Today is my 60th Birthday.
Many people have asked me over the years about having a birthday on Boxing Day. Do I feel cheated? Not in the slightest. I had no say in my date of birth so in context, it’s always been one of my favourite days of the year. It has made Christmas and the Holiday season even more special and a week to look forward to.
So, 60 huh? I don’t feel old. 60 isn’t old. Neither is 80 if you feel good about life and are healthy.
In many ways, I feel more alive and have more vigour than my 30th birthday. I’m certainly wiser, certainly more content and certainly filled with more humility than my younger self. I have much more in my life now. Material possessions yes, but also a large family with grand children. When I was young, I wanted kids and grandkids and wanted to be able to enjoy them when I got older.
I’ve learned a lot in 60 years.
I’ve done a lot in 60 years.
My genetic code has been kind to me in so far as not inheriting any serious illness or disability so far, with the exception of hypertension. I hope that continues.
That same code has not been as favourable to my hair line or my waistline. I have struggled to keep my weight in check since I was 10 or 11.
I do not blame DNA for the mid section. There is a predisposition I suppose, but we can mostly point to our diet and our lifestyle for how we look physically and feel in terms of self esteem and confidence.
I live life well and do not make huge sacrifices in consumption and nutrition. Most of my adult life has been spent trying to eat right and exercise. To varying degrees of success.
I had an epiphany about 4 years ago and decided that sugar and flour are the 2 things I will avoid until the day I leave here. That decision alone (and daily exercise) helped me drop about 50 pounds in a year. I never hit 250 in my life, but was pretty close and one day I said, that’s it. I’m now hanging in about 190 on Monday and 188 on Friday. And yes. Weigh yourself often if not everyday. It’s important.
In terms of exercise, I get the right amount. 45 Minutes per week day of cardio, stretching, weight training and fake yoga. (That just means I try) with planks, seated forward bends, bridge pose, and the good old downward dog to name a few. I want to actually try real yoga……on the 2019 list.
I mentioned that I feel I’m healthy and I’ve had great check ups the last few years.
For someone my age.
That said, I do get the aches and pains associated with aging. Back pain, joint pain and the odd new abdominal discomfort.
As of this moment. I’m pain free. I’m sure that won’t last long.
We deal with it right?
My alcohol consumption is restricted to weekends, (and vacations) but admittedly I do surpass the recommended intake per week. Hey, I love my Crown Royal and Diet Ginger Ale as a cocktail and a bottle of red wine on Saturday. For men, it’s a maximum of 21 drinks per week. That seems high doesn’t it?
But you have to space it out to 3 drinks per day and take a few days of no alcohol. I’ve got that part, but I don’t have weekend binge in balance. I remember telling my doctor that I only have 21 drinks per week. And he said “awesome”. Kind of a white lie.
I do not partake in cannabis, but I’m judgment free here. And I absolutely do not take illicit drugs.
I’m frightened beyond words about the opioid epidemic. My god. We have to do something to curb the damage that’s causing. Ideas welcome. Maybe start by not prescribing narcotics for pain? I can’t relate and that sounds flippant so apologies to anyone going through this. Or knows someone who is.
I sleep well.
I target 10pm for being in bed. I’m up before 6am every weekday and honestly, I’m engaged in work from early morning to late evening. It’s the gig, and I’m not complaining. On the contrary I love what I do. But by the time I’m home and catching up on news and the odd series, I’m whooped. That’s why I sleep well. And I don’t wake worrying about anything at 3am. I’m up at 3, but it’s to pee, not to worry.
At 60, I consider myself to have many friends, but at my age, I’m way less interested in physically socializing. I know they feel the same. We love each other, but quick notes and texts and a few forwards of funny stuff keeps us up to date.
Speaking of friends, I have to acknowledge my great pal Jeff Lumby today. You see, he was also born on this date and we share the same birthday and year. We found out he was born on Boxing Day in Lloydminster when he was asked for ID at a movie. I think it was Star Wars. Lumby is a complete piece of work. The entire package. A bundle of talent and nerves and energy and emotions and opinions. He’s one of the very few people on earth that makes me laugh virtually every time we talk. He’s been in my life for 41 of the 60 so that’s pretty unique. I love the guy. Happy birthday Jeff.
I enjoy getting involved in the community and am always interested in ways I can give something back. But I never want it to be fashionable OR be a SLACK-TIVIST. I think the best way to think about giving back to humanity, is to not seek fame on social media for doing it. Don’t get me wrong, using social media for advancing cause awareness is amazing….I love that. But I could honestly see fewer, “I just love giving to the kids” posts. Be like Scrooge when he came to his senses and gave the Cratchit’s that huge turkey, but didn’t sign the card. Maybe that’s my “greater humility” kicking in.
My mental state is good. I’m most grateful for that. I don’t suffer emotional issues, like depression or anxiety. I know many people do including some people close to me. I so admire their bravery for being open about it and for their determination to not let it get the best of them. I do feel blue at times and I do get frustrated at things. Whenever I’m giving you the silent treatment, “there’s your sign”. But I always get through those times and remind myself of my life mantra of empathy and gratitude. Whenever I compare my life with how awful others might have it, the light always comes through the clouds for me. And what about those who seemingly have it much better than we have it? Try not to judge…….we honestly don’t know that they don’t feel envious of something you have and they don’t.
Forgive me if you’ve heard this before, but we’re just here on this billions year old earth, for a fraction of a second in its life cycle, enjoy it, be kind and try make a difference.
So I’m 60. You don’t get here without some help.
Thanks to my Mom for having me, and for always making sure I had a nice birthday even with the chaos of Christmas and 6 kids. And for that cherry chip cake with green icing and red life savers. Love you Mom.
Thanks to my siblings, in laws, cousins nieces and nephews for growing up with me and remaining an important part of my life. I adore living your adventures on Social Media and the odd visit.
Thanks to my many friends that I never see. Physically. Ha ha.
Thanks to my wife Dawn.
Thanks to my sons Adam and Brady.
Thanks to my Daughters in law Mila and Abbie and words cannot express my gratitude for those grand children you’ve given us. August and Louise and Jude.
My family brings me great joy, and extra thanks now to Dawn for making the last 39 birthdays special for me. Including the one when you said, “I do”
I love Boxing Day………….