Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Reason to Begin Again

Having played possum a bit the past three mornings (actually having paid attention to my yapping - no barking - left knee, which I tweaked a bit Wednesday morning stepping onto/into uneven pavement), today instead of putting my hands over my ears and shouting, "La la la I'm not listening" when the alarm clock went off, I got out of bed, grabbed my AIR MAX ASSAIL running shoes and went off for a run.

It occurred to me while running this morning that this is the final Sunday of August (a fact made apparent in all likelihood to the rest of the world by the fact that (a) it is a Sunday; and (b) it is the 30th of August), which made me wonder - as I often do - where the time has gone. This year - the Aught-Nine contribution to time immemorial is now two-thirds complete.

The older I get the more conscious I become of the value of time and how much of it I waste. While I often console myself by presuming that many of us suffer from the same affliction, suspecting that others possess the same limitations and infirmities as you do really is little solace.

All time is spent as soon as it gets here. Regardless of the moment and the length of time we have either anticipated or dreaded its arrival, it shall last equally as long as the moment that immediately preceded it and the one that followed it directly. It seems to me as if a key to success is learning to distinguish the enjoyment of a moment from the simple marking of time. Whether spent in misery, euphoria or some alternative destination along the emotional spectrum, we have but one opportunity to spend the time given to us. No mulligans, no WABAC machine, no "do-overs". Considering the pressure inherent therefore - conscious or subconscious - in every action we take and in every action we choose not to take, it is a pleasant surprise is it not that we do not see more of our bi-ped brethren spontaneously combusting as we stroll along the avenue.

The first two-thirds of this year did not - generally speaking - go according to plan for me. I wasted almost the entire first half of the year impaling, and then attempting to extricate myself, from the horns of an asinine professional decision. While I was able to complete my human boomerang trick in late May, which was extremely satisfying and gratifying, there is no one at the desk of redemption for me to see about trading in the wasted time for something better. Even when one dances oneself free, freedom does not come without a price tag.

I freed myself from my self-made mess just in time for disaster to strike on the home front. Sadly, while my problem ultimately had a solution that was generally satisfactory to all concerned (I am quite confident that only A-Roid, Johnny Damon and Grady Little are less popular in certain neighborhoods in Boston than am I), Suzy B.'s epic battle against cancer did not.

She died on the second of June. As we approach the ninetieth day since she died, the collective struggle to get back to something approximating normalcy continues. Margaret, Joe, Frank and the rest of the family have some days that are better than others. Candidly, I am not confident that any of them has yet climbed high enough up the hill to reach the line of demarcation between good days and bad. Rather, it seems as if each is still winding their way through the part of the gully that separates "completely bad" days from "partially bad" days.

Yet, they are indeed making progress. As we all are. And maybe, just maybe, the time we have spent this year - all of us - dealing with adverse circumstances (some created by the misdeeds of our our two hands and some courtesy of factors over which we have no control) has not been wasted time.

Rather, they have simply been steps on a long walk home.


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