My entire body hurts.

Actually, it has hurt all over for as long as I can remember. I cannot recall a time when I was not in pain. Don’t feel sorry for me, for the most part, I am fine.

I am thirty-eight years old now, and I am wondering if I have the body of a sixty-year-old. Seriously, this hurts!

As many of you are aware, I am a carpenter, and I am told by many more than one of the same trade that there are no carpenters with any amount of experience who do not hurt greatly. (Did you like that last sentence? I can get even more verbose than that!)

Yet I believe there must be other people in the construction trades who hurt more than I do. Take tile layers for example. Eight to ten hours every day on their knees!! No thank you for me.

Or how about brick layers and masons? All those heavy bricks and blocks, and the repetitive motion of laying the mortar must be death to arms and shoulders. I cannot imagine it.

I can only imagine the pain I am in, and there are times it hurts so bad that I take four to five ibuprofen, and it doesn’t even touch the pain. I know why I hurt…I think.

One of the things I realized just yesterday is that nearly every time I use a tool of any sort, there is a violent impact made on one of my joints; most often my hands. But the elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, and feet all take abuse from these impacts. Strangely, my back rarely hurts.

What kind of pain is this, you might ask? My feet either pound, or are numb, it all depends how much I have to walk. My knees and hips feel stiff all of the time, even when I am sitting down. My thighs are sore to the touch more often than not. My shoulders mostly just have a sharp pain at the front, while my arms also always feel stiff and numb. My hands? They just hurt, there is no way to describe it.

Why am I telling you this?

Because I am alive with joy, hope, and excitement. I am filled with finishing the moment. I am drawn by looking forward to the future. My past doesn’t seem as bad as it did when I actually lived it.

My body is racked with pain almost constantly. My heart feels light, well stretched out, and free. It feels big, and warm, while one of the words I might use fairly often to describe the pain in my joints is “cold”.

How can there be such a contradiction in one man? In one body?

My body will pass away one day. The pain I have now will die with the passing. Somehow, I don’t think the hope, joy, and excitement will ever die. Thank you.

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