Tuesday, May 23, 2006


In Which I Take In the View from the Top of the Hill...

So I checked the numbers and, near as I can figure it, the life expectancy for a man born in the late 1960s averages out at around 76.

Which means that today I have officially hit Middle Age.

And apparently some part of my subconscious is not about to wait til 40, not about to be cheated out of one minute of his midlife crisis. And so I woke up in just the most spiteful, foul, fatigued, depressed mood. I'm certainly not as chirpy about my birthday as I was last year--and I even had strep throat the day I turned 37.

I'm no bottle rocket early in the morning on any day, let alone my birthday, but I tried to summon appropriate murmurs of pleasure and satisfaction when I came down this morning and saw that the Brownie had made me not one but THREE birthday cards, including one that contained a drawing of a fox, above the words "Daddy the Fox!" Now, if Her Lovely Self had given me such a card, my mood might have brightened considerably, but the Brownie meant it in a totally innocent way--foxes are her all-time favorite animal and I am her favorite Daddy so she wanted to show me in her own way that I ranked pretty high in her personal pantheon of living creatures. You could do worse (Thomas, for example, loves Komodo dragons, and they have simply awful table manners).

Meanwhile, my son, whose artwork output this year slowed as he became more involved in school and Little League and taking photos with a digital camera, did not make me a card. Instead, he found a gift basket up in the attic and filled it with all the snacks and drinks I love. He thought I could take this basket to work so I can have snacks there, not quite thinking it through, apparently. Because these were, of course, from our own pantry, filled just yesterday when Her Lovely Self went shopping. If I take all this edible swag to work, there will be no drinks or snacks for the rest of the family.

Nevertheless, I hauled that goddamn basket all the way into the city and here it sits in my office. Let the kids eat Saltines for dessert. Let HLS go shopping again and make Thomas pay for it.

See what I mean about being in a spiteful mood?

I'd love to put my finger on what's bugging me. Mostly, I think, it's just the time of year. April and May are filled with birthdays and visiting relatives and sporting schedules and what not. There isn't a day--even on weekends--when we get to hang out at home for an afternoon, or even an hour. My annual budget for down-time shrinks by the year and it bugs the hell out of me. But that's happened every year and I don't remember it bothering me this much before.

So I'll blame work. In point of fact, I blame work for missing some of the above. Every magazine goes through a period of dramatic changes, where key people either join or leave, new orders are handed down (often in complete contradiction of the old orders), and someone in my position finds himself overloaded with work and missing dinner and staying long hours and bringing home work. This has caused me to come late to some of Thomas' games and miss entirely some of his practices, which he doesn't notice or mind, but I do.

Worst of all, though, was yesterday, when the Brownie had her little graduation ceremony from pre-school, which included a snappy little song-and-dance routine put on by the class, about all the animals on Noah's Ark (one guess which animal the Brownie was?), and the presentation of certificates and a big lunch afterwards. And I missed all of it because I was sitting in a morning-long meeting to discuss how other people could leverage my experience and knowledge--and therefore earn bonuses and raises for themselves--by finding ways to help me fit in more TV appearances and Webcasts in addition to my increased workload of editing and writing.

Speaking of experience and knowledge, I guess I should be grateful that I got a good helping of that this past year. On my birthday, I always try to look back and see what I've gleaned from the previous 365 days, see if I've reached any goals I've set for myself, and perhaps discover that I've accomplished some very important things without realizing it. Or not.

For example:

I've learned that I have a surprising capacity for vanity.

Ordinarily, I don't care much how I look. I don't break cameras, but I ain't no supermodel neither. After watching my dad go bald by 32 and watching Big Brother develop a positively monklike bald spot beginning at age 19, I had long ago consigned myself to male-pattern baldness. I keep waiting for the clumps of hair to show up on the comb, in the sink, but they never have. Now I'm told that if I haven't gone bald by now I probably never will. Which is almost (but not quite) a disappointment. I mean, at least I was ready for it.

What I was not prepared for was the loss of my bumblebee-like metabolism and the gain of 20 pounds this year. Did I say this year? I meant this spring.

