This May 3 marks me as 36 years old, and I've decided to get a good jump on my pending mid-life crisis. Since March 14, I've been returning to regular exercise and proper diet. I've been taking long walks daily, stretching, working with freeweights and nautilus equipment, and doing incrementally more intense cardio work. I have also been cutting out between-meal snacks and most of the sugar in my diet, and I am staying under 2000 Calories per day. In 8 weeks, I have lost 30 pounds, a grueling feat, and have finally reached the point where the Calories must come up, or the exercise must go down.
I haven't mentioned the weight loss in earlier posts, in case the whole plan blew up in my face, but I've been keeping a separate record of my progress over at http://inner-stork.blogspot.com/. (The blog's first entry explains the name.)
So I'm looking markedly better, although I still have plenty more to go before I would consider myself speedo material. My divorce, which I typically refrain from talking about here, is nearing its end-game, and by my 40th birthday, my daughter may give me her blessing to be on the market again. Touchy subject, as I prefer to sacrifice my desire for "that kind" of companionship to focus on Stacey's well-being, but to say that the desire isn't there would be a lie. It's something I think about, and when I'm having a fit near my 40th birthday, it will be something I think about a lot.
My work gives me every indication of wanting me to stay on, complete with a recent promotion and raise, and a bonus check that caught me up on lawyer's fees and the last of my credit card debt. In four years, if I haven't given up the IT ghost in favor of running my daycare, I will probably have a comfortable amount of disposable income.
Because of all this, I can see what happens to guys as they near 40, and why they have their little breakdowns. Maybe the marriage didn't work out. Maybe you got fat. Maybe after living alone you had to struggle financially for a few more years before getting your footing back. Maybe now you got yourself back in shape, and can finally afford the sporty car you never had as a teenager. You look at your progressively greying hair, and wonder just how long the girls will still find you sexy, and how long you have before the ED problems start. Maybe you see now as your last chance to be young, to get all those fun experiences the commercials promised you, what you were denied as a kid, before you start to decline to a marginalized, laughable old man.
It's all a lie! Get back in shape, great. Improve your financial situation, also great. But act like an adult. You aren't young any more, and the dream you were sold was a selfish one. If you have made it to 40, you should understand by now the greater benefit of living clean, and for the betterment of those you love. The 40 year old with the Jaguar and the 20 year old trophy girlfriend, the sunglasses and the James Dean demeanor -- he's an atrocity. A selfish boy bragging that he finally caught up to the cool kids from High School. Bleak. Empty. Hollow. And 22 years too late.
This is finale season in all of Stacey's activities. Her strings recital is tonight, her dance recital is in a couple weeks, her last soccer game was yesterday, and last Friday she laid down some vocals at Theatre Caffette with a pair of other girls, Sydney and Lauren, both talented. 5th grade "graduation" is just around the corner, as is the Girl Scouts end of the year swim party, and although I won't be swimming, I plan on going and not looking out of shape and afraid of the sun, like I've looked for the past couple years now. [Note to self: make sure boys are allowed at the swim party, since they are often banned from Girl Scouts activities.]
Stacey and I have been butting heads recently, in the natural process of kids growing up and asserting their independence. It frustrates me, especially considering the near perfect relationship we've had for the preceding 9 years. I still love her to death, and at times I am still the center of her world -- rarer now, but sometimes. How long before the idea of being tucked into bed is abhorrent? How long before the open rebellion? The shock-value boyfriend? I don't know, but how long before we give up on each other? Never. The base of our love and friendship is solid, and will withstand the torrents that life and nature will throw at us. She is now, and will always be, the reason I embrace life.
The Last Bridge.
9 hours ago