Life Gets In The Way

It’s a well worn phrase. “Life gets in the way” but in the way of what? Maybe it’s the regular well worn routine that gets in the way of life.

My own routine almost invariably begins with a pre-dawn alarm, feed the cat, feed the dogs, push myself through a trainer session, go to work, day care pick-up, make dinner, family time, repeat. At times the trainer session is a struggle yet many times I’m somehow motivated enough for an effective effort. The balance of the day’s struggle is to be lucid throughout the work day or family time which often occur while half awake. This routine has come to define the definition of life. Until life gets interrupted.

My father suffered a stroke three years ago and has been permanently altered. He’s still the man that raised and molded me but the relationship has inexorably altered. My role has shifted from cared for son, to friend and confidant, to concerned son. There is the ever present understanding that he will never be the same as he valiantly battles his new normal. Extended periods of normalcy are interrupted by debilitating and unexplained side effects. Horrible reminders of the new normal.

A recent spell in the hospital was yet another in a series of hospital stays over the past six months. The frequency of the visits raised alarm and the need to make a personal visit. The weekly phone conversations wouldn’t suffice. Life was getting in the way while scheduling a visit 800 miles away on short notice.

The visit coincided with a timely period of normalcy in terms of health. Gone are the days of road trips to the Florida Keys but the local visits in the new normal are equally special. Each moment and exchange to be cherished. The lament of the infrequency of these interactions weighed heavily if only to reinforce the joyful emotions of the moment. Life would soon get in the way.

Back to work after an extended weekend. Back to life. Life gets in the way. Or is it that the routine that gets in the way of life? Life with family. Life with friends. Life in pursuit of happiness. Life in pursuit of providing happiness. Life doesn’t get in the way. Routines get in the way of life. I wish I could always live life.