Tom the Cumbersome
A Treatise on Being
If you managed to listen to the podcast episode about my partner here at the Sanktch, you might have heard the term she used in reference to Moi…cumbersome. Okay, okay, yes our playlist is over 850 songs, and yes, it’s growing. I can’t be stopped! Cumbersome forever! I just bought and downloaded 5 books at the same time, to read at the same time. (Sing along, all “I-eye have becohuum, cumbersome to this world”…!) Yes, I have randomly played that song at home for some time for a shared giggle over my cumberosity. So, my Mom listens to the episode and sends me a text saying her favorite part is my being referred to as cumbersome. I facetiously asked, what does that mean and she sent back a screenshot (when in the world did she figure out how to take and or send a screenshot?!?)
Anywhoooo, these were the definitions of cumbersome she passed along.
- Large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry or use; unwieldy
- Slow or complicated and therefore inefficient
Large. Heavy. Slow. Difficult. Inefficient. She didn’t include the third definition; easy to wound and prone to tears. Whaaaaaaaa. “Boo Hoo”, I mean “Boo Haha”. I had not really considered the large/heavy and slow angles, but both are true which makes it even funnier, at least to me.
Yup, I’ve been fat for quite a while and in turn that makes me slow in a lot of ways as well. Watched the Iron Man Championship in Kona, I would finish the race before the time expired…but only in the race that started 5 years after the one I started in…if I finished at all. Slow.
I’ll be honest, there was a bit of sting with the parts of the definition I hadn’t considered, but that didn’t last long and that’s for a couple of reasons. I think.
The first is that all the above is true. I am fat and slow, but that’s not the reason the word was initially applied to me, more complicated …thus…inefficient. No one was looking to make me feel less then. No one wanted to hurt me. Someone was just saying sometimes, Tom, you can be a bit much. That is true. Why would I be hurt by that? Unless I wanted to be of course. The world is complicated, people say all sorts of things for all sorts of reasons and my being annoying can be identified and labeled (correctly) without my being attacked.
The second is of real value, at least to my thinking…I try to live some percentage of what I preach and that means I have a sense of humor…especially about myself. Know why? Because I am human and that means I am hypocritical/broken/confusing and most of all hysterical in ways considered positive and not so. Often trying to embrace all of my humanity makes both the raw uncomfortable truth and lighthearted foible worth a giggle. Recognition of both allows me to roll with one and contend with the other. I have had up close interactions with people who might laugh off the easy part but can’t recognize or cope with the more difficult self-awareness and struggle. I can’t completely blame them, who would honestly want to, although there is a wonderful freedom in having someone trying to push you into anger, or shame, or hating yourself based on something you don’t agree with. Watching it roll like the proverbial water off the back of a duck is rewarding. That’s probably why, given the two options I will take my path, almost without exception. There is also something nice about discovering something about yourself you might want to change with a laugh instead of all-out tragedy, I’ll take that any day as well.
I don’t preach from the tower, I don’t live there, and might also be the reason I often run out of patience for those who are amused by others but save no snickers for themselves. Especially, knowing they are much less likely to grow and will be the same tomorrow.
Everyone else…feel good, feel bad…have a laugh when it applies, even if it hurts a little; ‘cause if we’re getting better, let’s enjoy that. The light sting might make us healthier/stronger, it has for me when I haven’t hidden from it.
Third reason…The real is…I am slow, difficult, and complicated. I can be aggressively inefficient. Also true is that my pace, and lack of simplicity, and pondering have been of benefit and helpful for others. Not everyone. Not always. But enough folks and times that I am proud of my little contributions to other people’s lives, in spite of all the things that make me annoying and funny. That is hysterical in a dynamic and satirical kinda way. To the Greek maxim “Know Thyself”, I’ll add this Laugh at Thyself and Grow Thyself. Especially the laugh part… Just for Funnsies, as it were.
Is it bad that part of my hope is that you find me funny? Or that you find the same in yourself? I hope you join me, I could use the laugh. God knows I will send a pile your way. Don’t mind my giggles, I’ll try not to mind yours. We’ll both be okay, and better for it. Tom “the cumbersome” signing off. Slowly.