That Last Hundred Meters!

Okay! If you’ve ever watched a foot race of any length, you’ve likely seen more than one runner straining to make that last hundred meters. Whether it is to better their own time, catch the runner in front of them who is faltering, few give up and walk that last part of the race. In the writing sense, I am in that last few meters.

As far as I can tell, I am within a gnats whisker of completing the WordPress Bloganuary writing challenge. To be honest, I am quite proud of myself since I didn’t find out about it until two or three days after it started. Then I was laid low by a back injury for four days in the middle of it. However, if my brain is back to even 75 percent, I am two topics short of completing the entire challenge. So, if I fudge a bit on the different aspects of this challenge, I hope you will forgive me.

On Advice Giving

One reason for my asking for some leeway is this. The first prompt was, “What advice would you give to your teenage self?” Here is the problem. Other than chronologically, I was never a teenager. Oh, I had the pimples, goofy grin, wandering eye, and that sort of thing. Still, I went from being the oldest child, responsible for the well-being of his little brother, to the peacemaker, caretaker, and confidant of two highly unstable parents almost overnight.

I know! That sounds like a stretch and a cop-out to a degree. Unfortunately, it is true, and I spent many years in therapy coming to terms with that reality. So, the response to such a prompt is simple.

I learned a lot more from my teenage self than he could learn from me. He was studious, a survivor, hardworking, a voracious reader, someone with the imagination of several fiction writers, and everyone’s shoulder when they needed to cry.

Sadly, he was also everyone’s emotional punching bag when they needed to vent. He, and the lessons he learned, helped me be successful as an adult. If you’ve never had the pleasure of listening to one parent justify their behavior and blame it on the other, and a short time later hearing the same kind of venting from the other parent, you’ve never lived.

On the Road Again

Of course, that leaves the road trip prompt. I cannot tell you how many road trips I have taken in my life, starting as a kid sleeping in the backseat of our car while dad drove all night. Those were the days. There were no seat belts, no airbags, just Mom, Dad, my brother, and me on what passed for highways in those days.

Dad made a wooden base for a pallet that let David and me sleep the night away while we headed west, south, east, or north depending on his mood. When I became the head of my own family, that vacation travel was still the norm. So, there is no “road trip” that interests me.

I love to drive, and I love looking at the scenery. I also like to fly to wherever it is, pick up my rental car and go to the different sites or attractions. Once you’ve driven all night a few times to reach a destination everyone else will enjoy while you sleep, road-tripping loses some of its appeal. And, please do not get me started on driving cross-country or even a small state with two wide-awake kids in the backseat.

So, there we are. Two quick, dirty and honest responses to the Bloganuary prompts. I may not have won the prize, but I made it to the finish line, staggering a bit, but done.

© – 2022

#bloganuary #oneoldcop

About S. Eric Jackson

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6 Responses to That Last Hundred Meters!

  1. Em says:

    “If you’ve never had the pleasure of listening to one parent justify their behavior and blame it on the other, and a short time later hearing the same kind of venting from the other parent, you’ve never lived.”

    I love this sentence: you don’t hear people talk about this too often, but it’s hard when parents ignore boundaries and do this to their kids.

  2. CarolCooks2 says:

    Well done…You finished…:)

  3. Pingback: I think I’m Done – Bloganuary

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