I don’t subscribe to the theory (insofar as someone was lazy enough to blame an arbitrary number for bad things) that “2016” is at fault for 2016. If anything, I subscribe to the theory of Pogo, courtesy of my father.
No. If anything, I blame ourselves. (Because, really, who else is there to blame?)
But about a year ago I decided something. I decided that my kids need me around as long as possible. (Seriously, y’all will thank me for this should you run into them someday. They’re a handful.) I also remembered that the men on my side of the family aren’t the healthiest they could be. And that I don’t know my maternal grandfather at all, save for that he wasn’t a good husband or father, and died way too soon.
It was the latter part that I found interesting. What the hell might I have inherited? And, so, for the first time in forever, I got a doctor. Turns out all the “healthy living” I’d been doing — a decade in a newsroom and all the vices that go along with that sort of cliche—weren’t exactly healthy. I’d known this, of course. And I’d known this for the 10 years I’ve been a father. For some dumb reason I hadn’t cared.
Maybe it was the fact that 2016 was an election year. By which I mean we were going to replace what by every measure imaginable has been a president any one of us should hope to emulate. As a husband. (Seriously, though. Well done, Mr. President.) As a father. (You still have the Secret Service at your beck and call? From one father of daughters to another, that’s so unfair.)
But moreover, as a man. None of us is perfect. But we should all strive to be someone that in some way someone else should hope to emulate. (Note to self: What did you do that you’d want others to admire? Certainly it’s not all those frequent flier miles.)
No. Mine came in the back half of the year. … And it hasn’t been a huge stretch on my part. Just a couple hours a day. A variance of ye olde diet. And (mostly) seeing the bottle from the outside in, instead of the other way around.
The result? About 15 or 20 pounds, depending on the point of the week. The desire to sweat a little in the morning. And the necessity of finding a new tailor. (Pants get smaller? Who knew.)
I don’t know if I’m adding any years on to anything. I don’t know if it will matter in any event. If I’ve learned anything over the past year (to say nothing of the past few weeks) it’s that life happens. Either you’re ready for it, or you’re not. And even if you’re ready for it to show up, either you’re prepared for it, or you’re not.
Jobs have changed. Pants sizes have changed. Kids are getting bigger. (And smarter. Jesus, they’re so old already.) Family is aging. I’m aging.