Where have the days gone when I had the strength to do what I wanted? When I committed to something, I did it. When I made a promise, I kept it.
These days, age and the cruel twist of physical debility have turned me into a feeble, frail man, who is long on desire and short on ability. I make many promises and keep so few.
My list of half-done projects continues to grow and thoughts of new projects only frustrate and depress me.
It is tempting to just give in but I know giving in means giving up and giving up is the short route to the grave.
So I try to make myself get up and do every day. Some days, getting up isn’t hard to do because I never went to sleep.
Every inch of my body hurts. Sometimes I wonder if people really understand how this is for me. No matter how many narcotics, NSAIDS, muscle relaxers or anti-spasmodics I take, the pain is still ever present. The only thing worse? The pain without these drugs.
The pain, fatigue, and weakness zap my mental strength. I continue to cancel magazine subscriptions, yet my pile of unread magazines continues to grow. Gone is the ability to read a number of books every week. As it stands now, it would take me two years to read the books I have bought this year. I delude myself into thinking… I WILL read these books, but I know…
The weeds have taken over the garden and I haven’t been in the garage/workshop/shed in a month. Who knows what disastrous mess my family of clutterers have turned my space into. Oh well…
I can’t expect my wife and children to continue to do the things I used to do. They don’t want to and they lack the same passion I had for these things. Their desires and loves are different from mine. This is not a criticism of them as much as it is a realization that we each have different things that matter to us. It is just how it is.
The dog loves me but she always wants something in return. She wants me to stroke her head or call her up to my lag but on many days it is just too painful to do these things. The cats? They don’t care about me at all. Pain or not they jump on my lap demanding attention. I try…but most often I wish they would just leave me alone.
It is impossible to plan ahead. I do it but I often have to cancel or change my plans. I never know what may come on any given day. I want my kids and grandkids to come over. I want to go to eat with my friends. I want to go out on a date with my wife. I want to go here, do this, attend that. Most days, my spirit is willing but my flesh is weak.
I am embarrassed when I promise but don’t keep. I am embarrassed when I have to cancel the day of. It is either this or not make any promises or plans at all. Maybe that is where I am in life…living in the moment. I am not that kind of person. I am a planner…I have all the bills entered in Quicken two months in advance. Spur of the moment does not come easy for me.
I owe people letters. I owe people guest blog posts. I owe, I owe, I owe. They tell me they understand but I wonder if they do. The work-a-holic still lurks deep within me but my physical body refuses to cooperate. Mind over matter? Not a chance.
I am at the place in life where people will just have to take me as I am. If I let them down, disappointed them, didn’t do what they wanted…I am sorry…but what would they have me do differently? When I go to the ballgame, the races, the restaurant, the party that it takes all my strength to do these things. Maybe they do understand and they are at a loss…they don’t like what they see…they know that life is slowly slipping away from me. They love me, I know it, and I love them.
Life has become an endurance test, getting through today so I can do it all over again tomorrow. It is hard to find meaning and purpose in this but I do. That is, until I don’t.