Friday, January 20, 2012

Birthday Thoughts

Happy birthday to me!

A birthday is not a bad time to reflect on the past. The past couple of years have been an interesting ride. Come along for a few minutes ...

Two years ago I was running on fumes. A long history of work, work, and more work had finally worn me down. However, the saving grace was that I had been granted a sabbatical for the spring 2010 semester, and I was stoked. The plan was set – get out of the daily routine, rest the old body, do plenty of professional updating and reading, attend some educational workshops, and then spend the last few months losing weight and getting in shape. Everything was going according to the plan when suddenly my life was turned completely upside-down in April when I found that my then 15-year-old son was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

The next few months were a blur of fear, anxiety, hope, and thankfulness as my son’s surgery was successful and he seemed to be heading toward a full recovery. The sabbatical was helpful in doing what it was designed to do: regenerate me and give me a new resolve and enthusiasm for work. The issue that would come back to bite me in the butt, however, was that the family emergency occurred right when I was due to start on the healthy lifestyle and weight reduction plan.

One year ago I was dealing with an unbelievable sadness as my oldest child was moving 1,000 miles away from home. I don’t know if a parent is ever ready for this, but particularly after the crisis with my son, I was not ready to see any of my kids go. Over the past six years I have written some emotional posts dealing with issues like the loss of my father and the loss of my best friend from work, but the post dealing with my daughter’s leaving home was perhaps the most raw I have ever written. If you ever wondered if this guy had some deep-running emotions (I doubt that anyone who knows me to any extent is surprised by this), my post from a year ago should stop any wondering.

As it was, my daughter got incredibly homesick, had a rash of bad things happen to her, and moved back home after a couple of months. It looked like life might actually be stable for some time … until September. Although I thought that I was kind of pushing the envelope health-wise, I was not prepared to actually believe that I could have a heart attack. But I did. After feeling pretty stupid for letting my eating and (lack of) exercise habits get so far out of hand, I have dedicated the past four months to healthy eating and regular exercise. As a result, I have lost about 26 pounds … and counting. I feel much better and plan to be around for quite some time. Note the BEFORE and AFTER pictures:



So ... I figure that with any luck at all I will be around to try to scoop pots at Harrah's Horseshoe Hammond and Bally's Las Vegas for many years to come. Poker, anyone?

And oh yeah ... here is the picture of Josie that I promised:

It is my birthday and I am the one giving presents. wtf ???


Blogger Josie said...

Happy birthday Sugarpie.

7:42 AM  
Blogger PokahDave said...

Happy 58th!...which one is it? LOL

9:23 AM  
Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

Happy birthday. I don't know which one it is, but your new look makes you seem about late 30s or early 40s.

9:25 AM  
Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

Happy Birthday Olden One!

9:42 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

Random Twitter chat:

lightning36: @VeryJosie Now that you are on twitter how long will it be before you tweet a pic of the famous boobs?

VeryJosie: @lightning36 Honey, that just might give you the heart attack you are trying so hard to avoid. ;)

lightning36: @VeryJosie Uhh ... you realize that I have seen my share in my lifetime? Not like anything much will shock me anymore unless you have three.

1:52 PM  
Blogger Mr Subliminal said...

Happy Birthday !!!

4:36 PM  
Blogger Cranky said...

Lightning - happy birthday!

6:45 PM  
Blogger The Neophyte said...

Happy Birthday Lightning, congrats on the weight loss.

7:16 PM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

Happy Birthday!

7:40 PM  
Blogger crafty said...

Happy Birthday my brother. I offer an old toast my family used, I think it's actually Irish in origin:

To your coffin: May it be fashioned out of 100-year old oak, and may the acorn be planted today.

8:22 PM  
Blogger Lucki Duck said...

Happy belated birthday my friend. Hope it was a good'un!

12:49 AM  
Blogger bastinptc said...

I'm a little late to this party, yet a belated HB is in order. And although I try to resist making comments like what is to follow, cleavage is not boobage, not even for guys older than us.

4:20 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

bastin, I know that what I posted was not exactly boobage, but it was the best I had. If I had a picture of Joe C with lots of nekked boobage I would obviously post it and watch my digital counter explode as her many male followers would be accessing Lightning Strikes!

10:38 AM  
Blogger Wolfshead said...

Happy Belated one. Been hunkered down in the burrow for a bit and just catching up. Was going to send you and Joe the schedule for Chester's Circuit events but after finding out that she is a Kardashian follower I don't know about allowing her in my car anymore.

11:00 AM  
Blogger Josie said...

Funny, I was just thinking bout unfollowinf Kim.

10:45 PM  

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