It was bound to happen sooner or later. I suppose sooner is better.
I was rushing.
I’d had a tough day, mentally. I felt like I was too slow. Not holding up my end of things. Not pulling my weight. Incompetent. Useless. It just spiraled. I was frustrated and probably overreacting to my own negative bits of thinking.
Plus, it was Julia’s birthday. My baby. I had to work at 6 in the morning, so I wasn’t there for when she woke up.
I left presents. And a note to Julia.
But it wasn’t the same.
But – cookout with family planned for later, so I had that to look forward to.
Only I wasn’t looking forward. I was looking inward through a distorted lens, I suppose. I stumbled over every frustrating little moment, and made them bigger, probably, than they really were.
Towards the end I was trying to do too many things at once, at least for my level of experience.
There’s a phrase somewhere – I think I read it in relation to learning yoga – not to look to the right or the left, but to keep looking forward. Not to compare yourself to the (possibly more experienced) people around you (who are probably better/more limber/faster/something than you) and focus on your own game. Or path. Or practice. Or work. Or whatever.
I struggle with that.
Anyway, I was doing a lot of chopping (oh yeah, you know where this is going now, don’t you?) – not chopping, actually, I was julienning red peppers and then pea pods. The pea pods were the last thing I had to get through, and then I could clean up and go.
I refused to let myself look at the clock. Just slice, slice, slice. Don’t look til you’re done.
Finally, finally I was slicing through the very last bunch of pea pods. Faster faster faster.
And then it happened.
I sliced my thumb. It was so fast I barely felt it. The pain of it. I felt it more as a crunch, because what I sliced into was most of my thumb nail, almost halfway down the nail. I figure the nail prevented it from being a bloodier experience.
Anyway, I grabbed paper towel and clamped it on my thumb and just stood there for a second.
I was SO MAD at myself.
SO mad. What a supid stupid thing to do.
I held my thumb tightly (apply pressure!) and wondered how bad it was. I wasn’t afraid of fainting or anything like that. I was mostly annoyed with myself and frustrated by the whole day and now THIS.
And I tried to explain how I’d done it to the chef and started almost crying because unfortunately when I’m angry and not in a position to YELL, I cry. It’s annoying. Anyway, I said I’d been rushing, and was about to explain why, but I choked up so I stopped talking, and he just said something kind like “why were you rushing?” or “you shouldn’t be rushing” and of course that made it worse (in my head) because he was being nice and why can’t I be nice to me, too?
I finished up (not the julienning) and cleaned up and headed home, and called my sister to vent, which, of course, helped me feel better.
Until I looked at my thumb again. I hadn’t put a band aid on it at work because it had stopped bleeding when I left. But holding the phone must have pressured the cut open and there was this weird big bubble of blood at the edge of my nail, where the slice started. Pretty!
I drove home, showed Bill, put a band aid on it, did a bit of last-minute grocery shopping, and functioned pretty well without the use of one thumb. And the cookout turned out fine, Julia had a lovely birthday (so lovely she fell asleep on the couch later) and my thumb will heal.
And in the future, I will tuck my thumb under and try not to rush.