Tuesday, February 24, 2015

February 24: Worn Down, Helping Others, God's Love Number Seven

For all that, for all her principles, for all her open-mindedness and her belief in social progress, as she got older, whether she wanted to or not, [Annie Ives] began to feel worn down by the daily grind of trying to help others...

Annie has good reason to feel worn down.  She's been a substitute teacher in New York City public schools for years, trying to reach kids who simply seem not to want to be reached.  I think she's also developed a thick scar over the murder of her son.  Shot down in the street by a Hispanic youth, Robert symbolized for Annie everything that was right in the world, and his death symbolizes everything that is wrong.  She's tired of always being good.

I get that.  Especially today.  I spend most of my work day helping people.  Being kind and understanding to patients who are sometimes cranky and rude.  I try to remain positive and happy.  It's tiring.  By lunch, I'm feeling pretty worn down, and by quitting time, I have used up all of my princess points.  I don't want want to help anybody.

When I pulled into my driveway this evening at 9:30 p.m., I was in a foul mood.  If I had opened my mouth, I would have said something mean or angry to my wife or daughter.  So, I decided to shovel for forty minutes.  Snow had been falling all day.

I pushed piles of the white stuff, swearing and muttering.  I was not Mother Teresa.  There were f-bombs flying and lots of muttering.  I probably looked a little deranged.  However, by the time I was done, my foul mood had improved considerably.  I didn't say anything mean to my daughter or wife, and I wasn't contemplating calling in sick to work for the rest of the year.

That's God's love number seven:  Saint Marty didn't go all Jack Torrance on his family.

Block your ears, Mother Teresa.

No comments:

Post a Comment