They Weren’t Kidding, Youth Really is Wasted on the Young


 

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As I sit here writing this article with my foot throbbing from the gout I developed this past June, and my hernia scar slightly draining from the surgery I had to undergo just before Christmas I finally understand the true meaning behind the saying “youth is wasted on the young”. Although wiser and battle tested, my body is not as strong and it takes longer to recover after an injury, yet I am still three years shy of my fortieth birthday. I have always taken the approach if you aren’t going to commit fully to something why bother doing anything at all. I learned my work ethic from my grandfather who was forced to be the sole breadwinner in his family at the tender age of 15. Sometimes he worked three jobs to support his family and I always took comfort I had that same drive to get ahead in life. It wasn’t a banner year as far as my health was concerned and I am looking forward to much healthier and safer 2015. Life used to be a lot easier before all the aches and pains. My kids have also caused me to age to dramatically. Now I am not saying I would want to go back to my single life but I did have more free time for myself. Let’s compare.

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The most dramatically impacted aspect of my life is the amount of sleep I get each night. I used to never worry about anything, now I seem to sweat every little detail throughout the day. It’s hard to fall asleep quickly when you have the entire day playing through your head and you are nerve-wracking about having to pay the mortgage next week, I get that. I remember the worry-free days when I used to sleep in till two or three in the afternoon after staying out till 4am. At present if I am up and the clock strikes one am I start to get anxiety. Seriously though I have learned that nothing really productive does happen after midnight. Currently sleeping in for me is between eight and nine am or whenever the kids discover I am still in my bed. Faking that I was asleep used to buy me another half hour or so but they quickly discovered my ruse. I have two kids, a daughter age 5 and a son age 4. Experts say kids their age should sleep between 11 and 13 hours a day. Ha! My kids tuck me into bed at ten pm and then get up when they hear the water running in the shower at 5am. How is this even possible, are they even human?

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It is getting harder to maintain a social life. The limited time I do hang out with friends at a bar or restaurant I need at least a couple of days to recover from the hangover. The days of drinking a twelve pack of beer and still getting up for work in the morning are long forgotten. Nowadays if I have four or five I need the whole next day just to recover. And I used to be a cheap drunk too. Back in the day I could fill up on the likes of Rolling Rock, Bud Light, Labatt Blue to get a buzz. Being a beer snob, the cheap swill just doesn’t cut it anymore. I also have to watch what I drink so the gout doesn’t come back full force.

Growing up in the suburbs I used to play one of the four major sports every single day after school. I was in great shape too, not an ounce of fat on me, but unfortunately not much muscle either. Basically I was a lanky teenager but I would take that over the fifty pound gut I have to carry around with my every day now. My size large t-shirts are just a little bit snugger fitting around the mid-section today. The only sport I currently play is bowling. I mean who could pass up a sport where drinking is almost as important as rolling the ball down the lane. I bowl in a men’s over 30 league every Thursday. Bowling and being overweight is what contributed to the hernia this past November. My friend Kyle wanted me to play ice hockey with him, which I would love to do but I am afraid I might cause more serious damage to my already deteriorating body. Not being able to play sports is what contributed to my waistline growing. My frequent trips to the gym prior to having kids are now down to 1-2 times a week if I am lucky, just to maintain this shitty excuse of a body. If I eat one donut I can feel my waistline growing and the acid reflux building. Yes I have acid reflux too!

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I long for the days I could eat shit, play video games for hours, and listen to music with my headphones on in my bedroom till I fell asleep. I love my family but somewhere along the line you lose touch with doing things for yourself and you do everything for your kids. That’s what you are supposed to do and I don’t regret it. I just hope my body can keep with them. It sucks getting old. I wish I didn’t have to do it. However, I am lucky in one regard of the aging process. I kept all of my hair. True it may be somewhat grey and thinning but it’s all there and it’s all mine. You always have to find that silver lining.

 

– Damian Mikrut

Follow me on Twitter: @nyislanders19