Artistically speaking, where would we be without drugs?

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As a family, you tend to gather pictures like old habits. One minute your walls are bare, the next you’re taking down one picture in order to move it to a new location so that you can arrange a multitude of pictures on the wall. With two boys now in our house, I’m forced to look at a series of pictures taken over the last few years and I gotta tell ya folks, it ain’t pretty.

At some point, I went from a trim runners body, to a stocky weighlifter’s body, complete with a small belly that threatens to grow wider than my shoulders. Oh, I could make excuses, such as less leisure time to hike and exercise. I could blame my back surgeries which have all but made running (the one thing that really burned off the fat) a thing of the past. I could make several excuses, but if I’m being honest, there are other, equally valid reasons for why I put on weight that have nothing to do with my lifestyle.

Plain and simple, I eat more junk than I used to. When I was single, and before there were kids, you wouldn’t find leftover pizza or cookies laying around. Dinner was cereal or stir fry, not hamburgers or some gourmet chicken with a fabulous wine sauce.

This isn’t really the direction I meant to take with this entry, but these things tend to have a mind of their own. What I meant to get to, was how things change as you age–and not just physically–but mentally too.

For instance, someone commented on my last post where I admitted I’d never smoked pot. I didn’t say it because it’s something I am all proud of and want to force on the rest of the world. As someone who has enjoyed the benefits of hydrocodone for nigh on three years as a way to enable me to sit in an office chair, pick up my kids without hitting the ground in pain, and walking without a limp, I’ll be the first to admit that drugs have their places. And drugs is one of those areas where I imagine I’m not the only one to have a change of heart.

As much as I like to make fun of them, public service announcements do have an affect. I didn’t do drugs, not because they weren’t available, but because I morally felt they were wrong. Now, as an adult, I’ve known some very intelligent people who regularly smoke pot and get by in life just fine. Do I agree that they should come to work baked, or use it prior to a long roadtrip as a way of staying alert? No, I can’t condone that, but I also don’t see a problem with a person using pot recreationally. I realize this opens a whole can of worms regarding public safety and work productivity etc., which is probably why, more than any other reason, pot isn’t legal in this country. If you legalized it, then you’d have to have a slew of follow up laws regulating where, when and how it could be used.

Legal nightmare, I get it.

But times change, we change–our bodies, our minds, our morals. Sometimes when I look in the mirror, I wonder if I should continue to cling to that image of myself in my youth in some vain hopes that I’ll be able to some day get back to it when life isn’t so demanding of my time. Other times I think that maybe this person in last month’s picture IS me. It’s the new me, or…the old me depending on how you want to look at it. There is no going back, there’s only going forward. That’s depressing, but I don’t suppose it isn’t anything billions of people ahead of me haven’t gone through.

I don’t know. I’m not yet ready to give up my youth, despite what my hair and my bones are telling me. But some things can and do change, like your opinion on things. Whether or not those changes are for the better, or simply “changes”…well, only time will tell.

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