2007 & 2008
Yeah, we humans overdo it on these arbitrary year change-overs. But our lives are cyclical, and the annual sweep of the seasons is a good excuse for summing up and planning ahead.
During 2007 I ran my first full marathon, in San Francisco, with my beloved Tod at my side the entire way through. I also ran my second (Miami), third (Baltimore), and fourth (Seattle) half marathons. Plus another 10K (Richmond)! That's over 70 miles of races in one year.
Plus about 582 training miles. That means I'd weigh 20 pounds more if I'd eaten the same amount and not run at all during 2007 ;-)
However, I quit seeing my personal trainer at the beginning of the year, so I haven't done as much weightlifting or other non-running exercise as I'd done during 2006. My torso was more muscular and more tightly defined a year ago than it is now. Personal training worked for me, but it was a big time commitment, and expensive. I didn't enjoy the results enough to make up for the sacrifices. Plus, I don't think I could've focused on my first full marathon while also seeing a personal trainer in the gym twice per week.
I started out 2006 determined to lose weight, and that determination carried over into 2007, but in truth my weight has merely fluctuated between 175 and 180 during the past two years. I'm not sure there is anything I can or should do about that. I seem to have an area of equilibrium that is difficult to escape.
I can still be mindful about my calorie consumption, cutting back when I can, drinking less alcohol, etc. But perhaps it is time to let go of the goal of losing weight. The goal should be to eat a variety of nutritious foods, and to occasionally enjoy myself, while occasionally eating more lightly.
Perhaps I should keep monitoring my weight, as a prod for when it pops back over 180.
For 2008 I've signed up for two half marathons (May in Frederick, and October in Baltimore). I'm also tentatively planning to run my second full marathon in Philadelphia during November. I won't start training for Frederick until February. If I run Philly I'll start training for it in August.
I want to keep lifting weights once or twice per week throughout the year, occasionally varying my exercise routine to keep my body working.
During 2007 I turned 40! I threw a huge birthday party, complete with a Moon Bounce in the back yard. In 2008 I turn 41, which isn't as exciting, and for the first time in many years I'm going to skip the huge birthday party. Perhaps I'll simply ask Tod to take me out for a nice dinner at Nora's.
Turning 40 focused me on aging, but I'm doing pretty well. I'm generally happier at 40 than I was at 30 or 20. For the first time in my adult life I've really settled down, with house, husband, and career. I'm not looking to switch jobs, locations, or spouses. I just want to enjoy what I have while I have it.
Maybe I won't have another big birthday party until I turn 50.
Since meeting Tod nearly four years ago I've borrowed and spent a lot of money. I've bought a laptop, a car, and a house (and saw that personal trainer). I've attended Body Electric seminars. We've traveled extensively (Italy!), usually in combination with a race — and we did most of our races as charity fundraisers for AIDS Marathon, which means we usually donated $1,000 or more each time.
I've been spending more than I've been making, and now, like many Americans, I'm having to pull back a bit. I'll be fine, I'm not in danger of defaulting on my debts. But during 2008 I'll be running my races close to home, I'll be giving less to charity, I won't be making any big purchases. I need to let my debt payments take priority for a couple years. Things should be looking brighter by 2010 and 2011.
Before meeting Tod I had already begun a regular habit of inviting friends over to play board games or card games. We've continued this habit and I intend to do more of that during 2008. We're starting to get more specific in whom we invite and what games we want to play with them. I'm playing duplicate bridge with a biweekly partner for the first time in a decade. We're inviting a small group over for contract bridge every month or two. During 2008 we're thinking of inviting particular people over to play specific video games or board games or role-playing games.
I guess the overall theme is specificity. Instead of inviting everybody we know to come over for a polymorphous Game Day, we're picking people and games more mindfully. I'm sure we'll still have the occasional huge Game Day party during 2008, but it will no longer be our #1 mode of group entertainment. [Heh, it sure would be nice if somebody else picked up the ball and started hosting, it's been a lot of work cleaning up before and after these things, and expensive providing food and drink.]
So, to summarize, 2008 will be about trying to enjoy what I have while I have it, and continuing to stay in shape by training for races and lifting weights at the gym. The main differences between the near future and the near past will probably be: (1) spending a bit less money, and (2) playing more small-group games instead of hosting big-group parties.
Now let's see what reality has to say about my 2008 ...
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