I’m very frustrated with my body right now. A month ago I decided I would try something new, so I started a push up and sit up regiment. It was going well, and I was enjoying the new challenge. I found it on a military preparedness website, and it was a little crazy, but fun.
Then, after about a week, my shoulder started to really hurt. I thought it was from the exercise, and you know, I needed to “push through it!” No pain no gain! Feel the burn! I was feeling it alright. I could barely move my arm!
So I took a break, and it felt slightly better. I was ready to go again! Yes! At one point I did 90 pushups and 90 situps in one session. But then it started to hurt again, so bad. So much pain.
I couldn’t even do a set of pushups anymore. It felt like liquid fire spilling on my shoulder.
And then… I broke my toe!!
So now, my shoulder hurts so bad I can’t lift stuff over my head, I can barely turn the steering wheel, I can’t sleep on it, and in general it just is very bothersome. So I can’t do pushups, and because of my toe I can’t do anything else! No running, basketball, soccer, tennis, nothing!
So I’m relegated to just sit ups. And I’m not enjoying that at all. I hate when stuff happens to my body that actually reminds me that I’m not quite 20 years old anymore. How could pushups hurt me so bad? How could I walk into a wall and BREAK MY TOE?
WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME?!?
So nobody commented on my last post. That’s a clear sign that I’ve been so lax in writing lately that you’ve all taken me off your RSS feeds. Or maybe it popped up and you were like, “No way, that guy’s a loser. Must be some error.”
Maybe I should just write more. I’ll prove that RSS feed right in the end!
I just read a wonderful blog post by my friend Jason Latshaw, and it inspired me for mine tonight! He was talking about how he handled a rude person with a “knowing look” and it got me to thinking about how I handle rude people (turns out not quite so gracefully as Jason).
For instance, I get really fired up when people do dangerous stuff around my kids. The other day we were in the parking lot of a kids toy store—a small one in Newark with a very small parking lot. The kids and I started from the store across the parking lot towards our car, when I heard a revving engine coming up the parking lot in our general direction. He was flying. I yelled for the kids to hop back on the curb, and they did—terrified.
Then the guy whipped into a parking spot. College kids. And they started to walk to main street. Well, I just couldn’t stand by and do nothing right? So I let them have it. I started “talking loudly” to them, letting them know this was a kids store for crying out loud! That they terrified my kids! What were they thinking! You really need to slow down!
They just kept walking. :)
Another time I was in blockbuster video (with my kids . . . yikes, a pattern is occurring) and there was a huge line. There were at least 10 people in line. And then this guy walks right up to one of the counters. (Remember how they used to keep you waiting in line next to the snacks? And then you’d be asked to come forward to the counter like a bank teller?) Well he just circumvented the entire line process, and walked right up!
Well, someone had to help him out right? “Excuse me! I’m not sure if you noticed, but we are all waiting in line here.” You know, maybe he really hadn’t noticed! Or maybe he was the selfish jerk I thought he was. He just looked right back at us, shrugged, and kept going. Jerk.
I just can’t stand it when people are mean, when they think about only themselves and not others. Like (here’s another one!) the people who try to keep going when two lanes are merging—and they just try to pass all of us who are merging obediently, and get ahead as far as possible. How selfish!! Why is your time more important than mine?!
So you know what I do (Mandy loves this..)? I pull my car so its halfway in between the two lanes in an attempt to block them from going by! I hate it!! So unfair!
Well, that’s enough for tonight. Trust me. There’s more…
Spoiler Alert – well not really. I mean, I’m going to reference Lost’s last episode, but I realized that many who read this blog aren’t up to date. So I’m not going to give any spoilers…
Wow. Lost blew me away. For me, it was perfection. I just loved it. It left me, quite literally, weeping. In a good way.
I’m pretty sure I’ve written about what I’m going to write about tonight on an earlier post . . . and I’m pretty sure I’ll do it again. It just is a very real and poignant part of who I am. This last episode really hit me in the gut—and duh—I know that was the point.
We all have our lenses through which we view this kind of stuff, and the ones I look through are probably obvious: I’m looking as a father. A father who has some children here with me, and a father who has lost several whom he breathlessly awaits a reunion with. I also watch as a husband, and one who still genuinely cherishes every moment with his wife. And I watch as a Christian, and one who is still deeply moved by the themes of heroic sacrifice, redemption, forgiveness, and love.
On all counts Lost got me.
It got me thinking tonight about Letting Go and Getting Back. I think a lot about heaven, and when I really let myself, I think about that powerful day when I will see Malachi and Hope again. I can picture them running to me. For some reason in my mind Malachi has blond hair that curls at the ends like Samuel’s did when he was little, and Hope has darker, straighter hair. When I let myself go there (which is not often) I can be overcome by the longing to be with them. It actually hurts me physically. And sometimes, sometimes, I feel like I can almost see them with my eyes closed…and touch them…
C.S. Lewis wrote often about longing. In one book Till We Have Faces he had characters who lived in the shadow of this wonderful mountain and longed to find their way there. I think it is inherent in humans to long for some “better” place. I also think that some people look down on that kind of thinking as escapism or fatalism. For me, it’s not that I long to leave what is now, it is that I long for both. I really do long for now. Often after I weep with longing for my children in heaven, it will shift into weeping with longing for my kids who are here now.
As I was pulling myself together tonight I was talking to Mandy about how the rest of our lives are going to be about letting go. We will have to, at some point, let our parents go (which is an unbelievably painful thought), and raising our children is one moment of letting go after another, until they are grown and older and then we don’t get to see them very much. Not sure if anyone else deals with this, but all of that is hard for me.
