Curb

Curb: (n) an edge for a sidewalk.

If you play the nasty game, you will probably end up nasty. You might try to keep yourself pure in the midst of the scum, but you will certainly end up as slimy as the rest.

It’s a hard lesson to learn.

If you insist that “everyone is beautiful in their own way,” and privately sponsor a beauty contest, your hypocrisy will surface.

If you proclaim that aging allows for wisdom while you secretly try every pill or medication conceived in the Amazon forest to remain young and virile, you certainly will lose some credibility.

When I was much younger, I watched people do step aerobics.

You may not even remember it.

It was just a small piece of plastic, about five inches tall, that you kept stepping up and down on for exercise.

When I was thirty years old, I remember thinking how stupid it was. I even remember my words: “My God! That piece of plastic is no higher than a curb!”

I mocked those participating. I couldn’t imagine why or how this could ever be significant.

I was equally as critical of those who did jumping jacks. How could this be an exercise? Clapping your hands over your head as you spread your legs, to return them to normal, going back and forth…

Well, it’s more difficult to describe than to do.

Then I woke up one morning, put my foot down on the floor, stood up and my knee turned me ever-so-slightly to the right as I rose.

I’ll never forget it. It was breath-taking.

Sudden.

Disconcerting.

I began to think about those people who did their step aerobics—moving up and down on their private curb to exercise. All of a sudden, I had full comprehension about why this particular exercise was beneficial.

For you see, the human body has a will to die—from the toes up.

  • First, your feet ache
  • Your ankles, cursed with cankles, start grumbling every time you walk too far.
  • Then there are shin splints.
  • Your calf muscles occasionally have a spasm or charley horse.
  • Then one day, the knee—the center of commerce in the leg—starts getting fussy.

Then you wish you had done your step aerobics.

Or maybe you did too many step aerobics, and your joints sent you a special delivery.

The point is, whatever age you are, use what you’ve got wisely—and sparingly.

It doesn’t last longer if you over-use it.

And it won’t last at all if you never use it.

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Croup

Croup: (n) any condition of the larynx characterized by a hoarse cough and difficult breathing.

One of the more annoying aspects of writing a column or posting a blog on the Internet is what seems to be the incessant need to talk about life beginning with how it relates to yourself.

I will be honest—I don’t think I am as interesting as other folks do.

I don’t know whether this is even possible, but I have often felt I was boring myself.

But when I saw the word “croup” today, I couldn’t resist relating a piece of personal identity concerning the condition.

Up until five years of age, I was sickly.

Chubby, round-faced and ill. (Very attractive for young parents.)

Every time I caught a cold, it went into my chest and I mustered a hacking cough which eventually made it difficult to breathe. So my mother often rushed me into the bathroom, turned on all the faucets with hot water, and sat there with me in the steam, hoping my croup would clear.

It was so bad one night that the town doctor was called to come to our little bungalow.

He  felt compelled to give me a shot of adrenalin in the heart to keep me among the living.

Yet somewhere along the line—about the age of six—I began to improve. It was a good thing, because on top of my croup, I was festered with an inability to master swallowing pills, and the only real treatment for my condition were these huge, white sulfa tablets, which greatly resembled horse pills.

So yes—because I could not swallow them, I had to chew them up—two at a time, every four hours.

When the reprieve came and “croup” decided to become a part of my past, I was jubilant. Later on we discovered that because my dad was a cigarette smoker, the air quality in our little home was not conducive to my fussy lungs.

So even though I shared this story with you in candor, and the years have certainly passed, and I have proven myself to be more balanced for the human environment…

I still feel like a Willy Wonka Wimp.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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Craw

Craw: (idiom) to rankle

When I received the menu at the Getting Older Cafeteria, there were many items listed which were unappetizing:

  • Chronic pain
  • Memory slips
  • Aching joints
  • Slower movement

But some of the nastier dishes afforded to those who are joining the Gang Just Over the Hill are:

  • Fussy
  • Self-righteous
  • Judgmental
  • And cranky

All of these particular offerings place those with “graying futures” in dispositions where things start sticking in their craw.

It’s an old-time phrase—matter of fact, many younger folks would not know the meaning (and should be commended for their ignorance). But they would recognize the phrase easily if you changed it to a word they are more accustomed to: bratty.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I guess you reach a certain age when you just can’t be a brat—so what you have to do instead is “get something stuck in your craw.”

The two conditions certainly appear to be the same. The sour facial expressions are identical. The grumping and complaining, spot-on.

But once your birthdays have accumulated to a certain heap, you are no longer allowed to be a brat. You just get things stuck in your craw.

I, myself, am very careful to make sure this never happens to me. So intent was I to guarantee that nothing got stuck in my craw that I actually went out and had my craw removed.


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Began

Dictionary BBegan: past tense of begin

If you acknowledge the source, you can avoid remorse.

Even though it’s very popular to talk about how to begin, the celebration is much more powerful if we first commemorate how we got to where we are now.

Yes, our “begin” is much more efficient if we laud our “began.” May I explain?

I began several years ago to stop being so fussy about trying to get my personal avenue in life. Yes, I have preferences. No one cares. Lamenting their apathy only makes me aggravated and grouchy. So I began to take care of myself and not require that others do it for me.

A decade ago, I began to be self-critical about my projects instead of waiting for the criticism of others. I would much rather be overly analytical of my personal affairs rather than having to recoil from critique.

I began to realize that financial responsibility is not optional.

I began to give independence to my children, so they could have a life separate from their allegiance to my fatherhood.

I began to talk less and think more.

I began to celebrate that intervention by problems is the only way to coax innovation.

I began to begin.

And in beginning … I can now celebrate what I began.

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Antsy

dictionary with letter A

Antsy: (adj) agitated, restless or impatient: (e.g., he was too antsy to stay in one place)

It reminds me of the story of the man who went to the doctor with a surprising case of adult acne, and after tests were conducted, the physician informed the gentleman that the acne was a symptom of a cancer which was growing in his liver.

The man replied, “But can you clear up my skin?”

You see, that’s what I think about “antsy.”

Antsy is one of those superficial symptoms we address with a topical solution, by distracting ourselves, trying to be patient or fidgeting around, hoping nobody will yell at us.

But “antsy” is actually the emotional acne that appears because we are aggravated. And aggravation is what crops up when we’ve allowed the cancer of arrogance to take root in our being.

Even though many folks may disagree with this, insisting that their own form of nerves is caused by a high metabolism or an energy which has dogged them from their youth, I find that people get antsy because they’ve allowed themselves to become aggravated, which is brought about because they feel they deserve special consideration or they’ve been miscast.

It’s amazing how quickly your acne clears up when the cancer is addressed. Of course, many people would rather take care of their pimples than their tumors.

But the condition of aggravation is a damning state which never gives you peace of mind, nor any celebration over accomplishment.

I started solving a lot of my problems when I realized that I was arrogant. It’s not that I’ve escaped all of these prideful bursts of self-infatuation, but I am fully aware that I’m susceptible, and only in remission.

So because I address my arrogance, I get a whole lot less aggravated, and find that waiting is not only necessary, but powerful in most situations.

I don’t need to be antsy.

So unless you want to die from cancer of the liver but with beautiful skin, and you want to be known as a fussy individual because you never addressed your true addiction to arrogance, it’s a good idea to go back and track down the source.

How do you avoid arrogance? Well, it’s really quite simple.

Since there are eight billion of you on this planet … you really can’t be that special.

 

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