Melancholy, Part II

I went to the gym last night for my “big birthday celebration.” It was a bit of a celebration, as it was the first date I am technically “allowed” to walk for exercise instead of just out of necessity from point A to point B since the foot surgery on 12/3/12. I had to take it quite slow of course, not the high-incline, arm pumping, sweat pouring walk that everyone else does at the gym, but still, it felt good to move a little bit. I walked an easy 30 minutes, not pushing anything, and then did the bike for 15 and called it done. I hate hate hate the recumbent bike and would be glad to never get on it again. And my knees are worse than ever. I had hoped that the month off for foot recovery might somehow miraculously also fix the knee problem I’ve been diagnosed with (chrondomalcia patella, if you are a googling type), but alas, it did not. Doing the bike on much above a level 2 causes immense knee pain, and I wince getting on and off the thing so it can’t be good for me. I’m starting to think double knee surgery is in my future, which is even more depressing. I’ve had so many surgeries, I would like to not have any more now, thanks. But 44 is too young to just sit around and not move any longer, plus there’s that active toddler to take care of, who doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Nay, he is speeding up, now seemingly wanting to exist on almost no sleep at all. His previous bedtime of 7-7:30 time frame has been pushed and now he is lying awake in bed well past 8 when I close his door, and he fairly regularly gets up around 3 or 3:30 and proclaims he is done sleeping and whines that he can’t sleep any longer and wants to get up. When he finally, after many protests and much fidgeting, goes back to sleep, he crashes hard and is difficult to wake when it’s actually time to get up. This is not fun. I may start waking him at like 2 to use the potty and see if I can short-circuit it somehow.

This morning it was strangely quiet when he was supposed to be getting himself dressed, which he can *just* do at this point, but I have to keep checking on him to make sure he’s progressing as he is so very easily distracted by other things. I stuck my head around the corner of his room to find him naked (well, at least he got the PJs off) and coloring on the carpet with a dark blue marker. This is also not fun.

At the gym last night, I thought about why the birthday made me melancholy. I think if I’m honest with myself, it’s a quite immature reason. It’s not the “getting older” part, which I am painfully aware of every time I find a new gray hair or catch my aging body in the mirror as I’m getting dressed (or wincing while I climb onto an exercise bike to pedal no faster or harder than someone in their 70s would). Quite honestly, it’s because your birthday is made SUCH a big deal every year when you’re a child. And then once you’re not a child anymore, there’s no sort of “goodbye” to the birthday celebrations, you just have to buck up and say, oh it’s just a birthday, a day like any other, no big deal. Go to work, take orders, go to the gym, fix food clean up, etc. There’s very little that makes it special because nobody is making you an M&M cake and putting candles in the little ballerina dancer candle holders and inviting your friends over and giving you a paper hat while they sing and make a big deal out of you. There’s no pin the tail on the donkey or pinata. It’s just a lack of feeling special, and it seems the birthday highlights even further why adulthood can really suck in so many ways. Chin up, soldier on and all that. I know that sounds really whiny, and there are so many problems in the world I have no right to whine about much of anything, but I did at least identify the source of the sadness.

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