Random Thoughts from a Restless Mind

Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

Cape Cod

Posts Tagged ‘anniversary’

Sunday musings (The Purge)…

Sunday musings…

1) Anniversary. It literally just occurred to me that Clan bingo moved to Cleveland 25 years ago this month.

2) Birthday. The Man Cub turned 1 yesterday. Massive party complete with the latest trend, the “smash cake.”

Still pulling icing out of his nose, and his ears, and…

3) Pro health. Outside mag has an interesting article on the pursuit of ultimate physical performance. Aside from the obligatory dig at CrossFit (“injury factory”), the author’s visit to the Exos group at the StubHub Center (of all places) was illuminating. My reading of the article is that upwards of 90% of what is happening at places like this is precisely what has been going on in the CF competition world for some 3+ years now. Dynamic W/U, an emphasis on mobility, programmed recovery, tightly managed nutrition. There is much more use of supplements as a primary element than traditional CF; I’m not sure if that is necessary for the masses, those of us who don’t compete. The author saw a real, measureable improvement in not only fitness but also applied fitness.

The mic drop, however obvious, came at the end of the article when the author described his slow, inevitable slide back to average. Why? Easy. While he was “in residence” at Ethos the entirety of each day was filled with nothing other than being a better athlete. Back home it was easy to revert to old habits. A missed workout here; too rushed to work on flexibility there. And beer. Beer is a problem.

Being at your peak physical capacity is a full time endeavor for the pro athlete. That, as much as anything, is what separates you and me from them.

4) Purge. In a couple of days we will be one step closer to completing “The Purge”. No, no…not THAT purge. I’m talking about completing the purge of all of the stuff that filled up our larger home with all of its modern storage spaces. Our new home, a tiny 1947 two-bedroom cottage, is 50% to the inch the size of our old home, but it has only 1/3 as much storage. Our purge has partially furnished at least 3 other homes, and the upcoming delivery to “Lovely Daughter” adds another home to the list.

Clothes, art, tchokes…you name it. We’ve been liberated from our stuff.

Have you ever seen George Carlin’s classic riff on “Stuff”? Truly funny stuff (Huh? Huh?), and easily available on YouTube. An entire cottage industry has grown up around the purging of stuff. That’s kinda funny, actually. The concept that you need someone to come in and tell you how to get rid of your stuff. In addition to a few minutes of belly laughs, Carlin gives you the place to look for low-hanging fruit: other people’s stuff! Set a timer, and if them others don’t pick up their stuff, off it goes.

The harder part, if it’s really all that hard at all, is when you are down to the stuff you think you might need someday. You know, like that really interesting, sure to be useful gadget you just had to buy at Sur La Table 10 years ago that’s still in its original packaging. Or those holiday dishes you’ve forgotten to use every Christmas since you got married 25 years ago. Stuff like that. When you literally don’t have a place to put ‘em, this category becomes not at all different from other people’s stuff: if you never used it, it was never really yours, right?

Before I get too self-congratulatory and get injured by patting myself on the back, I should point out that we DO have an attic, and also a tiny little vestigial cellar. Both are filled with unpacked, lovingly examined, and re-packed memories. Sure, I could digitize the photos and upload them to the Cloud. The 55 year old “Teddy Monkey” that hasn’t been cuddled for 2 decades would certainly fit better in an album than a box. It’s here where the line is drawn in our home, that place where “stuff” intersects with memories. Maybe I’m too old school, or perhaps just plain old, but the memories and the things that trigger the memories are safe from the Purge.

The whole exercise has been a helpful and useful one in my never-ending journey on the “want vs. need” highway. Stuff? Firmly on the “want” side of that equation. Every day in our cottage, more joy from less. Letting go of the stuff has also brought me closer to cherished memories, which in turn is bringing me closer to cherished people. Funny, eh? The less room I have for stuff, the more room I come to have for the people who helped me make the memories I’ve been saving. I’m off at the moment to round up a couple of those people, hopefully to create a few more of those memories.

After all, the size of your heart and soul need not be bounded by the kinds of walls that surround your stuff. There can always be room for your memories and the people who made them with you.

I’ll see you next week…


A Happy 30th Anniversary

Monday September 7th marked our 30th wedding Anniversary. My wife Beth has put up with her Lesser 5% for 33 years (many of my friends call her my”Better 95%”). Hence, our first trip to Paradise, otherwise known as Hawaii (and Beth’s 48th state visited). For years I’ve been teasing my father-in-law about Beth’s dowry, asking him when it was finally going to arrive. It turns out that Bob is a Timeshare maven, and we are sitting on the porch of one of his finds, watching the surf and waiting for sunset, our lodging an Anniversary gift  from my in-laws. Well played, Bob…well played.

How does that happen? How did it happen so fast? It seems like just yesterday, of course. Bright sunshine and balloons. Birdseed rather than rice (Beth was way ahead of the green curve–turns out, birdseed is good for birds). There was a week’s worth of fun on the front side with friends from far and near in town to play with us, followed by a week’s worth of fun in another version of Paradise making new lifetime friends. My bet is that Beth could fit in the same clothes she wore on the honeymoon; me, not so much.

In my day job I have the privilege of spending time with many couples who have celebrated 30, 40, 50+ years of marriage. It’s very affirming of the whole marriage thing, and puts out quite an optimistic vibe. From them I’ve learned that there is no one, true way to do that, to foster a marriage that lasts, so I can only tell you one way that’s worked so far: Beth and I have never stopped dating.

Sounds simple, huh? Might even be. Never stop dating. Perhaps the nicest gift Beth and I ever received was a phone number given to us when our youngest, Randy, was a week or two away from his grand entrance to the planet. Attached to that phone number were two teenage sisters who babysat our brood once a week, allowing us to have “date night”. Every week, come hell or high water, we had a few hours to put “mom and dad” on hold and just be the sweethearts we were so many years before.

Our world is littered with the empty shells of marriages lost to inattention. Consumed with the important and quite worthwhile tasks of raising children and making a living, it’s so often that first relationship, the marriage, that falls by the wayside. One day, after the chicks have flown from the nest, you’re eating breakfast and you look over the corner of the newspaper at someone you used to know and wonder who they are. No malice, just distance, a certain ennui of sorts.

Not for us, though. Tipped off to the risks of routine we simply extended our courtship. Once a week we made sure it was all about us. Pretty basic, actually. A couple of child-free hours holding hands. For us, the secret to 30 years of marriage, to happiness in that marriage, has been date night. It’s been wonderful, and Beth and I sincerely wish the same for each one of you who may have embarked on this journey.

Happy Anniversary to my Darling Beth. Here’s to 30 more.