By Augustine Cerf
As I lay this morning in a hot bath peeing on myself and occasionally screeching expletives, something occurred to me. I realized that I’ve taken up a responsibility to something bigger and better than myself; to another. They say you have your best ideas in the shower, perhaps you have your best reflections in the bath.
You see, I have a urinary infection and have therefore spent the morning intermittently crying and peeing. Yet my guilt far outweighs the pain (and burning sensations). I’ve never been one to take a sickie and sit on my laurels. There’s nothing more frustrating to me than lying in bed unable to get on with it. So, when ill, I labour pointlessly all day, trying to get stuff done, to get better, to second guess my illness. I never abandon myself to the time off. I am constantly waiting for the second when I’ll be well enough to reclaim it. I consistently get the feeling that I’m faking it or that somehow I’ve willed it upon myself. Hence, the guilt, O the burning guilt far more fiery than my floods of urine ever shall be.
But my guilt is redoubled today, ablaze with the gut-wrenching feeling that I’ve let my partner down. There’s much more on the line that simply my own self-serving ambition or my sense of worth because my work isn’t just mine anymore. And so, in many ways, although I feel plagued by the infernal feeling that I’ve let Christine down, on reflection I also feel elated that I owe it to a thing greater than I to be the best that I can be. Because my rather ridiculous sense of culpability and my ludicrously unheroic struggle is a tiny egotistical speck of dust amid a far larger field aflame with the potential that we harbour as a team. To be part of a partnership, you have to let go of your ego. It’s just not about me. Today I rest, so that tomorrow we can be better together. One plus one equals three.
On that note, I’m getting back into my bath.