Monday, November 15, 2004

Judgment; and a Reprieve

Since the anonymous post last week the concept of judgment has been weighing heavily on my mind. I wonder why it makes such a difference to me that the post didn't have a name assigned to it - maybe on some level I feel like the post was from God, or maybe anonymity makes the judgment seems like it's coming from Everyone. And I know that's not true. I have had so many different reactions expressed to me - from total outrage to understanding and sympathy, from fear to a joyously sick kind of fascination and celebration. God, I've got some weird, wonderful friends.

I have always harbored a kind of underground passion for words. So for most of my life I have traveled with a book called Roget's International Thesaurus - not the itty bitty one you usually find in offices - this one is the Original Roget's International Thesaurus, Fifth Edition, edited by Robert L. Chapman. Mr. Chapman, I would love to have your job.

I consult the thesaurus more than I consult the dictionary. It's richer, juicier, and a lot more eye-opening. It's organized by concept, not alphabetically by discrete word. So if you want to look up, say, suicide, you go to the Index which lists it under 308.5. Go to 308.5 (the concept of Killing) and there it is - along with a dozen or so other meaty synonyms. The lookup for "suicidal" is even better - they list several other concepts from which you can choose, depending on the connotation: "wretched", "dejected", "murderous", "destructive" and "unwise." And if you continue to follow the relational path I think eventually you get to mental illnesses and then things REALLY start jumping.

It's a fantastic brainstorming tool. For example, I had a front porch moment recently where I took a good hard look at the feelings the anonymous poster brought up in me. And what it came down to was that I am terrified of being judged - judged and found wanting, that is.

So I thought I'd look up "judgment" in Roget's this morning. Here are the concepts they offer from which you can choose a specific directory:

judiciary
decision
condemnation
punishment
function of Christ
classification
judiciousness
solution
discernment
assessment
judging
opinion

Even as I type these words, I am realizing several things. Firstly, that the association I make most often is "condemnation" - when it's about me, that is. Do I automatically assume that when I am "assessed" that I will be "punished"?

See how much fun this is, folks? I'm serious, I LOVE this book.

And why is it I skip over the less threatening connotations, like "function of Christ", "judiciousness", "solution", "discernment" and especially the ambiguous "opinion"?

So I realize that my "assessment" of the word "judgment" is in itself a "decision." And it's one that I can make. Or I can leave it up to God.

Pretty cool, huh?

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The reprieve (conveniently placed with today's meditative post) came from my boss, of all people. I was stressing about trying to put together an impossibly complex database for tracing thread from birth to death through the plant. (I had help - but he was starting to stress about it, too.) Our customer visit has been moved from tomorrow to November 29th. So we'll have two customer visits and a surveillance audit that week. I think most of us in the fire agree that we'd just as soon get it all over with during the one week. Especially since it's two weeks away.

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We (husband and I) have decided to move baby (who is actually a toddler now so I suppose I need to stop calling her baby) to a new daycare. It bears on this blog only because I had identified the current daycare as a source of stress for me in my mothering aspect and also part of the world that I couldn't control. And while I realize there will always be a certain lack of control when I leave my daughter, I think it's part of my job to minimize the unpredictability of Duckie's life.

"Duckie" because of the adorable new ducktail on the back of her head - a little curl of white hair that loves to stand up on its own.

I'm sick of picking up a hungry baby at the end of the day. They could feed her. Would take but a minute. I'm sick of having to remind them to use vaseline on her bottom during diaper changes. I'm sick of not having a say in what she eats during the day. I'm sick of having to spend extra time trying to get paint stains off her clothes. I'm sick of seeing her face covered in shiny dried nose goop when I see her in the afternoon, and of seeing that no one bothered to change her out of said paint-streaked clothes. I'm sick of hearing, "Oh, I don't know, I (left at 3 yesterday, wasn't in until late today, couldn't find her bottle, etc. etc.)" I'm sick of knowing that the lack of communication in the center could cause my child discomfort and upset when I'm not there to soothe her. I'm sick of having to remind them over and over about the same things. My time is simply to valuable to waste with that kind of crap.

And I'm not going to leave her there anymore just because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. Right now my daughter's feelings have the highest priority, and if the ladies at the center don't have time to treat her at least as well as I do, then it's past time for me to find someone who does.

She moves in two weeks. I'll keep y'all updated on the transition.

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Jeep still dead in the water. Husband picked us up this morning and I finally got the nerve to ask him how he was - on a real level, not just "how ya doing?" He said he was ready to listen.

It gave me a nervous shiver in my stomach. Judgment calling again. On one level it's easier to stay at arm's length, not revisit the past. On another level if I don't let him know what happened that night he will have every right to make his own assumptions ("classification", as it were) no matter how far off the mark they might be. Not that they will be. Only that I feel I owe it to him to give him the whole story. What he does with that information is entirely up to him.

peace and love.

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S., I hope by the time you read this that you are feeling tons better and are halfway into a pot of homemade chicken soup. I love you, darlin.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that he is ready to hear things.


Will

Sam said...

mmmm, chicken soup. i hope by the time YOU read this that i FEEL like eating chicken soup. moo. :(
xoxox
-s

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