When I got out of the hospital, I weighed 155 pounds, a weight that I'd maintained since the end of college, and one that, on a frame just an inch shy of 6 feet, looks fine, even underfed. Oh, I'd typically gain a little winter weight--in the past I'd tip scales at 160, 165, but that was usually in February and while I was wearing heavy boots, so it may not have counted. In any case, by the time summer hit, I was always back to 155 and pleased to be there.

But here it is, nearly the end of May, and I'm 175 pounds. That's with no snow boots on and after getting a haircut. And all of it gained in about two months. It's enough to make you wish for a tapeworm.

I don't even know what I ate. I know I had a fearsome appetite when I got out of the hospital, and I know that they gave me plenty of steroids to combat inflammation in my lungs, but you can't blame this on medical problems. The bottom line is I'm socking away more calories than I'm burning off. I am on my way to becoming a fat tub of goo.

I mean, look at me!


I look like I just came from shoplifting at the Food King and I still have a roast tucked under my sweater. Only the punchline is: I'm the fucking roast. Now, in the past, after a big feed like Thanksgiving, I have been known to arch my back and push out my stomach and try to create a food baby. There's no need to try now. It's my natural state.

And my God, the only thing more astonishing than this accumulated bulk is the realization that I am shamed by it. I officially no longer tuck in t-shirts. And even untucked shirts don't help. That shirt in the picture above? Gone, baby, put in the Goodwill pile for someone less corn-fed.

Oh Jesus, I take it back: Don't look at me. Remember me as I was, during the Boobiethon, for example.

I've learned that I like baseball again.

I thought I could retire from baseball after the Sox won the Series. They had disappointed me so many times growing up that I hated watching all baseball, even hated the Red Sox for making me give a shit again when they came back in 2004 to eat the Yankees' lunch. I almost hated them even more than that when they swept the Series. I had become so conditioned to expect a struggle, a key blunder, a last-minute loss, that when it didn't happen, when they won almost effortlessly, in such a nigh-Yankees-like fashion, I couldn't handle it.

It also didn't help that I was in a cabin in the middle of the woods in northern Michigan on the night of the final game. There was no TV in the cabin, the nearest bar was a 5-mile hike, and I had no car. I finally found an old clock radio in a closet and tried to pick up a sports station. In the end, I was able to grab an intermittent signal from an AM station in Nebraska, but only by leaning out an upstairs bathroom window while holding the radio under my right arm and sticking a coat hanger out as far as I could with my left arm. Also I had to shut down the heat in the cabin (it was electric heat and when the baseboards turned on, they generated a buzzing noise than the radio picked up, drowning out the signal). All so I could listen to the win. I damned the Sox even as I cheered, then went to bed and woke up the next morning free of any interest in baseball. That was almost 2 years ago.

Then this year, two things happened; I'll tell you the second one first: My son started honest-to-God Little League and when he did, we started a nightly routine of playing catch and having batting practice. I would have been fine if it had ended there, but it didn't. Then Thomas started watching ESPN for the highlights of the day's games. Next, on one ill-advised trip to Target, my son saw that stores sell these peculiar addictive products known as baseball cards. Rationalizing that, hey, at least it wasn't Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh cards, I let him get them. Now the house is awash in discarded foil packets and duplicate cards of the strangely ubiquitous Devil Rays outfielder Aubrey Huff.

Worse still, the laundry hamper is overflowing with distinctive gray and pinstriped uniforms. See, Thomas found that he was randomly named to the roster of one of several teams in the league, all of which happen to be named after actual MLB teams: the Cardinals, the Reds, etc.

Thomas was--I almost can't say it--signed to the Yankees.

It's God's judgment on me. I never thought I'd find myself rooting for a Yankees team, let alone stand beside my flesh-and-blood while he's wearing their logo.


But seeing this image reminds me of the other thing that happened, which was the death of my grandfather, who was a helluva pitcher in high school in his own day (and who won a baseball scholarship to Colgate, he was that good), and who doggedly refused to depart this earth until he saw his beloved Sox take the Series. And even after that, he decided to hang around for a bit longer, just in case they were going to win again.

