Friday, August 05, 2022

Old Enough To Know Better?

 This past Tuesday, I went into school. Not because I had to, but rather because I knew that the number of times I would be able to get at the various and sundry loose threads that begin to dangle like vines in a rainforest will do nothing but multiply as our official return grows nigh. Can you hook this up? Do you know where those tables went? The fan stopped working in the office. 

None of these things are specifically "my job," but when I started this gig twenty-six years ago, I made a point of remembering where the power strips are located and how to jostle that one door handle to get the closet open. That list has done nothing but grow, and after all these years I have learned to give myself a window to accomplish all the things that swirl around my job description and my reputation as "the guy who knows where/what/how" and so forth. 

On this particular morning, I found myself going up and down ladders, crawling beneath desks and portable classrooms, and retrieving a year's worth of balls that had errantly or precisely been kicked into the gap only accessible by removing a sheet of plywood. On my way down from the roof, where I discovered an additional assortment of playground equipment, I heard my lower back whisper, "Sixty."

Not a crippling or particularly disturbing moment, but I found myself asking the guy who recently finished his sixtieth trip around the sun, "When do you suppose you're going to give this up?' This was a reckoning. One that was probably exacerbated by the recent bout of COVID that swept through my house. My get up and go has yet to get up and leave on its own accord, but I know that it takes a little more planning to throw my energy around these days. I know that I have already lost a step or two, and the bike ride that accompanies my trips to and from my job are now a bit more of a conscious effort than they used to be. Not that I am willing to give up any of these feats of mild exertion. 

I'm just noticing it. And the math of sixty serves as a solid reminder of what I have done and seen already. And what lays out there in front of me. Sit down. Have some water. Catch your breath. 

Then back to work. It's turned out to be more true than I ever could have imagined that this is a marathon, not a sprint. That's why I need a little bit of a head-start. 

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