2012 was a different kind of year, and I'm not sure I'll ever put my finger directly on whatever was the fundamental difference. The thing is I'm not sure I really want to.
May brought the graduation of #1 Son from Embry-Riddle, whereupon he bought his 2nd Lieutenant car and moved to Del Rio, Texas, where he is now learning to fly fast planes. Apparently, he's on track to fly fighters, which is something I might have done back in the 70s except for this pesky business of excessive nearsightedness and no LASIK at the time.
Yes, I might be living a bit vicariously here, and I'm fine with that.
May also brought the opportunity to dine with extended family predominated by ex-in-laws, few of whom will speak to me now, as we celebrated graduation. Fortunately, we had two large tables, and this motivated the group to bifurcate. One table for the young people, the ones I like, and the second for the old folks, the ones I avoid. Needless to say, I sat with the young people. There'll be time enough later to moan ad nauseum about a world going to hell in a hand basket, and I certainly have no current need to participate in that most assured indicator of having lived too long and aged too poorly.
My only regret was that I didn't ask for popcorn shrimp, or hot dogs, to be on the menu so the son-in-law could dine on more than a baked potato, but I did get to buy drinks and victuals for a few warriors, and I was proud to do so.
More to the point, Josh and I had spent that morning running quarter-mile sprints on the beach with sandbags on our shoulders. Situps and pushups for rest stops. Timed 30-second spots to breathe. We called it Death on the Beach. His girlfriend sat in the dunes with her book, occasionally looked up, and shook her head.
Concurrently with all that, Lily decided her boss was a damned fool, and found other, more empowering, employment. Upon hearing her story, I could only smile and gladly sign the papers to put her back on my health insurance. Did I need a reason to love her more, and what do they say about apples not falling far from the tree?
And then there was this other thing.
January presented the unexpected death of a closer than I thought bud concurrently with yet another carbuncle, this one inflaming half my abdomen, causing the lucky physician at the Urgent Care to ask me why I waited so long to have it lanced. I'm not sure he believed that it was less than 36 hours old. One canceled birthday trip to the beach and two return trips to the clinic for follow-up treatment, and my tummy sports an asterisk-shaped scar beside the rectangular scar where I pulled off an adhesive strip.
I should have gotten signatures. Or a tattoo. Sadly for oh so many, the carbuncles were to end toward late summer.
Then #1 Son posts something on Facebook about Tough Mudder, and I go and get all hot and bothered. Bear in mind it's been some ten years since I did more than walk from the couch to the bed, but I've never been one to let reality get in my way. The following week, I mentioned this plan to the doc during the annual physical. He smiled, and said that my current walking schedule wouldn't be sufficient. I agreed, and the very next week by the bay in San Diego, I ran a long haul, nine miles, for the first time in a very long time, think a decade, leaving me in a position to report that running is indeed different from walking.
Yes, I fractured a metatarsal. Again.
And so this mess continued for the next several months. Recovery. Breakdown. Rinse and repeat. In the last cycle, the FNP gave me the look as I sat in her examination room with The Event only a few weeks out. She told me I needed to rest six weeks. That didn't happen, and she never thought it would. Nine months to the day from #1's post, we finished Tough Mudder, and I felt reborn. Enough so to do it again this coming summer. WITH MY LILY!!!
Of the many peeps from work who were equally all hot and bothered with the idea, only three of us faced the reality.
Something clicked on 27 October 2012. Maybe it was going without an abscess for a week. Maybe it was a dozen miles and two dozen military obstacles. Maybe it was just clearing the cob webs out of my aging cortex. We are built to move, you know.
Regardless, see this.