Gossip, Gossip, Gossip

What a deeply exhausting activity. It doesn’t matter who you are, denial that you have ever gossiped is a lie. Even the best of the best slip up from time to time and drop a negative line about someone who has frustrated them, albeit the good ones always feel remorse and regret for the negativity that exits their souls.

And that’s the thing, gossip in my eyes represents that negativity held within one’s soul. We can be righteous, courteous, and kind all day, every day, at any time; there comes a time when we feel the pangs of anger that lead us to saying ugly things about someone. It’s life.

But it’s exhausting. Think about it. Think about a time when you spent a prolonged conversation trashing someone else (for some “prolonged” could mean two minutes or two hours, that’s relative). By the end, you probably felt tired but relieved, or tired and guilty. For those who are professional gossip queens and kings, there is a sense of stamina that can be built by years (and years!) of practice. For what? Why do we choose to gossip? To “talk sh*t” if you will?

Honestly, I don’t know myself. There are probably articles upon articles on the internet describing the reasons why people choose to talk trash about some people to other people. Personally, I only feel the weight of annoyance and anger lift off my shoulders when someone has completely jacked my nerves and sent them off to space in a ball of rage. There is a small step between frustration and hell-bent hostility in my book. On other occasions, I really just want to express my perceptions and ideas about people. The problem with gossip is that it is judgmental. It can be harsh, it can be cruel, and it can be irreversible. You have to track what you say and to whom you say it; you have to decide if your gossip has a malicious purpose or if you just need to vent; you have to decide if you can live with the consequences of your idle chatter.

Can you? Can you decide why you talk?

When I get in a really bad mood and turn to wagging my tongue, I remember two things either before (which is good), during (not good but could be worse), or after (bad, bad, bad). These things lead me to reflect and make different decisions in the future if I can control my annoyance long enough.

  1. If someone is willing to gossip to you about someone else, they’re willing to gossip to someone else about you.
  2. “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” Mark 7:20-23.

Today, I got flustered while waiting for my car to be cleaned. The people around me were painfully obnoxious. So I stuck my nose in my book and drowned them out. Therein lies my solace. If I can ignore what bothers me, my judgments, and my haughtiness, I think I can avoid the gossip without trying to be self-righteous. I’m not perfect, and everything is a work in progress.


Summer Time Lows

Not low, but certainly not high. The toughest part of summer for me as a teacher is I actually miss school. I miss the students, I miss the hustle and bustle, I miss the positive stress. Suffice it to say teaching for me feels a lot like an athlete feels with a runner’s high. The momentum of teaching, editing lesson plans on a whim, and interacting with so many kids in one day never truly leaves me run down or burned out. I just get a happy kind of tired that can have a recovery time of two days (the weekend). That classroom is my second home, and those kids are my second family. I guess no matter how self-conscious I get about my profession when I’m surrounded by doctors, lawyers, or dentists, I go home everyday and smile to myself without every regretting my decision to be a teacher. 
So now, I don’t feel low anymore. I feel good. 


Invisible Man

This short post is inspired by a blogger I follow, MakeItUltra (TM). On his particular entry I shared a quote from a poem I love that would be inspirational and make someone find light in his or her life. This quote, however, is something completely different for me. It is what you might say motivational to a particularly aggressive, or passive aggressive, state. Although I do not solely live by this, I think of it often when I am stuck around people who have more control or power than I do in a given situation.

“Live with your head in the lion’s mouth. I want you to overcome ’em with yeses, undermine ’em with grins, agree ’em to death and destruction, let ’em swoller you til they vomit or bust wide open. – Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

The context of this quote comes from the narrator’s grandfather giving him advice about how to deal with “the white man.” Obviously this is not my purpose, though it gives sharp perspective into the feeling this quote implies. As an educator, I have had to work with many people with whom I fundamentally don’t agree, yet I’ve not been in a position to do anything about it. Instead of getting bent out of shape, I think about doing the right thing for the students in my classroom, and I “agree” to make it through whatever the situation calls for me to do. Even now, after the start of state testing, all I can do is smile and say, “Good luck!” to my students. There has been one situation where even this mindset couldn’t get me through, but that is a story for another day.


The Very Best Part

Anyone like The Twilight Zone? It has been my all-time favorite television series since I was old enough to understand the plot of each episode. The more I watch and re-watch each season, the more I fall in love with the brilliance of human imagination.

My blog is named after my favorite episode, “Time Enough at Last.” In this particular situation, the main character lives in a world where he is made very small on a daily basis by his wife and his boss. His one true passion in life is to read… to get lost in tragedy, comedy, romance, and adventure… much like myself. When the tables turn and he is left in his own solitude, he finds true happiness and solace upon discovering a library with books, books, books! And in it, he says, “The thing of it is, the very best part, is I have time now. All the time I want, and all the time I need. Time enough at last.”

I won’t spoil the ending. My heart goes out to him.

It was the first episode to ever make me cry.

Time Enough at Last

Late Night Thoughts and Concubines

The title means nothing. Sometimes you just have a moment when you think of something clever of no significance. I knew if I drank coffee at 5:00PM (Sumatran roast) that I would have a rather difficult time falling asleep tonight. I’ve taken a shot of vodka to make me sleepy; now I just feel calm. Royal Pains is running on Netflix, my dog to my left and my cat to my right.

We all have the existential moments I suppose, when we think about what we’re doing in life; we reflect on what life would be like if we had made some different decisions. We also think about why our life became what it is because of the decisions we’ve made. Do my decisions mean anything? Should I have done something differently? Why am I the way I am…? No matter the questions, answers are not easily found.

Perhaps thinking about life at night is not a good decision. Perhaps I should just keep my mind shut before it leads me astray to bad decisions or life-changing reflections.

Don’t mind me. All who wander are not lost.