As hinted about in a couple of my side bar additions yesterday, my birthday is coming, and quite quickly at that. It is now only four days until I turn 30. My body has been showing the signs of the forthcoming age for several months, I have put on about ten pounds in the last six months or so, my belly is appearing to be more of a barrel than an actual physical feature, some of my joints aren’t working with the fluidity that they once did… Whether any of this is directly related to the age I am going to be on Monday is not all that clear, it is just that I am noticing all of these little things a lot more as that age approaches.
The most annoying part of it is the weight gain. When I graduated high school, and thus no longer had physical education or the other after school activities, I ballooned from my normal 170 pounds to almost 210 pounds in less than a year. I was still working full time during this period, but the fact that I was working at a pizza joint, and thus my every meal was pizza I suppose that is to be expected. I switched myself over to diet soda at that point, that might not seem like a big change, but when you are guzzling down a 12 pack of coke a day taking away all of that sugar really does help. Another factor that helped me become a little less porky at the time was a new job that I got, at an ice cream parlor. I am not a real big fan of ice cream, so I didn’t eat the leftovers nearly as much as I did at the pizza place.
I got myself back down to a satisfactory 175 pound size, which went down to 165 when I was without a job or a home for a few weeks near my 19th birthday, but otherwise I have been that same weight for about 11 years. Even when I went into the hospital with a neck injury, that I talked way too much about, several months ago the nurse did not believe my 175 pound estimate of my weight and put me on the scale. True I did weigh 178 at that point but that was still pretty much in line with what I have weighed all of my adult life. I now weigh 184 pounds and I am not wearing it well at all.
I suppose what I really need is the discipline to put myself back onto the simple workout schedule that helped me to thin up after reaching the 205 pound mark. My excercise was simple. Before bed each night I would do 50 sit-ups and 50 (well it started at 20 and went up incrementaly until I was able to do 50) push-ups. In the morning I would do only the sit-ups, as the push-ups really killed my arms and I needed to have the strength to be able to throw around cases of dead animal at work, each case can weigh over 80 pounds, and after moving them around for ten minutes you really know that you did.
I really don’t remember why I gave up on those excercises. I began to live with my wife around the time that I gave them up, but she was generally always in bed long before me, and it is not like it takes more than about three minutes to do it. Exerting the muscles actually helped me to get to sleep when I wasn’t entirely tired before I laid down. I can not think of a single reason why I ever quit doing it. I suppose that it is just a routine that you get into and once you break the routine once it becomes easier to break it again, and again, until the routine is to not do it at all. What is worse is that it is a hard routine to get yourself into. Unless you are either already in really great shape, or a masochist, it is a lot of hard work that does not show any results for weeks or months. I think I will start doing it again, but, wait, I am going on vacation in a couple of days so I better wait until I get back…
In 30th birthday related things, I still find that I am getting asked for my ID when I attempt to buy alcohol and tobacco at the local convenience stores. I find that a bit humorous only because the people that are asking for the ID are usually ten years younger than me. I don’t see how anyone could look at me and think that I wasn’t 18, come on, all the grey hair should at least tell them that I voted for Dubya..gotta be 18 to vote..
I often look into the mirror and think (while I am combing my hair) that I don’t look much different than I did when I was 16. Thinking about it now, I bet a lot of people do the same thing as they are approaching a so-called milestone birthday. Of course I don’t look much different, my eyes, ears, nose, mouth, chin, hair-line (thankfully) are all still just where they were when I was 16. The multiple holes from the earrings that I wore in my teens can still be seen, though I doubt that they are still usable. The problem is that when you see yourself every day in the mirror you don’t notice all of the minor things that are happening, the things that basically erode you over time. I can see, in my face, very slight lines that were certainly not there 14 years ago. My eyes seem to be a bit deeper than they were all that time ago. If I actually smile, my face knows just where to put all the skin based on pre-creased lines.
I don’t really want to be young forever, I doubt anyone really does, yet, aging is something that we all seem to hate. I can understand why I hate aging, it is a sign that I am mortal and that death grows nearer with every passing breath. What I really don’t understand is why people who are very religious dislike it. In a religious person’s mind every breath means one less until you are in Heaven, right? Heaven is supposed to return you to your former beauty, so shouldn’t religious people look at wrinkles with love? One step closer to God after all.
• I had no intention of bitching all day about my age. I was actually hoping to throw up a news item or two, there was nothing worth bitching about.