Sunday, January 31, 2010

What Ails You?

When I was a kid I always wished my father was a doctor. I thought it would be so cool that when I had any physical ailment, I'd just have to ask my dad to look at it, right there in our living room. And then I'd feel better.

I seemed to get sick a lot as a kid - bronchitis, colds, sore throats. At least 2-3 times a year I'd be hit with something, and it was miserable.

I'm not sure what the healthcare benefits were like back then, but my parents never really seemed to want to take me to a doctor. In fact, it seemed like a burden to them if I asked.  I only went to a dentist once when I was kid. Luckily, I've never had any cavities or any other major problems with my teeth. Although I probably could have benefitted from braces, I by no means have the teeth of an Englishman.

Maybe it was the money issue, or maybe they thought doctors were only needed for the really serious things. It's certainly not like today, where kids go to their physician constantly and get diagnosed for things like ADD, peanut allergies, torn ACLs, blinky eye syndrome.

Now, I figured out how to feel better physically. Consistently exercise and eat well. It's pretty simple, and for the most part I've stayed healthy. If I get ill once a year, that's a lot these days, and I'm happy for that.

The one thing I do miss from childhood is the other side of being healthy - the mental side. While I may have felt lousy with a sore throat for a couple of days, when it was over I bounced back. I would  feel alive, enjoy being outside playing games, exploring, looking for adventure. It seemed like everyday had some interesting incident, some bright sunshine on my face. At least that's how I remember it.

But now, as an adult, that inner rush of exhilaration seems tamed. Oh sure, it pops up once in a while, maybe when the moon is in the right position, or when I'm watching a good sporting event, or a concert, or something my children did (that didn't cause a major blowout, a broken window or a smoke alarm to go off). But, for the most part, life is a slog. A day in, day out sort of numbness with  peaks of excitement that come along rarely.

Wah, wah, wah. Yeah, I'm grown-up. I have responsibilities. I have to worry about other people. No one told me when I was frolicking in the sun way back then, there would be a price to pay one day. Maybe Peter Pan tried but who would've believed him back then?

All I'm saying is that I want more of that child in my life. Not to the point where I can't take care of myself, still throw tantrums, and hold grudges (that will happen when I'm an old man). I just want some of those natural endorphins to flow through the body again. I want to unshackle that weight I've been dragging around. I want to ... oh, hold on, I have to go stoke the fire underneath the boiling cauldron of the eternally damned.


  1. It is too bad that things that used to amaze us when we were kids now seem to be something ordinary. I know the feeling, too.

    It is as if when we were kids, the cup we used to measure incredible things was very small and didn't take a large quantity of amazing things to make it run over. Now, as adults, it seems to take much more to make our cups run over. So, it is that our cups have gotten bigger, or that we choose to put less things in them?

  2. I still get a good rush out of a great day, just wanting to get outside for awhile. But it's true that it's harder to find things that really provide a THRILL. I suspect we spend too much time doing things that we've done thousands of times already... got to experiment!