Maybe it’s because I’m not great with change. Maybe it’s because I fear failure, and I deeply hope my kids grow up really well. Or maybe I just really, truly, deeply love the people in my life. I am so fortunate. I am so in love with Mandy and my kids, with my parents and my family and friends. I have such a deep and broad network of love and relationships. And what I loved about Lost is that that was the point – relationships. But that blessing is also a struggle. With much love comes much potential for pain. And I have seen this in bold expression the past few years of my life. So maybe I sound a little pessimistic or something, but I really do long to make the most of every day with the people who are special to me, because I know that no days are guaranteed to us.
So my heart is heavy tonight. And I am longing. Longing to more fully realize and enjoy what I have now, and longing for the day when I can hold those sweet little hands that await me. And I am grateful to God that I will have the chance to do both.
Well, today it finally happened. I broke my first bone. Honestly, it is very disappointing to me. On so many levels…
First—I’ve always kind of relished the fact that I was, at least on some small level, still able to consider myself “invincible.” I mean, c’mon! Who goes 33 years without so much as breaking even a pinky toe!!!?? I wore my unbroken, unblemished, un-casted streak as a badge of honor. Now it is gone. Forever.
Second—If you are going to break the first bone of your life, make it a good one right? I mean, maybe I don’t actually mean that. Because, I hate pain. So breaking your pinky toe is the way to go if you are a wuss like me. But for the story’s sake, at least break a bone that most people would consider important! Break one that people won’t mock you for going to the doctor about! (I already had two “man’s men” tell me this tale, almost exactly—”When I broke my toe (read this with a western drawl, its much better) I just taped it to my other toe and kept on a-workin’” (and then they spit on the ground in disgust at my sissy boot I’m sporting for 3-4 weeks).
Third—if you are going to break the first bone of your life, at least have a heroic story to tell about it! In my lifetime I’ve played many great amateur level sports games, climbed small rocks, forded 4 inch deep streams, hiked slightly rocky trails, climbed up the first two or even three branches of short trees, driven 5 mph over the speed limit on my way to help someone . . . I mean, the only thing separating me from Indiana Jones is a hat and a whip! But really, walking through the kitchen? Getting some cereal? I mean, that story doesn’t even rank as “manly” in my leather-cushion-office-chaired, ergonomically-crafted-computer-keyboards-so-I-don’t-hurt-my-fingers, only-buying-Hondas-because-they-are-so-safe, daredevil lifestyle.
So yeah, I broke my toe. My pinky toe. And, I am not ashamed to say, it actually hurts a surprising amount. Apparently that little guy was the one trusted to do the grocery shopping for a reason—he’s dependable. And when he goes down, the whole operation is in jeopardy. And yes, as I walked to my car from the doctor’s office with my fancy boot on, I wondered aloud, “How big of a wuss am I if I ask for crutches for a broken pinky toe.” The stunned silence of the universe was enough of an answer for me, as I grunted and labored towards the Honda Odyssey with power locks and power windows that awaited me…
Sad little toe:
Sad little sissy boot:
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My kids make me laugh. They really do. It is so fun to watch them try out a sense of humor too. I mean, how do we learn what’s funny? Have you ever thought about that? The other day Elliot made fun of me, and it was actually funny! We were at Costco and Mandy had gone in ahead of us. When I pulled up to the entrance with our cart and Samuel, Elliot, and Mathea, I said, “My wife came in ahead of us, with a baby.” And when I said the “baby” part I made this motion with my hands like you would normally make when showing someone how big a fish you caught, you know? Like, that fish was THIS big!
Well we went inside and Elliot is smiling and laughing to himself, and he looks at me, puts his hands apart and says, “Daddy . . . a baby????” LOL I was laughing so hard! Now we have a little inside joke. It’s great.
And then we went shopping the other day for Mother’s Day and the kids wanted to get her sunglasses, so of course, we all tried some on. That’s where this pic comes from. I’ve got it on my phone now, because every time I see it I laugh. Literally. I just think it is SO funny.
And today, oh man this was classic, Mathea started to talk about her favorite show—”Tom and Jerry.” And she was telling me a story from the show and she said this, “So then the cat, Tomin, started to….”And I just started cracking up. I mean, it was so cute. All this time I have never noticed this, but she actually thinks the name of the show is not Tom AND Jerry, but simply Tomin—Jerry. Like that’s there two names!! Tomin the Cat and Jerry the Mouse!!
And another slight misspeak she does is also very funny to me. My grandparents live with my parents now, and so my kids have a Grandma Barb and a Grandpa Joe. But Mathea struggles to keep the two separated. So she regularly calls my grandmother, Grandpa Barbe! Haha. I love that.
Then today, we were eating beans at the dinner table (yes, you can guess where this is going) and I decided it was high time to teach my kids the ol’ classic. “Beans, beans they’re good for your heart….” And through much laughter I told them another very important piece of sage-like wisdom—that some people say you can light your farts on fire! (What has happened to my blog?? Is fart going to get tagged??)
Samuel can barely breathe he is laughing so hard. Then he puts this voice on, and acting like their Grandpa Charky (who is notorious for the aforementioned behavior) says, “Yeah, and if you did that, Grandpa Charky would come into the room and ask, ‘Hey, what’s cookin?’” Hahaha. For some reason I just thought that was so clever and funny. I loved it.
So yeah, my kids are funny. I love being around them and watching them learn the art of humor. And tonight, as we all sat around the table laughing so hard we could barely eat, I just thought to myself— “Man, this is so good and so special. I am blessed.”