A couple of days ago asked where our Walter Cronkite is and told you about how I wrote Layla and Lay, Lady, Lay.
Today I got the lab results from my latest visit to the lab and discovered my own alternative facts.
I thought I had made some progress but many of my numbers were not where I had thought they were going to be.
Granted I knew my blood pressure was higher than the lab tech wanted to see because they said let’s try it again and I did my best to find that zen space in my head.
I didn’t find it and they shot up another ten points or so.
Can’t say I was surprised because I was wired when I walked in and their attempt to distract me so that would relax a bit didn’t work because I had too much time to think about what is aggravating me.
The Good Times Keep Rolling
I walked out of there feeling more aggravated but not because of anything anyone there did, but because of what I hadn’t done.
The exercise and focus on a cleaner, healthier lifestyle hadn’t paid off the way I had hoped it would and that frustrated me.
I probably shouldn’t have been so disappointed because some of the changes I made are relatively recent and I wanted some point-and-click results.
But it takes time and even though I can physically feel some of the changes it is not enough yet to show up elsewhere.
“Mr. Wilner, you are kind of a feisty fellow sometimes. I mean that in a good way. I get the feeling you run through walls.”
I look over my shoulder at the tech and smile.
“Sometimes I think if I go hard enough I won’t just punch a hole in it, I’ll knock the whole thing down.”
She smiles and tells me not to hurt myself and I just nod.
This is how I know I am getting older, a few years ago I would have responded but now I don’t because I acknowledge the bruises don’t fade as fast as they used to.
Doesn’t mean I can’t go when I want to, but it is harder than it used to be.
Reframe and Review
I call my father and ask him if he thinks I ever tested my will against his when I was young.
He laughs and tells me stories about how I did so when I was young.
In the background I hear my mother share her own stories about me.
Dad says if asked me if I wanted a potch I would respond by saying he couldn’t hurt me. I was about three.
Later on I am in the midst of a conversation with a teenager who disagrees with me and finds multiple ways to set me off.
“If your goal is to make me angry enough to want to rip the door off of the car and tear apart everything that comes across my path you have succeeded. Let’s both give thanks that I have acknowledged this and will not actually do any of these things.
And let’s both consider the benefit of taking a deep breath to reframe and review what has happened today.”
There is silence and I say we are in the middle of one of the great adventures of our lives. I mean it, but I still want to use my hands to tear things apart.
It is a funny moment, I often say I wish I had my 19 year-old body back because one element of who I used to be has come back to visit.
Look, it is my 19 year-old temper but I am not particularly interested in this sort of visitation. I have too many responsibilities and the consequences of reacting are too high.
Better go to sleep.
A day or two later the conversation with a teenager is different and somehow I am talking about Einstein.
Can’t say how we got here or how the quote above fits into our conversation and segues into Star Wars and morphs into real life and back to Star Wars.
But it does and I tell him one day you wake up and you haven’t a clue how or why you fell in love or with who.
“That makes no sense to me.”
“Kid, you like to tell me I am pushing 50 and I can tell you it is one of the great contradictions because sometimes you know exactly how and why and sit there thinking about how you can’t understand how you ended up where you are.”
There is a short pause and I add, “don’t let society tell you about who the right or wrong person to fall in love with either is. Just love hard.”
Ride The Strom
Memories of past conversations filter through the mess and I hear a voice from college ask me what the hell Ride The Strom means.
I look up at the face and wait for the mocking voice to try to mess with me but apparently the glare I am giving doesn’t lend comfort.
“It is my way of bending the storm to my will. I name it strom and I make it mine.”
This generates a response and I am told that it is dumb and ridiculous.
“So is your frosted hair and the stupid looking fin on your Celica. Go play in traffic.”
My response about naming the storm is sort of ridiculous but I don’t care, I am running with it.
Fast forward to the present, I am riding the strom now and I think I am making progress, regardless of what the blood work shows.
I concede I need to workout harder and pay more attention to my diet. Takes a little bit longer to the turn the boat than it used to.
But I will, I am riding the strom.