Welcome to Middle Age

I googled “What age is middle age?” It said 45-65 years old

I celebrated my 45th birthday last week. It was a quiet affair. I taught my classes. A few of the kids wished me happy birthday. I received lots of text messages and FB greetings. I even got a delivery of flowers from Myers. I went to Costco. I made a frozen meal. I watched Downton Abbey. I went to bed.

This is my life in COVID. It would have been nice to have a get together to celebrate middle age but that wasn’t to be. I suppose birthdays are what they used to be.

I’m not someone who dreads getting older. I quite like the fact that I have lived another year. From my teen outlook at life, I feel I never would have made it. Some of my suicide attempts would have me never making it to 45 if I had succeeded.

I’m happy to mark my years with slight wrinkles and my streaks of gray hair contrasted my my long dark hair.

What I’m most excited about is my future. At 45, I am under 300 pounds. I was at 251 pounds. For the last week and a half, I gained and lost the same pound. But I started doing something else I used to love. Running.

After my years of smoking, I have damaged my lungs. Between cigarettes and vaping, It is a challenge to breathe deep. But I’m trying.

I quit smoking for my surgery, but I stayed a nonsmoker for my health.

For the past week, starting on my birthday, I began running. In short bursts between walking. A slight jog then a walk, a slight jog and a longer walk. Yesterday, I was able to run for a total of 4 minutes. My lungs were burning. I almost fell over, but it felt great. I wouldn’t have been able to do that at 308 pounds.

I could feel my muscles aching at the end of the night. I rolled on the foam roller. My massage therapist would approve. I felt great. A feeling of accomplishment in doing something.

My days of COVID are filled with working and then laying down watching TV. I might walk a bit on the treadmill but not daily. I am in a constant state of rest. I’m only upright during working hours. I’m at a state of repose the rest of the day. I know this isn’t healthy but I have no direction.

I am rather obsessed with Downton Abbey. I watch and watch and rewatch. It’s an endless cycle. I rarely watch anything else except the movie I watch for my movie review. Watching the same thing over and over again is comforting, It’s not changing. I know what is going to happen. Much like my life.

At middle age, I am living a quiet life. I don’t regret anything. With COVID, there’s not much that can be done outside of the house.

But, with middle age, I see so many opportunities I have available. It starts with a run. Maybe I’ll run another half-marathon, maybe I won’t, but I’ll be running toward my future with a smile on my face.

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