• Learning life’s lessons from a face plant

    I had everything planned out, every little detail, when I walked my dog Shelby on New Year’s Eve. The plan was to take the dog out on the street and let her do her dog business.

    Let me put this plan into context: It snowed substantially during the weekend and it got quite cold right after the snowfall. I will also throw in one more detail: The city of Johnston did one of the laziest and most awful jobs of plowing the streets. That’s my tax dollars hard at work. The haphazardly plowed street was literally a sheet of ice; what could go wrong walking my dog on it?

    I knew where I was going to walk and the path I would use to avoid the icy patches. There was an alliterative saying for moments like this: proper planning prevents piss poor performance. Hell, I was a Boy Scout and we are always prepared for everything.

    The preparation was a big help when I fell on my face when I slipped on the ice. I had no chance; I went down quicker than a five dollar hooker.

    Hence the term “face plant” — I planted my face into nature’s bounty of frozen ice and snow. It was literally colder than a witch’s tit and twice as hard. My father saw me hit the deck pretty hard and helped me up as I brushed off snow and ice off.

    Fast forward to about an hour later; my friends Jessica and Anne picked me up to celebrate New Year’s Eve and Day at their apartment, just the three of us. We had a blast hanging out and finally watching the ball in Times Square drop.

    We all decided to go to bed (separately people … calm down) around 1:30 a.m. They had this surprisingly comfortable futon that folded out into a bed that I slept on. It was on that futon that it sort of hit me: life.

    When I was younger, I thought I had life all planned out. I had plans, lofty goals, desires, and other pursuits that I was going to not only try but also conquer. As I tried to pursue my ambitions, I received many face plants, and every single one of them hurt and most of the time it was also outright embarrassing.

    However, time waits for no man. You have to find your footing, sometimes with help, and continue walking. What choice do you have? You can only lick your wounds for so long before you cause an infection.

    By the way, stop licking wounds. It’s gross.

    I laid in the futon tossing and turning while I had realized that even though I was sore from having hit the ice, I was content and happy with my friends from the awesome evening. My ankle was killing me, my right forearm was sore, my back was a little stiff, and I was just trying to find the right position to get a visit from Death’s cousin. As I flopped around like a mackerel trying desperately to get back into water, I realized I was just so fortunate to have friends as I have in Jessica and Anne. Finally after that realization, my body started to relax and I drifted away to wherever people go when they sleep.

    Who the hell knows what the meaning of life is, and should I really care to know its meaning? I am to a point right now that I just try to roll with the punches and hopefully improvise when the need arises. Life cannot be planned and anticipated, only experienced and endured. I face plant on a patch of ice; I try to find a way to keep moving. Once and a while, you may even have some help getting up so you can more quickly move onward and upward.

    The plan now is to find a new patch of ice to walk on.







    • Matt, it could have been worse. The ice you did the face plant on could have been yellow ice. You need to use the dog leash to keep the dog positioned so that you fall on him instead of the hard ice. What do you think a leash is for?

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