Thursday, April 18, 2013

A is for Aging with Attitude -- 184 lbs (-45) [20X]



On July 17th, when I turn 50, I intend to end this life. It's been a relatively good life--I made long-lasting friendships, married a wonderful woman, helped raise 5 awesome children, and contributed to great products during a successful career. I've also had some private highlights, like watching the first Terminator alone with James Cameron, studying improvisation with Lisa Kudrow, and having my cover of Umbrella favorited by MariƩ Digby. This life has been good enough, and complete enough, that I would be at peace with death, and that is both liberating and stifling: on one hand, I am free to do many things without fear of my own death; and on the other, I am reluctant to set new long-term goals for fear of leaving big things unfinished. This is the essence of my first-world, mid-life crisis, but I have finally struck upon a solution: I will treat the first 50 years of my life as a reasonably successful "done deal", and the next 0 to 50 years as an extra life to take new chances with.

You may wonder, how did I come to grips with death in the first place? Like many people, I was afraid of death, but as long as my father was alive, I did not take it too seriously. Then when he died 10 years ago, so did the psychological buffer that shielded me and enabled me to dream big and take chances. Suddenly I was next in the paternal line and I began to obsess about dying, even creating a website called inetself to squirrel away everything about myself in hopes that some future descendant may want to learn about me. After I archived the stories, songs, and videos I cared most about, I started making Captain Bummer episodes in an attempt to reach more people, but a hacker stole Captain Bummer's YouTube account and broke my momentum. I decided that I was done preparing for death, and that there were no big projects worth starting at my age... except, of all the mundane things, to get back to my high school weight.

This diet started out as a goal to lose 49 pounds by my 50th birthday, but in the process became so much more. It reminded me that taking a long-term view, trusting your instincts, and following the path less-trodden can all lead to amazing results. I now feel revitalized and empowered, ready to start a 2nd life. A life that starts with the best, hard-earned things from my previous life--family, career, skills, and individuality—and builds upon that. And while I may not have the advantages of youth, what I lack in spunk and memory function I can make up for with a lifetime of experience and reflection. If I live another 50 years, it will be well-preserved with alcohol cleaning my veins, relieving tension, fighting off micro-invaders, and regulating my weight; if I don't, then this new attitude towards aging will still have been worth the experiment. It has provided me with an escape from the paralysis of old-age conservatism, and now the world is full of exciting possibilities. With one life already in the bag, I am free to live this spare life to the fullest.

[+] What I Consumed Since Last Post ...