Early Midlife Crisis Time

Things are going well for the most part, but I am knee deep in trying to fulfill large goals.

The first of these is my ongoing saga with weight loss. Today is day 999 of religious journaling. It seems kind of weird to do this for 1000 days straight, but I can’t imagine being successful without keeping record the way I am. Progress for the first 1000 days (or 143 weeks) is 48.2 pounds lost. That averages out to less than 1/3lb a week, but the time has been punctuated by long several-month-long spells where I didn’t lose anything or even gained a little. The act of keeping track of what I eat and how active I am gives me perspective and lets me know over time how I react to a certain level of calorie intake. If I can lose the next 27.8 at the same rate I will be satisfied, but that doesn’t mean I’m looking forward to having to wait 83 weeks to accomplish it. We just went to lunch at the BMA and I had a fantastic Filet Mignon steak sandwich with a cup of spicy red crab soup and freshly fried onion rings, so I’m sure that erased half a weeks worth of rides right there. It was WORTH it. The Nutrisystem program might be able to help me achieve my goals quicker, but I’d probably go INSANE. At nearly the same time last year I wrote how I wanted to break from a weight range I was in for 3 or 4 months, and I did that. Now I’m saying it again. I’m going to ride a bunch through October, and lose another 5-10 for all time.

Second mountain is web programming, software development, and my ongoing career change. With this one I feel like I’m still at base camp fiddling with my oxygen tanks. In January I applied to a Masters program in Information Systems and technology and was provisionally accepted on the condition that I complete Calculus courses. This is nothing for most anyone whose been to college, but I went to art school for my bachelors, where the most ‘scientific’ course I took was some theological BS that we read The Brief History of Time in and discussed how artists can interpret the changing views of the universe. Frankly I think most of my classmates were high. I have evidence. Hell, I think the professor was stoned. I don’t regret the 10ish years afterwards where I retreated to the commercial world, paid my debts, and ‘got my $#1t together, but it is difficult to try and whip my brain back into shape now that I let it atrophy ever since I took Honors Chemistry in high school…………………. ………………in 1991. Now I’m spending my evenings trying to remember how functions and matrices work. For someone who designs websites for a center that specializes in Computational Medicine, that is the textbook definition of irony. I take my placement tests on the 17th, so I get to see if I’m actually teaching myself anything.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel successful, and there is no way I would be half as well rounded a person I am right now if I hadn’t gone through the motions of figuring out how I relate to the natural world by working through everything myself over 17 years, but it is difficult to step away from everything that you’ve built up over the course of 2 decades, go back to step 1 in life and sit at the little desks again, both literally and figuratively. It’s painful to be in your mid 30’s and be a D-student at most of the stuff I work hard at on a daily basis and really care about. I know why it is so, but I’m getting lapped by people right out of college and I have to just suck it up for a few years. My two choices at this point and try to get a management job – which would pay better – but I’d hate myself for the rest of my life – or go back to school and learn more skills. I know what to do, and I’m doing it, so it’s all good.

The house is going well, and most all the big stuff is done. There’s a few projects left over that we want to do, but I think they’re best left for a contractor since they involve reconfiguring walls in the basement, the HVAC system, and 3 tons of concrete walkway out front. A little painting other than that. Nothing that bad.

Last mountain to climb for now is in Thurmont as I signed up for the Civil War Century a second time against my best judgment. I’ll be riding a ton of miles before them. I need to find more hills. Not ready. With any luck we won’t have another September tropical storm graze the coast again this year.

Wish me luck, I need it 🙂

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