Post-Op Scribblings

This past week the surgeons made a fourth attempt to reconstruct my left knee. It’ll be August before the results are in and another 9 months of PT assuming they are successful this time – not exactly a safe assumption after four failed attempts. On the bright side, so far I still have my leg.

The point?

Difficulties abound both generally and personally. Currently we have Covid19, protests, riots, looting, and unemployment affecting all of us. Each of us probably has some personal issues that parallel my knee. I know that while my knee has been a problem for “only” seven years, that at ever point in my life I have had troubles which matched or surpassed it. I’m sure you have too.

Having some seven decades to scan, I have trouble coming up with any negative events and conditions which were positively impacted by my episodic alcohol abuse. I can also look at my first three decades, and the past three and a half, and see how troubles could have been made infinitely worse had I been medicating rather than addressing.


Of course. Rehabbing my knee will require months of grueling physical therapy. Maybe I should just drink instead. At my age, the latter is the usual option.

But it’s not my option. I want my leg back and I want to be able to go, and see, and do. I’m not, as a former client put it, “just sitting around drinking, waiting to die.”

Which brings us back to you. What are the issues you are self-medicating? How is avoidance impacting you, your life, and the lives of those around you? What are you doing, or not doing? What are the regrets you are piling up?

I titled this essay, “Post-Op Scribblings” and that is what they are. I suggest that you skip the “Op,” but try some scribbling. Most of you are over 40, probably over 50 and some, like me, over 70. Age can confer independence, opportunity, and choice – if we don’t fritter it away, comatose and immobile from lack of effort as much as aging itself.

My book editor (yes, I write other stuff: a romance novel, a mystery, a young adult novel for boys, memoirs, etc.) is 87, lives an active life in Fairbanks, AK., and starts his day swimming laps with a 92 year old friend. I hate swimming but I’ll hope I’m alive, writing, and lifting weights.

What’s your vision?

And While We All Shelter In Place?

What do you do?

The answer, it seems, is eat too much, drink too much, exercise too little, and so on. I will be the first to admit that I have baked more cookies, bread, scones, and pies than in the previous several decades combined (well, not pies, which I always bake too many of).

Friend Judy and I have assembled several 1,000 piece jig saw puzzles – something I haven’t done since I went to college.

I have read more and written more than I have since I left Alaska, and Alaskan winters, in 1993.

I have found more old friends and lost relatives and ancestors than I can count. Thank you Goggle, Ancestry, and other search engines.

I have paste waxed my 40 year old Triumph TR-8 and I haven’t waxed a car in 30 years..

I have resurrected three 20 year old leather chairs and a pair of expensive boot I haven’t worn in 40+ years.

I’ve cooked things I never tried before and have a jar on active sourdough starter for the first time since 1977. Yes, I’m using it too.

As usual – what’s the point?

The point is that we all have the choice between living our lives actively or merely being passive spectators, watching others live theirs. Are you “on the field” or “in the stands”?

Current circumstances have reminded me how often I have chosen watching over doing. And I haven’t needed alcohol’s help when I’ve been passively watching my life run out like “sands through the hour glass.”

Age has had my enthusiasm flagging, with a bum knee supporting that decline. Covid19, safe in place, and less work have resurrected activities I might never have resumed along with friendships, interests and skills. And some aren’t resurrected, but brand new, whether writing a romance novel, finding an at-home trainer, or learning to make scones.

So – what have you been up to? Please add to the list so I can share it with other readers!