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Still basking in the glow of another birthday, here I am the next day trying to resign myself to being my previous age,

…plus one.

I cannot help but feel grateful that I can still walk unimpeded and hold down a full time job in spite of health issues from the past.

It seems to me that from the moment I could walk, my parents were relentless in reminding me not to slouch and always walk straight.

As a child, I could not understand my parents unstoppable obsession with how I presented myself. Even when I wasn’t in their presence I could still hear both my parents recite their unending tirade:

“Straighten your back,”
“Point your toes outward,”
“Tilt your head up,”
“Shoulders back.”

Then, as a teenager I began to sense the importance of good posture.

That’s when I realized that I had inherited my Mother’s eye for poise and bearing. For many years I wasn’t sure if this handed down trait was a curse or an asset.

Not long after that I began to observe how others carried themselves.

I couldn’t help it.

It’s only in the last little while that I have begun to feel a slight sense of enlightenment.

Picture this:

It’s 4:30 a.m. and I am at work. We have just finished our morning dispatch of the thousands of oversize mail pieces that we sorted during the night, including magazines and catalogues the size of telephone books.

Next, all the carts containing the dispatched mail must me wheeled to the dock so that they can be transported onto trucks. Some carts must be walked the entire length of the mail processing plant to a depot where the letter carriers sort their morning mail.

At the end of it all, my legs are tired, my feet are sore and my back and shoulders ache.

As I walk back to my work station, I try very hard to:

Straighten my back…
Point my toes outward…
Tilt my head up…
Put my shoulders back…

Because even after a handful of decades, I can still hear my parents recitations.

That’s when I automatically feel better.

That’s when everything becomes clear.

That’s when it all finally makes sense.

And at long last…

All is forgiven.