Trouble and Strife

Septic tank is Cockney rhyming slang for “Yank” which may suggest what trouble and strife is slang for.

But it’s not fair of course, and good men, and most men some of the time, know she’s not only that.

Upon noting once how, yes, “children are a bother,” Dallas Willard made the important philosophical distinction that they aren’t just a bother.

So too with one’s wife: not just, and, as you go, not mainly. Eventually, I believe, it’ll be so not mainly as to become irrelevant, though this takes work.

These are important distinctions because they’re true, and important because being true they matter to how we live. Or they can matter to how we might then live.

In her job, M deals with people all the time. This is the worst possible job I can think of for me. My work is writing, and I do it alone.

When I’m not doing that work, I want any other work I do to be alone, or as nearly so as I can. Or I want to go back to my other work.

Yesterday, I worked with one other guy on a traffic control road crew. And he was a friend, and all I had to do was what he told me to do.

This was ideal. I will help you move, for instance, but I will not participate in deciding the time or method of loading the refrigerator on the truck.

Blechh.

No meetings, no committees, no group hugs. No agenda items, no votes, no endless rabbit of my deepest feelings with 87 close friends.

Again, I don’t necessarily mind being in such places (I’ll help you move) but I do not want to be called upon to say a few words. Just tell me where to put my hands and push.

This is an example, though not exactly a definition, of introversion, which has been much in the news this year, with among other things, the introvert’s fave: books.

Introverts are not shrinking violet “shy” or fleeing from human touch. We just don’t gain energy by being in a group. It costs us to be there.

Actually, I rather like touch, which brings me back to my trouble and strife. It occurred to me today that she is not a group, but rather a one.

For an introvert, that’s just awesome.

And work enow, for this old pot and pan.

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