This year, 2010, has been a year of downs and ups for me. It began on a sour note in January when I broke my fibula near my ankle, then rose to good times as I was able to remount my Harley and ride again in April, though I had progress with recovery very slowly so as not to re-injure my leg.
Then some down times again in June when my aunt almost died and I concentrated on getting her healthy again and able to live independently at home. I do not consider it a down time when I was laid off in June, because I needed that nudge to leave my former employer. Fortunately, I had the financial resources saved up to continue to live as I usually do, so a temporary job loss was endurable. (And actually welcome…).
In August, I worked A LOT on our house. I replaced 900sf of decking, four windows, three doors, two exterior deck privacy walls and rejuvenated that pear tree for the partridges. Further, I bought and renovated a small fixer-upper house to rent to a community hero (a local cop). I also did a number of minor repairs on several other rental properties, too.
Since my aunt’s condition had stabilized by August and much progress had been made on home repairs, I finally had time to lead some motorcycle rides, and go on rides with others. I learned that I cannot serve as a Road Captain any more because I was spending five times as long to plan a ride than most others due to my horrible sense of direction (and that I get lost so easily, despite having a GPS!) I will not have the time to do five pre-rides for every ride I may lead in 2011, so I stepped down as a Road Captain. It was a great learning experience, and I appreciate having done that, but I learned my limits and have to live with them.
Life turned up significantly again in September when I was offered my dream job and accepted. Then things went “on hold” while administrative matters were taken care of and I had minor surgery to repair a hernia. Finally, the third week of November saw me begin my new life, doing what I do best, rekindling my career, and renewing relationships with people who I worked with from 1984 to 2004 in my “past life.” (My job from 2006 to mid 2010 was sort of a “place keeper” because I knew that it would not be something I wanted to do until retirement. It just paid the bills and kept me busy.)
Oh, and another good thing: a transition in my community life has happened, where someone I mentored was elected to lead an organization for which I had served as President for the last six years. It was definitely time for me to move on, and for me to step back and assume a role of “emeritus adviser.”
I cannot let the year go without acknowledging work that I have done on weight-loss. It has always been a struggle for me, as I cannot eat “healthy foods” (that give me the shits) and I am definitely not a gym rat. I was not watching what I was eating, and I know I was drinking too many sodas, and wasn’t exercising. I had to work through some issues with my chronic condition which made the weight-gain a problem, too. (Photo in December, 2009, on right).
The good news is that through the summer and fall, I focused on losing weight sensibly. (Photo in December, 2010, on left). I would go swimming once a week, which was not enough. I began to walk … and walk … and walk … and now, every day, I walk at least two miles, usually four and on good days, I walk seven or eight miles. I gave up drinking sugared sodas — and not being a coffee drinker, giving up my Cokes was really hard to do. Coke Zero just didn’t work for me (more shits again). Thank goodness I don’t drink beer, wine, or liquor, or the situation would have been worse!
I have always eaten fairly normal meals, but I am much more careful about my portion sizes. It’s a good thing that I do not eat out at restaurants, as their portion sizes are often huge! And finally, what seems to have worked is that I usually do not eat lunch, but keep my tummy filled with water-water-water. All that ==> sum total: I weigh 38 pounds less today than I weighed on January 1. (I gained 14 pounds during my “down time” so I actually lost 52 pounds this year.) Pretty good! A very nice guy from Georgia just sent me a message congratulating me on my “new look.” I tell ‘ya, it IS work, but not only do I think that I look better, I feel better. More energy, vitality, and even better sex (enough of that, as this IS a G-rated blog!)
I will continue this routine of “walking and water” for the months and years to come. It’s working. I don’t think I will loose significantly more pounds than I already have, but I will work at maintaining the progression and try not to gain it back. (And I did this all without a physician or nutritionist yelling at me.)
All-in-all, I can say that 2010 has been a major transition year for me, and it turned out well. I remained focused on the positive, and worked to make things better for myself, my partner, my aunt, my family, my senior legion, my community, and those I care about. I mean, after all, that’s what is most important — being positive and productive. Nobody likes a negative noodle, so I vow to remain a happy, sincerely positive man.
Life is short: make the best of it!