I woke up this morning, and somehow managed to slide out of the bed. By sliding, I literally mean…sliding. I had done something to my back towards the end of last week and it hasn’t been forgiving to me in the least. Needless to say the muscle relaxers are long out of my system by the time I try to get up. Therefore, sliding is a necessary evil.
It’s not the age, it’s the mileage, I thought to myself (not for the first time). I can’t remember where I first heard that turn of phrase, but these days it’s more applicable than it used to be. Between the shoulder I’ve dislocated so many times that I’ve lost count, the bum knee from 20 years earlier, and my back…there’s a lot of mileage on my body.
Stumbling over to the vanity, I took a bath cloth and ran it under cold water. I was hoping that the cold, damp cloth would help to clear the fog in my brain from the muscle relaxer. It didn’t, but, at least I tried.
Damn, if that boy wasn’t right, I thought, looking at myself in the mirror. My youngest son had recently told me “the gray really shines through when the light hits your beard just right.” He was right, it did shine through, like shimmering stars on a cloudless night. In and of itself, that didn’t bother me in the least. After all, I know how old I am, and gray hair is par for the course as you age. Still, I decided to shave it off none-the-less, for no other reason than the fact that I hated how itchy it made me feel when working outside this past weekend.
Finally, ready for my day, I decided to make some coffee and think for a bit. I had recently been talking about my progress and evolution in writing/blogging. So, I thought I might continue down that line, but my brain had other ideas.
My coffee tasted bitter today. There was nothing different about it. I used the same coffee grounds, the same amount of creamer and nothing changed with the sweetener. So, there was nothing wrong with my coffee. I could only assume that the problem was with my own taste buds and the bitterness that clung to it.
I’m not sure where the bitter taste came from either. It was just there. I was in one of “those moods” today, and I couldn’t shake it no matter how hard I tried. It might have had something to do with the ominous feeling of change that I felt settle over my shoulders as soon as I woke up.
Those changes could have been work related. Last week I had a large meeting that lasted 2 to 3 days, where a lot of things were discussed, changes were made organizationally, and new tasks were handed out. Truth be told, I am still unsure of what is going to come from it.
Or, it could have been personally related. Especially since I have a lot going on there as well.
Regardless of the cause, the bitter taste was there, and I couldn’t shake it, no matter how hard I tried. One thing I do know, is that it has influenced the rest of my day and heavily impacted my thoughts.
For some reason, it brought to mind a discussion I had with my new director last week, about strengths and weaknesses.
“What do you feel is one of your strengths?” he had asked me, while we were getting to know one another.
“My compassion has always been a strength, because underneath this rough exterior, I really do care for my people.” (further expounding unneeded for this venue)
“And, your weakness?” He asked, and I smirked, knowing that question would come up next.
“My compassion, because underneath this rough exterior and loud bark, I really do give a shit about people.”
So, how can being compassionate be both a strength and a weakness? I asked myself, taking another sip of coffee. Is that even possible? Well, obviously it is, because I just stated it was both a strength and a weakness of mine. I’m still working on how to explain the how and why.
© AC Elliott, 21-Aug-18