Sunday, December 22, 2013

December 22: Feeling Like a Failure, Classic Saint Marty, New Cartoon

I went to church this morning with my game face on.  I wasn't going to let anyone know how upset I was.  I had jobs to do.  Practice with the Junior Choir.  Sing with the choir.  Play keyboard for the praise band.  Concentrate on the work, and leave all the other crap at the door.

Well, that was my plan.  However, the morning was crap.  Emotional.  Difficult.  I barely kept my anger in check at times.  Other times, I just wanted to cry.  Usually, when I'm at church, I feel safe and loved and appreciated.  Not so much today.  It was pretty much a three-hour exercise in feeling like a failure.

So, I have a Classic Saint Marty for you today about feeling like a failure.  It originally aired during the Christmas season two years ago.  However, its message is kind of timeless for me.

Saint Marty needs to go stare into the mirror and say some encouraging words to himself now.

December 12, 2011:  You Want the Moon?

"You want the moon?  Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down."

Mary's Cartoon
Again, the quote comes from George Bailey.  He's walking home from a high school dance with his future wife, Mary.  Mary has had a crush on George since she was a little girl.  George has just noticed that Mary is Donna Reed.  He's flirting with her in his way, which is awkward and goofy.  Then he asks Mary what she wants in life.  Really, all Mary wants is to marry George and settle down in Bedford Falls.  George, on the other hand, has his sights set a little higher.  That's why he offers her the moon, because, at this time in his life, he still thinks he can do anything.  Mary eventually draws the cartoon above.

I think this part of the film is about dreams.  Mary's dreams are more realistic than George's dreams.  George spends the majority of his life chasing the moon, never realizing that he's already got his lasso around it.

George isn't much different from me.  I'm always jealous of people who seem to be happier or more secure.  I'm jealous of people who have things that I want (jobs or publications or better health insurance or cars or houses--I could go on forever).  I'm always looking to lasso the moon, too.  It's not an easy way to live.  It's not an easy way for George to live.  George is, at times, monumentally unhappy.  Sounds familiar to me.

I have friends who have tenured or tenure-track jobs at the university. They spend their days teaching, writing, and grading.  For me, that's the moon.  And, I'm ashamed to say, I'm jealous of these friends, just like George is jealous of his friend Sam Wainwright, who ends up richer than Mr. Potter.  Sam is doing the things that George has dreamed about his entire life.

But George has Donna Reed.  George has beautiful children.  George has great, loyal friends.  George has the moon.

So does Saint Marty.  He just needs to remind himself every once in a while.

Confessions of Saint Marty


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