Sunday, December 23, 2007

Playing Old

I read a quote recently that I really like:

You don't stop playing when you grow old,
you grow old when you stop playing.

Since I am a firm believer that Newton's first law of motion is applicable to our bodies' level of activity, I can really appreciate this. As I am actually growing older though, I'm finding it more and more difficult to adhere to these convictions about exercise.

This is due to a number of things including the lack of availability of sports, the lack of time and willingness (on both my part and my wife's) to sacrifice my time with the family to participate in a league of some sort, a decent sized house and two cars to maintain, a full work schedule, other hobbies and projects to spend time on, etc.

And now, to top it all off, one of the two guys who organizes basketball games at work just transferred to another facility. So casual b-ball games are significantly less likely to be available, because I won't be able to count on the "regulars" being out there playing every day.

Basically, what I am finding is that although my body and mind are willing and able to continue playing sports, every other aspect of my life is working against it.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Observations and Empathizing

Earlier this month (Dec 5th - 8th), Amanda was in Ohio for 4 days to visit her family, especially her ailing grandmother. During this time, I was the sole caretaker of the kids and the house. A few observations and interesting experiences from those days are as follows:
  • Lucas has been potty training for a little while now and very rarely has an "accident", but something changed when mommy left. He went from having almost zero accidents to between 3-4 per day. So I was changing and rinsing his pants frequently, in addition to washing a couple of loads of laundry. Toward the end though, I started realizing that you have to periodically encourage/make him go potty even if he tells you that he doesn't have to.
  • I didn't get a single solid night's sleep due to Lucas' coughing fits, which occurred at least once and usually 2-3 times per night.
  • I have a new understanding of why Amanda's patience with the kids is shorter at the end of the day. After repeating the same things to them over and over...
  • I was able to accomplish multiple projects while Amanda was gone, mostly in the evening when the kids went to bed, but a little bit while watching them too.
  • While Amanda is my favorite person in the world to spend time with, and I was elated to have her return home, I still really enjoyed and can be completely content with an abundance of time to myself. I did a little reading, worked on the computer and some home projects, and even took the kids to see the city's Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Since I have had Amanda to spend time with almost constantly for the last 7.5 years, that was a bit of a surprise to me.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Some Holiday Perspective

This holiday is going to be pretty tight financially. For the kids, it will mostly be a Craigslist Christmas, with just a couple of "new" gifts thrown in. Amanda and I aren't even planning on exchanging gifts. But if there's one thing that this holiday season has been teaching me so far, it's perspective.

Probably like a lot of churches, ours has an angel tree every season, where we can pick a person(s) to buy a gift for. Each tag has the requested gift, as well as the age and gender of the child that the gift is for. I was approaching the table nonchalantly, thinking that this Christmas is pretty tough for us, so we probably won't be worrying about getting presents for anyone except ourselves this year.

Then I started reading the info on the tags. The gifts that were being requested were things like pajamas and diapers, and most of the kids' ages were in the single digits. I thought about what it would be like for my children to need such bare necessities as clothes and diapers to wear, or not having enough food to eat - and my heart just broke right there.

Our kids have a playroom - yes, a room full of toys for them to play in. Sure, most of those toys were acquired from friends or from Craigslist purchases (Amanda found a train table with trains and tracks for $30), and sure times may be a little tough right now. But they're likely to improve, and in the mean time our kids still have plenty of toys to play with, in addition to food, clothes, and shelter.

I called Amanda over, and we promptly picked up several tags. Pajamas for one, diapers for another, and a dump truck for someone else - we can do that. Praise God, we can do that.
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