Something Special

The activities of yesterday morning, into mid-day and beyond, ultimately led to an afternoon nap. That capped off a very pleasant day, but one which conflicted mightily with a pledge mi novia and I made earlier: to return to our healthier diet and lifestyle of a few months ago.  After church, we had a big, boozy Mexican lunch, along with lengthy conversation, with friends.  Though one big, caloric, carb-laden meal should have been enough, I ate a protein-only meal later in the day.

It makes my heart sick when I remember all the good words and the broken promises.

~ Chief Joseph ~

With that quotation, I am attempting to shame myself back into submission to my better judgment. I would use a whip, if that would help.


Some memories play back like two-dimensional film. Others evoke all the senses involved in the original experience; those memories can recall the stress of the original experience, as well. I remember far too well the stresses of simultaneously dealing with multiple boards of directors, thousands of association members, human resource matters, sometimes tight financial circumstances, and access to healthcare. I am convinced those aggravations, often intensified after four or five consecutive seven-day weeks, contributed significantly to flare-ups of the symptoms of Crohn’s disease. Though stress may no longer be considered, in the medical community, the primary trigger of the condition, my body’s reactions to stress say otherwise.

I know now I might have been happier had I realized how decidedly unimportant my responsibilities were. Had I known, early on, that no one—including me—is “the indispensable person,” I would have lightened up much, much earlier. If I had shirked every responsibility, little of the world would have changed. No wars would be fought. No invasions would be launched. The time between now and the end of time would remain the same. Granted, a few people might have been inconvenienced when I abandoned my responsibilities, but those scars would have healed long ago.

I usually prefer the memories that invoke all the senses. But when the tension in my body is so high I can hear the bones in my body begin to crack, I default to favoring flat images that captured a microsecond in time.


Why, I wonder, is it so hard to just acknowledge one’s blunders and move on? Why, when a person makes a simple mistake that anyone else easily could have made, does he insist on labeling himself incompetent, inadequate, and essentially useless? The reason, I am told, might be an affliction called perfectionism. Everything has to be just right. Any deviation—no matter how small—from plan or desired outcome is outright failure. That sounds reasonable, so I’ll buy it. The next question, naturally, is this: Can perfectionism be cured?


The time is almost 6:30. I have not been outside yet, but I will in a moment. My computer alleges the temperature outside is a cool 70°F. Assuming that to be the case, I will abandon my fingers, in favor of treating my eyes, ears, nose, and skin to something special.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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2 Responses to Something Special

  1. No, Meg. It was not intentional. Thanks for calling it to my attention, though. Corrected now, I think.

  2. Meg says:

    You did the can can on purpose, right?

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