Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Nerd or Free Spirit?

As I think I've mentioned on here before, Justin and I are going through the Financial Peace study by Dave Ramsey. It is wonderful and life-changing, and I would recommend it to EVERYONE! However, that's not the point of this post. In his lessons, he talks about how there are generally 2 types of people in this world: Nerds and Free Spirits. You almost inevitably have one of each in a marriage relationship. Nerds are the rule-followers, the budget-keepers, the let's-make-a-spreadsheet-to-track-our-progress-ers. Free Spirits are like "Budgets just tie me down," and "Rules were made to be broken." In case any of you don't know, I am UNQUESTIONABLY a VERY LARGE Nerd. Justin is also a Free Spirit, so we keep each other balanced.

However, this Nerd title that I'm claiming doesn't only apply to my financial existence - it applies to all of life. I have a strong sense of justice, a deep feeling for "the way it ought to be." So sometimes it troubles me deeply when things aren't right, and I many times will take action to correct that. I have two examples just from my life this week.

I saw a new product that Nutri-Grain is coming out with to expand their line of breakfast products. It's called a "Muffin Bar." I have a serious problem with this name. The American Heritage Dictionary lists this as the meaning of the word muffin: "A small, cup-shaped quick bread, often sweetened." So, as you can see, by it's very definition, the word muffin refers to its shape - cup-shaped. So if it's a muffin, it can't be a bar. Because bars are shaped like bars and muffins like muffins. So the name "Muffin Bar" is an oxymoron. It simply can't exist. That REALLY gets on my nerves.

Secondly, if you were reading my blog last year at this time, you'll remember that we had a sweet family of birds (killdeer) nesting outside our office and sweet little baby birds running around everywhere. If you missed it, you can read about it here. Well, that sweet family is back, and there are 3 new babies outside our office! This morning I was walking from one building to another, and I noticed that one of the baby killdeer had fallen off the curb into the driveway, and the curb was too tall for it to be able to jump back up! So it was down there chirping away pitifully, and its mama was up in the grass calling it. It was a tragic sight. So I went ahead to the other building and got my work done, and while I was there I ran into our Building Superintendent, Richard. I asked him if he'd seen our little family of birds and he said "Yeah. One of the babies had fallen down into the driveway, and I bet it's gonna get run over by a car or maybe eaten by a hawk. Either way, it's not my problem." I was appalled! I asked if he thought it would be ok for me to try to catch it to put it back in the grass. He said he was sure it would be. So when I had finished my work and was walking back to the office building, I saw that the pathetic situation for the killdeer had not changed. Baby was still in the street, Mama was still squawking. So I gently caught the baby killdeer and put him back in the grass to be reunited with his family. For the rest of the day, I've periodically peeked out the window to make sure he's ok, and they're happy as they can be. Yay for doing what's right!

So I'm definitely a Nerd. At least I'm happy.

10 comments:

Mom said...

I would have to place myself in the "nerd" category, too. (I guess maybe that's where you got it :-) ) One downfall of this character type is the tendency to be legalistic. I don't always rest on grace or compassion, therefore, as long as I'm following the rules and doing everything right. (Which, as we all know, is impossible.) But we know that it's God's grace that saves us, not our own rule-following or keeping the letter of the law.

JTapp said...

Good job saving the baby killdeer. Good stuff.

Joni said...

Thanks for posting that, Mom. I had originally intended to put something in my post about how if I had lived in Biblical times, I'm pretty sure I would've been a Pharisee... But I forgot in my haste to get it posted before I left work yesterday! Thanks for bringing that up. :)

Jessica said...

Did you have to chase the bird around? I would have paid to see you chasing this squawking baby bird around the parking lot . . . that's comedy!

Our Momma Robin has built a nest above our front door again this year. She's been sitting up there a lot, but I'm pretty sure no birds have hatched yet.

PS -- I'm a nerd too. But the muffin bar thing doesn't bother me.

Corrie said...

I'm sure you couldn've guessed this, but I am a NERD and Ryan is FREE SPIRIT! There are very few "gray areas" in my mind. Things are either right or they are wrong. I love it when I encounter something that forces me to think outside those boundaries. Ryan just goes with the flow, and I admire that about him. He's helped me to remember that sometimes you have to stop and smell the roses. I think I've also helped him add a little structure to some areas. We too balance each other out. :)

Joni said...

No, sister, I was NOT chasing the baby bird around the parking lot! These are teeny tiny, still downy little babies! So it tried to run away from me, but got so scared it just fell over. So it was very easy to just pick it up and place it in the grass. I'm glad it didn't have a heart attack and die right in my hands! It was very dramatic and moving, NOT comedic... :)

Corrie, anyone who loves spreadsheets as much as you do HAS to be a Nerd. No two ways about it. :)

Ryan said...

I am a plain nerd in life and free spirit in this regard.

Ryan said...

Plus imagine how much of a free spirit I am if my wife does databases and spreadsheets!!

SCARY!!

John said...

Could saving the Killdeer be seen as a "free spirit" act? This week at work we had a lady come in to work that needed a cell phone charger for her car. As I talked to her I found out she was working with an animal recovery foundation. She was totally a free spirit. In fact, she forgot her cell phone in the electonics department, drove half the way to Louisville (70 miles), realized she forgot it, turned around and came back to Milford, retreived her phone... and wasn't even upset. Her comment was, "I have to use the restroom anyway." Joni, maybe you've got a hint of "free spirit" in there?

Joni said...

I don't know, Dad. I do unquestionable have a stroke of Free Spirit in me somewhere, but I still think the baby killdeer incident showed my Nerdiness. With the killdeer, it was my sense of justice and my conscience that demanded I do the right thing. That sounds pretty Nerdy to me... :)