Waking up in the morning after a good night’s sleep is something we usually take for granted. We assumed the night before we would indeed wake up.

In our younger years, we woke up full of energy and vitality. We couldn’t wait to finish breakfast and go outside to play. If we lived in the city we went to play ball, ride our bikes or maybe shoot a game of marbles.

If we lived in the country or had grandparents who did, we might go play in the barn. If there was a creek nearby we might go fishing or swimming. We looked forward to getting up.

That attitude changes as we get older. The pressures of life, jobs, families cause us to drag our feet when the alarm goes off. We force ourselves to get up and face life against those strong feelings to sleep “just ten more minutes.”

When we retire, and we no longer have to get up early, waking up takes on a new persona. It becomes a mind game between our bladder and all of our other aches and pains. A recent example of those games follows.

BLADDER: Messenger! Send a signal to Brain that we are reaching capacity. We need to activate “Operation Walk-about” immediately to empty the system.

MS: Yes, sir. “Brain, reservoir full, activate Operation Walk-about at once.”

BRAIN: “Signal received.” (Brain issues alert and gives orders to all systems.) “Eyes, activate immediately. I need some intel. What time is it?” (No response – Brain issues second order.) “Eyes! What time is it?”

LEFT EYE: “Hold your horses. We heard you the first time.” (Left eye cracks open just enough to see the clock. Right eye still buried in the pillow.) “Jeez, why are you bothering me? It’s only 4:30. I’m going back to sleep.”

BR: “I said wake up! We have a situation with bladder, he’s full. All hands up and moving!”

LE: “I told him not to drink all of that water before lights out. Now he’s whining for everybody else to help him.”

BR: “Never mind that now. Code red alert! LEGS, ARMS get moving. We need to get up. NOW!”

(Grumbling from all systems…”Why didn’t that little brat go before lights out.”)

Legs and arms grudgingly comply and raise us to a sitting position. Then…BR receives a sudden malfunction signal from LUMBAR.

LUMBAR: “Whoa! What do you guys think you’re doing? You’re not putting any weight on me. I don’t care what bladder wants.”

BR:LUMBAR, we don’t have time for this. Get ready to support us.”

LB: “Look, you guys know I’m bent and have six bones instead of five. You know the shocks are worn out and if you want to put weight on me, you have to give me some warning.”

(Mumbles from the group…”Ya, we all have our problems so what makes you special?”)

BR: “Alright, alright! Activate the emergency exercise plan and get LB ready to go. NOW! BL is sending overflow warnings.”

(Muscles flex, we twist and turn to get loose and attempt to stand. LB sends a blast of pain signals but they are ignored. All systems strain to move. LB complains; JOINTS sound like popcorn popping; HANDS find KNEES to avoid standing upright and keep LB happy.)

BL: “It’s about time you guys got a move on. This doesn’t have to be pretty, just get moving.”

Group: “Alright, alright, we’re going. If you had listened to us last night we wouldn’t be in this mess.” (Bladder gets his way.)

Getting up when you are old is not pretty. With all of our aches and pains, it can be a struggle. Sometimes it is noisy when our joints crack and pop as we walk. We can improve on this situation by getting proper exercise and keeping core muscles strong. It only takes a few minutes a day.

If you are young, enjoy your health and take care of it. Old age comes all too soon.

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