Most everyone knows about Bruce Jenner's transformation to become Caitlyn Jenner. From Gold Medal decathalon winner in 1976 to 'Gender Bender Jenner' in April 2015 it was a journey not many will travel. Well my journey is not so drastic and seriously the closest thing I do to bring into question my 'man-card' is watching Downton Abbey with my wife.
In reality I am a stereotypical guy who loves sports, action movies, techie toys and I do not understand my wife's fondness for flowers and/or jewelry. But there was a time not so long ago when I cried out "I HAVE BECOME A WOMAN."
Let me explain.
I recently returned to the traditional workplace as a Customer Service Rep which includes my daily routine of rush hour commutes, but it was not so long ago life looked much different.
Around the year 2007 I had moved from White Collar America as a programmer/analyst to running a small business from the comfort of my home. I was the stay at home house husband while my wife would navigate the asphalt jungle as an elementary school teacher.
In these years working from home I would often would buy groceries, do laundry, pick up the house, and care of the dogs. It was a big job but someone had to do it, and was a real paradigm shift for my professional and home duties.
During this time in our lives I remember one day starting like most everyday. The alarm goes off, my wife Mary is out of bed getting ready for work, and I in turn head downstairs to start my morning routine. I let the dogs outside, start the coffee, get the morning paper, let the dogs back in and feed them. Soon my wife joins me downstairs, we drink coffee and read the paper together. A short while later Mary asks me to fix her lunch and then rushes upstairs to finish getting ready.
I answer "Yes mam." and head off to the fridge to pack my bride a delicious nutritious lunch. Mary returns downstairs, grabs her lunch, purse, and school bag and heads towards the door to start another day. Before she leaves I look directly in her eyes and leave her with these words.. "Honey, Call me later.. I miss you when I don't hear from you."
These words hang over my head like a cartoon bubble and then it hits me.. I HAVE JUST BECOME A WOMAN!! Some sorta modern/sensistive sorta a guy primed for a day of eating bon bons waiting to watch Oprah, or Ellen. *sigh*
While this did really happen I did not rush out and sign up for therapy, but I was funny in and ironic my choice of words considering my new station in life as 'house husband guy.'
Good news I am back to the traditional work place, and I still do miss my wife when I do not hear from her though I am careful to NEVER think out loud those words of infamy "Honey, Call me later.. I miss you when I don't hear from you."
May God bless each of you this day in great ways with nary a moment of 'GENDER CONFUSION'.
note: as you have noticed today's blog had nary of moment of spritual importance. :)
As I roller coaster through the amusement park of life past the sideshows of a bearded lady, the two headed cow and the tattooed sword swallowing vicar I realize again.. LIFE IS A RIDE.
My rollercoaster existence leaves me at times exhilarated while other times ready to BARF. These twists and turns in my life do expose my Dr Jeffrey and Mr. Hide (like a less sinister version of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde) personality quirks. I am Dr Jeffrey when all is good, but Mr Hide rears his ugly face when the rollercoaster dips or there is a big bend up ahead. AND yes I did mean to say Mr. Hide (not Hyde).. I mean ‘good grief I am cartoonist not a monster’.
My alter ego Mr. Hide unfortunately appears when my -I'm ok facade- is threatened to be exposed by my life long collection of insecurities, mistakes and bad choices. Better to hide and live to fight another day.. or something like that.
Surprise.. I am not the first! Ever since the original sin, man has chose to hide. In the Garden of Eden Eve listened to the snake, Adam listened to Eve (cuz he was afraid of her disapproving wife look) and collectively both were in direct disobedience of God’s command to not eat the fruit from the Tree of Good & Evil. So… they hid, and as we all know when playing Hide & Seek with God you always lose. I mean, hey being omnipresent is big advantage.
Now fast forward a bazillion years to today and I find the more things change, the more they stay the same.. except now not only do we attempt to hide from God we hide from each other. You see while I do care if I displease God I must confess I care a great deal what others think of me.
The alter ego Mr. Hide wants others to see him as a success. A man with a career, admired, and a man of status, and dashing good looks. Mr. Hide promotes the illusion that he is confident, funny, never depressed, and has never struggled with substance abuse. Oh there are many other things Mr. Hide hides from others, but you get the idea.
Those who are Ms or Mrs. Hide are equally deft at the art of hiding. Ms Hide wants all to see the illusion of a perfect family. Her husband is admired, beautiful gifted children honor roll kids who are also captain of their sports teams. The family takes fabulous vacations that are the envy of all her peers. BUT.. who could ever guess there are marital problems, troubled teens, and Ms. Hide is far from content. So she hides.
So whether you are Mr. or Ms. Hide this process of hiding is exhausting, and is not what God intended for his clildren. Like I noted earlier with my keen eye for deity detail.. God is omnipresent (he is everywhere) so hiding from him is impossible, BUT just as important is his love is perfect... and his grace is great. He knows us better than we know ourselves, and loves us like the perfect partent. So let's scratch off the thought of hiding from God.
I think having this right thinking about God helps me with right thinking about hiding from others. Of course being discrete and protecting my privacy is smart, but I don't need to hide from others.
1 Corinthians 12:25-26 teaches us.. 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
This being said I cannot control how others view me, but the above scripture is clear instructions where my mindset.
I am not sure how many of you have a HIDE alter ego, but I know our hope and identity lies with God and not man. In all things I pray we love God with all our heart, soul, and mind.. and live out 1 Corinthians 12:25-26.
ps - I think if King Solomon had added an amusement park while building the temple he would have wrote Ecclesiastes using 'my' rollercoaster analogy in mind.
The mutterings on life and faith by cartoonist Jeff Larson