I’m breaking every rule as I write this. Or at least every rule that I have for myself the older that I get. It seems that the older I get, the later I can stay up and the less energy I have as a result of my extra sleep. And the days that I wake up after hitting the snooze button 10 times with an aching back and swollen ankles seems to be increasing.
Yet, here I am at 10pm writing this, getting that one moment of relaxation that I get during my day as a working dad.
In fact, I’m yawning as I write this because even though it is 10pm, it is my bedtime, and yes I am in my thirties saying that 10pm is my bedtime. I know that at the age of 33, I am young and that I might not come across as an “expert” when it comes to aging. I’m not even trying to come across as one.
The older I get though, I have started to notice that there are areas in my life that are beginning to change. In my 20s, I was able to stay up late… LATE! I mean like 3 or 4 in the morning doing mindless activities either playing video games on my computer or out partying with friends… I mean studying if my mom and dad are reading this.
It’s OK this is the last month paying student loans, and that apparently got me somewhere. But, after an all-nighter, I was always able to rally with just a simple cup of coffee and the night after pulling a said all-nighter, I was able to pull ANOTHER all-nighter. Now, that simple coffee cup has turned into three, sometimes four depending on how late I stayed up watching the Kansas Jayhawks play a game on the west coast. See, I’m really starting to show my age when I complain about my beloved college basketball team playing.
It isn’t just waking up tired and groggy every morning, it is also the aches and pains that I experience when I wake up that add to the 10 times I hit snooze. While I am doing everything that I can to make sure that I am staying up with my dad bod, there are times when I push becoming a dadlete too far. One would like to think that keeping my dad bod in peak physical condition would help to alleviate some of those every morning aches in my knees, wrists, and ankles but that is not the case.
I have the hardest time walking up the stairs to let the dog out, who much like my children seems to have the urge to go to the bathroom every hour… on the hour or right during dinner. Another example, as I write this, the dog was whining, right next to me, so I ran upstairs to give her food and water. That wasn’t what she wanted, so as I sat back down in my office to complain about aches and pains, she whined, AGAIN. This time I asked her if she wanted to go outside, and as if she was showing off just how athletic she was she ran up the stairs.
Me thinking I’m 25 again, I bolt up the stairs after her. For one fleeting moment though, I forgot that I am 33. I trip up the stairs and catch myself with my hands on our landing. This seems to be a reoccurring event in our home whether it is me tripping up the stairs or falling down the stairs, to which there is a scar on my left arm about a year old after taking a spill down them.
Another example in my 20s was that I rarely would get sick, which is still the case today. It seems to be slightly more recurring than during that time, but when that time comes, it seems that I am either held up on the couch or in our bed more than ever. In my college years, it always looked as though I was still able to find the energy needed to pull an all-nighter, cramming for a final that I should have been studying for rather than partying two nights before which was probably the reason I was sick in the first place.
But now, I have come to understand that the man-cold is a very real thing. This is where I’m probably going to start making some sense and relating all of this to fatherhood in that as a dad (and many of us out there), we are 100% most of the time. Very rarely do we take time to ourselves, and while there are those exceptions, we feel like we have to be on top of our dad game 24/7.
A cough or those aches and pains that we experience in the morning after being up till 10pm gaming on the Xbox won’t stop us from being the best dad that we can be. We want our kids and our partners to believe that we are there for our children and family no matter what. There are times that it means we muster through that cough and aches and pains. That is why when a cold hits us, the man-cold comes into full effect, and we are stuck there laying on what feels our deathbed.
While the aches and pains of growing older become stronger and part of my everyday life and many dads go through the same thing each and every day. For many of us, these aches and pains are from the everyday roughhousing that we do with our kids after a long days work and they serve as a reminder of just how much fun fatherhood is.