is some kind of sin.

    You think you have it bad? We were at an Irish festival sponsored by Coors. COORS! The darkest they had was Killians. That, too, is a sin I am sure. Brittany of course did not care because for 2 dollars more we could get 12 year old Jameson.

    But a minivan?

    Where's the Jameson?


  3. So how many miracles were performed at your campus ministry site in the last year?

    (Is that still one of the questions on the report?) =)

  4. I'll trade your thirsty hostas for my 4 layers of wallpaper on the wall, and 3 on the ceiling!

    Always look on the bright side of life, . . . whistle, whistle, whistle, whistle.