On the eve on this annual event, Heidi and I’s bocce tournament, when I should definitely be down in bed – asleep, I’m stuck wide awake.
Browsing through my Facebook feed, looking at the year that’s been.
It started out, honestly, to look at how noticeably I’ve gained weight – 25 pounds easily in the last two years. I wanted to see, selfishly, how easily you could tell.
But it turned into something different.
I’ll pause by saying: I don’t want to gain weight. I hate it. But it doesn’t really drag me down.
I’m upset by it. Want to change it.
But there’s some things I wouldn’t change.
I sleep better than two years ago. I’m happier than nine months ago.
I figure the weight will come off eventually.
I just need the right mindset.
A little more time.
And I’ll find the rhythm.
But that wasn’t what I expected to find – all the courts painted, the house ready for, I’ll argue, the coolest private nonprofit event in Tempe.
I expected to see me, two years ago, thinner and more healthy looking.
But what I found in between was somebody slowly reconnecting to his family; someone talking more about the things that mattered than the things that didn’t.
What I found is a whole lot of “holy shit” – and if that cost me a few pounds – or 25 – I’ll take it.
* * *
Here’s what happened since those 25 pounds:
- My son survived another bout with Guillain-Barre syndrome, an immune system disorder in which his own body destroys his nervous system, leading to paralysis
- He recovered from full-body paralysis and got selected to play for the Arizona Diamondbacks high-school development team
- He got injured playing for that team; lost the entire spring season; and got invited back.
- I earned my Masters of Science in Computer Information Systems from Colorado State University.
- My daughter got accepted to, and thrived in, conservatory for Childsplay, a renowned program for those with an interest in theater.
- She parlayed that into a starring role in her IB middle school’s production – as a sixth-grader – in an 6-8 school.
- We held another couple bocce tournaments for Tempe Community Action Agency, donating more than $35,000 to people in need of food, rent, health and utility assistance
- I got a promotion – and get to lead communications strategy for the second largest public power and water utility in the United States.
- Heidi made the decision to leave the working world; and spend some time reevaluating what matters to her.
- I served as president of TCAA, the largest health and human services nonprofit in Tempe
- I completed an Olympic distance triathlon, on a 104-degree day, despite the weight gain.
- I found the time to visit the people I care about most – here in Phoenix, in Oakland, in Philadelphia – all while cramming in the requirements of work.
- I gave my time to friends who needed me; when they needed me.
- I connected with those closest friends as we navigated through the darkest of shit – we’re still navigating – and learned about the many forms love can take.
- I learned to love more. And more.
- I messed up. My friends messed up. I learned to forgive. And be forgiven.
And that’s only a partial list. I know if I spent a lot more time reminiscing about the last couple years, I could come up with more successes and failures.
So could you.
But would I trade the 25 pounds?
The day to day me says yes.
But the reflective me says no.
I still want to shed them.
But maybe satiety and satisfaction and growth and physical appearance are an odd mix to understand.
Am I better off at 225 than I was at 200?
I’d argue yes.
My doctor and my blood results might argue different.
God how 45-year-old does that sound?
I’m not gonna’ worry about it now.
And I’m not going to get all “writer deep” searching for the succinct solution, or the easy closing sentence.
This is a work in progress; a thing I have no answer to.
I’m pretty sure someday soon, I’ll wake up and want to run miles and miles again.
Tonight, I just want to sleep.
And I can.
Ed, I am so glad to have been a small part of this last couple of years. You have not only gained a lot, you have given much and many people are better off because of it.
Cheers to you, my friend.
you go my dad you are the bom.com