As another wave of fatigue sweeps toward me, I remember a time when such a thing would be alarming.
There was a time decades ago, even as recently as a few years ago, when the challenge of each day consisted of how to channel my seemingly limitless reserves of energy into all of my waking hours. Personal and professional projects all moved along at a good quick pace. When my feet hit the floor in the morning I looked forward to the day’s first workout. And a long day of work would follow, and social connections, and when bed time finally came it found me with a relaxed sense of accomplishment.
At seventy years of age (I officially become a septuagenarian next month) my operative dynamic is different now. Simply waking up takes about two hours. From the time my eyes open and I roll out of the sack to the time when my aches have receded enough, when my physical equilibrium is steady enough, when my mental acuity has sufficiently returned to a level that allows me to interact responsibly with other folks, a good two hours will have elapsed. If I’m lucky. Some days it takes much longer. And some days it doesn’t happen.
Perhaps the best way to describe the waves of fatigue that now come more or less regularly is by way of analogy. Imagine yourself walking in gently lapping knee-deep water on a sunny day. There is a bright, sandy beach to one side, and an expanse of ocean to the other side. As waves come in and recede the water level will sometimes drop down to nearer your ankles, and other times it will rise up your thighs to nearly your waist. And sometimes the waves of fatigue will even wash over you and you’ll find yourself drifting off to sleep. That’s not an unpleasant thing at all, really. Naps are nice whenever they come.
It is interesting to note the difference in the dynamic of my days now compared to when I was a young man. I consider myself lucky to have had those busier, more energetic days. They’re fun to remember in this quieter, calmer time.
It’s a good kind of fatigue, this evening’s. This has been a productive day, and it comes at the end of a productive week.
The upper body is still sore from all the physical work I did in the garage and out in the backyard earlier in the week. But given my age and fitness level, that’s to be expected. The soreness will moderate over time, it always does. It never goes away completely. Since I’ve made the decision to stop taking the pain medication, my doctor told me it was starting to give me kidney disease, aches are my constant companion. That’s a trade off I gladly make, choosing the moderate pain over trashing my kidneys.
Work here at the keyboard has gone well this week, too. Transferring my domain and this blogging hobby to a new hosting service only cost me one day of offline time. And this new Roscoe’s Story blog is shaping up nicely. There is still much work to do on it, improvements I want to make, etc. But every day progress is being made, and I’m satisfied with the pace of it.
Logistics regarding our move to the Philippines continue to shape up. And the expense of shipping several large boxes of household goods, etc, is something I’ve been able to work successfully into the budget this week. Seeing that project move forward brings happiness.
When the head hits pillow tonight I’ll be smiling. And sleep will probably come quickly.