As humans we often crave a simpler time; seek a simpler truth. Especially as we grow older the world just seems to get more complicated by the day. But you know what, in reality it’s no more complicated than it was when we were kids. That’s because we processed things differently when we were young. Acceptance and change weren’t so bound by the baggage we now carry. When we were young, change was simply a part of everyday life.
Often I find myself wishing the good old days. But honestly, I think I wish for my youth than the situation. I mean I would love to be able to do some of the shit I could do back then now. But sadly for me, strength and wisdom didn’t go hand in hand. So sit here half-heartedly regretting things there’s no point in regretting. So all you can do is make amends for the wrongs I’ve done.
The thing is you can sit around drowning in your sorrow. Or you can put on your big girl panties and do something about it. Because as much as I bitch and moan about my life, there are moments of sheer clarity. Where everything isn’t perfect, but damn when is it ever? The minute you start putting action to those prayers, you may find yourself getting results. But don’t be surprised if the results aren’t what you were looking for. I’m not much on faith, but I am about perseverance. Meaning that in the long run persistence always keeps you moving.
After a whole day of being confined to the house, it’s nice to able to come outside. Living with a gastro condition, along with everything else, puts a damper on many social activities. Among them simply being able to enjoy the outdoors. Usually this time of the year I’d be hiking the park trails or just walking around town. But for the last two years I’ve been putting up with uncontrollable bowel movements and gastro pain. On the bright side, I have lost a ton of weight. Something that drives my PCP even crazier.
I try to not worry about such things, unless I’m riling in pain. There’s really not much I can do about it. Fear, worry, health anxiety doesn’t do a damn thing but take years off your life. After all, it was those things that stressed me out enough to give me congestive heart failure. I think of my current health problem as nothing more than an annoyance. Believe me, “I got bigger fish to fry”.
I suppose what I’m saying is, take a moment to breathe. Fretting over the small stuff doesn’t leave room for the big stuff. Listen I ain’t giving up, I’m too stubborn and stupid to do that. I’ve finally reached a point where I’m at ease with myself. Growing comfortable in the skin I am in. And while I still “pitch a fit” and feel sorry for myself. Those things are all just part of the journey. So live your life as best you can. Don’t let inconvenience rob you of your joy. And if you can make a doctor crazy, all the more better.
Hastily written notes on a phone often become moments of confession. Peering into the depths of my soul, I often tread dangerous waters. Where I question my own purpose, my own sanity, my own life. Yet I find comfort in the uncomfortable. Filling volumes with public confusions most would dare not write. So here I am, my wife softly snoring next to me. While I am wide awake exercising the demons in my soul.
And yet she’s supposed to be the special one. Peacefully sleeping in the oblivion, I so dearly miss. So I close my eyes and breathe in the moment. Embracing the cold and silence. Years ago, silence would have frightened me. The sound of my own thoughts was a pain I hated to endure. Yet here and now, I listen to those thoughts. Detached in a way, giving them room to breathe and be heard.
So often we flow through our lives like an open tap. Letting the precious gift of life flow unnoticed down the drain. That realization has caused me a many a sleepless night. My only solace is to give away the parts of myself that I have learned and unlearned. Creating no profit from this, maybe I should just call it a hobby instead of a talent. It has taken me a really long time to understand, we are each given a gift. Rather through our physical labor or more executive task. We are here for each other. And that my friend is purpose.
97.3°…that’s what was taped to my chest as I entered the clinic. When I got my cardiologist office, I became a birth date. Then in the exam room, I became a name on a chart. But after my echocardiogram, I became a follow-up appointment. At some point life often loses its meaning. Like the moment when your kids are grown and gone. Or some life changing incident that scrambles the course of your existence.
I don’t mean to be so melodramatic, but my life often likes to remind me that I’m not indestructible. That the pains I wish to ignore are based on real problems. I used to think my life as finite, but that was only a fool’s dream. So I do my best to live my life fully. But I find myself bound to the harness of duty. But don’t call me a cad or worse yet, a saint. For even Christ was given a moment of relief from his cross.
I had dreams, I had purpose. Even as life slowly changed those dreams, I felt drive and passion. Now I just feel tried wishing for a soft pillow to lay my head. But even pillows these days are in short supply. Dragged away by time and obligations all their own. So I sit in the sterile mist of another waiting room. Feeling forgotten, feeling abandoned, feeling alone. I have so few tricks left in my bag to cheer myself on. Torn between companionship and reflection, and a desire to just be left alone.
