Monday, January 18, 2016


So, another trip around the sun successfully completed.  My 45th year wrapped up quietly this weekend, with a day spent at home putting together some birthday Lego, walking the dog, going out for a pricey supper and just generally relaxing around the house with Cathy and doing some reading, when I wasn’t cursing on making mistakes with the Lego.
So how was 45? Pretty good, over all. Let’s sum up a few high and low points.
  •  Things with Cathy and I are still rock solid. All marriages have highs and lows, but I think the last year was mostly good. And hey, we celebrated being married for 10 years. The only time it had the potential to get a little stressful, I gave the heads up that things were going to get hectic for me last fall, and that she might need some extra patience. And she did. So yeah, I’m pretty happy there. Still the smartest decision in my life.
  • We also celebrated 10 years of living in Nunavut. It's not always the easiest place to live; there are times when you can get deeply, deeply frustrated. But there's no question that our lives have changed for the better in the 10 years we've lived here. Let's put it this way, there's no question we're in a much better place living in Nunavut than if we had stayed in Newfoundland. And given that Newfoundland is sliding into what I think is going to be a solid decade of economic horror, I don't see us moving home anytime soon
  • A couple of very nice trips made the year good. Three weeks in Europe, including 15 on a Viking River boat from Budapest to Amsterdam, then a few extra days in Amsterdam and a few more days in London. That’s a pretty good, albeit in very expensive, vacation. Although I really should get around to writing my review of the Viking boat, because we always get questions about what the cruise is like.
  • I also went to New York for a week, which I’ve already written about extensively. That was good. Also the last time I’m likely be there for a long time given how bad the Canadian dollar is right now.
  • And everything else was fine. I think when you get older you appreciate less drama, or at least work hard to purge unnecessary drama from your life whenever you can. I’m healthy, Cathy’s healthy (well, the usual complaints, but we’re use to them by now), most of my family and friends are healthy. It may not be an action packed life of excitement, but it’s a good one. If nothing else, writing a post like this is a useful reminder how rare and lucky a set of circumstances that can be. So I’m going to pause and enjoy that.

In terms of, “well, bollocks” moments for my 45th year.
  •  My weight crept back up. I’m not back to where I was when I just turned 42 and was at a record bad weight for me, but I’m closer to that than when I was 43, and managed to drop down to a weight I hadn’t seen since my 20s. Some of it was a series of nagging injuries that made working out uncomfortable. But let’s be honest, part of it was me being lazy and slipping out of my routines. So I’m back to trying to eat healthier and going to the gym 3-4 times a week again. I doubt I’ll ever get back to 182 pounds, which is where I was when I was 43, but a lot of friends and family were worried about me at that weight. I didn’t realize it at the time, but there was apparently a rumour going around town that I was sick, because I had dropped so much weight so fast. On the upside, I’m in better shape, just carrying more weight than I would like.
  • I don’t discuss work on the blog, for obvious reasons, but it was a stressful and occasionally frustrating year.  But again, an upside, it was a year where I worked with the same organization for the whole year.  And that’s not nothing. I still get mad when I think about the previous job. So yes, some challenges and frustrations. But that’s work.

So what do I have planned for 46? I like make plans at my birthday rather than on New Year’s Eve.
  • Continue to eat better and exercise. Be content that the weight is not going to fly off like it did last time, but don’t get complacent about it either. Ideally I’d like to be back around 200 pounds. That was a comfortable weight for me…and didn’t freak people out.
  • Read at least 25 books this year. Which doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you consider all the graphic novels, magazines, newspapers and web articles I read, finding time for 25 novels can be a challenge. I’ve already finished “Career of Evil” by JK Rowling (Well Galbraith, but it’s Rowling) and I’ve started "Ancillary Mercy" by Ann Leckie. After that it’s back to The Expanse series.
  • Write more. I’m doing a little better on the blog, but I still need to write more. I’m actually debating pitching stuff to some of the geek blogs. They pay is utter shit, of course. I attended a panel on geek journalism when I was in New York and they all said “You better love it, because you’re going to find it hard to make a living off of it.” Fortunately, I don’t need to. So maybe try and do some geek writing for my own amusement. We’ll see. That one is still rattling around in my head.
  • Continue to try and be awesome to Cathy.
  • Try and spend less time on the computer. That may be counter-intuitive to the doing more writing, now that I think about it. How about “waste less time on the computer”? That’s better.
  • And go on a decent vacation. Alas, nothing as epic as last summer. It was...pricey. But we were celebrating our 10th anniversary, so it was allowed. I think this summer is going to be Southern Ontario (I've never been to Niagara Falls) and then we're debating either going to Chicago for a few days and trying to get tickets to Adele or taking a quick jaunt through New York state and Vermont and hang out in Montreal for a few days. Also planning on going to St. John's during the summer for the first time since 2007. So that'll be fun. Assuming the weather doesn't suck.

How grown-up can you be with Stitch, Yoda
and Dr. Who Lego
It’s funny, I got asked when I turned 46 if I feel any older. Given that I was putting together a Dr. Who Lego set at the time, I’m going to go with “no”. I have no more secrets to staying young than anybody else. But the combination of exercise, eating a bit healthier, going on cool vacations, enjoying and demanding sloth time (I’m an introvert. I desperately need down time), and being comfortable in my geekery is working well for me. I don’t feel 46. Hell, there are days when I’m geeking out over something (on the weekend it was the announcement of a second season of Jessica Jones and a possible new Punisher series, both on Netflix) I’m not entirely sure I’m 16.
Then I look over and realize Cathy’s talking to me, and since a girl talking to me at 16 was deeply unlikely, I guess I am somewhat of an adult.
I seem to have found what works for me. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty damn good most days.

Last Five
1. Galician Overture - The Chieftains*
2. Hey, Snow White - The New Pornographers
3. Empty threat - Chvrches
4. El Besu - The Chieftains
5. This is our perfect crime - The Von Bondies

1 comment:

Dave Hansen said...

If your vacation does take you through New York, may I make a suggestion. Swing down through the finger lakes. It is a beautiful area. Lots of wineries, parks, waterfalls and the lakes. Watkins glen is good stop, hike the glen, its real nice. Enjoy