Yesterday on my way to work, I admired the grey morning clouds. I tried to capture the moment in a haiku as I was driving along, saying the words to myself. When I got to work, I jotted the beginnings on a yellow post-it note. I wasn’t satisfied.

I stepped away from my desk because I needed my caffeine–the decaffeinated version–I went down to the coffee shop and waited in line to order a decaf mocha with whipped cream. As I waited in line, I looked out the window and saw a woman that made me think of myself. There was something about her side profile–the look on her face and the glasses upon her face that made me think that could have been me. That then got me to thinking: What would it be like if I met myself? Would I get along with myself? Would I bring out the best of myself? In general I feel that I’m a nice person. I’m easy to get along with. But, there are times when I have those excitable moments as I like to call them. They mostly happen if I feel that I’m being attacked or disrespected in some way. The person who gets to see every single side and mood of me is hubby and he is so good about knowing how to navigate the waters. Sometimes I can be explosive. The other person who recently was able to press my buttons was my uncle. In that case, I let him get the best of me. I know how he is and usually I sit and listen, but it got personal, and I reacted. It always takes me a few days and sometimes weeks to feel centered again when I allow myself to get upset. And when my uncle through back at me, “You’re just like your mother.” I was slightly stunned. Those words hurt and they stuck. He told me on one occasion that what he likes about me is that I’m like my mother in the sense that as he put it: “You don’t take crap from anyone.” Yet, to those that don’t know me, I can be timid and am very quiet. If someone says to me, “You’re so nice.” I always try to remind them that I’m human and have my moments. I like being honest and I like being who I am, though sometimes I’m not happy with my moments of excitability.

To those words that stuck…I think they stunned me because they were true and because I have seen more of this aspect of her in me as time goes on. I’ve always known it was there, felt it, seen it, acted out. But rather than try to push it away, I work with it as best I can. I’m similar to my mother in certain ways, and at the same time, I’m me–I’m different than she. Together we are whole.

This feels good to get this out without too many details because it’s been digging at me. I know that my uncle can be very difficult. He does most of the talking and it’s often negative. I have to remember that he’s from a different time and he is still my elder, even though we are both grown adults. But it can become so terribly draining to be in someone’s presence whose view of the world seems so tainted and out of date, who often puts women down and says to me, “no offense to you.” But there is offense. I am a woman, and I think that gets in the way. I don’t respect his negative views, but I have to respect his freedom to think how he likes. He’s 82 and he shows no signs of changing his views.

It’s odd that this has come out of me on this day, where I’ve turned another page in the year of days. I received a nice greeting from my brother. And maybe it was his words that made me feel guilty in some way–guilty because I wasn’t able to remain calm and compassionate with my uncle. My mind has a way of making small things big and I think this is one of those instances. I need to let it go and begin a new day.