January 12, 2022
This morning, being like every other morning, was madness and mayhem. But it was a special madness and mayhem that resulted in me not doing ANYTHING, except jumping into work.
So in the interest of expedience, I asked my brother to give me a word. The conversation went a little something like this:
Me: Give me a word. I don’t have time to think of one.
Because that’s how he rolls.
Of course, there is no chance of me not running with it, because then how else would I be totally neurotic?
So believe it or not, I reflected on preponderance today.
It manifested in interesting ways.
I started by thinking of any reason you would use preponderance in a sentence. The only thing I could think of was preponderance of evidence.
Later I came up with preponderance of caution.
Mostly I just used it to be dramatic.
But once I committed to the word, I almost immediately saw it infusing itself into my day.
Have you tried to log into any of your online accounts recently? Everyone is so busy trying to keep out the bots and spammers that normal actual people have to jump through hoops to prove we’re normal actual people.
Seems sort of backwards, but whatever.
You can’t just put in your email and password anymore. You have to put in your email. Then go to another screen. Then put in your password. Then go to another screen. Then get the super secret code sent to your phone so you have to find your phone in the first place, then check your texts to get the code and then go to another screen to enter it.
Or worse, you have to check a box that says you’re human and then prove it by figuring out what the absolute f#@% that picture is, and whether it could possibly resemble a bridge.
Then you have to decide whether or not you want your password saved, which, even if you say yes, and please don’t show me this again, will never actually happen.
Then of course whatever you’ve just logged into has to ask you if you’ll accept cookies, and normally I’d say, Why yes, thank you! Except every day I want cookies and every day I am offered poorly executed technology instead.
Then after I decide that cookies are ok, even if they’re not, they want to know if they can use my location, or send me notifications, or if I want to see their new plans and pricing or talk to a salesperson about giving them more of my money.
After going through the rigamarole that is trying to access anything, it became very clear that logging into my accounts requires a preponderance of steps.
Point for me.
My brother and I are writing a book. We’ve been doing it for the better part of our adult lives but it wasn’t until recently that either one of us thought to write any of it down.
It’s a book about books. And the books that it’s about are all books that we’re going to write. They include titles like A Cup Of Yes and The Tragic Life Story Of Kemolyn.
I can’t tell you what those books are about because that would be spoilers for the book about the books.
We are planning to write a preponderance of books.
Given how literary we are, it didn’t surprise me that he came up with this word today. In fact, when I texted him this morning, I immediately thought, “Oh, this is going to hurt.” Followed by, “Maybe I shouldn’t have asked,” and, “Too late now.”
A challenge thrown is a challenge accepted, so I continued searching for a preponderance of things in my day.
It didn’t take me long to find them again.
You know that saying, When it rains it pours?
There is a corollary to that, which is, When one client has a massive rush project that requires a lot of brain power and attention, every client will suddenly have a massive rush project that requires a lot of brain power and attention.
This is not their fault. Sometimes things just require a lot of brain power and attention and they can’t always be scheduled according to how my day is going and whether I’ve gotten the kind of cookies I want.
I’m fortunate to be in a place in life where I get to work with the people I want to work with, and not the soul-sucking ones I don’t. Still, work is work. And brain capacity is brain capacity.
And in the midst of all of that, sometimes things go wrong. Not “I misunderstood my own notes and did the wrong thing” kind of wrong, but the “hope you didn’t plan to sleep tonight and please pass the wine” kind of wrong.
I decided, a number of times today, that it requires a preponderance of patience and fortitude to handle client projects. Even the good ones.
Today required a particular preponderance of patience and fortitude (sub-word: “tongue-twister”) because we were on the verge of launching a significant years-in-the-making app. We DID launch the app. The app, which had worked on two different servers, across three different installations. The app, which we had tested until our eyes bled, and our client had tested until we had to send her some of our cookies to sustain her.
And today was the big day. And then.
Things just… decided not to work. No reason given.
This put a bit of a crimp in the day but it also alerted me to another fact. When you are submerged in a preponderance of muck and sludge, it hardly matters whether it’s half a ton or half a ton plus one spoonful. It’s going to kill you anyway.
I used a preponderance of four-letter and multi-syllabic words to describe it to myself.
My brother and I have many uniqueisms. For a long time before the Word Project was born, we would greet each other in the morning by asking, “What’s the word?”
We also frequently ask each other what the word is throughout the day.
I think it may be a leftover from the 80s when “Word up” was a thing.
Please don’t make me explain that.
It had more lasting power and cultural significance than “on fleek”, take THAT millennials.
When you frequently ask someone for a word, things tend to get creative. You never know when “infinitesimal” or “pfeffernusse” or “big purple foot” might get said.
We have a lot of practice coming up with words.
Asking him to come up with my word today was as natural as pouring myself a second glass of wine. It was also risky, because at no point was he going to think to himself, “Let me think of something simple and delightful that my sister can blog about as she drinks her second glass of wine.”
Still, a challenge is a challenge.
The day went by. I forgot about the word for a while. I concentrated on all the things not working and all the emails not answered and all the list items not crossed off.
This morning, Ralph asked me if I wanted to go out and get a box of pastries from one of our favorite bakeries. Before I could answer, he retracted it, because it’s unhealthy and unnecessary.
By 2pm we were both regretting our preponderance of rational adult decisions.
So instead of pastries, we ate animal crackers.
I buy animal crackers from nuts.com, which, if you have never bought animal crackers or anything else from them, is really your loss.
My love affair with them started with macadamia nuts. It grew to cashews, pecans, almonds. It branched into oat flour and popcorn kernels, freeze dried spinach and fig bars.
And animal crackers. You can buy them in one pound bags, or you can buy a 21 pound case of them that comes in a giant plastic bag that’s like Christmas and my birthday and the fourth of July in one. Yes, I ordered that.
By 2pm, when I still hadn’t had a moment to get lunch, I opened the bag of animal crackers.
I only bought the one pound bag this time, but that didn’t stop me from eating a preponderance of them.
I usually try to eat portions of things, like an ounce or a handful or something that is a finite quantity. Not today.
Today was pure preponderance. I stopped short of eating the whole bag.
Have I ever mentioned that I have a couple of Pez dispensers on my desk? The same brother of the word preponderance may have bought them for me, in that way that only someone who knows your greatest weaknesses can buy something.
For a long time I kept the Pez dispensers in the pantry. I didn’t know where to keep them, so being edible, that seemed to make sense. Then one day as I was straightening the pantry, I decided that keeping them there was pointless. It’s not like I ever cooked them for dinner. Or opened the pantry and thought, My, I suddenly have a craving for Pez.
And since they are Hello Kitty in nature, it seemed logical that they sit on my desk with all the rest of my Fun Things, where I could occasionally pop a burst of sugar into my mouth.
That quickly led to finishing the Pez, which led to me buying a five pound bag of them on Amazon.
Which, call it karma, led to me eating a preponderance of Pez today.
I feel that by now this entire day has come full circle.
I’m satisfied that I have reflected on the preponderance of fortune in my life, from good work, to good people, to good snacks. I’ve been reminded of the preponderance of enjoyable moments, as long as I’m wise enough to pay attention. And I have used a preponderance of words to express it all.
Twelve days into this project and I feel like I’ve already conquered the challenge. Anyone else want to give me a word? I have a preponderance of confidence that I can find it in my day.
Photo: bags of animal crackers from nuts.com.