2.283. On Age and Understanding

This morning, as I was driving my son to his bus pickup, he looked at me and asked, “Why does your car say 2 million 192 thousand over there?” I studied the readout he was following and recognized that he’d misjudged an abnormal space for an extra digit spacing. I explained that the car only had 219,000 miles on it. This lead to a conversation about the car being older than he was and lead me to a startling recognition. I have a car with over 200,000 miles on it and I’m wondering why parts of it are starting to sound rough–why the car seems like it is breaking down. I can count the number of times I’ve taken the car to the shop for somethingĀ other thanĀ tires on two hands. This includes all the oil changes and maintenance I’ve given it over the years. I have not taken care of the car and didn’t quite recognize that it was even getting old. Then today I recognized that it was already old and I hadn’t cared for it hardly at all. Then I recognized that I am old and I’ve cared for my own body far less than the car I drive.

The irony here is that I rely on my car to survive. I live in a desert environment 16+ miles from any real city. That being said, I rely on my body even more (having no ability to replace it eventually, as I intend to someday do with my car). Yet, I take so little care of my own vessel that it is a small miracle that I haven’t had more problems than I already do. I went to the gym today and worked a 30 minute circuit in hopes of continuing the slow-build momentum I expect to carry me into a healthier lifestyle. The workouts aren’t as hard as they could be, but I fear pushing myself too hard–especially at first–will drive me towards quitting. I don’t want to quit. I want to be healthy in body, mind, and spirit. I believe all three are linked and feed off each other in ways that can be beneficial or harmful based on the way an individual is being responsible for any of the three. I have not been very responsible for anything as of late and it is long past time I start.

I suppose today is part of that starting.