Waiting for Another Chunk to Fall

A few nights ago, I was happily sitting at my computer when I heard a loud noise; having no idea what it was, I went to investigate. It took awhile for me to discover the source of this commotion, which turned out to be a 24” x 18” chunk of plasterboard that had spontaneously expelled itself from the ceiling. Now, I live in a house that was built in 1930 and has many of the issues old houses have—particularly ones where pro-active maintenance is not a priority of its owners. But even I, an expert on nothing, recognize that when a rotten (but dry) segment of ceiling falls to the ground, perhaps it’s a subject worth addressing.


My father, in his infinite wisdom, decided to poo-poo my suggestion of contacting a contractor. Instead, he solicited the counsel of a cousin who runs a close second in home maintenance ignorance, but he is a man. Upon inspection of the alarming puncture, my cousin recommended that it would be best to, “wait until another chunk falls out.”


So, this is how we’re proceeding.


Now I stand vigil, waiting for another chunk to fall. Certain devious parties have recommended that I accelerate the process by “facilitating” the exit of a follow up chunk, dramatically displayed like a forensic crime scene reminiscent of an episode of Law and Order: Criminal Intent. Having spent years performing sweat labor in the bowels of a Machiavellian university, I’m surprised I still retain sufficient naiveté and honesty that it hadn’t occurred to me to do so. At this point, however, I reserve the right to switch over to the dark side at a time of my own choosing.


This idiotic (and dangerous) example of kicking the can down the road has parallels throughout our lives; Congress comes to mind first, but we all meet with situations where we find ourselves hostage to the bad judgment of others. One of the first things I do in such situations is remind myself that whatever I fear most will happen probably will not come to pass. After that, the situation boils down to a game of odds. What I have learned is that it doesn’t help matters for me to get angry or frustrated by the ill-advised decision since it’s out of my hands, anyway.


There’s a lot to be said for a strategy where we keep our heads down and plow forward the best we can, rather than shaking our fists at the skies or repeatedly trying to convince the decision maker of the wrongheadedness of their decision. Back in the day when I was employed, I had a boss who was notorious for changing plans at the last minute, creating exponentially more work for the staff with little pay off, and simply being erratic and unfair in their “management style.” Since they didn’t have to execute any of their decisions, it didn’t matter how much extra work was created. A mistake I made was expressing disagreement with this approach; I would’ve been way better off had I kept my mouth shut. I wasn’t going to win, no matter what I said or how right I was. It took me years to learn this.


When in your life have you found yourself in a similar situation? How do you respond to idiotic strategies?


I came into this world blessed with many qualities, but patience is not among them. In fact, I believe that one of the biggest lessons I am here to learn is the cultivation of patience—which can’t come soon enough, as far as I’m concerned. This has been an excruciating and endless process for me, but the good news is progress has been made. Actually, I haven’t had a choice in the matter because patience has been the primary quality required of me as I’ve clawed my way through this life transition. Things have not come fast for me; they’ve creeped along with many a set back. It used to be that I’d cry and get depressed and righteously indignant about the unfairness of this perplexing turn in my life. These days, I just chuckle and shrug. One day at a time. No point in getting mad about it.


And so, I wait, engaged in fulfilling activities rather than worrying about when that next chunk will make itself heard. That’s all I can do.



Unrelated Postscript: As the author of this blog, I need to address what one of my followers recently told me, “Your blog is preachy.” I suppose it can sound that way to certain ears. But, in my own defense, I would contend that an endeavor such as this blog requires a specific, clear point of view, which I have. Further, I would argue that it’s not “preachy” in a superiority way. It may be “preachy” because what I’m saying is (fairly) serious and about life’s journey. But I never pretend to have all the answers and readers who are particularly sensitized to perspectives that sound “preachy” wouldn’t be interested in reading it. Just had to get that off my chest…



Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Responses to “Waiting for Another Chunk to Fall”

  1. doug Says:

    Are you sure they did not say “peachy”?

    • dignitarysretreat Says:

      You always make me LAUGH! Alas, no, I didn’t mishear–this time. But I should probably round up in my favor going forward. Nice 70s photo, fyi.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: