Doing That Thing We Do, Gracefully

I wore my birthday suit to Easter Sunday service, which is not really even a joke and yet I’m sure I’ll keep making it. It’ll be my version of asking some kid to pull my finger. “Gonna wear nothin’ but my birthday suit,” I’ll say, and all eyes will roll and someone will say, “Grandpa will be wearing the blue one” and everyone will nod.

But look. It was a birthday present from my wife, and it’s very sleek and modern and, really, too young for me. But I wore it anyway, because there aren’t that many opportunities and also?

Because 15 years ago, if I were heading out to an Easter service, which I likely was, it also likely took me a couple of swigs of vodka to stop shaking long enough to get dressed. And I was fat, pushing 300 pounds.

So, yeah. I’ll wear this suit on Easter and be glad in it. Go ahead. Pull on my finger.

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Let’s say you’re you. I’ll be me. So, basically no change in the relationship here. I have no idea why I wrote that.

Let’s say you’re around my age, anyway, and you look in the mirror like a normal person. You turn around and do funny human tricks in order to get the full picture. It’s a history lesson, for sure. Things that would have been unacceptable 40 years ago look normal, not bad at all. You dress better, for one thing, which makes a big difference.

If you’re brave, you stand in front of that mirror naked occasionally, maybe before or after a shower or bath. That’s where the lesson lies. I’m skinny at the moment and have a pretty low body fat percentage, and you’d have no problem figuring out where I fit on the timeline if you got a nude glimpse. Gravity carves tree rings on human beings. Everything has stopped fighting and decided to just sag. It happens.

You could drop a few pounds. You wouldn’t kick a little weight loss out of bed for eating diet crackers. You know your life wouldn’t change in significant ways if you lost 10 pounds, but you still think it would be nice. Ten pounds would change your options about clothes, for one thing, and maybe you’d just have more energy and feel more youthful. Or something.

But your energy is fine, you think. You feel healthy, you’re happy, things are going well on that front and 10 pounds isn’t going to change anything about that. It would be a vanity project, although not really vain. Just probably not necessary, in the big picture.

So, you’re not going to do it. That’s right, you heard me. Because you don’t really need to, it’s just about jeans, and you’ve got kids or grandkids and all sorts of things going on in your life. You’re well aware of the average human lifespan and where you land on that, so it’s not worth the effort, not for 10 pounds.

More than that, or if your blood sugar is elevating or there’s some other reason to lose weight, sure. Inspiration comes in all sorts of forms.

But 10 pounds? At this age? Meh. Maybe if you’re going to a wedding or something. For a reasonably well-adjusted (or, even, just well-medicated) 60-something, you’re just going to eat the donut and feel good about it. Me too. I’m making the damn donuts, you know.

This is personal, so I’m just saying. The effort involved in losing 10 pounds, at this point in life, is the same as gaining 10 pounds. Mathematically. Biologically. It feels like it should be easier to gain, but that assumes you’re denying yourself something you’d like. We keep coming back to donuts.

Lately I’ve been thinking that I’d like to gain 10 pounds, that’s why it’s on my mind. It’s not your problem, and it’s not really a problem. But looking at the math, trying to figure out how to pull this off, what to eat and when, made me realize that this is all the same, and more about age than anything else, the culture or the food industry or the guvmint. You want me to get off my 60-year-old butt and do something about it? OK, let me sit here awhile and think.

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I went for a deliberate walk yesterday, for exercise and nothing else. It was a standard route for me, and it felt strange, almost as if I were going to be out of breath (not even close, wasn’t moving that fast). By the end I felt pretty good, and last night I checked my Fitbit app and it said I’d covered more than 12,000 steps. That’s not a personal record; it’s my goal for every day, although I never pay attention or worry about it. I haven’t hit it in six months, though. Close, but not quite. And the past four months have been dismal.

This is good news. The weather is nice, sunny and warm, and our patient is doing well, taking the bus to his appointments, shopping on his own, slower but just fine. My concerns have eased up, and my time is back to being more my own. I’ve been working on the lawn a bit, my usual spring stuff, fighting the growth that requires me to run a lawn mower over this grass at least twice a week, in a perfect world.

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And we watched Captain America: Civil War last night, so the journey continues. It’s tricky, psychologically; John gets more jacked as we watch these things together, more excited about doing this, more strategic, while I’m now getting a little weary. That was always the problem, always going to be. I don’t think these movies work the same way when they’re binged. I’m in it to win it, though.

This is a crazy movie, by the way, if you don’t know. Really important in the series, too. All sorts of characters are either introduced or reprised with more depth. We learn a BIG secret. It never stops, it moves very fast, and it’s 2-1/2 hours long.

All shall be well. I shall walk and mow again. I shall try to do better. Donuts never need excuses. Carry on.

Chuck SigarsComment