Thursday, February 16, 2012

Swirling toilet bowl vortex

Occasionally, the toilet gives us a useful image. Time and toilets have a lot in common. Picture the swirling vortex of the toilet flushing. Looks a little like a galaxy.

That swirling toilet bowl vortex has inside it all those things you want to get done in a day, a week, a month, a year. And those things are constantly disappearing, going away down the drain. It's inevitable. Most of them go that route.

Seems of late, I have been focusing on what we choose to pluck from that vortex and actually accomplish. Knowing that most of those things I want to do are going to get away, what are the ones I REALLY want to make happen? Let me make sure I save them from the toilet of Time (capital  "T" Time). Our lives are all about the choices we make and what we prevent from being flushed. That is what we're left with.

I'm not necessarily sold on milestone birthdays. We seem to be fixated on multiples of 10. Why is 39 or 41 any less a big deal than 40? But I'm not immune to reflection and an age like 40 gives a good reason to look back and look forward, and thereby also look at the now.

In my 20s, I sidekicked myself into shape, rediscovering running, lifting weights, making the time to play any sport I could play. Then Anna came along. Fitness slipped until I amped the running up to marathons and beyond and trail running. I spent most of my 30s in great running shape.

Last year's ankle injury brought with it general lethargy and loss of fitness rhythm. And 2012 finds me 20 pounds heavier than my fighting weight. So I will pluck my fitness from the swirling toilet bowl vortex. Forty ounces to 40, comes in under six weeks now, so I am in the process of taking back the gym, taking back the roads, trails, playing fields, etc.

It's a funny thing, fitness. When I've had it, other things follow suit. I'm more productive, more creative, have more energy, am more fun, happier, you get the idea.

Looking for suitable toilet bowl galaxy illustrations is also a funny thing. It drives home the fact that Mario, of Super Mario fame and a favorite of our daughters on Wii, is a plumber. Given our toilet of Time metaphor, maybe Mario is that existential hero our time needs. Combating the swirling toilet bowl vortex as it tries to flush down those things we want to do with our lives. Thanks, Mario. We needed that.