I don't mean I miss being a kid, although I do miss many parts of my childhood. No, I don't mean anything like that. Everybody can look back on those things we wish we could change, often having to do with someone of the opposite sex. Sure, I wish I'd had the guts to tell Renee Oldham I liked her in junior high and I wish I hadn't been such a thoughtless jerk with Tammy Serra and screwed up my relationship with the woman who really may have been the love of my life. But those things are past and those experiences make me who I am today. So, no regrets in that sense.
No, what I miss is my physical youth. One of my favorite movie quotations is from one of my favorite movies, It's a Wonderful Life. There's a scene toward the beginning when a young George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) and Mary Hatch (Donna Reed) are coming home from a hilariously disastrous dance. Things get romantic and instead of kissing Mary, George just acts like a dumb boy. Suddenly, an older gentleman who's been watching the whole scene from his front porch, says he should kiss her instead of talking her to death. George continues to act stupid. Finally, in exasperation, the man says, "Ah, youth is wasted on the wrong people."
That's exactly what I mean. I'm at a point in my life where I like myself and I am enjoying my family and friends and what I'm doing and where I'm going in life. The problem is that my body is just getting so creaky that I can't fully enjoy it. I would love to train to run in the Parkersburg Half Marathon, but my knee just won't let me. Same with playing on my church's softball team or volleyball team. And I'd love to stay up late sometimes and sleep in on weekends, but if I don't get to bed by ten, I'm restless all night and if I try to sleep in, my knees and hips bother me so even if I was up late, I'm awake early. And God forbid I have some pizza or a nice bowl of chili. There just isn't enough acid reducer to fix that.
I just miss a time when my body didn't dictate what I do so much of the time. I feel like spiritually and mentally, I'm in the best shape of my life, but my body is falling apart. And back when my body was in a little better shape, my mind and spirit hadn't caught up yet and I didn't appreciate what I had enough to take care of it.
But I bet I'm not alone in this. I imagine this an issue that's been contemplated since Adam threw out his back digging potatoes for Eve's and his 50th anniversary dinner (Note for the biblically uninformed--that's not really in there.). I guess the best I can do is maximize my body's ability to keep up by getting enough sleep and some exercise and eat right as much as I can stand to.
So what do you miss?