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In some ways, each generation is an improvement over the one that came before it. We're more technically savvy than our parents, and our children's skills will exceed our own. Lifespans are constantly increasing. And yet, for all that gets better, I think we lose a little something too.

I'm beat. It's been a rough week with a lot of deadlines, all of which I hit, but there's a good chance some of the projects I did will be changed for reasons I can't go into. We were literally just about to go to press, so next week there may be a lot of scrambling to get everything back on track. I'll get it done; I always do, and I'm glad the final decisions about the extent of the changes can wait until Monday so everyone affected can enjoy the weekend. I was glad to hit the gym, grab a beer and some food with some friends and catch The Losers(such fun flick!). It's going to be a busy weekend with an Italian procession on Sunday, hopefully not in the rain. I'm also starting to get schedules from various bands, and it's time to start filling in my calendar.

For all I complain about, I think earlier generations had real problems. My dad remembers his mother carrying a cast iron stove out of the house because it caught fire. I never had the pleasure of meeting her, but despite not living past her 60s or 70s, that had to be one tough woman. Another friend's mother has survived two different types of cancer, both caught early, and continues to work insane 12 hour days as a research professor. I remember another friend whose dad once caught fire when grease on the stove ignited. He died of unrelated cancer a few years later, but his earlier survival was still miraculous.

I guess we can take more than we think we can take. I never thought I'd bend again for fear of my guts spilling out, but after a month I all but forgot about my intestinal surgery. It's now two weeks since my dad had his bypass, and other than the occasionally glimpse of his scar peeking over his collar, you'd never know he had heart surgery. I keep encouraging and reassuring him that he's doing remarkably well. I'm not sure I'd be up and about after what he went through, and I'd certainly have bigger concerns than a sore shoulder or occasional pain around the site of the scar. After my operation, my surgeon made clear the differences between surgical pain, and the pain caused by the defect he had corrected. I reminded my dad that his cut was deep and his chest had been pinned open. It's good that we're out and don't remember such things. But those occasional twinges are what my surgeon referred to as “reminders of surgery”.

I constantly hope that, when I'm in my 70s or 80s, medical technology will be incredibly advanced and a tablet or a laser will instantly solve what a several hour surgical procedure once fixed. But I have to wonder why my parents and my friends' parents seem so tough. Is it because they didn't have it as easy as we did? I enjoy the advancements, but I wonder if it will make the tough times harder to bear because I'm not prepared. I'm ready to collapse after a busy week of doing “work” at a computer. My father used to fix cars 36 hours a week, then come home and paint or build stuff around the house, and repair our cars or his friends' cars, and then go play a parade. My mom is always gardening or sewing or cleaning. They never stop. I hope I inherit some of that work ethic and resilience. It hasn't kicked in yet, and I think it will be instinctive when it does. Maybe that's the key, not stopping to think if something hurts or if part of you is on fire. Maybe the key is to not let your thoughts slow you down, to just aim yourself in the direction of any given action and take it. Sometimes, being resilient means just doing that which needs to be done until you're unable to do it, not until you think you're unable to do it. Because often, that's a big difference.


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