Regression to a Mean and Staying Possitive

Today has been a difficult one. I’ve felt like I need some grace. As if I need to pursue that sense of simple elegance even though I am currently surrounded by chaos and confusion. My oldest son Justin, who is visiting for Spring Break, has caught a bout of the stomach flu. My youngest boy Aral, spent an afternoon in Gunnison and walked away with a miserable head cold. External stress and just the pressures of life are riding me hard at the moment. Add to this my aptitude to draw the worst conclusions and assume people are worse than they are, and have worse intentions towards me than they do, and you can imagine what a challenge today has been.

I woke up to discover that someone, an author, who has never been particular agreeable, getting special attention because of a book sale. This made me want to choke a bushel full of monkeys. With my bare hands. I grit my teeth and wiped boogers from the underside of one toddler’s nostrils while mumbling something about “sufferance of hyperbolic fools.” Not the most grace I have ever mustered.

Then it was out on the town with two sick kids. My refrigerator was bare and I needed to get my tabs updated on Ootek. Grand Junction has moved their county vehicle registration office enough that it felt like a shell game. When I finally located the correct building, my reward was to wait an interminable amount of time with a pathetic paper number in my hand while some guy tried to schmooze down the sales tax on the purchase of a new vehicle.

The whole time I sat there, overhearing the conversation between the vehicle registration clerk and this guy, with a pathetic number ”55″ pinched between my forefinger and thumb, I imagined a scene. In this vision I rose from the seat and proceeded directly to the baggy pants wearing villain making the public asshat of himself. Then when he looked up I punched him in the neck.  After which I reveled in the cheers and adoration of clerks and patrons alike feeling much like Mark Hamill must have when he posed for the movie poster of the first Star Wars. But I could see his number “42” ticket on the counter and knew I’d just end up waiting there; one idiotic, time-wasting douche laying down at my feet, literally billions left to contend with.

Again, grace was a million miles away. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and tried to abide.

Right now, Aral is playing Legos and Justin is out cold trying to sleep off his stomach bug. My dark urges seem to be under control and the citizens of Monkey Island are all hooting with joy. Life is a freaking mood roller coaster. When things are looking bad, it become more likely that they’ll look up soon enough. Regression to a mean.

With a little patience I got my vehicle tabs renewed and the clerk who serviced me even noticed that I was a veteran and thanked me for my time in (Ootek has vet plates). This afternoon I received confirmation that I’m getting some attention for THE BIG RED BUCKLE. IRNerdivore confirmed a podcast interview later in April. And, the cherry on top, I have convinced a toddler, who is not easily swayed, that clearing off his snot is a such a good thing that he has been making routine visits to my Kleenex box all afternoon.

Regression to a mean is a statistical rule, I find that deeply comforting. It means that while things may seem to have been trending down for a while the probability that the trend will continue is decreasing. Endurance is all that is necessary.


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