After the funeral, when we were cleaning out his tiny apartment, my mother and my aunt Cathy found a few things in the closet that they wanted me to have: one was my grandfather's favorite tie, the one he wore to my wedding, the one he used to fasten with a stickpin. Another was one of his patches from his days in the 10th Mountain Division during World War II.

The last two items were rescued from the trash and from being turned into a dustrag, respectively. The former item was the stained Sox cap. The latter was the well-worn Sox baseball t-shirt. My grandfather wore both during the two times he went to Fenway in the past 10 years, and always whenever he watched them on TV. I haven't had Red Sox apparel of any kind since I was 10 or 12, but I wanted these badly.

Thomas wants to make our own baseball cards so he had me pose in a variety of shots. This is the only halfway acceptable one.

Look at me, channeling my grandfatha, facrissakes!


(Yeah, the gut is somewhat concealed, but Jesus, I could host the Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Hour with that double chin).

My grandfather's posthumous gifts made me realize that the best presents are ones that come unexpectedly, on days besides your birthday. I was SO pleased to have a good old, worn, broken-in shirt and cap, I can't even tell you. Yes I can. Let me put it this way: I haven't worn a ball cap of any kind since I was 12. Why? Because most of them don't fit me (All one-size-fits-all caps should be labeled "One Size Fits All--Except for Freakish BIG HEADS Like MM") and when I find a cap that does fit me, it just doesn't look right. It looks like I'm trying to hide a giant surgical-saw scar, or the results of a hair-coloring experiment gone horribly awry. They just aren't for me. But I'll wear this cap whenever Thomas wears his (which is turning out to be rather a lot), which not only would have made my grandfather very happy, it pleases me strangely too (except for the part about my son wearing a Yankees cap. Have I mentioned that yet?).


I've learned the secret of wisdom (or a secret, at least. For me, anyway. Maybe not for you...)

I'll explain this one by revealing a little secret first: I've had a surprisingly compelling temptation dangled in front of me, and it couldn't have come at a worse time.

Back when I was writing for men's magazines, I found myself doing a piece on male midlife. I thought I did a pretty good job on it, but now that I look at the story, I see it for what it was: the disgustingly clever writing of a twentysomething kid who had no children of his own, no mortgage and pretty much no major responsibilities in the world, except to pay the rent.

In particular, I remember writing a bit about why men do crazy things at midlife, such as buying a new car or new hair, or having an affair with some cute young thing in his office. And I wrote: "If it comes down to buying a sports car or renting a suite at the Hilton for a nooner with your secretary, for the love of God, buy the car. In the long run, it'll be a bargain compared to the emotional and financial costs of a fling. Trust us on this."

No, this is not the build-up to some big confession (I had sex with my car! I bought a new secretary!). I'm just saying that it's beginning to dawn on me how much of an apples-and-oranges thing the above comparison was. In its startling naivete, it misses an important point entirely, and it's this: What I REALLY should have written about was how to deal with choices and temptations that, in the comparatively consequence-free environment of my 20s, would have been easy to make and indulge in. But when you're older, the choices you've already made surround you like carefully laid dominos and there's only so much floor space left to lay down new ones. Even when you do find floor space, you have to be awfully careful about where you put new dominos--lest you screw up the pattern you've worked so carefully to make--or worse, accidentally set off the chain reaction that knocks the whole fucking thing over.

The latest domino dangled in front of me was the chance to leave what I'm doing and take a job with another magazine. The money would be about the same, but instead of being a deputy editor at a Really Big Magazine, I'd be THE editor of a Really Small But Very Well Thought-Of Magazine.

In my 20s, this would have been a no-brainer. I'd already be picking up the U-Haul this afternoon and be on my merry way by supper. Like the RBM, the RSBVWTOM is one I've read and admired all my life. It's one of the reasons I got into magazines and there was a time when it WAS my reason for being in magazines, so I could get a job at this place. But now...

Now I just don't know, and indecision bugs the shit out of me, especially if it's me being indecisive. Because I have a really good gut, you know? In 15 years in this field, I've always figured out what my gut says about any new decision--some way thornier than this one--and it has never steered me wrong.

