The IPNYS

I’m feeling it— the IPNYS. The Inevitable Post New Year’s Slump (and I apostrophized [do you like that? I think just made it up…or maybe it already exists] that because it’s a reference to New Year’s Eve, not bad grammar, thankyouverymuch).

I feel melancholy. I don’t know if it’s because my depression pops up for short stints on days that I least expect it for no discernible reason, or if it’s just that I’m missing the holidays and want them back. It’s frustrating, because when I feel like this, I want quiet and solitude and it feels as though I’d crawl out of my own skin to get it—through sarcastic, mean, nasty, and violent means, if necessary. It’s not a happy way to be for anyone involved. I just want to be left alone—something that is not conducive to a happy marriage when my happy spouse loves to whistle and sing and cuddle and watch TV. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s wonderful, and I know this. I do. On any other day, I’d welcome and cherish it.

It’s just that today, I’ve just got my bitch eyeliner on. It’s the makeup I wear when I want to surreptitiously communicate that I’m not in the mood to deal with people’s…happiness. It’s like a blinking neon sign that floats over my head if you see it for what it is. I’ve never really mentioned the causality of that before, so…there you go. Now you can run for cover when necessary.

On days like this, I’ve got a startlingly low level of self-control when it comes to what proceeds from my mouth, and I hate it. I want to be kind. I want to make Joel laugh and just enjoy life. Instead, I feel frustrated with the futility of everything. I become a dog-kicker. Not literally, of course.

I don’t have a dog.

Not many of you are aware that I experience this regularly—or perhaps, if I am worse at controlling myself than I think, all of you know. I’m disinclined to care at the moment, which I know for a fact is temporary(ephemeral). I do care. Just…ignore me and file all of this away in your “things I’ve learned about Keri that I’d rather not think about” file. In the meantime, I’ll make a concerted effort to feel comforted by getting this all out on “paper” and move on.

Which brings us to my Life Journal.

I’m a few days behind, which I am, at present, attempting to rectify. I’ve just finished Wednesday’s reading and I wanted to post this before I move on to the rest. I’m determined to catch up before today becomes Sunday.

The Weakness of Another

Selected Scripture:

“Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s naked body. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father naked.”

-Genesis 9:20-23

Observation and Application:

Ham (maybe he was mean because of his terrible name) was happy to capitalize upon his father’s weakness by making a joke of his (sinful)condition and exploiting it. Maybe he was hoping to garner his brothers’ favor by making them laugh, probably hoping they’d agree with him since he (Ham) was the youngest and likely to hold the least esteem. Maybe Ham had suffered some insult or injury at the hand of his father and simply wanted revenge by making him look bad (Noah certainly demonstrated an ability to do that on his own).

Whatever it was, Ham’s decision did more to show the quality of his own character than that of Noah’s, which is something I need to remember when faced with the unsavory behavior of those close to me.

It isn’t that Shem and Japheth did the right thing by simply covering up their father’s problem; certainly, no good comes of ignoring sin or counting a man sinless just because they’re your elder. For the purposes of this entry, I’ll set that issue aside; I don’t intend to conjecture upon what should be done in the aftermath of such shameful behavior, rather, what I need to focus on today is that it’s never okay to openly expose the weakness of a person for the sake of elevating your own status. In protecting their father from disgrace, the two righteous brothers went so far as to protect Noah’s disgrace even from their own eyes. They could have gone barging into the tent; they could have thrown a blanket over him and beat a hasty retreat. That’s probably what I would have done, and I don’t think there would have been any sin in that. The point, I think, is that they went to extreme measures to keep Noah’s fall from grace on the down-low. The respect they held for their father was clearly evidenced, and what they had to gain from his fall entered nowhere into the equation.

I was talking to Joel yesterday, just before dinner, about a mild conflict I had experienced with a member of my team at work. I shared in lengthy detail about the nature of this person’s failings related to the particular conflict, how I was frustrated about various aspects of this person’s character and personality…you know, generally ranting and venting about things I’d no right to think or feel, let alone say.

Just as I had run out of steam, Joel had finished washing his hands so that we could have dinner. We were standing in the kitchen, holding hands, and he began to say grace. I honestly have no idea whatsoever what he said beyond giving thanks for the food because I was immediately struck with the truth of what I had done. Here I was, literally standing before the Father, and it occurred to me that I would never have possessed the courage to say to Him what I had just vomited all over my husband. Just like the Accuser of the Brethren, I had exercised what I perceived to be my right to expose the weaknesses of this person just because I had been annoyed and frustrated with how his mistakes (and subsequent denial of those mistakes) had affected me. Oughtn’t I to have more grace than the Accuser?

It’s humbling (and terrifying) to see one’s self in that sort of light, and to realize that you’re like the enemy of God on any level. Suffice it to say: I’m learning my lesson. Next time you hear me complaining about the failings of someone, just give me a little slap. Well, maybe not, but you know what I mean.

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