Whiplash of a day

It’s late, and I’m tired, and when you read this, it will be your today, and my yesterday. Where I live is nearly the last time zone, so in my world, it’s still tonight and it’s been one heck of a whiplash kind of day.

It started out as routine, wakey-wakey and the requisite cuppa cuppa; off to shower, pack a lunch, kiss my kiddo and send him off to school. While  – as my mom always said – I was putting on my face; I hear the morning news show telling a story about a woman who nearly died from a seizure, only be saved by a complete stranger – an infamous umpire known for making a bad call – who administered CPR just in time, to the tune and beat of the song ‘Staying Alive’. That made an impression on me and I left the house uplifted, a bit more faith in human kind, and with a song stuck in my head.

Once at work, my day started with a memorial tree planting service for my boss who passed away suddently and unexpectedly last May; modern medicine should have saved him. This man was beloved, honest, loyal, hard-working and a wonderful human being. I reported to him for many years and have enjoyed not only his support of me professionally; he embraced both my creativity and my competence, and perhaps even more importantly, he supported me as a full-time working parent. His generosity has allowed me an excellent work-life balance as I juggle working and momming.  His own children will grow up in the shadow of his memory and ironically will not have the time to fully know the man I was lucky enough to know. This makes my heart ache for loss felt on so many levels – he was truly one of the good guys.

Bureaucracy filled the middlest part of the day; slugging through emails, phone calls, paperwork and signatures as I made my way towards quittin’ time. It’s Friday, and I had the prize of plans to meet up with the gals for dinner and drinks and a unique outing.  We all work out together three times a week, boot-camp high intensity workouts with our trainer. He pushes us, just hard enough, but not beyond what he knows we are capable of; he knows we will give it our all, that we want what we come for and in turn, he works hard to create workouts that are fun, challenging and just crazy enought to keep our eyes off the clock.   He’s a boxer, a fighter, and tonight was his big fight. Much as I wanted to, it was impossible to turn down his request to come out and support him; I cannot wrap my head around, nor reconcile, the paradox of this so called sport. Focus, fitness, discipline, conditioning. Violent.

It just doesn’t have a spot in my psyche; it felt surreal to be in the midst of that environment. The overabundance of testosterone made me uneasy; I kept one eyed fixed on the nearest exit. The ‘warm-up’ fights were one thing, I could look away, or look on with an analytical eye and I suppose I tried to detach in a way. One of the guys in the ring looked not a day over 18 and it was really all too much for me, tears sprang to my eyes when I peeled my hands off my eyes, and let in a crack of emotion. That was a boy, just a boy, engaged in a sport whose sole purpose is to inflict harm upon another.  But when it was someone I knew in that ring, it really became too much. I found myself watching his girlfriend more than him, watching with wide-eyed sadness the family with two young boys sitting in front of me absorbing all this as ‘normal’; I was overwhelmed by the crowd cheering on the physicality of it all.

I sat there trying to absorb it all, realizing that I just can’t. I sat there wishing that our world did not tolerate such violence. Last night my son asked me, “why do they have to have wars for independence?”  When I shook my head, indicating that I agreed with his question, but had no real good answer for him, his response was another question: ask “why can’t they just play a card game to settle it?”   God, I love that boy, and all I could think was how glad I was that he was home where he should be.

My day began with a story about a life nearly lost but saved, then punctuated with celebrating a life that should have been saved but was lost, and ended with a room full of people that I think should be cheering for the life they have but instead were cheering for the pummeling  of life.  My head is spinning; I am going to sing “Staying Alive’ as I head to bed.

Sweet dreams all.


21 thoughts on “Whiplash of a day

    • David thanks for taking the time…I couldn’t, in my response find a succinct way to condense the experience that clicked with your son’s experience and the reactions.


  1. Reading this after the weekend, so I am hoping that the balance of your weekend was full of beauty and rest, which sounds that way from the comments. So very sorry to read about the loss of your great boss. Sounds like you were very blessed and fortunate. Agree on the boxing: I never enjoyed watching grown men slug each other. And how sad that one of them was barely grown at 18.


    • Yes, the rest of the weekend was so nice, very relaxing and even had room for a nap! I was fortunate to have worked with/for the man we all lost; and l have all that learned from him to keep. Crazy stuff, that boxing, it just seems hard to wrap my head around it, and while not surprised, glad to know I have some kindred spirits here. 🙂


  2. Thanks for sharing that story. I too struggle with the violence that is so ingrained in our culture. On the bright side, some of our youth seem to be waking up from the haze. Your son is a prime example :).


    • Thanks Rachel – you are right, it is ingrained. I was explaining this to someone tonight, and I used the word ‘normalize’ for the 3 young boys sitting in front of me Friday night – it’s just normal to them. I hope you are right – that some are seeing things another way perhaps! Thanks for being here! 🙂


  3. Well my dear, I’m sorry you lost such a lovely man. I’m happy the ump saved a stranger- stories like these restore your faith in humanity. However, I admit it. I am a fan of boxing. I am a fan of fighting in hockey. I think that edgy area is part of the human nature that makes up many of us. We humans are very complex. But I like that there are people like you and people like me to balance things out. LOVE your sons idea for solving war. I say that all the time. If it was up to women, we’d sit down over a glass of wine and figure it out.


    • Well, my dear, you make a good point, and have a good perspective- it takes all of us to round things out. And I think you might just be a bit tougher than I 🙂 We are indeed very complex and we humans do tend to gravitate towards the action. I am definitely in the minority in my house! 🙂 And yes, the card game solution was/is brilliant – have no idea where that came from, but I love it too. In the meantime, let’s sit down over that wine, yes? 🙂


    • Thanks Maggie. And, that is awesome,that boxing is illegal in Norway, way to go! I have forever been uncomfortable with the so called sport and just cannot wrap my head – or heart – around it all.


  4. Oh, Bonnie – what a day! My head was spinning just reading this – how you coped I’ll never know (you’re certainly tougher than I am).

    I don’t like boxing and have never understood why it’s called ‘sport’.

    I’m so sorry about your boss. I lost a staff member (who was also a great friend) a few years ago and totally feel your grief.

    Sleep well and have a great Saturday 🙂


    • Thanks Dianne..

      You know, the day just rolled along and I didn’t put it together until I was sitting there with my teeth clenched and my hands over my eyes, watching these guys knock the crap out of one another that I started to think not only about how surreal it all was, but the juxtaposition of life that I had bumped up against over the day. Needless to say, I hit my pillow and was out- no 10 counts needed! 🙂 Losing my boss has been hard on everone on my team, he was really a wonderful person. I am lucky to have worked with him. I hope you are enjoying your weekend and that your travels are treating you well 🙂


  5. Bonnie, I am with you on the boxing thing. It is something that I will never fully understand. Hope your tomorrow is bright:)


    • Kathy – thank you and glad to know there is another one in my corner, outside the ring. I will never wrap my head or heart around it, and nor do I really want to. Today has been lovely, a normal Saturday with soccer, chores and relaxing. 🙂 xo


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