Now, though, it's like my gut has said, "You're on your own, buddy. See you. I'm taking off early for the long weekend."

Part of me wants to take the job, knowing it would be an impulsive decision, but trusting that I would figure everything out as I went along. But the other part of me, Mr. Older and (God, we hope) Wiser, sees a lot of pitfalls to jumping from one ship to take over another one.

On the professional side, I'd be charged with reviving a magazine that has been slowly dying for the last several years and I have a sneaking feeling that the only way to turn that around would be to make some drastic changes to the book that the owners would never entertain (which explains the slow death part). I already have a job where I have a maximum amount of responsibility with a minimum amount of authority; I don't need more of the same, in a higher-profile position, only to be made a scapegoat and tossed out on my ass (which they more or less did to the last editor). I suspect that their numbers are even worse than they've been reporting and I suspect the job would require way more time and energy than I have to give it.

Especially when you factor in the personal side, which is that I want to see my family more, not less. If I took this job, I'd be a little closer geographically to both sides of the family, but it would be hard on my immediate family and might even distance me from them in all the ways that count. Her Lovely Self would have a tough time moving. The kids would adjust, but they'd be going to public schools that are 10 times worse than what they're attending now. In my 20s, these weren't factors at all. The only factor would have been the desire to fulfill a long-held dream. The temptation, despite all the obvious dangers and pitfalls, would be too great to resist. Now at 38--excuse me, Middle Age--the temptation is placed before me and I have to decide if the dream is still valid, or outdated.

Or perhaps simply outgrown. After all, when I was younger, it was also my long-held dream to get the complete set of Wacky Packs sticker cards and I never fulfilled that one. Then last year, I saw the complete set on sale on eBay at a price I could easily afford, but what the hell was I going to do with them, when I already had a basement full of crap? That was a temptation easily resisted (although I DID think about it for a little while). What about this one?

I thought wisdom was all about experience and knowledge and finally coming into one's powers and being the kind of man one always thought one would be. But really, sometimes wisdom is just about knowing when to give in to--and when to resist--temptation. And right now, I don't know which way is the right way to go. My gut feeling is absent. Maybe that's what's really bothering me today.

Wow, am I a ray of sunshine today or what? Well, don't sweat it. I'll be fine tomorrow. Why? Because tomorrow things will get rolling again. Today I'm at the top of the hill. Tomorrow I start the long roll downward. And you know what they say: once you're over the hill, you begin to pick up speed.

So here's to enjoying the ride (raises semi-full glass of beer). I thank you one and all for sharing another year with me (and I especially thank those of you who actually remembered it was my birthday and took the time to send me a kind email or an electronic birthday card. You know who you are and you know I won't forget it). Here's hoping the next year won't be more of today. I can be a cranky old bastard for only so long.

Now if you'll excuse me, Thomas wants to get in some batting practice with his Old Man.

From Somewhere on the Masthead

Happy Birthday MM, you cranky old bugger. Love the family snaps! I can imagine your job dilemma. However, if you don't take the new job, maybe you can take satisfaction from knowing that if you'd wanted it, it would have been yours, thus fulfilling a dream. You've obviously become one of the best in your profession, so you can be happy that you have realised that part of the goal. I think you should be proud of yourself, gut or no gut! Have an awesome birthday.
Happy birthday. *raises my own semi-full glass of wine* Thanks for being so honest and sharing so much of your life-- that's the hardest thing for me on my own blog.

Life is just full of fun moments when you come to a point where you have to make an important decision and then you realize it's a whole lot harder than you expected.

No thoughts on that, really.. I'm just a naive 20-something in a consquence free environment. Good luck with that. ;)
Well, Happy Birthday? maybe? I think. Yeesh, MM, you make it hard for someone to wish you happiness with the crankiness and all.

