The Adventures of Kidney Boy

A Journal About Living With End Stage Renal Disease. Dialysis. Transplants. Love. Family. Friends. The Unsung Donor. This is my life, from the end of a needle to the bottom of a pill bottle.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Finding Joy

 I don't know if it's just a general thing about life, or if it's compounded by my own personal struggles, but with each passing year, I struggle to get the same enjoyment out of things that I used to love to do.  I suppose that's an element of depression - depression is such a broad topic, and what encompasses it varies from person to person greatly, but the loss of interest in things that once brought you joy seems to be a common thread.  I could explain my feelings on the matter as simply "I don't enjoy things I used to do." but that's far too simplistic an assessment of my feelings.  I still find a lot of joy in many of the things I do, but the certain spark, or joie de vivre, has irrevocably changed.  But I think it has to - with age and experience, your barometer for excitement is changed, tempered.  And I can't force that wonder that comes from being young and doing things that excite the soul.  I mean, for instance - I still love to play guitar.  But it doesn't quite move me the same way it did when I was younger.  Maybe the self-delusion of potential rock-stardom somewhere off in that great distant "someday" has petered out as I have reached and surpassed the age of the great distant "someday".  So my expectation has changed - I don't hold any delusions of being a rock-star, but in having that silly hope, it used to drive my passion.  Sometimes you need that ridiculous moonshot style dream to fuel that wildfire inside.  Now... I'm more than happy to play some songs that my family would enjoy up at camp - around a campfire.  I'm more driven by the hope that me playing music will inspire my kids to learn to do the same - or at least entertain them.  I love it when they light up as I play a song I know.  See - dreams, goal posts shifted.  Maybe not as lofty at 21 year old Steve, who was ready to give up the world and start touring in a dirty old van with 5 or 6 other musical reprobates.  But I like this 43 year old Steve who loved to sing songs with his Mom & Dad up at camp, and in his living room with his kids.  

But I am not quite as driven to do so as much.  In my youth, if there was a guitar anywhere near me, at any time, it was in my hands and I was playing a song, or working out new chord shapes to learn. Or noodling exercises to limber up my fingers, gain speed, and memorize scales and modes.  I miss having that drive.  But in writing something like this, it makes me love the moment in time where I was that guy, and then remember to love this guy who's much older, wiser and experienced too.  I've learned more than a thing or two, and as sure as there's stars in the sky, I have a thing or two more yet to learn in this lifetime.

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