Growing Older

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     I have injured my knee.  This has been a long process.  Last spring I had the feeling I was going to fall down the stairs at work.  My knee felt like it was swelling up and unable to move completely.  I decided it was time to go to the doctor when I continued to imagine myself losing my balance and taking out any student who happened to be moving from one class to another. 

         My doctor sent me for X-rays.  Nothing showed up except normal aging.  Since nothing was showing up, and I had not been active for a long time, and I was gaining back weight I had lost, I decided to start training for a 5K.  I was using the Couch Potato to 5K plan.  The idea is to go out for 30 minutes and toggle between walking and running.  You do a brisk walk warmup for 5 minutes, stretch, and then job for 1 minute and walk for 2 minutes for a total of 20 minutes and then do a 5 minute cool down.  In my head I was telling myself, I can do anything for 1 minute at a time.  It was going ok, except my knees were really hurting.  So, I backed off and did only half of the plan.  They continued to hurt, so I decided I would toggle between walking a very brisk and a slower walk.  Still my knees bothered me. 

         It wasn’t until Sunday bowling when I began to feel twinges on the back of my left knee.  I decided to take the week off of exercising.  It didn’t seem to matter.  By Wednesday I was walking around with a limp and by that evening, my left knee was swollen and incredibly tender.  On Thanksgiving Day my knee was swollen, wouldn’t bend, and I was in pain.  I was tired.

         I felt as though I had aged by 20 years.  I had to rely on my husband and son to help me put on my socks and shoes.  Getting in and out of the car was an event I began to master with fewer swear punctuating my successes.  I was grumpy, agitated and had no patience.  How had I arrived at this point?  I am an easy-going, light-hearted person.  It takes a great deal to throw me off.  I try to see the brighter side of life.  And here I was, using foul language, being short with my family, and losing patience with people in the stores we went to.  This is very unlike me.

         A running commentary began to weedle its way into my thoughts.  “You have a choice how to treat others.”  “Is this how you want to age?”  “Stop whining about what you can’t do, and figure out how to do it differently!”  Let’s face it, I’m aging.  While I am not “old” (46), I am not young either.  Injuries take longer to heal.  Losing weight takes more effort.  Sleep difficulties begin.  I am no longer able to do all the things I did 20 years ago.  That’s okay.  I now get to do things I was to afraid of doing when I was young.  I am now at a point in my life where I can fall into God’s idea of my life and not my own.  This injury has slowed me down.  That’s what I have needed.  I have needed to slow down and listen to God because I haven’t spent time with my Father this past year.  Not real, meaningful time in the Word and prayer and listening.  Life has pushed me and I didn’t push back.  I didn’t keep sacred time sacred time.  Now, I have no choice but to be slower.  In the slowness of getting ready for the day, getting in and out of my car and walking to where I need to be, I have time.  I’ll use that time to talk to and listen to my Father.  I’ll take the time at night to read and pray and write – my sacred time.

        

         Psalm 37:25-26  I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread.  He is ever merciful, and lends; And his descendants are blessed.

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