Archive for March, 2010

Achy Breaky Parts

March 22, 2010

This past weekend I managed to do some pretty good damage to myself, while proving that I am still willing to make a complete jackass out of myself for fun.  Saturday morning I met my parents out at Kohl’s with my three daughters to do some sneaker shopping.  This went surprisingly well, and the three girls got the exact same sneakers – Skechers Twinkle Toes.   Anyways, as we left to go to IHOP for brunch, my foot slipped off the edge of the curb of one the islands in the parking lot, and down I went.  I rolled my ankle really badly; so badly, in fact, that this is what the thing looked like the next day –

Yeah.

So what would be the reasonable thing to do…ice, rest, elevation?  Hell no.  Saturday night I went out to see a local band, Wide Right, and stood on that ankle for a few hours.  The band, by the way, was pretty damned good.  Then on Sunday, I figured I’d really take care of myself, so I took the family roller skating!  Putting on my rollerblades was a little painful since there was still quite a bit of swelling in the ankle, but once I tightened the laces up it felt better.

Normally I just skate around with the kids and have fun with them.  This time, my wife was there, and my parents were watching the baby so we could all skate around.  I did a nice lap holding hands with my wife, and then she stood at the end boards while I wound up some speed.  As I came around after a couple laps I tried to stop near her against the boards.  Since I am more used to ice skates than rollerblades, I screwed up the stop and fell in spectacular fashion.  My knee twisted a couple ways it’s not supposed to, and my face had a rather painful collision with my wife’s leg and the boards.  My 9 year old immediately proclaimed to the nearby crowd that she did not know me.  My wife was laughing, my mom asked if I was OK, and I think my Dad was just slowly shaking his head at the scene.  I got up, assured the concerned folks that I was just fine, and skated off in great pain.  Not content to go out with a whimper, I kept going for a while, until the kids were ready to go.  As I turned to go over to where I left my shoes, I fell once again, flat on my ass.  I called it a day right there, took my blades off, and limped over to my shoes.

So now my right ankle is swollen and terribly bruised, my left knee is sore and stiff, my ribs and shoulders are sore from the Lord knows what, and my body generally feels pretty beat up.  But I spent some fun time with the kids, and it was all worth it.

On Getting Older, Not Old

March 8, 2010

I’ve often considered what it means to get older.  This means something different to me than getting old.  I think getting old is going to suck, because I generally equate “getting old” with negative things – insurmountable physical and mental deficiencies, resentment of change, an inability or unwillingness to understand or adapt to changing societal norms and technology.  To me old is not a particular age, but rather a state of being that I will avoid, with any luck, until the very end.

What I mean by getting older is something a little different.  When I was young and stupid and doing quite a few things that weren’t exactly in my own best interests I was was often told that as I got older, these things wouldn’t be fun or satisfying or important.  I smoked, drank, drove like an idiot at times, ate really unhealthy food, all kinds of things.  Somewhere in the back of my mind I suppose I expected that there would be a specific point in time where I would decide that I was “older”; that at a certain age or life event I would suddenly know that it was time to settle down.  Of course, a rather significant event did occur – I won’t get into specifics – and I decided it might be good to quit drinking, and if I was going to do that I might as well try quitting smoking as well.  However, most of the things that have changed in my life have been the result of gradual, incremental changes that have often gone unnoticed in the general clutter and hustle of living life.

Every once in a great while I’ll sit and think about the changes I’ve gone through, and wonder if it’s just because I’ve gotten “older”.  Recently, during these moments of thought, it occurred to me that getting older is not a terrible thing, nor does it always mean that you’ve changed in some intrinsic way.  I haven’t “sold out”.  I haven’t conformed, or whatever you want to call it. I’ve come to the realization that getting older is simply refining who you are, growing, learning, and becoming the person you really are.  For some, it’s shedding the brash bullshit facade of youth.  For others, it’s an epiphany and a sea change in their life.  There are those for whom it’s simply withdrawing further into the lies and deceits to the point of no return.    Getting older is permanent.  Getting older is not getting old.  Getting older is a good thing once you can learn to accept it for what it is.

Erin Is 4, And I Am Old

March 5, 2010

Happy birthday to my youngest daughter, Erin, who is 4!  I love you!