I’m not known for being graceful. In fact, I have a reputation: I’m a klutz. If it’s on the floor, I will trip on it. If it has a corner, I will bump my hip or knee. If it has a sharp edge, I will cut myself. I wonder, sometimes: if you wrapped me in cotton batting, would I still bruise? The answer is probably “yes.”
And I complain, of course, about all of these things. In fact the less serious it is, the more vocal I am about my misery. It’s a bad habit which I’m sure my friends would like me to lose, even if it does give people something to tease me about. See, the thing is, when it comes down to it, I mostly complain about the little stuff.
When I fell off my bike going twenty miles an hour downhill, I got back up and went in to work. I stayed almost all day, and biked home, too, in spite of an elbow the size of a grapefruit and what turned out not to be a torn rotator cuff. When I sliced my thumb open on a broken wine glass that had been stuffed deep into the trash bin to avoid exactly such a thing, I wrapped it in gauze and kept it raised over my head for a few hours until my wife convinced me to go to urgent care because it was still bleeding. (They gave me four stitches!) And let’s not forget that I birthed a nearly eight-pound human without painkillers.
Yeah, okay. I’m not great with self care, sometimes, and it often takes someone else to point out when I need help. It’s easier to admit a small weakness than a large one. I do come around eventually, and as the bruises fade and the stitches start to itch instead of ache, that’s when I start to whine and grouse. And then you know I’m all right—until the next time I walk into the coffee table.