Some numbers going into self-employment

I’m not big on numbers. I’m more into how things are working. That said, however, I will share a few quick numbers.

Age: 52.
Height: 5’9”. This number is periodically disputed by my wife. She believes my age-induced descent has begun, though I’ve noticed she tends to dispute the number based on the shoes she’s wearing at the time. Flats & sandals, no dispute. In her Danskos, however, the number is scrutinized.
Weight: 174. This number came as a surprise today. It should be in the 165-167 range. So my task isn’t to maintain my weight, it’s to lose a little. (Although, again, I’m not into numbers.)
Resting heart rate: 56 bpm.
Blood pressure: 118 / 80.

Now, how I feel. The pants are a little snug around the waist. That’s a recent development. Four years ago I lost about 30 pounds and my waist size dropped to 30 from 34 (it had been as high as 36). I will buy an occasional 32, depending on the brand, but one of my goals is to stick at 30. REI’s big $.83 sale is coming up, and I’m down to two pairs of shorts. (I live in shorts. Even when I was employed by The N&O I wore shorts most of the time, something you can do when you don’t work in the office and the people you interview are wearing speedos and lycra. The sale is the incentive I need to be particularly diligent over the next few days.

Until about two years ago I had a goal to exercise for two hours a day. This typically included walking the dog for 30 minutes, stretching/yoga/weights for 30 minutes and some sort of other aerobic activity — usually riding the bike — for an hour. I had a full plate at work, but managed to make the two hours stick through focused time management. With the stress of work over the past two years, there have been days in a row where I haven’t worked out. I really can’t go more than two days without aerobic activity without noticing it. Physically, I become sluggish. Mentally, I become slow. Emotionally, I’m no fun to be around. So my goal, again, is two hours a day. I’ll report regularly on how that’s going, starting with today’s 31-mile ride with my friend Alan in Chapel Hill and Orange County. Nice.

Here’s a snapshot of what being unemployed so far means. Yesterday, I was on Facebook and noticed I was at 99 friends. I decided to hold a contest to suck in Friend 100. Three people responded fairly quickly. So I decided to turn the contest into a Spring Friend Drive, complete with annoying pleas until my goal of 10 new friends was met. I told Marcy about this. She broke out laughing. “That is so funny. You’re brain is working again.”

So that’s what that peculiar sensation is.


Anonymous said...

Hey Joe: I was sorry to read that you and so many of my favorite N&O writers had left the building, but I wish you luck in your new endeavors. You were a HUGE help to me when I was just starting out as an essay writer. I will never forget your publishing my dog story way back in '94, that led to two books. I'm enjoying the blog!
Susan Byrum Rountree
(If you add me to your friends on FB:), then I'll have 105.)

Joe Miller said...

Hi Susan,
Wow, I'd forgotten about the dog story — that seems like a lifetime ago. It's great to hear that life is going well.
I'll request friendship right now.

Marcy said...

Hmmm. Looks like grilled chicken & veggies for dinner!

Anonymous said...

Hi Joe,

I have read you over the years in the N&O, and will certainly miss your articles. Definitely one of the more interesting writers at the paper. There are fewer and fewer reasons to get the paper these days, with all the cuts!

Your bp and resting pulse numbers sound good to me! I look forward to hearing how the "layoff" goes. I own your 100 classic hikes book, and look forward to the next one!

Take care, and the readership of the N&O will miss you.


Greg Cox said...

Hey Joe, add me to your Facebook friends, too, if you like - and, needless to say, to the list of those those sorry to see you leave the N & O. As my first editor, you made my entrance to the world of journalism way easier than I had any right to expect, given my utter lack of experience.

And boy was it fun writing for you. I still laugh every time I remember the "Don't Want a Horse Head in My Bed" subject line in an email you sent me, questioning a reference in an Italian restaurant review.

And, um, I hate to add to your waistline, but Wendy and I still owe you and Marcy a dinner.

Joe Miller said...

You're very kind, Kathleen. I think my good bp is a result of leaving.
And Greg, Marcelle and I can always make room in our social calendar for dinner with you and Wendy. (You guys busy tonight?)
And grilled veggies and chicken sound good, dear. Bread and milk from the store on my way home?