Monday, February 16, 2009

What doesn't kill you

makes you stronger. It's not a great consolation in moments of stress, but I was struck today by how, well, how strong I am. I coukldn't sleep, I had a hellacious bike commute in the icy rain, I had to deal with phone calls from a guest at the hospital needing a ride and insisting that we were the only option, handle several not very polite guests, tell a guest we don't do work exchange, and of course all of the tasks of running the hostel like laundry and receipts. It doesn't sound that dramatic without adjectives, does it? I climbed on my bike at 7:15 this morning- I had been ready to go for a while but it was just too dark. And within 10 seconds I was soaked. Just, all through my jeans and my hat and my hands, icy water making me numb. After about 3 minutes I couldn't keep my eyes open because of the rain and I decided that biking with an umbrella might be safer than biking with my eyes closed. And it was much, much more pleasant, esepecially as I had numbed properly and couldn't really feel anything in my face and extremities. And then of course my umbrella started whipping inside out and I had to put it away. I reflected that nothing in the world is worse than cold, and I was actually getting quite angry that I had to get out of bed. I tried to remind myself that I was getting out of my safe lovely bed to ride my bicycle with my healthy legs and eyes and work for time-and-a-half at my interesting job but positivity is no match for negativity at times. At the bottom of the hill the hostel is on I made the decision to be a few minutes late and look at the water to calm down. I had never seen it all murky brown and choppy, with hundreds of birds just swirling around low to the water. It was not very calming, but it helped. And then as soon as I got to work I put on a towel and put my jeans and sweater in the dryer. I actually fashioned a very convincing skirt out of a thin gray backpackign towel- improvisation is a major skill of mine. I was inundated with calls from the same man, a man who stayed last night, went into diabetic shock or something and needed to get picked up from the ER. He just kept repeating the same things, like that would make me have a car (and tire of life to the point where I would get in the car with a strange man with scary problems.) And when one of our volunteers went to bring him here I decided that needy or not, I do not like him and am not going to help him. Will I mail his letter? Will I call his friends? Will I keep the hostel open during the day for him? Will I tell his friend some message when they call? Apparently I am mailing his letter and one of the volunteers will keep the common area of the hostel open.

Note: I wrote this last week and thought I shouldn't post it bc I talk about work issues, but you know what, 2 people read my blog, my mom doesn't even, so I am sure it is fine.

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