With eyelids drooping and head bobbing, I realize a cup of tea is in order if I am to get any work accomplished. Summoning energy, I will myself off the couch and trudge downstairs to attempt a revival with the magic elixir of caffeine.
As the hot liquid fills my cup, I make a mental list of all I have to accomplish this evening before falling into bed. I weigh the benefits of pulling a late night to try to get a grip on my work versus facing a classroom of students, tired and grumpy.
I drop the teabag in, add a scoop of sugar, a dollop of milk and stir. Mesmerized by the soothing circular motions, I fall into a trance, daydreaming about our advancing, much needed ocean holiday. It is time to set work aside and reconnect with my family.
Stress has crept up on me like a fungus spreading across all facets of my life infecting my mood and health. It has NOT been pretty. Looking in the mirror this morning, something I try to avoid, I was reminded of a passage from Kathryn Sockett’s novel, The Help,
“Her black hair [mine is blonde] is a mess. A curl on top is floppy, sticking straight up[mine is straight, but you get the idea]. Half her blouse is untucked…and I can see she’s gained more weight [stress eating is a bad habit of mine]. And there’s a…sore. It’s in the corner of her mouth, scabby and hot and red.”
Okay, so maybe it isn’t as bad as Sockett’s painted description, but it is darn close.
Removing the teabag from my cup I leave the kitchen to return to my beckoning work. Rounding the corner, I am reminded to stop and enjoy a small gift. A message? Maybe. I know I was thankful for the reminder to slow down and feel grateful.