That said, you are sounding an awful lot like a grown up on this whole job issue. Good for you.
happy birthday magazine man....i am 38 too and while most of the time 1 feel like 80, the balance time i feel like 20!!! believe me, i know the feeling u r describing, coz workwise i am pretty much confused too, being in a rut with nothing better turning up......
but.........let me give you something to think abt which will make u feel better....how abt being 38, and single, working and living in a place away from ur mom - ur only living family member, with no friends in the immediate vicinity and with a reserved personality which prevents you from making new friends easily......??? sucks, huh?? well, i am that 38 year old....let's hope 39 is better for both of us.....take care and hv a great life...
First of all- Happy Birthday, from everyone here at Chaos Central. :)

Second of all - DON'T BE A WHINER! If you're at "middle age" at 38, then sitting here at 45 I'm positively ANCIENT, and I don't intend to age gracefully. I'm going kicking and screaming into old age. I expect nothing less from you. So cut out the "middle age" crap, thankyouverymuch. Compared to me, you're still a puppy.

Third of all - it just floors me how *much* like HLS The Brownie looks! She is going to be every bit as gorgeous as her mommy! :) Your kiddos are so sweet and cute - I love that Thomas made that basket right out of the pantry. The Twinkie did something similar when she was younger. One of the best things about having children is watching how their minds work.

Fourth of all - QUIT YOUR BITCHIN'! Geez. You already have every writers dream gig, and here you sit on your birthday contemplating *yet another* opportunity that most in your profession would give their left one for. If you want the other job, then break out your Boy Detective skillz and find out what is really going on over there (and what you potentially could get away with in the way of changes...) and then decide.

Although... if your gut left you holding the bag on this one, there might be a reason *why*. Like, what's in that bag might wind up stinking pretty badly before it's all over. Of course, it could also be that your gut is just being lazy and complacent, and doesn't want to have to do all the work to pack up the Basement O' Crap. Just another thought, mind you.

In all seriousness, whatever you decide to do, find peace with it. Don't "what if" yourself to death. Believe me on this one.

Fifth of all - as you already know, it's easy to write ridiculous crap when you are in your twenties, without mortgage, spouse, kids, or car payments. Why not write a new book (or even start a "secret" new blog) - from where you are standing today? If nothing else, it might let you look at your life with new, fresh eyes. And sometimes all you need is a change of perspective to get things back in focus.

Sixth of all - ask your doctor about your recent weight gain. I don't know what meds they gave you during your last little visit to the Hospital, but it certainly could account for the increased appetite and/or weight gain to some extent.

Seventh (and last) of all - Did I say "Happy Birthday" yet? Well, there it is again, old thing. Many Happy Returns of The Day, and all that.

Now, pull those double chins up into a big MM smile, and go out there and have a great day, damnit!

T. :)
Dear MM, First off Happy B'day, cranky pants. I'm a few years older that you ... Ok, several more than a few. I lost a large number of my peers in our 30's, when Aids was just starting. So my take on age, or the numbers at least, is as long as they keep ticking up you are doing just fine. I was going to say you have your health but let's don't tempt the Gods, we all know how things just happen to you. You have your family & a job you love. As for this new offer at RSBVWTOM, very flattering for sure, however it sounds like it is not the magazine it once was. The one you would have given teeth to work for has changed & it's not for the better. You seem very clear about all the drawbacks & they are serious, the plusses are far less tangible. It sounds to me like your gut is working just fine, it's just that the sound is a tad muffled. (see above picture in brown sweater avec HLS) The current pop psychology would have you following your bliss, like playing catch, fixin'the fox hole or building a plant stand for HLS. Does that include missing more free time to try & fix something that might end up being a patch job? I also try never to put myself in the position where
I can be a scapegoat. I'm just sayin'... Hope your Birthday brings you joy. PJ
Happy Birthday MM- You share the same day as my hubbys dad! He is 70 something...

It's ok to be grumpy- I know how you feel all the way to the baby tummy. I'm 5'2" and have gained 22 lbs. I am ready to quit my job and head to the hills. If it was not for my commitments, I would have already left. Hang in there kiddo. Maybe your gut has changed, but the person behind it hasn't.
Hey MM, happy belated birthday! 30 was kind of a difficult one for me, for some reason. I think 40 will be easier. One of my friends has been saying every year since we turned 30, "So, how does it feel to be halfway through your life?" He can be a bit gloomy at times but statistically, I guess, this year, he'll be right (since I also turn 38 in a few months.)
Happy Birthday!

