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Composting Life’s Crap

April 7, 2009
Seems like the past week has been full of drama, hurt feelings, emotional upheaval, hypersensitivity, and at least a dozen other piles of crap which I have found myself stepping in, shoveling, or personally dropping in some way. I feel I am giving way too much brain energy toward cleaning up messes and not enough toward appreciating crap for its composting qualities. After all, mountains of crap make for really awesome gardens when properly composted.
 
So before I waste another moment of my precious energy stores managing the feedlot waste that is part of day to day life in the middle class, let me do some composting. In other words, here are the gifts I am choosing to find in the piles that have accumulated recently.
 
I am grateful for people who look inward when criticism comes rather than automatically looking for someone to blame. There are some people who consistently examine themselves and their own situation to see if just maybe some area of their lives needs a little housecleaning. They aren’t martyrs, and if something isn’t their issue, they lay aside the criticism and move on. Yet they do at least take stock of the situation and refuse to assign blame elsewhere. They ooze respect for others and are sensitive to the feelings of others. Very cool people.
 
I am grateful for opportunities to see true colors in others before I get myself in a mess too deep to crawl out of. Bite me on the butt once? Possibly my fault for provoking an attack. Bite me on the butt twice or even three times? I have the right to surround you and yours with a virtual restraining wall that will prevent me from putting myself out there for you ever again without having on my fireproof gear. I will love you from a distance, but I probably won’t put myself on the line for you and yours. Very valuable gift.
 
I am grateful that I am an idealist who sees possibilities rather than obstacles most of the time. I say most of the time because I must refer back to the occasional walls that have been built to protect and defend. Idealism can be painful at times, because those who cross my path who are either psychotically pragmatic or obsessively pessimistic tend to hail on my idealistic view of the world. Still, I like the innocense and innovativeness that comes from being an idealist.
 
I am grateful for kids and family who choose to see the world as a positive place full of opportunity rather than a dangerous place where people are out to get them. Fear and paranoia are a prison that severely limits a person’s opportunities. The ability to turn “getting picked on” into “good publicity” takes superhuman strength and a tremendous amount of endurance and stamina. Y’all are my role models and heroes.
 
I am grateful for people outside of my family who care about my kids. They are there for us in so many ways. They give my kids rides, encourage them, chastise them when necessary, feed them on occasion, have fun with them, but mostly they are a positive adult influence who will talk straight to my kids and to whom my kids will listen. I am grateful that I recognize their value to me and my family. You are 100% awesome.
 
There. It still looks and smells a bit like poo, but at least now it can begin the process of turning into something useful. The smell will fade, the burning hot reaction will begin to cool, and fertile soil will be left to produce beauty and nourishment. You’ve just gotta love composting.
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