Friday, April 2, 2010

An April Fool's Day Bonus

A Bit Late in April

So this post is definitely a bit late considering it was started 14 days ago, but considering how crazy this month is and what all is giong on, I think it's definitely understandable. There might be a quick second post after this one, or maybe not, then one more after the trial and that will probably be it for this month.

The very beginning of the month, right around April Fool's Day of all times, several things happened at once that helped at least temporarily help with the stress and exhaustion and just out right worry that comes when something major just looms over everything in life. God willing, none of you reading this will ever have to go through the same thing, or anything even remotely similar, but I wonder how often in life it's not the decision of a person that led to the destruction in their own lives, but something happening to a family member or loved one became a "black hole" that destroyed everyone around them.

Anyway, with the upcoming criminal trial of my sister coming up, and the absolute stress of praying that the system works instead of fails (and so very little faith in the justice system at the same time), it's hard to not let this dominate everything in life, and it's hard to go on with the day to day and do the work and keep moving on in life. Early on, it seems outright wrong. But no good is done by allowing yourself to be victimized by tragedy, by the event.

But the beginning of the month brought a series of mini-victories, and many of the little lessons in life that remind us how often "little" things really aren't, and how necessary it is that during the hardest and darkest times in life, we can see some humor, and take a break from the stress to help us fight on.

At the beginning of the month, those of you who follow me on Facebook know that I pulled a fast one. What surprised me most was that I thought maybe the move was too subtle and nobody would notice at all. As it turns out, despite years away from most of my friends, the "Shane getting hooked up would be funny/ironic/poetic justice," theme is alive and well as ever. I went to Facebook and changed my status from "Single" to "In a Relationship." That was it. No announcement (which everyone would have seen right through, I figured), nothing. Just that one little change.

Within a day I received over 14 comments on the relationship status change, followed up with over 20 e-mails, including some from old friends who don't have Facebook. The congratulations, compliments, and incredible fawning about how lucky she was was so heart warming that for the first time in my life, I felt guilty pulling a prank that worked. Especially since it looked like only 2 people were suspicious, but I suppose Courtney and Joe know me about as well as anyone in the world, so nicely done, guys.

So this prank I thought would go unnoticed was probably my most successful in history, and the response was so overwhelming I thought it was HILARIOUS! Definitely kicked off the month right. The apology and revealing that it was a joke, at 12:03 a.m. April 2nd, received many compliments for the subtlety and effectiveness. Once again, big boost.

I'd like to declare myself master of the universe of pranks at that point, but my Mom got me good on the same day. She sent me a text message saying to call her immediately, and then listed a phone number I had never seen. So I called and received a message in classic 1950's used car salesman voice that informed me I had been "duped, scammed, made foolish, punked, and outright fooled" and the list included several explicative statements as well, all going back to how much the person just punked me. I was not expecting that from Mom, and I have to admit, the phone call was hilarious. It reminded me of Cole's birthday card from my Freshman year of college, which I own to this day. Still have yet to get another b-day card that tells me to "F off" a dozen times and then hopes I die, then adds with "happy birthday, sincerely." Great card, Cole. To this day, still my all time favorite.

Then there was my buddy Joel, who gave me a compliment a couple days later that maybe topped all of that, especially as this is a goal that is important to me, but has fallen by the wayside a bit. Joel came in and I had my shirt off, and he made the surprised comment, "Where the hell's your Bhudda belly? You usually have a huge belly, now it's all gone!"

Yep. Sometimes there's a lot more to losing 10-15 pounds than what the numbers themselves indicate, and compared to a couple months ago, I'm definitely looking good. This has been somewhat frustrating for me, as the last several weeks I haven't lost any weight - but my stomach keeps getting smaller, the shorts keep getting looser, and I need a new belt. So I guess really there's not much to complain about as long as the improvement keeps up.

Anyhow, that's it for now. Appreciate any thoughts, prayers, good vibes, or anything else positive to my sister and all of us as the trial happens next week, and there's so little evidence they think it's going to be done in 3 days, 4 at the most. So praying the system works, the innocent are found as such, and the right thing happens in a world that so often seems wrong. She can't get the last year back, but it's a small price to pay for vindication and the rest of her life. So thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers ahead of time, and I'll update again after the trial.

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