I turn 38 this December. Turning 37 smacked me into a wall of awareness of time. I'm in the autumn of my lifetime. It's golden and bittersweet. You have to slow down and enjoy what you have while you still have it.
Happy Birthday MM! I loved this post, even if you are a bit cranky you're reflective and grateful. What a year of growth you've had! (forgive the pun)

My thoughts are with you while you're making this big decision. A professor I admire once told me that part of our faith in God is trusting ourselves. I've never forgotten that when I've had to make a major decision. You'll feel peace and know what's right when the time comes.

Cheers to another year!
Happy Birthday to my absolute favorite blogger...cranky or not. Obviously the fact that the JOB was offerred to you means you have accomplished what you set out to do. Whether you take it or not is a different matter....the goals you set for yourself in your twenties are obviously not the goals that you have now. Life changes factor in. Your instincts have always been dead on (I know this just from having read you daily for over a year now) so the decision you make will be the right one.
Happy Birthday. Go eat cake and have an awesome day.
temptation is a sign of middle age, just as sure as weight gain is a sign of steroids... believe me, I am a wheezing 41 year old..I know from whence I speak....here's my take...your younger years are spent achieving and protecting. Gathering the nuts...doesn't matter which ones sometimes,...just having a big pile is what counts. Whether man(you)= career, clout, Big Man syndrome, or woman(me and maybe your wife)= getting through the day with as many kids as you started with, building a nice nest, THe good woman syndrome...I think your early life is about getting there.

Now is when you can give some great gifts back....because now you will start to sort through your nut...no pun intended....Some will be really shiny still and draw you in....but you'll have to decide if they fit in. No more Having just to Have...in middle age you edit for quality, and relevance. And every time you toss one of those nuts that you really still have a hankering for, out of that stash pile, because it doesn't fit THE GOAL (happiness, fidelity) you are one step closer to the wisdom you want...and to offering those you love a clearer vision of who you are and what you value..

as for the steroids...the choice to breath or gain weight to do so ...SUCKS..but there it is....The effects do go away ...after a while...unless...they don't!!!!
happy birthday MM!! (raising coffee w/ french vanilla creamer, yum..)..

38 should be a good year hopefully, for both of us. And the crankiness? all part of your charm.

possibility of being unceremoniously tossed out on your ass vs. somewhat job security & time with kids? no brainer. time with kids.

just my thoughts.. happy birthday!

Sorry it's late, hope you got lots of pampering when you got home.
Happy Birthday big guy. Just wait, 42 is worse.

It's obvious to me you have already made the decision about the job. Maybe your crabby conscious mind just hasn't recognized that fact yet. Did you actually read the post after you wrote it?
Happy Birthday!

Um, yeah, what Thimbelle said.

Maybe you could put together a plan forward for the little magazine, like a straw man. Make it as sweeping as you want to - this is what needs to happen and what I would do. If they say no, you stay where you are. If they say, 'Here are the keys, knock yourself out,' well, then you have a decision to make.

In any case, I hope your day goes well and you manage either cheer up, or enjoy your gloom.
Happy Birthday MM! I turn 38 in November and I am looking forward to turning 40. (28 was the WORST!!)

I agree with Sharfa, it sounds like you have already made your job decision.

As for the weight gain, you are six feet tall, you can pull it off. I am 5'2" if I gained 20 lbs, I would look like a square.
Oh my God, ive never been so fucking happy in my life!

For years you didn't look like my brother you looked like some white exchange student from Biafra or some place.

YOUR Old Man and you BIG FAT Brother were high-fiving to see the picture of Roast Boy and the Gorgeos Sister-in-Law. Finally, A GUT!

I even learned how to make this picture the computer's wallpaper i was so happy.

You look okay in the hat, wanna know the truth. The hat and the shirt, I mean. Go well. Papa would be happy you got em. Think he's spinning in his grave that his gr-grandson is wearing the colors of THE ENEMY, but I know you'll bring him up right.

