There's some other inspiring things that I'm focusing on. The 40 years old thing has really got me thinking about what is age and being "old". It's got to be more a feeling than actual numbers. Like I said before, I really don't "feel" old. Most of my friends are younger. Through out my life it's been that way. I always seemed to fit in better in one of two places. Younger people or older people. The younger people because of their energy and optimism and desire to "play" and do things. And oddly, the older people (and by older, I mean older than me) I would hang out with were people who were DOING something. Not the older, sit at home and watch TV crowd, but artists, performers, adventurers and so on. All though highschool I would hangout after the bell rang to talk to the teachers. Especially the ones involved in after school stuff like theatre, clubs, etc. They encouraged that kind of activity in me. I never seemed to fit in with my peer group. The ones I did fit in with were the ones who hung out after school with me.
In college and grad school, it was very much the same. My professors became some of my best friends. I learned so much, not just about the subject they were teaching, but applying that knowledge, living their lives, and the fact that they were always growing and trying new things.
So, no I don't "feel" old. And I have some inspiration to not LOOK old as well.
I've been a fan of Hugh Jackman for a while now. Love him as an actor. Someone who can go from flamboyant Peter Allan in "The Boy from Oz" to Wolverine in "X-Men" has some talent. I've heard him talk about his career and his life on various occasions and he always seemed well grounded and confident and like an all around nice guy. That fact that he looks that good and is in that kind of shape at 40 is an inspiration.
Another inspiration is Bob Harper. Bob is a personal trainer and if you;ve ever seen the TV show "The Biggest Loser", you know who I am talking about. I've got one of the Biggest Loser workout DVDs and Bob's workout really kicks my ass. I just signed up at his new website mytrainerbob.com and will be using that as well as my account at SparkPeople to keep up with my workouts and nutrition. Bob is 43.
If these guys can look this good in their 40's, so can I. True, they can work out a whole lot more than I can. They sort of do it for a living. But still, they are something for me to aspire to.
OK. So not entirely "failing"... but not doing as well as I hoped. Workouts are few and far between. Though today, I did spend a good 30-45 minutes out clearing out my driveway. THAT was a workout. There are times I really hate this city. When the snowplows do finally come by, all that snow from the road seems to end up in my driveway. I think it's beacuse that's the only place for it to go as they are pushing this huge mound of snow down the street.
Also, I have been eating better. There is a new Lean Pocket flavor called Garlic Chicken White Pizza. VERY tasty! And only 270 calories and 8g of fat.
So Not "Failing". Making slow, but steady progress. That's the attitude.
That's all for now. I need to get some work done today. Not sure exactly what yet, but something will get accomplished.
So I picked up a Men's Journal a couple of weeks ago and finally got around to reading it. I got it because of the big headline on the cover "Reboot Your Life". I thought, "That's exactly what I want to do."
So the article was about how 5 guys changed their lives by dumping their 9 to 5/cubicle jobs and doing what they loved to do for a living. Very cool. One in particular spoke to me. Dave Thorsrud. He lives in a van. No really. He quit his job as a human resources manager for a big insurance company, sold nearly all his belongings and bought a big conversion/camper van. He has spent the last year on the road doing all kinds of fun things and meeting lots of new people. His website (livesinavan.com) chronicles his whole journey.
This is something I've always though of doing. Getting a camper and just going where ever I wanted. Dave's a very inspirational guy and this is kind of how I want to approach the next few years of my life. Get rid of the stuff I don't need and focus on what I really want. I have ties and responsibilities here so I can't just drop it all and head for the open road for a year or more, but I can live my life as if I did. How hard is it to drop everything for a single day and go for a drive. There's a lot to see and do right around here. The occasional long weekend wouldn't be bad either. Load the camping gear up in the back of the car and head out for 3 days. Not a problem.
After all, it's about the journey... not the destination.
So how often have you made New Year's resolutions? How often have you actually followed through with?
I've done it quite a bit. Lose weight. Work out. Get focused. Get back into art. Blah. Blah. Blah.
So this year, I'm really going to do it.
