Sunday, November 29, 2015

Looking back...

Casey and I were watching home videos with the girls recently, and, as is often the case when you watch old videos, it was fun pointing out how much we've all changed. Things like Nubbins being a puppy, daddy having super poofy hair and how young we all were. But, of all the changes/differences, that we saw, none were more amazing to the girls than the ones they saw in me. 

No, it wasn't a weight thing. No, it wasn't a greying thing either!

What seemed to utterly shock and delight them was seeing me move in ways they had long forgotten. 

"Oh my gosh, Isabelle, Daddy's feeding himself!" "Whoa, Daddy look, you're leaning yourself forward!" And, "Mommy, Daddy used to move his arms to his controller without help!"

For them, it was incredible. They were giddy, happy and astonished - all at the same time. 

For me, the feelings were different. 

Seeing myself on that screen was surreal. In a way, it was like watching someone else; someone who looked like me, but wasn't. Like a stranger I once knew. 

We live life day-to-day. And because we take it in increments, we sometimes fail to see how much we truly change over time. It's only in looking back that we see how very different the "us" of today is compared to the us of yesterday. 

And sometimes, as was the case on this occasion, seeing those changes is hard. 

It's easy for me to want to be the guy I saw on that screen. Easy to want the strength I had, the independence I enjoyed, the mobility I took for granted. 

Wanting what we once had is natural. 

But then, I realized something I hadn't previously considered: To be that person again, I'd be giving up more than I'd be receiving. 

The person in that video hasn't struggled the way I have, he hasn't had the joy and fullfillment from leading his family in good times and bad and he hasn't grown, developed or improved the way I have. In short, despite how young, strong and vibrant I once was - in the ways that truly matter - I am infinitely stronger today than I was then. 

I do not know how different my life will be when, years from now, I watch videos taken from 2015. But, what I do know is this: Despite how physically strong (or weak) I'll be then, if I continue to strive to continuously improve, if I work on it day-by-day, I'll be a better man then than I am today. 

And that's something I look forward to seeing. 

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