I have been pondering my previous lives. I am thinking that I had a hell of a good time, but perhaps at the cost of hurting others. Or, maybe in this life, I have relied too much on my physical self, that maybe the years I spent running, cycling, and climbing have not prepared me for the spiritual component of aging. How does one become acclimated to the body breaking down, slowly? The same way one prepares for any summit, you train.
I went back into training last week when I was driving into work and experienced heart palpitations and shortness of breath. With my spiffy cardiac history, I could not chose to ignore the classic signs of having an actual heart attack so I went to the ER. Very quickly, they ascertained that I had a dangerously low hematocrit level and admitted me. What? This is a blood thing, not a heart thing? What the hell. I stayed for three days and got probed in every which way, including swallowing a camera which the kind nurse informed me should not alarm me when it comes out still blinking. I worked hard to get out of the hospital and came home too soon. I spent the week-end simultaneously thinking I was dying and acting as cheerful as I could for my kids.
So, I'm not dying. I'm dangerously anemic and I get to have a procedure next week to fix that. All in all, in the scheme of things, this isn't a headline. No cancer, not terminal, a somewhat easy fix. Still, even a second page story can throw you down. I spent my twenties thinking I could summit Everest, bike across America, and live on a commune. My thirties were dedicated to establishing my professional persona, finding a soul mate (whom I met when I was in my twenties but was too blind to see) and having my kids. The forties were supposed to be about accruing spiritual wisdom. I think spiritual wisdom is a wily old bastard who refuses to hang out in temples. Instead, he skulks around hospitals and pops up during a colonoscopy. He hangs out with you in the middle of the night when you are afraid you are not going to wake up. He doesn't ask for my opinion on anything but instead burns away a lot of who I thought I was. All in all, he is proving to be a colossal pain in the ass and after last week, I know of what I speak in that department.
So my friends, one thing is constant in all this turmoil. My love and connection with all of you is what I am left with at the end of the day. And that puts a smile on the face of the wily old bastard.