As of January 1, I weighed 265 lbs. That is the heaviest I have ever been and I can no longer fit into most of my clothes. I went shopping recently somewhere that I have bought some of my favorite clothes in the past and they don't carry a size 40 waist. 18 months ago I was 225. I felt better. I looked better. I will get back to that and then some. My goal is 200lbs. When I lost a bunch of weight before, I used a website called SparkPeople.com. So I'm back on there again, tracking what I eat, my workouts and everything. It's a great system and I recommend it to anyone who wants to get healthy. But, you can't ignore it and just go back to way you were before you started once you get where you want to be. It's a life change you have to commit yourself to and that's what I am doing now.
Eighteen months ago, I was also doing something that I love. I was traveling. I went camping with friends several times and I took an awesome driving trip from Erie, PA to Ft. Lauderdale, FL and back. I stopped at a lot of great places along the way and met a lot of really nice people. I was on this trip for a month. Over the last year, I've been camping once. I've decided that I need to take some kind of big trip (or a lot more small ones) every year. Not sure yet what this year's trip is going to be, but my dream locations would be Australia, Italy or Japan. At the very least, I'm going to be taking another driving trip and doing a lot more camping.
When it comes to my job, it's become just that. A job. There are days I HATE getting out of bed. I'm tired and angry that I feel like I have to do something that is someone else's passion while ignoring or pushing my own to the side. Recently, I have started to turn that around. I have been working quite a bit on Whee! Design. Whee! Design is my print on demand t-shirt/gift shop that I run through a great company called CafePress. It's a great creative outlet for me and I really enjoy doing the programming and web design portion of it. It's a project that I can really get invested in and that I can get excited about when I finish a piece of it. So I'm going to continue to build Whee! Design as well as move forward on my personal site (you're reading it now) and my professional/artistic site Valador Studios. Valador Studios is going to become the central hub of my professional life. It's going to be the mothership of my print on demand projects, the place where I explore my creativity and programming skills, home base for my design and web clients and the start of a new, fulfilling and joyful career. That being said, PatrickHiller.com is going to focus on me. This is where I'll rant and rave. I share what going on and I'll track my progress over the next year and beyond.
So, what brought all this on? Besides feeling like a tired, fat, cow. And waking up in a rage at life every day. And just wanting to get up and do something and not knowing what it is. This is the year I turn 40.
Huge milestone. I certainly don't feel like I thought I would feel when I turned 40. I guess when you are young, 40 seems like it's so old. I certainly don't feel "old". It's almost like I've been through 40 years of life. I've learned a lot of lessons and now it's time to start the next chapter. I'd like to think that 40 is the new 25. So I'm going gray and losing my hair. That has never bothered me. I started going gray 10 years ago. Not a big deal.
So is this a mid-life crisis? I don't know. It has all the ear-marks of one according to Wikipedia. But I think that these things that I want to accomplish and the way I want to live has always been there. This isn't something I just woke up one day to realize. It's just been getting more and more frustrating that they are taking so long to accomplish or that they feel like they are slipping out of control. There are things I wanted to have done when I was 30 and 35. I missed a lot of those deadlines. I made others. I've loved. I've lost. I've made some great friends. I've done some things I'm not proud of and I've done some things I'm extremely proud of. I've given of myself and my talents to others and didn't care to get anything in return.
So this year, I'm giving of myself and my time and my talents to myself as well. I'm going to take the time to smell the roses. I'm going to learn something new everyday. I'm going to meet new people and see new places and accomplish new things.
I'm calling it Project XL. The letters XL are the Roman numerals for 40. To excel in my life is my goal. On a wry note, 'XL' is the size shirt I no longer wish to wear.
So this marks the beginning of Project XL. Like I said, I will be updating this site as part of that project as well as keeping my MySpace and FaceBook pages up to date. Not sure yet how to measure progress, but keeping a weekly and maybe daily journal might be a start. Maybe I'll pretend I'm Doogie Howser.
If you made it this far, thank you. At some point, I will be adding the ability to comment on my posts. So stick around if you are insterested. Stop by MySpace or Facebook to say "Hi". Here's to our being happy, healthy and fulfilled this year and in the years to come.