The New Year

The entire month of December has come and gone, and I’m now staring down the deep, yawning abyss of another year.  I’ve been at that age the last couple of years, an age I was reminded of recently by my birthday, where thoughts sometimes turn to all that has been left undone in life.

aging image

2010 was a good year in that regard: I took some risks like getting on a motorbike again, and made a lot of new acquaintances in the process.  I also lost 15 pounds and started eating a bit better.  There were lots of challenges and sad times as well, but looking at things from the slightly removed vantage point of the turning year I would have to say things are going fairly well.

Midlife hog riders

Christmas 2010 was full of family visits, with happy moments degraded by my patented dreary seasonal introspection.  In December I decided to start looking at my diet and general health again after six months of letting things slide.  The changes I made earlier in the year had remained with me: I’m still 15 to 20 pounds lighter than I was at the beginning of 2010, but I’m “stuck” at that point.  I’ll be trying a few new things, and we’ll see where that leads over the next several months.  But becoming more conscious of what I’m eating and how little exercise I’m getting means giving up on some of the fun things to eat.  All that Christmas chocolate, for example, is still sealed away for the most part.

I’m also starting to look more closely at our finances for the first time in several years.  Scary!  Of course, given that I’m a geek, this means using a new piece of software- or more specifically a website:  It’s been fun playing with the features provided by Mint, and because it is largely automated it is relatively painless.  The good news is that a rough initial accounting shows that we are as “well off” now as we were in 2007, although we have lots of room for improvement.  The roof and insulation, the air conditioning/heat pump, and other related upgrades have added a big chunk of debt to our lives, to say nothing of my recent motorcycle habit.  Irene and I might have to be a little less spendthrift over the next few years if we seriously want to retire before it becomes mandatory.

I’m looking now at what remains of my youthful dreams, and what things I can still accomplish before time removes my options.  I definitely plan to take advantage of my Roadglide with some longer trips during the year, for one thing.  Aside from the motorbike, Irene and I have already talked about a couple of smaller weekend trips together during the year.  I have a few DVD courses from the Teaching Company to work through, and a few others that I’d like to get and complete during the year.

Many of the dreams I had when I was young are beyond my reach now, others have been conquered but found hollow, but I’ve mastered a few things I once imagined and found them to be good.  I still have some life left to live, Flying Spaghetti Monster willing, and time to grab on to a few more wishes.

Flying spaghetti monster

2 thoughts on “The New Year”

  1. I’ve backslid on the weight front as well, I’m 20lbs heavier than m lightest point, but still 30lbs lighter that when I started. In my case the cause is fairly easy to pinpoint-I’ve been crippled up with one ailment or another for most of the last year. I sadly suspect rheumatism.

    I think sometimes we worry too much on “accomplishments” as planned events we have to work towards. Even the current “bucket list” craze risks reducing life to to bullet points on a checklist.

    I think it would be like taking a road trip and treating it like a rally drive, with times checkpoints and objectives to achieve every step of the way… with all due apologies to rally enthusiasts, I can’t imagine anything less fun. Sure it’s good to have a destination in mind, and a general idea of what you need to get there, but other than that *cliche alert* the joy is in the travel, not the destination.

    The questions are:
    Are you happy?
    If not, what can you do that will help make you happy?

    Note that “do” is an ongoing process, as is happiness. Thus if you enjoy shopping actually owning the things you shopped for will not make you happy, because the shopping is over.

    Of course, once you know what you can do that will make you happy then you can worry about finding the time and money for it, thus making you unhappy all over again! lol 😉

  2. Yeah, weight is a challenge for me, and probably for most people our age, Chris. I think you did tremendously well last year, and your “backslide” seems quite understandable and probably manageable. You have a fairly active job and seem to like working in your yard at home, both of which are good things to burn some calories. If you could find something to do during the cold months that didn’t cause you too much discomfort you’d be set.

    The challenge for me year round is finding activities that burn some calories and don’t a) hurt my joints; b) make me feel like Sysiphus, constantly pushing a rock up a hill only to have it roll back down. Normally I feel like the downsides to exercise outweigh the up. Hopefully the new things I’m trying will bear some fruit.

    2011 may turn out tho be a really great year: if nothing else, I expect that it will throw some surprises our way 😉

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