A to Z Blogging Challenge · Life

Authenticity/Aches and Pains

This is my own A-to-Z Challenge for the month of June — likes and dislikes. If you want to join me, just add a comment of something you like that begins with the letter A and something you don’t like.


I’m applying for a new job. I saw Mary staring at the printed resume and cover letter in my hand. Her brow was slightly furrowed. “What?” I asked. “Does the paper look like it expired in 2017?” It’s kind of a running joke at the house these days. We keep finding outdated food items.

She pointed to the cover letter printed on plain old white paper. “This looks very professional,” she said. Then, pointing at the resume printed on a heavier slightly marbled-looking paper, she said, “But this is more you.”

“Great,” I said. “I’m going to use it.”

I hate trying to pretend to be something I am not. I said something like that to one of my co-workers when I was struggling to hide my irritation with a situation. “Stick with me,” she said, “and I’ll teach you how.”

She is masterful at gooey niceness and then making nasty comments as soon as the person is gone. It bugs me.

And I can’t do it.

Instead of learning to be fake, I would rather learn to appreciate the other person for whatever their strengths are.

And I would rather be true to who I am — dated marbled paper and all.

“The authentic self is the soul made visible.” Sarah Ban Breathnach

Is toil leam fìrinn.
Scottish Gaelic for “I like authenticity.”

I do NOT like aches and pains.

I’ve reached that age of joint pain and arthritis. Honestly, this is for the birds. I hate it.

My shoulder was bothering me a few weeks ago — a sharp stabbing pain when I stressed it in a certain way. I kind of like my shoulder. I especially like it when it’s pain-free.

So I called to see a health care provider in orthopedics about it. I just wanted someone to look at it and, “You’re fine,” or, “This is what’s going on.” My first appointment, which was scheduled two weeks out, was cancelled when the provider got COVID. The second appointment, scheduled two weeks after the first, was exactly what I had hoped for.

I had an x-ray. “You have a little arthritis,” she said, “but I would be surprised if you didn’t.” Advanced age and all that.

“Everything today looks fine,” she said. “Continue your usual activities.” These include swimming and climbing.

That was last week and I still have yet to do either, but I’m glad for the go-ahead.

Cha toil leam pian co-phàirteach.
Scottish Gaelic for “I do not like joint pain.”

How about you? What do you like that begins with A? What do you dislike?

23 thoughts on “Authenticity/Aches and Pains

  1. I dislike argumentative people. If I disagree with you can we just talk? Do you need to get so angry and want to argue… you would convince me you might be right if we just talk. I like apples, apple fritters, apple pie, apple crisp, applesauce… all if it .

    1. In my original draft, I had written I like apples. I LOVE apples, especially when they are freshly picked off the tree — so crisp and sweet! I also love apple pies, apple crisp, apple fritters and all of it.

      I’m not going to argue with you about argumentative people either. My newest dearest friend is SO different from me, but what I love about our friendship is that we just talk despite all the differences. She explains her standpoint, I explain mine, and we both come away with a little more understanding.

    1. I know what you mean! So necessary to get from point A to point B, but also so much work and so expensive to maintain. Filling the gas tank these days hurts.

  2. Well I am glad your shoulder is nothing too worrying. I had Arthritis too being of “advanced age” but I love April it’s such an unpredictable month 💜💜

    1. Ah, yes, April! I love the way April can snow one day and be 60 the next here in the northeast. I also love the daffodils which show their sunny faces in April.

  3. I love apple fritters from Fresh Donuts in Fairview, TN where my daughter lives. I’m glad they aren’t any closer or my waistline would suffer. I don’t like the month of August – the Georgia ‘s heat and humidity are oppressive.

    1. Ooh — I’ll have to pay them a visit next time I’m in Tennessee! I love apple fritters!

      August is pretty miserable here, too. I’m just not a hot weather person!

  4. Like: Asynchronous communication. I used to have a job where at least half of each day was spent in meetings. I came to loathe them. So I love being able to communicate by email, or instant message, or notes on a support ticket. All of these methods allow me to communicate when it fits into my schedule, and they don’t require me to go someplace with a group of other busy people.

    Dislike: Ants. Not always, but definitely when they are in my house, and especially when they’ve invaded a package of food. I’m generally anti-poison, but I make an exception to nip ant infestations in the bud.

    1. Micah!! So good to hear from you!

      Asynchronous communication, eh? Spoken like a true introvert! I like being able to respond or query on my own time, too. However, one of the things I’ve learned the past two years is how much I also enjoy face-to-face communication. Maybe it was too much mask-to-mask that did me in, or maybe I just figured out that I like people.

      Ants are not my favorite either. I saw the first one of spring traipsing across the kitchen counter yesterday and thought, it’s time for another round of Terro.

    1. Arrogance made my short list for dislikes. Not a fan. At all.

      I have ever-growing appreciation of art, though. I’m learning to love all kinds of art. Of all, I’ve been coming to a better understanding of abstract art. It’s funny how something that didn’t appeal to me for years is suddenly making more sense.

  5. We’ve been traveling so I’m way behind, but I love this series you’re doing and have been wanting to chime in. My like/love for A is AP. Dislike: assumptions (at least hasty ones).

    1. AP — absolutely!! (AP = Andrew Peterson, a singer, song-writer, writer, artist, and all-round good guy — for those who may not know)

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