Happy birthday, you fat old bastard. And if you think 38 is bad, wait til you hit 40.

Is 38 the official age when good-humored men turn grumpy?! Sure hope not! Happy birthday, MM. We all have every faith that things will sort themselves out jobwise. And that teeny, tiny belly? Sooo not something to get upset at. Embrace this year and your very special family! Cheers to you!
Happy Middle Age MM. I've still not left the comfortable domain of my 20s yet but just the same I'll try to take your alleged wisdom to heart.
Um... happy birthday?
Happy Birthday. I'm with Sharfa and others on the job thing, sounds like you've already decided. You may call yourself Magazine Man here, but reading your blog makes me think you're a family man first. And as for the crankiness, you may recall that you've been through A LOT of crap this past winter and spring. Now you have the stress of a career decision on top of it. These are not small things. You're allowed to be cranky. Take care.

Felichan Naskightagon!

It is awesome to see so many people here in the comments. That has to be an excellent present!

As for the job, allow me to pontificate: Forget your past, focus on today. What do you want to do TODAY? Whatever decision you make will only be a decision, not an Act of Congress. You'll talk about it with HLS and together you'll figure it out. Regardless, I feel for you. You've arrived at a crossroads and there's many more miles to go before you sleep. Hang in there, we're all rooting for your happiness.

Mi fresteri ju!
Happy Birthday to a fellow Gemini! 37 (last year) was my year for that lovely cranky mood, career change, gut not talking the way it's supposed to, etc. and I survived. In fact, just passed up the opportunity to move to London because my four-legged, furry child can't come with. When I was 25 I would have been on the first BA flight out of dodge.

Re-read your own entry and you have the answer.


Happy Birthday!!!!

Personally, I'd pay good money to weigh just 175 lbs. ;-)

I also totally sympathize with you about the indecision thing. My hubby and I were just talking about that the other day. 7 years ago, we would have no problem just up and moving, throwing caution to the wind.

Now it's like, ohmygodwehavetosellthehouseandhireamovingcompanyandaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh!!!!!!!!!! *runs down the hill and passes out in a ditch*

Well, regardless I think the view is pretty sweet from the top of the hill, no matter what your vantage point.

Thank you for sharing it. :-)

Happy belated, MM.

Not to sound too worshipful, but in a lot of ways I look up to you.

I started down this career path before I had the good fortune of stumbling onto your blog. Sure, we have our differences in 10 million ways, but there are also many things that a man my age (read here, I'm 22, I'm a man but I still feel like a kid sometimes)could learn. You've done things that I can only hope to accomplish (least of all being business accomplishments).

(I hope I'm not sounding too stalkerish. I promise I'm not outside the front door, staring reverently.)

Anyway, what I guess this is all leading up to is to let you know (because we don't always let people know) how much I appreciate your writings. You've opened yourself up, and I think that's one of the biggest gifts we can ever offer, a way to see through a different set of eyes.

Thanks for sharing, MM. Many happy returns.
Happy B Day, late.

When I looked at the pic, I saw the nice looking lady standing beside the big guy (big as in not small). So don't worry, nobody would actually notice you when HLS is beside you. There, feel better?

Plus after readin the entire blog, I noticed that this is one of the best mid-life writing I have read in years. Maybe the hospital pills did not kill ALL your braincells afterall. :)

Go have sex with your car and buy a new secretary. Its not as bad as it sounds ... :D
Happy Birthday!!

Don't mind me, I'm in a good mood!

Just remember nothing is permanent. The gut, the job, the mood. You can change what you want to. Now SMILE! Life Rocks!!
Happy birthday, you old curmudgeon :D

It must have been exciting to get that job offer. But I think the others are right...I think the only reason you even considered it was out of a sense of nostalgia. It doesn't sound like a good situation, based on what you wrote. You might have written that to try and convince yourself, but if all of those facts are true, convincing yourself is probably best.

It's tough to be "responsible". But it's definitely worth it (as you well know!).
I would love to be 37 again :( Happy Birthday!
I hope this coming year is full of adventure and joy.
Happy Birthday, you middle aged fox!
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