First, I have what you might call high expectations about everything. When I am exactly like a mixture of Mother Teresa, Jesus, George Washington, and Brad Pitt, I will be satisfied. Actually, I probably won’t. I’ll find some reason to think I could’ve done better…probably something to do with lying about chopping down a cherry tree.
Second, I’m a wee bit oversensitive, sort of like a burn victim with open wounds walking through a forest of pine trees. I know I’m supposed to be manly and what not, but my childhood sports were gymnastics, tennis, and golf. You do the math. I take everything personally, like when a dog barks in my direction and when a couch doesn’t seem to want me sitting on it.
So as you might expect, I put a lot into these blog posts and almost always feel a sense of let down for some reason or another. Sometimes it’s because Taylor Swift doesn’t write back, and other times it’s because my post, which I thought was really great, failed to have the same viral effect as that white and gold dress from a few weeks ago.
But then people blow me away with their generosity of spirit.
For example, we just got home from a vacation provided by a former student’s mom, simply because she has a saint’s heart and thought my family might need a getaway. She also threw in gas cards to get us there and back and some spending money for our time away. Thank you, Betsy! We had an amazing time.
Or this: When we got home from our trip, one of my sister-in-law’s friends had sent me a simply spectacular gift – a book and a dvd, both intended to encourage me not to give up on God just yet. And with it was one of the kindest notes I’ve ever received, especially from a stranger who lives on the other side of the continent (California, if you’re bad at geography). The note affirmed my willingness to write openly about the rather personal shit I choose to share, and it also told me, gently, that quitting religion doesn’t have to mean quitting spirituality altogether.
I used to think that it didn’t “count” to be spiritual if it wasn’t the Christian variety, but these days, thanks to beautiful people like Jessica (my sister-in-law), who has recently helped me feel like forging ahead after a particularly tough setback, and to her friend DM (not sure if she wants her full name shared since this post will probably go viral and break the internet), I have have a teeny, tiny shred of hope that I might be able to find a spiritual life that doesn’t divide people into the Lost team and the Found team. See, I’ve always wanted to play for both teams! (Get your minds out of the gutter, people. This is a serious post.)
Many others have also reached out to me and kept me going with this blog, and I wish you readers had the attention span for me to mention them by name. Not to mention that free vacations and tangible gifts are encouraged in future gestures of gratitude, and I think it’s important for me to send that message with some tough love.
But seriously, I’m not kidding when I say that this time of darkness has indeed shown me that there are some damn Good People in this world. I used to feel like I had to believe that there were no such things as “good people” (blame Presbyterians for this…and Baptists). But there are! Go figure.
So, to all of you who have reached out to me, please know that your words of encouragement really do keep me going. That’s not hyperbole in any way. And to Betsy and DM and Jess, you are amazing souls, and my world is a better place because you exist. Thank you!
Before you go:
**If you’re a reader (and care about my recommendations), I’ve created my own Amazon store with suggested readings here.
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