Sunday, August 13, 2006

"Chasing the Years of My Life"

I thought I'd dedicate this entry to one of my fellow dispatchers over at American. Russ has been having some very painful shoulder issues for the past couple of weeks but I think that, more than the shoulder, what hurts is knowing that as he ages his body just doesn't do what it used to.

I've found this out only too well myself here the past year and a half or so. Things I used to be able to do without a thought now come with a very high price tag attached as far as my physical body is concerned. I get sore, I get tired, I get winded ... I get depressed! It will be a year ago on the 17th that I had spinal surgery to fix some major problems in my back - my back that used to think nothing of carrying my kids around, my back that I thought would never fail me, my back that can now barely haul a load of laundry upstairs.

Russ and I were talking last night at the end of my shift and the beginning of his and agreed that it pretty much sucks getting old. I told him that I feel like I'm on a downhill slide and no matter how many protruding tree limbs or rocks I grab at on the way down nothing seems to be slowing the descent! I just can't seem to get my feet dug in enough to stop the slide! It started with a simple twinge in my back and de-escalated from there. Despite some amazing work by my orthopedic surgeon my back still reminds me on a regular basis that I'm not a kid anymore - as if the white in my hair wasn't enough of a clue!

But life isn't going to stop just because I can't handle certain aspects of it anymore. The snow still needs to be shoveled, the lawn needs to be mowed, groceries have to be carried in, and I'm going to pick up my grandson every chance I get. I'm just going to do it a lot slower and a lot more carefully! I'm either going to relax and learn not to be so anal retentive and let Amanda do things that might not be done the way I would do them or I'm going to be sitting in a wheelchair the remainder of my days!

My biggest dismay of all this is I still haven't figured out where the years went so quickly. They literally flew by without my even realizing that they were going. And I think that's half of Russ's battle, too. Well, to borrow some lyrics from Five for Fighting & 100 Years:

"I'm 45 for a moment
The sea is high
And I'm heading into a crisis
Chasing the years of my life...

Half time goes by
Suddenly you’re wise
Another blink of an eye
67 is gone
The sun is getting high
We're moving on...

I'm 99 for a moment
Dying for just another moment..."

I guess what I'm trying to say here (and yes it's going to sound like a cliche!) is don't keep putting off until tomorrow the things that you can do today because trust me - it goes by in the proverbial blink of an eye or twinge of the back or ache of the shoulder.

Well, for what it's worth, Russ - we're in good company and just think, a couple more years and we can get that Senior discount!

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