Down this foggy road I’ve driven a thousand times. I see the same cars, the same trucks every day. Where they’re heading is anyone’s guess. All I know is we travel the same direction every day.
Are they heading to work? Or to some appointment? One never knows from the blank stares in their eyes.
Travelling the same familiar path, a thousand times. I often wonder, if I’m coming or going. But does one ever really know? For the road is straight and hilly. For us travelers repeating the route, over and over again.
Against my better judgement I’m now outside. After having taken a 120-mile round trip to one of my doctor’s today. I still have two more dates left on my three-day Doctors Office Tour this week. Fortunately, today’s visit was the longest of the three, but the next two are still 60 mile around trips to two different cities. How lucky can one man get? Needless to say, I feel worse since leaving the doctor’s office. Nothing much was accomplished, considering I don’t believe the doctor actually remembers me. At least not by the way she kept staring at the charts.
With the next two I probably won’t fare much better. But one is a simple six-month check-up (to see if I’m still breathing and can still pay the bill). The other’s a new doctor (to see if I’m dying from something new). I don’t mean to be so cynical, well maybe I do. But out of the dozens and dozens of doctors I’ve seen, only a handful actually saved my life. So to them I remain loyal the rest…uh.
I guess the point to all this is, take charge of how you’re living. Remain aware of all the facets of your life. Now that may seem strange coming from me, the poster child for laissez-faire. But even my seemingly causal way of living has a purpose. You see, I am very much aware of my limitations and conduct my life accordingly. When I tell people I’m “retired” it pretty much means I don’t do that anymore because I can’t. So do what you have to do. Always do your best to remain positive. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll end up luckier than me.
Today is my chill day. After about three weeks of running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I got up, took a bath, washed my head, then made a toilet paper run to the store. Right now, I’m outside in the sunshine, with a nice cool breeze blowing, and mess of migrating birds singing their brains out overhead. I for one am quite content to just sit here all day.
Like I said, I went to the local Dollar store to pick up some TP and coffee creamer. As usual I said, “How are you doing?” to the clerk. She replied, “Working, working, working.” For a minute I thought about how leisurely my life is now and I kinda felt bad for her. But sitting here and thinking about the last few weeks, I remembered how I thought about nothing but getting ahead and ending up getting nothing.
I got nothing against motivation, ambition, and drive. What I’m saying is simply based on my own experiences. I read a book by Thich Nhat Hanh a few years back titled, “Power”. The book discussed the proper use of power and ability, not only in the business world, but the real world itself. Pushing one’s self towards a set of goals may fulfill you. But often it’s an empty kind of fulfillment. In business and school, every goal I met only left me unfilled. Happiness never truly came until I discovered that my drive and motivation were only bandages for my broken heart. I never found to true peace and satisfaction until I confronted my wounded soul and learned to love all parts of me.
It’s been a busy, but weird past few days. Other than that, it’s been a damn near perfect weather. Got some business taken care of “in town” and even more business waiting for me on my desk. So between that and other crap I’m dealing with, I hardly have time to create. Even now I got a pot roast waiting on me to cook it. But I needed a moment alone after dealing with family and business issues all morning. Being a caregiver for two adults is a challenge I wouldn’t wish on someone I didn’t even like.
But I keep telling myself, “It is what it is”. But even that gets a bit old and you just want to run away. Listen, I love my wife and I love my son, it’s just that sometimes you want to be a little selfish. I guess since this is turning into some kind of confessional, I should point out, I am far from perfect. I get frustrated and I get mad at loved ones when I shouldn’t. My only excuse is exhaustion, both mentality and physically. But this world doesn’t seem to care for those that are “less than perfect”. The one’s hard to deal with, the less than. It’s a hard thing to hear, but an even more frustrating thing to say.
So as caregivers are left dealing with the public outburst, changing the messy diapers, and getting the dirty looks with the “glad that ain’t my kid” whispers. Still we press on. So maybe I am a little too chatty and a little too noisy with strangers. But hell, who else is there to talk too? The isolation can often be deafening. When all you do is check behind those that don’t know any better. I’m sure as hell not writing this to make myself out to be a saint. I’m just a human being, no more, no less. So excuse me, I hear a pot roast calling my name.
All post written by
FD Thornton, Jr
All Rights Reserved.