This week will definitely be one I will remember forever. I gave my oldest daughter away in marriage. She is the very first of our little crew to leave the nest, so I am taking a few moments to reflect on what has just happened and to balance my checkbook. Actually, I think that both we (and it) made it through all of this relatively well. It also became apparent, after digging through the fridge this morning to find the margarine, that we will not be making any grocery trips for a few days. Good thing we like chicken salad, fruit, and veggies, I suppose.
People keep asking me how I am holding up. The truth is I’m not quite sure. I tell them to ask me next week, after it all sinks in. At the moment I am simply taking the time to enjoy the absence of pre-wedding calamities, cross town searches for lost items that aren’t really lost, trips to buy items we really didn’t need, and secretly longing for just one more opportunity to hold my daughter and tell her “everything is going to work out just fine”.
I have also kicked around the idea opening a small flower shop. Judging by my garage right now, I think I have the inventory to start one. In an attempt to find some usefulness for this major investment that is now quickly wilting, I considered sticking all these stems into the ground along the sidewalk. Our home would look like quite the showplace, if only for a couple of days. I assume that by the time you are reading this, we will be boasting of having the sweetest smelling composter around.
To me, everything ended a little too quickly. All the months of preparation and expense ended in just a few short hours. The lights, the decorations and all are now stored in boxes to be used or disposed of at some later date. Gone just as quickly are the years we had with our oldest girl. It seems only yesterday that she was cutting her first tooth, taking her first steps, and then wearing make-up for the first time. Suddenly I feel very tired, and to me this must be synonymous with feeling old.
That must be it. To feel old must just be the tired feeling that comes upon you, as if you have been giving chase to something for so long and finally decide “What’s the use”, then stopping because you are too tired to continue. When I think of all the literal and figurative things I have chased through the years, there is no wonder why I feel so old……I mean, tired. As children we chase everything we can; from fireflies, to rabbits and squirrels, to big dreams. Then comes the teen years when we guys mostly chase after girls, and on to even bigger dreams. Subsequently comes the time when as men we eventually catch one of those girls, and not long after end up chasing after our own children. Soon, we are spending a significant amount of time chasing away the young men who are attempting to chase our daughters. Inevitably, we let our guard down, allowing the swiftest one to succeed. It is then that we have to stop, catch our breath, and realize we are really tired of all this chasing. Hence, this tired feeling that I am now associating with feeling old.
I am certain that after a few days of catching my breath, I’ll put my running shoes back on and begin the chase again. That seems to be the key to staying young; to keep chasing after things, run for the sake of running, and treat life as a cross-country marathon, and not a series of sprints. Any other outlook on life can truly make one feel old…I mean tired.