It must be said that I do not like Valentine’s Day.  The story of how the day got ruined for me should lie in the past, untold.  Those who know can commiserate; those who don’t know can imagine and would  not be far wrong.

But right after the alarm rang at 5, my friend Cindy Cieplik messaged asking to connect.  In our exchange, she sent me a “Valentine’s Hug”.  I nearly told her to keep such thoughts to herself but then I heard the voice of my Rotary-club-mate Andrea Estevez sharing how she and her husband Steve Weaver decided to employ the 4-way test of Rotary in their business.  I swallowed my sarcasm and sent a little heart emoji back to Cindy.

My feet hit the ground and I did the ten minutes of stretching that I borrowed from Angela Lansbury, vertical instead of horizontal but to the same purpose.  Oxygen flowed through my muscles.  I winced a little; my bruised (or broken) rib screamed as I raised my arms above my head.  Was it two or three weeks ago, the fall that did this?  With a slight shake of my head, I lowered my arms and went back to rumination.

My habits barely change from year to year.   Let the dog out; heat the coffee; pop the toast into the silver machine which spews it out browned to perfection each time.  Once a kind soul who wiped my counter after one of my women’s dinners accidentally adjusted the toaster setting.  It took a week to find the sweet spot.

It’s still dark outside.  In Washington, a member of the new administration has already resigned in disgrace.  “Incomplete facts” have replaced “alternative facts” as the catch-word of the day.  A spew of hearts flows through social media.  The sun has not yet risen, and my mettle already quivers under the test.

Is it my rib which aches under the cardiac monitor’s electrode, or the reluctant beat of my tender heart?

It’s the fourteenth day of the thirty-eighth month of My Year Without Complaining.  Life continues.

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