My Aches and Pains

1531756184Uff da…

It is how Minnesotans express bafflement, surprise or dismay.

It is what we say when life hauls off and boots us in the rear. In those instances, it roughly translates to ‘ouch’.

It is also what we say when life hauls off and boots someone else in the rear, then it loosely translates to ‘glad it wasn’t me’.

But this morning it was me.

I could hardly get out of bed. It felt like I had been hit by a cattle truck then the cattle got out and trampled me. Maybe that is what happened. Every muscle said so. Every joint joined the choir that backed them up, but my brain disagreed. It claimed the truck was hauling concrete.

What did I do to deserve this?

Granted, I have done many, many things to earn pain, some foolish, others not.

When I did stupid things, pain always showed up with his buddy, humiliation and the two left together. Other times, after pain took his leave, reward came sauntering slowly behind.

The last time I hurt this bad, I had just started working in a steel foundry. A ten hour shift of shoveling sand will do that to you. But after a while, I didn’t hurt as much and I soon discovered more strength than I thought possible.

It seems every time I tried something new like that, something new hurt and every time I tried to do more than I had been doing, it hurt more.

But then came the rewards.

So in that sense pain was a good thing. A sign of progress. The only thing that really hurt, was hurting without a sense of progress. That was discouraging.

And discouragement hurts the worst of all.

It took years to work up the strength up to run a marathon and it took years to learn to write with some degree of confidence – but there was always the distant promise of the reward to keep me going.

But today, I had to ask, what did I do to earn such pain and what could I expect as a reward for not being able to get out of bed?

The answer was discouraging.

I had done nothing to earn anguish and therefore had no hope of future gain.

It just plain hurt.

More than anything, it is the downside of aging. When you are young, you hurt to gain, when you are old, you hurt to lose.

Uff da…

“What’s the matter with you?” my wife asked.

“I hurt,” I told her.

“I have absolutely no sympathy,” she replied.

That hurt even more. After all the pain of putting up with her, the least I could expect was a bit of sympathy.

“How much did you drink at The Pit last night.”

“I only had my usual two pints,” I told her.

“Well,” she said, “maybe your age is telling you that two pints is more than you can handle.”

Uff-dah.

Now that REALLY hurt.

Author: Almost Iowa

www.almostiowa.com

36 thoughts on “My Aches and Pains”

  1. Yes, when life begins to tell us that the second glass of beer or wine is too much, that is very painful! Personally, I’ve reached the point where if I eat out at a nice restaurant, I have to decide between wine or rich food. I can no longer enjoy both at the same meal. Who says wrinkles are the worst part of aging? It’s the things we give up, including waking up in the morning without anything hurting. I can’t tell you the last time that’s happened, but I know for sure I was a lot younger than I am now!

    1. It’s the things we give up, including waking up in the morning without anything hurting. I can’t tell you the last time that’s happened, but I know for sure I was a lot younger than I am now!

      Hear you there. I remember sleeping on rocks while on canoe trips and waking up feeling refreshed. Now I fight with my pillow. 🙂

  2. Feel better soon!

    When you are young, you hurt to gain, when you are old, you hurt to lose—so very well said.

    I can’t drink as much either, and keep telling myself it’s a good thing. Sigh.

  3. That much pain from a pint?! No sympathy here, you lightweight. 😉
    The Putterer and I went bowling (something we have never done in our 20+ years together). We were in pain for 4 days. Who’d a thunk?

  4. It’s NOT fair. And neither is its cousin in age: weight gain for even looking at a flagon, or smelling a piece of chocolate cake! Oy Vey, Uff-da May-da!

  5. How could I have forgotten “Uff da”? That’s a memory laden phrase if ever there was one. I suppose the fact that I’ve not heard it in years says something about the low percentage of Scandahoovians in the neighborhood, not to mention the demise of “Prairie Home Companion.”

    On the other hand, a Minnesota born-and-bred friend who’s coping with all the joys of aging sometimes will exclaim what I’ve assumed to be “Oof!” Maybe I’ve been hearing that wrong, and it’s actually a shortened and more energy efficient “Uff da.”

  6. Aw, that’s low. I don’t want to face the day that one pint is the right amount. It’s OK if, on occasion, I choose to stop at one, but two needs to always be a possibility. Otherwise, if one is the rule, then…I can’t even say it. Aches and pain are not fair.

  7. You got old… that’s all you did to deserve it. But after this line, “After all the pain of putting up with her, the least I could expect was a bit of sympathy” I have the feeling there are more uff-dah’s in your near future.

  8. Man, she cut to the quick on this one. No one ever wants to think they’re getting to old to drink two pints of beer. You may need counseling to work through this one. 🙂 I woke up and had quite a bit of pain in my back this morning, but it was from bending over and trimming way too many boxwoods yesterday. At least, I can look out the window and admire how nice they look. 🙂 Have a great Labor Day.

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