Feeling soooo grateful for 48 years and counting

I was teased a lot as a kid.  

I was short, very skinny and extremely hyper (when Oprah ran a special on Attention Deficit Disorder, several friends called to say I had ADHD 🙂 ).  

But something happened late in my teen years.  I grew overnight to 5’11”, put on 30 pounds of muscle so I was trim instead of skinny, and calmed down.  I started dressing more stylishly.  Even my facial features changed (Wife M looks at pictures of me and says she can’t believe it is the same person).  Personality wise,  I become less impetuous, and my tolerance of others improved.  Suddenly, some of the girls who had teased me as a kid were asking me out in college, and I was approached by strangers. All that has no meaning now, except it is much better memories than the ones I had where I was teased, and it has given me a lot of confidence in myself as I age.  In the early years, I oversteered – I became a little cocky.  But after a few years that too calmed down into quiet confidence, and then I met my future Wife M.  

But my point is this —  if life had been taken away at 10, 15 or even 20 or 25, I’d never had a chance to change, to evolve, not only looks wise but personality wise (I am a much wiser person I think then even in my 20s).  My life would have been — and =eople would remember me as — a small, opinionated, high-strung, homely kid with glasses.

It is such a gift to be given a long life, to change and evolve, to grow as a person.  Not everyone gets that chance. So I am very grateful. And how many kids or young adults have died who didn’t get a chance to evolve.  Which is one of the many reasons I love the idea of forgiveness and thinking the best of young people, and why our incarceration and imprisonment of so many young men and women is devestating, and one of many reasons of why wars are so tragic.

Feeling soooo grateful for 48 years and counting

Thinking of my new friends from Fall 1988

I headed away from college in 1988.  Althought it was less than 100 miles from home, I was looking forward to getting away and meeting new people, and didn’t expect to return home very often.  But I literally knew no one where I was going, so would have to meet new people.  My first day, I was adopted by a small group of close friends, and for the next several weeks I hung out with them, eating meals with them, going to parties with them, etc.  They were funny and nice, and I laughed all the time I was with them.  Then at one of those parties, I met another couple of people and started hanging out with them, too.  This would continue for the rest of that year — branching out and meeting new people all the time.  I loved it.  I can still see the people and hear the conversations and hear the music that was popular on the campus at the time in the dorms.  For whatever reason, the people I’d meet that Spring would stick and I would remain friends for ilfe with some of them, but I haven’t seen most of those people from Fall of 1988 in over 25 years. When I knew them they were just getting started in life, and now many of them are nearing 50.  I am sure they are different in many ways and I would probably not recognize them (some may have even passed, and I wouldn’t know since I am not great at scrolling back and reconnecting with people I knew from decades ago) but I will forever see them as 20 year olds with their lives ahead of them.  Am thinking about them this morning, for some reason.  

Thinking of my new friends from Fall 1988

Am remembering how it felt to be in high school

I loved high school.  My mom and dad were yuppies working their way up the corporate ladder so were fairly high strung, but I loved wearing jeans and tennis shoes to school, hanging out with friends and peers during the day, then returning home in the midafternoon to eat, play basketball and hang out with friends.  I was pretty savvy with saving money and liked to work double shifts on weekends so I had the week to just hang out.  I need to get back to that again. To simple feelings.  To getting to work early, going with the flow, then cutting out on time to hang out at home.  How do I get back there?  Is it possible?  I hope so…  It seems like I should be able to manage work so it does not consume my thoughts all the time.  

Am remembering how it felt to be in high school

I miss running, skipping and hopping – but still feel grateful to be alive

Up until 2011, I was still taking stairs two at a time, sprinting a block rather than walking a block, even skipping those times when no one was watching – even in my 40s. Why? Don’t know – I just love moving my body. But since my diagnosis, all I can do is walk and do some light/moderate weights. I miss rigorous activity. But from the time my lung doctor said I had a 50/50 chance of not getting better (dying or oxygen tank) I can’t help but feel pretty happy. But I do look fondly on those times of moving my body without restraint. Honestly, I think most people who knew me thought I’d never slow down. But I proved ’em wrong 🙂

I miss running, skipping and hopping – but still feel grateful to be alive