Friday, April 11, 2014

My middle-aged journey comes to an end

Today at Pierini Fitness, we are graced to have a guest blogger. He's a good friend and a former business partner who I''ll introduce to you in cyberspace by his last name of Clark.  What follows is his blogflection and your daily food for thought.

Guest blogger Mr. Clark on his
last day  as a middle-aged man
My good old friend and former business partner - known in cyberspace as Pierini - gave me this guest blog assignment yesterday with a rather short deadline. 

According to his reckoning, I now have one day left being a middle-aged man because tomorrow I turn age 70.  As the ambassador of all middle-aged men of the world, Pierini has informed me that middle-aged man status ends at age 70.  I’ve never known him to be wrong so it must be true!

For the past few years as I stare out the window and watch the trees moving in the wind, I sometimes get these strange feelings of the long passage of time and the shortage of it remaining.  It doesn't feel scary and I can't explain it, but it actually feels comforting and I am grateful for life and my time here.  Over the 25 years of my middle age three children have matured and six grandchildren have arrived.  My wife and I have begun to truly get old together and our love has grown and matured through good and bad times.

Health and fitness are blessings and should never be taken for granted.  I always went to the gym, swam a lot, and was very fit.  But almost at the beginning of middle age, I had a major body failure when it was discovered I had developed a rare form of cancer in my pelvis that would require many surgeries and long stays in the hospital.  I got through all that with a lot of help from friends and family including Pierini.   I was left with an array of internal hardware, a crippled leg, and pain that has continued to this day.  I walk with crutches and long excursions are now done on an electric scooter. 

So middle age came with challenges I had not anticipated nor planned for, but they got handed to me nevertheless.  I admit I have felt sorry for myself at times.  When disaster strikes, a little self pity is called for.  But for the most part I have tried not to let the early onset of disability define who I am and what I'm about.  

Disability has undoubtedly influenced how I have experienced the past 25 years.  Over time I found that the human body and mind can adapt to almost anything.  Most of what is disability is really mental.  I read a book about a climber who was permanently injured and he said that out of the 100 things he used to be able to do, he could still do 90 of them.  That's not bad really!  I have found it actually focuses my efforts more narrowly and usually for the better. 

Here are some things you may need to think about during your middle age journey:

  1. If you have daughters, even a small wedding will cost many thousands. 
  1. If your parents are alive, you may end up having the responsibility to care for them.  They may or may not receive that care with grace, but they are still entitled to respect and love.  The opportunity to experience what it’s like to get old, disabled and dependent came at an early age for me.  Although it was doable, it wasn't fun. 
  1. Make plans to send your kids to college. 
  1. Tell and show your spouse and kids you love them frequently.  They need it and so do you. 
  1. Always have a good CPA like Pierini. 
  1. Pay attention to the passage of time because it goes fast and you won’t get any of it back. 
God bless us all.  Keep me in your thoughts and prayers as my middle-aged journey comes to an end.

Thank you my dear friend for your outstanding middle-aged man reflection about living and dying, gracefully aging and trying your best to live a good and honest life. See you tomorrow at your birthday party.  

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, April 7, 2014

Too busy to blog

There's a time of the year when this chief executive blogger of Pierini Fitness has a full plate of work and life and it keeps him from keeping this cyberspace oasis fresh with new middle-aged man reflections about living and dying, gracefully aging and trying my best to live a good and honest life.

During this time, which is now, I have a better appreciation for the farmer whose crops are ready to be picked and for my yesteryear ancestors working in that farmer's fields picking his fruit.

My current work overload makes me feel like a circus clown riding a six-foot unicycle while juggling machetes.

I could go on and on about my right now but if I did that would be at odds with how busy I am so let me just say I'll be back as soon as I can.

Until then, enjoy this Pierini Fitness treasure chest of over 700 blogflections. There are classics to be read if you do some searching.  If you do and read something that you really enjoy, brighten my day and lighten my mental load by leaving me a comment below and sharing your thoughts.  

Your "hang in there buddy?" messages are also much appreciated.

Right now, I'm too busy to blog.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Winners and losers

“The Path to Prosperity” budget resolution was introduced in Congress yesterday by the Chairman of the House of Representatives’ Budget Committee. 

This budget resolution proposes $5.1 trillion in federal government spending cuts over 10 years and another version of comprehensive tax reform to the one President Obama introduced in his budget last month.    

It proposes reducing individual income tax brackets from seven to two and the corporation income tax rate to 25 percent; it would also repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

My first impression is that this April Fools’ Day budget resolution is more a political document than anything likely to become law.  It nonetheless, however, deserves to be understood for the clues it provides about how this election year and the bipolar political behavior of our elected officials will compete for our attention and vote on Election Day 2014.  

The final outcome will ultimately affect the income taxes we pay in the years ahead and which classes of taxpayers and special interest groups will be winners and losers.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Secrets to being efficiently satisfied

Working very hard the past couple months has gotten me out of the loop with regard to my morning cup of coffee.  I normally brew and enjoy it in the comfort of my home but early morning work start times have me buying a daily cup on the go lately.   

For the past couple weeks, the place where I go has offered Italian Roast and that’s what I’ve been drinking.  It’s been absolutely delicious and has awakened me to this vintage as one I might switch to from my regular French Roast variety.

Anyway, this delicious morning cup of coffee has left me very satisfied and I’ve found myself having to work harder finishing it - I only drink one cup a day.  It has also made me think if there’s such a phenomenon of being so satisfied that less is needed. It’s made me wonder if that’s also true for other things in life.

For example, could a smaller delicious plate of food satisfy me quicker than a larger plate of bland “Army mess hall" type chow?  I have many memories of the latter during three years of military service forty years ago. 

Could a small collection of fine clothes meet my fashion needs better than a larger inventory of grungy middle-aged man clothes hanging in my closet?

Could five hours of deep sleep find me awakening the next morning feeling more awesome, cheerful and energized compared to ten hours of tossing and turning sleep? 

Could a well-designed, challenging and strenuous gym workout lasting 20 minutes offer me more fitness bang for my buck than a couple hours in the gym doing this and that with lukewarm intensity?

And finally, could being an awesome husband to my wife do a better job of keeping me out of the dog house than being an average one?

These are all questions I’m thinking about this April Fools’ Day while drinking my morning cup of coffee and pondering the secrets to being efficiently satisfied.

Pax  Domini sit semper vobiscum