Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Stay Puft Delemma

I am in a serious civilized juxtaposition, that on the outside may look completely normal but on closer examination may have complex and long-lasting psychological implications.  Any one in particular would seem completely normal and well within the lines of societal propriety but taken as a whole I have no choice than to submit to those implications and go with the flow.

My Corolla, a nice little car needs new tires.  At first I thought I could get away with buying only the two front ones, but in my ignorance of market needs and economic realities all four had to be replaced.  Not only do I need two extra tires but it seems the reason for the problem is that my car is out of alignment.  It was this level of negative configuration that prompted me and motivated me to find a resolution to this break in serenity. It’s a little disconcerting to be driving your car and it wants to drive off the road, pulling to the right at every opportunity.

After the initial shock of the price and the surprise of extra services to bring my once tranquil life back into balance, I sat down to be bombarded with the old Ghostbusters song, …Who you gunna call….da, dot, da, dot ditty, dot…you know the tune, it was blasting from a oversized rear projector, simulated flat screen TV with variations of color pulsating up and down from hues of red and green taking prominence, actually making the movie more in line with the topic of ghosts and the overall misalignment of man than could ever be achieved from the original production.

So here I am, sitting in an overly used, very uncomfortable, black vinyl chair, waiting patiently for my little car to receive the care to regain its balance to the fullest of its creation, while I try to reconcile my life after being summarily dismissed as a substitute with the Menifee Union School District for a simple act of responsible kindness.  It is really nothing more than that. 

After almost six months of diligently creating a positive learning environment and doing everything in my power to serve the K-2 special day class kids I asked to be paid like a real teacher for doing the same duties of a real teacher, they refused so I terminated my long term assignment and said my goodbyes to the few parents of the kids I had grown to love.

Apparently I needed permission from the principal before I could be gracious and polite in informing them that I would not be coming back.  That was a Thursday, on Monday I tried to log into my Subfinder sight and look for a different assignment but was locked out, later to discover that I was changed to inactive, no longer able to substitute in the Menifee Union School District.  A malicious move on their part, perhaps…..Retribution for not staying in an overworked and underpaid position, who knows? 

Therein lies my strange combination of events.  On one side I sit in a tire shop trying to align my car to run optimally while I write, watching the world in turmoil as ghosts attempt to transform the universe.   On the other side I have no job, no prospects, no desire to return to teaching and wondering what to do next to bring my alignment back in sync as Manhattan is being attacked by the overly inflated “stay puft man”.

If only life’s balance could be so easy as using streams of unknown light energy directed at a giant Marshmallow man, obliterating the cause of our discontent, recreating that needed balance and knowing that Nirvana is only a step away.  But as we all know life does not work that way.  Our balance is internal, a mindset of positive emotions that overshadow the negative aspects of life that continually bombard our lives and push and pull us off the true track of life.

 I may not have a job, a paying job, but I do have a life and that life is where that balance resides.  I have a wife who loves me. I have children who need me and who I think love me, I know I love them…you never really know with teenagers.  I have a belief that drives me toward goodness and it is that goodness that creates a level of character and it’s that character that reveals the balance between the good days and the bad days, the employed days and the unemployed, sunny days from the cloudy.  The earth may be in turmoil and it may seem hopeless but there is hope and we have the promise of eternity, if we live with character and faith. 

It’s really not about tires, nor about the expenses incurred, although they do seem to have a profound impact.  It’s not about the job or even about the thousands of inconsequential choices we make each and every day.  Life is a balance of knowing where our heart resides, where our devotions exist and what our true motivations are.  These give us balance and meaning.

The tires, the alignment issues, the giant stay puft man, these are diversions, reminders that this life is only a sleep from the reality of our true existence with God, who is our home.  (wordworth)  The tires will help me to drive straight and the alignment will keep my tires from wearing out.  The Ghostbusters will keep me entertained but in the end it’s all on me, it’s all on you to keep life balanced and moving forward on the straight and narrow path.

Whether I get an apology from Menifee Union School District may be important now and I am actively seeking that resolution but in the scheme of things we call life, it’s creating and living in harmony with our chosen and established principles and then realizing that integrity is the bedrock of all that we are.  (Elder Richard G. Scott)

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