A lot can change in the course of a few days. I’ve made a real attempt to pull myself out of the doldrums and it seems to be working. Tired of being tired, I’ve said the hell with letting it all pull me into the deep end and have waded into shallow waters, so to speak. My wife and I are making a concerted attempt to be healthier and get moving more. Sundays and one day during the week we are going to the Y together, while the rest of the week we’re getting our miles in separately. I’m trying for 4 to 5 miles of walking five out of seven days. Why not seven days? Well, Wednesdays I get groceries after work, while Fridays are cleaning days after work. But the rest of the week I’m hitting either the streets or the treadmill hard.
I used to be pretty active and fit. I lost 45 lbs in the early 2000s after we had our second child. From 265 to a little under 220 in two years. I’m 6′ tall, so I’m sure 185-190 is my “ideal” weight, but I feel damn good between 210 and 220. Since then I kind of float up and down 10-15 lbs. But given that I’m looking at 50 years old in a year I’ve decided it’s time to lock into a routine and stick to it. I’ve thankfully not had to get on any meds for anything yet and I’m hoping slimming further down and creating healthier habits will secure a prescription-free future. We’ll see. Heredity can be a bitch.
In doing that, I’m cutting back the micro brews. I love my IPAs, but as I get older they don’t seem to love me. I find it harder to recover from a night of 3 or 4 beers, and there’s nothing worse than wasting a Saturday feeling tired and sluggish because I indulged a little too much. And carbs. The damn carbs.
I’m going to commit to my weird little drawings and paintings as well. With this gift project for my daughter, I’m getting lots of ideas. I spent a couple hours on Saturday drawing something I’d had in my mind. It came out pretty much how I’d wanted it to, but I think I’m going do a few more and see which one pops out and says “Paint me.” That’ll be the one I go with as a Christmas gift.
I sent a pic of it to one of my oldest friends who happens to be one of the best artists I know. He gave me lots of positive feedback. He asked if I’d planned on starting an Instagram page for just my art since I’ve amassed somewhat of a collection this past year. I told him I wasn’t sure, and he said if I did he would. Well that settled it, I’m definitely going to start an art page. My friend had started one awhile back and was posting his pieces pretty regularly but dropped out of social media entirely due to some personal issues. I think he’s doing better, and if I could be the catalyst for him returning and sharing his works then I’m here for it.
I find a lot of joy in sitting for an hour or two and trying to bring something from my head and put it on paper. I’ll never be amazing, maybe not even good. But that’s okay, because my two-dimensional, amateurish drawings are me. It’s the odd little visual world that inhabits my imagination. I get something much different from drawing and messing with paints than I do playing the guitar. It’s more of an intellectual endurance than playing chords on a guitar. And yes, even though I tore down the recording and guitar playing area of the craft room, I still went downstairs today and played on the Orange amp and my J Mascis Jazzmaster for 20 minutes or so. Felt good.
I guess I’d rather be so-so at many different things, then great at just one.
Though I don’t have the whole week off, I’m still excited that I’m working just three days this week. I’ll be off work Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving and I’m starting to feel it. I used to take the the whole week off when the kids were smaller. Gave me a chance to get all the shopping done, as well as doing a deep clean of the house prior to guests coming over and mucking it all up. It was nice having a few hours to myself while they were at school and my wife was at work, too. Coffee, Netflix, some writing/recording, and just hanging out with the dog. That was an excellent Monday morning.
But it hasn’t worked out that way the last couple years, so we do a marathon clean-up Wednesday afternoon/evening and get some of the food prepared early. Last year we ordered pizza the Wednesday before and my son and I started that Hawkeye show on Disney+. We also started The Irishman that evening. I think we’re going to watch The Irishman again this year. Make a 3 1/2 hour movie a yearly Thanksgiving tradition? Why not?
On December 2nd I’m turning 49. So I’ll be pretty damn close to 50-years old. 40 didn’t bother me. 40 felt like just another birthday. But 50? That feels…significant. I remember my mom’s 50th birthday like it was yesterday. It was a surprise birthday party my grandma planned for her. We alll headed over to a small Mexican restaurant in Rochester, Indiana(where my grandma lived.) My mom thought it was going to be a small dinner with just her, my dad, my grandma and grandpa. It ended up being a large gathering of friends, family, and acquaintances and lots of fun. Food, laughs, someone dressed as a clown I think, too.
That was July of ’99. Over 23 years ago. Remembering it, it feels like it was just last week in my brain. But so much has happened in those 23 years. Hell, I bet a quarter of the people that filled that back room in that Mexican restaurant are all gone. The furthest thing from my mind in 1999 was my 50th birthday. Now? It’s just around the corner and I can feel that thought in a very real, significant way.
I don’t know. The last few days I’ve felt some weight lift. That’s not say that I won’t wake up tomorrow morning and feel that “presence” once again, but right now it feels far away. I’m looking forward to cooking for those I love Thursday, and seeing what ends up in the sketch book. I’m also excited to start another book(it’ll be the 13th of the year.) Hell, I’m also excited to play some scuzzy blues licks on the Jazzmaster at some point this week, too. We’ll see what happens. I’ll take it one day at a time. One foot in front of the other. Do my best not to trip.