Last week was a bit humbling for me as I caught a case of early onset middle aged problems. Doctors are looking for a cure, but right now things aren’t looking too good this patient.
It all started at my parent’s house. On Mondays the Sharp kids spend the day with my parents, known affectionately to the Sharp Six as Mimi and Opa. While the kids were there my mom pulled out a bunch of my old Odessa American articles for the seven-year-old Zoologist to read.
For a brief moment seeing my son reading my first baby steps at being able to call myself a writer made me feel good, but that was before I came to a couple of uncomfortable realizations. First, I realized that those articles were written twenty-three years ago. Twenty-three. Twenty. Three. Twenty-three years ago I was the youngest person in the newsroom. I am now one of the oldest people at my workplace and spent a decent amount of time last week arguing with someone half my age about whether music in the 1980s was good (It was, this is an indisputable fact). Second, I realized that the articles my son was really excited about were the ones that had Garfield cartoons on the other side of the page. What I wrote was of secondary concern.
Then came Tuesday.
On Tuesday nights the Zoologist and I go to a scouting group for boys called Trail Life. This particular week was all about physical fitness and we had a coach from the FC Dallas soccer club there to run the kids through a short training session. After everything was over the Zoologist and I were playing a little basketball in the gym with some of his buddies. Since there were three of them I told them that they could be on one team and I would be on the other by myself.
I had a clear height advantage over three second graders, but let’s not kid ourselves, they also had a big advantage in disposable energy. After 10 minutes of being chased around the gym I told them I needed a break and stepped off the court. I tried to play it cool and casually step off the court, but my legs were shaking and my insides felt like my heart and lungs were trying to violently tear themselves from my chest. I’m casually said to a friend who had been watching us play, “Do you mind dialing 911 on your phone just to have it ready in case I need you to hit send?” I was only half joking.
After such a rough start I just spent the rest of the week sulking and yelling at people to get off my lawn. My days of being the youngest person in the newsroom are long behind me, and I don’t think that’s all. Hope the doctors find a cure soon, or this early onset middle aged problems just might kill me.