December 10, 1997

Flying Upside Down

Santa was upside down this year. No, that does not mean that he flew with his head stuck to the floor of his sleigh, confusing Rudolph with his foot signals. No, he did not bungee jump down the chimney. Santa flew upside down in my Christmas cards.

My annual family newsletter was the culprit. This year I chose Santa to be the poster boy for the Hession Family and his subdued visage was the background for my message. The computer was the culprit. It did the job wrong. It was not my fault. The printer was the culprit. It printed the pages upside down. Dinner was the culprit. If my printing routine had not been interrupted by dinner, Santa would have been OK.

I noticed the problem after I had written a few cards. The Hallmark label was at the top of the page and that seemed strange - and it was. You had to look close to tell, but Santa definitely was upside down.

I need to tell you that I have this small, tiny, minuscule problem with perfection. It is something that I am working on imperfectly. Should I stop the assembly line and run out and buy new paper? Will anyone notice? What will they think of me?

I like to answer my own questions. “Get over it, Jim. These are going out to people whom you love and care about. This is not a resume. This is not a test. You have not failed again. Get over yourself, Jim.”

I answer my answers too. “OK, I will not kill the whole run, but only half are wrong. Maybe I could choose to whom I will send the bad ones?”

“Get over it, Jim...Get over yourself, Jim.”

So I did - I got over it. I think. Maybe. I am not perfectly over it and I would like to be. I am somewhere in that messy in-between - that place of living life.

I like it. Sort of. Some days.

But on other days it feels like I am flying upside down.

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