As I read through the kind thoughts and New Year's well wishing, I found a note to me never meant for publishing. Something like this:
I find you horribly self-centered.
It is really offensive.
I know you won't publish this, I just wanted you to know.
Perhaps, I thought to myself, that this commenter knows very little about blogging. Blogging is the exercise of the self-centered habit. Bloggers must have a degree of self-centeredness or else how could they expect the world to care about their politics or positions on world views much less precious pictures of their posterity?
But to offend someone with self-centeredness?
Now that takes talent.
But as I already posted, 2009 was about seeing the beauty. So I went about my day asking for guidance into my soul. Though I've been told my blog was painted in narcissism before, maybe today was the day of introspection.
I started with breakfast. Mr. Nielson made a grape-colored concoctions from his Vita-Mix (the ninth wonder of the world?) which was gifted to him by Mrs. Nielson for the recent holiday. He made a mug for all the children and one for him. When I saw there was a little bit of fruity gravy at the bottom of the mixer I poured myself a mug. As I did so Mr. Nielson turned his head in my direction and kindly offered me the left-overs.
Look at me! I thought. Taking the Vita-Mix potion before asking! Who do I think I am?
I am self-centered!
I took my first swallow and washed it down with my pride. It tasted grape-y and apple-y and what was the smoothy banana taste? Oh, banana. I was about to retaste again when I was stopped by a small hand on my forearm. The maneuver is one I know well, it reads: The Chief will now have whatever you are having. So I let him in on the goodness with a scoop in his baby spoon. But then he wanted repeated tastes until finally he had tasted my whole self-deserved mug.
Ha! I thought.
I am not self-centered.
Then I noticed my pinky toaster that Honey and Ringo gave me for Christmas sitting next to my pink Kitchenaid. I thought about how much I love having four slots and how pink kitchen appliances are the secret to world peace. Also, my pink appliances and I are raising money to fight breast cancer, which is not a token of self-centeredness. I mean, what does the silver toaster do for cancer? Nothing but cause it, probably.
Later in the evening I went to visit my sister Nie at my parent's house. She will be moving around for awhile as we all pitch in on her care. She is doing so well, but still requires ample medical attention. For now she is living with a sibling who can give her immediate care, but made it to my parent's today for a little of Dad's mashed taters.
We talked about Ollie's birthday tomorrow. About how she is wearing pants instead of hospital gowns. Her white knit cap looked adorable with her short hair. We discussed important matters like how she reconquered her laptop and is starting to read her version of While You Were Sleeping.
And I thought about how much I loved her. I would trade in all my pink appliances (and the Vita-Mix) for her to be comfortable. How at the end of the day I feel less and less heroic and more and more helpless. Lately I've been a tornado stimulated by a negative wind I've allowed into my soul.
So I did like I always do, made a joke at my expense. Which seems to be my way of processing my life, and in so doing gained the perspective I asked for today. Simply put, I handle life with a heavy dosing of humor in the form of narcissism. If I can be the joke which eases a painful moment, then that is my gift. And I totally understand if it is misread. Like the time a reader pointed out that when I called myself an angel in a recent post about Christmas shopping for all the children an angel I really wasn't. "And angel doesn't call herself an angel, instead she gives the glory to God." But really, I was just trying to be funny. You know, to offset the pressing emotions.
And if my blogging about how all of this personal revelation came to pass this evening is further proof that I am self-centered than I, quite frankly, have nothing to say.
Except, guilty as charged.
Awhile back a Nie reader asked if I could occasionally link to Lds general conference talks like Nie used to do on Fridays. Here is a personal favorite of mine which I continually need to be reminded of:
And Nothing Shall Offend Them
by David A. Bednar