Thursday, October 19, 2006

Falling Into Forty... one year on...

Okay, okay, so I was being a bit flippant in my last post. But it has been a year since my first post, so maybe now is a good time to report on my progress.

This is what I posted a year ago:

And so it begins...

In an uncharacteristically subtle beginning, my blog begins. Forty is fifteen months away, and now is the time to start thinking about who I want to be when I get there.

What do I mean? How about:

  • mentally
  • emotionally
  • physically
  • spiritually

Wish me luck.

And how am I doing?

Mentally, I feel like I have not done anything of note in the last year. I did not go back to school, complete my book, or tackle anything that would specifically challenge me mentally. On the other hand, I have been much more connected to the world of politics this past year, and I have written extensively about what is happening and its implications. Okay, I give myself a "pass" on this one for now, but I need to make more of a focused effort here as I begin my 40th year.

Emotionally, I feel like I am still getting better. This has been a pretty tough year, but nothing has had the power to rock me off my rails. The highs have been great and the lows have been bad, but overall my life runs on an even keel. I still deal with things on an emotional level before a cognitive level, but there is not such a disconnect anymore. Confirmation of this comes with the realization that I find myself apologizing for outbursts far, far less often than I did when I was younger. That's a good thing.

Physically, I am feeling great. One year after my first 5k, and I feel proud that I have stuck with a plan. (Okay, the last few days are an exception, but part of maturing is knowing when to step back and recharge.) Saturday is the Mud Run at Camp Pendleton again, and I am going into the event confident and strong. I compare how I feel now with how fearful I was a year ago about any running or biking event, and the difference is amazing. There is not a 5k, 10k, or other moderate distance or obstacle event that I would not be willing to do right now. Sure, I am a long way from winning any of those events, but that is not my concern. I am working to improve myself, not beat someone else. And right now, looking back on the last year, I am satisfied and proud of my accomplishments.

Spiritually, I am still struggling. It would be easy to begin a traditional path - find a gay friendly Christian church, say my prayers and being forwarding endless "Jesus loves you" emails to everyone in my address book. But easy is not the same as authentic. I feel challenged by religion, unsure of spirituality, and not altogether clear on the difference. This is another area where I need to make more of a focused effort. And it may ultimately be the most important. Perhaps finding my way here would make improving the other areas of my life even easier.

So there I am, fifteen months into the "make John better" project. It's not a perfect evaluation, but I do still feel I have reason to be proud. Let's see what the next three months hold and how I feel about these same things at forty.