Thursday, May 28, 2009

Annual birthday bitchfest

It's one of my favorite things to talk about --actually, for blogs in general-- shedding pounds and getting healthy. I've probably written a dozen posts on the subject of me making healthy choices, getting exercise and not smoking. I start off hopeful, but invariably fuck it up.

I could blame my wife. She's an enabler. I buy healthy crap at the grocery store, lots of leafy greens, fruit and beans. She buys the stuff that tastes good, that's easier to sling together when you've got ten minutes to get the kid to daycare then to work. It's also a lot tastier at 2 in the morning, when I'm up and want something salty, something sweet, something to make the couple hours I've just spent hammering on my keyboard feel like it was worth something.

I could blame the job. I spent mucho hours on my butt staring at computer screens and talking on the phone.

It's all me. I could eat better, exercise a bit... but let me tell you. Last year, I joined up at the YWCA to do a bit of swimming: 30 bucks a month, thanks to a company plan, to go swimming whenever I God damned wanted to. 30 bucks a month that was locked in for 12 months. I went maybe six times. The math: 360 dollars to swim six times equals 60 dollars a visit. Given that I maybe did twenty laps per visit, that was $3 a lap.

That's strip club prices without any of the show.

Smoking? Well, yeah... so much for me staying off them, but I was real secret about it.

So, I'm starting over again --again, but something has changed. Over the last month, I've spoken to a wide variety of strangers and all of them seem to know a 39 year-old who kicked over because of a heart attack or a stroke. It has haunted me for weeks. I know I'm unhealthy. I'm in lousy shape, overweight and there isn't a lot of genuine peace back at the ranch. This is not a complaint. It's an assessment.

So, I thought about it. Being dead at 39 would kind of suck. It's not so much for me. I don't sweat dying. Maybe it's one of the things I've really embraced with being a Buddhist. Death, as a personal experience, isn't all that scary once you get past the idea that it's probably going to hurt. However, death as impact to the people around me is very frightening.

As I talked to these people about their friends and loved ones, what really got me was the grieving wives and children. I started to consider what it would be like if I was totally out of the picture, how this would effect the way my kids were raised, their futures, and even the hopes and aspirations of my wife.

It was sobering. With me out of the picture, things go to shit pretty fast.

So, I bought some decent walking shoes, joined a gym (though one that cost 75 bucks a year) and I'm not eating starch or sugar. I have not had a cigarette in a week. I also went ahead and got a video card to upgrade my computer so I could play a video game I got on ebay at Christmas, but couldn't play and couldn't make time to play. It seemed to me, I need to make time for real diversion, for actual leisure. I put in a garden in my backyard --same reason --and it gets me out of the house.

So, I turn 39 in three weeks. My goal is to not be dead by 40. At the very least, I've got to hold out for another 10 or 15 years. What a freakin' hassle.

No comments: