There are papers to be filed, laundry to be done and a variety of odds and ends to be dealt with before the weekend ends but I am focused upon other things.
Maybe it is the dry cough that showed up late Friday and hasn’t quite disappeared or the physical and mental exhaustion of the recent past that has slowed me down or maybe I know there is no one here but me.
Probably a combination of both and the knowledge I can do whatever I want at my pace that has me taking advantage of stacking papers on the end of the table.
Truth is even though I am alone that stack is grinding upon me so I’ll handle it later tonight but in the interim I am reminded of past conversations with dad.
There is a plumbing issue the landlord didn’t handle the way I want it done and that sent me down memory lane thinking about a few times dad and I took on a few projects.
It led me back to the first house mom and he rented after they sold the house my siblings and I grew up in.
He wanted to make some changes and I told him not to waste money on improvements on a property he didn’t own.
“You can’t do the work for me and I am not going to do it.”
“I could do the work, but that doesn’t change the premise of not improving a property you don’t own.”
It turned into an argument and the old man suggested that I ought to not point out he was physically incapable of doing it when my health wasn’t perfect.
I snapped back at him and saying I remembered him in his forties and I was in better shape than he had been.
“Better do better or you’ll be sticking needles into your belly like me.”
“Could be. Four out of six of us are diabetic so you never know. I may not have the old six pack anymore but I still workout. If it happens I’ll be the guy who answers the question of Can You Make Diabetes Interesting with a yes.”
Dad and I could have some pretty nasty arguments, probably because he was one of the few who could almost always press my buttons.
Not to mention it sometimes felt as productive as screaming at my reflection. If he was certain of his position he was unlikely to budge and willing to just walk away and let you deal with the frustration.
I miss him terribly but I don’t particularly miss those disagreements. Fortunately during the last 20 some years they didn’t happen often.
I’ve tried to be good about taking steps to improve my health these past few years, especially since dad’s cancer diagnosis and all that has come with it.
There are certain gifts that have come with age that my primary care physician were probably unavoidable and some that could come that can be circumvented.
Turned on the music and attacked the weights today, feeling particularly good and sensing that my inner 20 year-old was ready to help throw the iron around.
One of the other guys looks at me, smiles and asks what I am listening to.
“Because you just stormed into this side and you look like you are about to rip those into pieces.”
Smiled, thanked him for exaggerating and showed him a clip and went back at it.
I can’t keep up the intensity for as long as I want and haven’t figured out yet if this is a permanent part of time catching up with me or if I can figure out a way.
There is a line out there that doesn’t want to be crossed or I start hearing/feeling parts of cry out for relief.
Sometimes I intentionally push past to see what happens because when you don’t try/ask you never get to that next space/place.
It hasn’t always hurt me, but sometimes it has.
Sometimes there are mystery aches that crop up that don’t want to go away unless I stop doing particular exercises and just rest.
It irritates me because it feels like a mutiny but I tend to pay attention because when I do these issues don’t creep up with the same frequency.
About five years ago or so dad and I are running some errands together and I tell him I really don’t want to become diabetic and or worry about dialysis etc.
“You’ll be fine. If you become diabetic you’ll manage it. So what.”
“It might mean I didn’t pay enough attention to you and the rest of the family. It might mean that I am responsible for my situation.”
“Or it might not. Genetics don’t care. You don’t always get a choice.”
“Not always, but sometimes we can influence things. I want err on the right side.”
“Life is short, can’t always deprive yourself. Got to live today.”
Sometimes I think about that last comment as foreshadowing, but I can’t say it was intentional on his part.
Is Age Relative?
Fifty is a big number so it makes sense to me that my friends and I are busy looking at our lives again in a more introspective way.
Dad and I talked about it this time last year.
I knew we might not get the chance so I was curious to hear what he had to say about 50. He told me he remembered it, but not really.
“It is more than 20 years ago, how much do you remember about what happened 20 years ago.”
His answer made sense to me. If I went back 20 years I moved into the time before I became a father and real responsibility set in.
Though he could go back to the days before he became a father it was so long ago it felt like a different life and I understood that.
Come December I’ll have been in the game for 19 years and I have to think hard to really remember the days when I could do anything.
And by do anything I am referring to skydiving which has been an interest for a long while but I haven’t pursued it for a variety of reasons, a big part of which is my being a father.
If something goes wrong my kids lose their dad so I figured I could wait until my youngest hits about 20.
We’ll see how I feel then.
In the interim I am going to do my best to try to keep finding my inner 20 year-old so that he come out and work out with me.
Because days like today really help me feel like anything is possible in ways I don’t feel with the same frequency as when I was younger.
It is the joy of being 50, knowing everything and knowing that you know nothing.