Reframing The Good Old Days

Sunset over Bohicket Marina on John's Island, SC. Just one of my good old days.

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

Over the last few months I’ve told you a lot about “good old days” in my life. There were the dedicated days a wrestler. The freedom and reckless abandon of the college years. The blissful early years of marriage when we traveled alot and lived on the island. The hot year I worked on boats at Bohicket Marina feeling connected to the ocean. The early years of my triathlon career when I thought anything was possible. Just to name a few.

Those were good times.

Recently though I was struck by a song lyric that seems to be sticking with me. It’s from Pat Green’s “All the good things fade away“.

Here it is, uncensored, because that’s how Pat wrote it and honestly, this is how I feel it:

Sure seems shitty to me there has to be such a thing as the good old days.

Hearing that caused me to reconsider how I view life as it happens. Times are hard for us as a family some days. Not in a financial sense, but more in a growing pains kind of way. Mommy and I struggle sometimes to manage 3 young kids. I certainly don’t always do it with Grace. And, I suppose I occasionally think about the “good old days” and wonder about how life goes so quickly. One day I’m washing boats, drinking a beer, and watching the sun set over the Atlantic. Then in a blink of the eye I’m 12 years deep into an office life with a house full of kids. It’s easy to think back and say “man, those were the good old days.”

The truth is, if I think hard enough about any of those good old days I realize I’m only remembering the highlight reel images. Working on boats was great, but I stayed sunburnt, earned minimum wage (maybe a little better), and was constantly talked down to by wealthy tourists and boat owners who assumed I was an uneducated marina rat because I chose to fill their boats with gas. Now, the good of working on the ocean certainly outweighs the bad, but it wasn’t always a Jimmy Buffett song. Usually, but not always.

I know one day when you kids are grown I’ll look back and remember these days as the good old days too. You kids still innocent and playing in the backyard, me and mommy the center of your universe, and each other as your best friends. It won’t always be this way. So while I get angry about bedtime, messes, and constant crying and fighting, I know one day I’ll wish I had it all back.

So here’s how Pat Green finishes out that thought:

Sure seems shitty to me there has to be such a thing as the good old days
Someday, somewhere, my hair like my memories will all just fade out to gray
Got it all right now and I just as soon keep it that way

I love you critters,

– Daddy

quote of the day: Max is turning into a philosopher. You said: “The tractor is my ocean.” That’s heavy son. You love tractors.

Training: recovery week

Monday: REST

Tuesday: REST