On Becoming

So for as long as I can remember (at least 35 years, probably longer), I have generally sat down in June and reinvented myself. As I explain to others, I become someone else. This keeps me from getting stodgy and set in my ways. (And, mind you, I was doing this long before I met the Fabulous Publisher Babe(tm) and her Anti-Stodgy Campaign.)

Took several years, back in the 80s, to understand the why of the timing, but I finally realized that it had to do with the end of the spring semester and the start of summer. For example, I graduated high school at the end of my junior year (long story) in mid-May and then immediately turned around two weeks later and started college, taking two classes over the summer. (Speech, which blah, and Intro to Geography, which altered the course of my life. Thanks, Dr. Broadway.)

It was always a time to reassess. I didn’t take summers off in college, taking at least one and maybe two classes. The deal I made with the parents was that I would finish. Not when, not where, not how. Took me 3.5 years, with a double major (Philosophy/Epistemology & PolSci/Intl Relations, plus a minor in Geography). 144 credit hours when I needed 120.

To survive the other insanities in my life, I regularly became someone new. You make a list of all the things you are doing. All the things you are interested in, hobbies, habits, whatever. To add 1-2 new ones, you toss 1-2 out the airlock and be done with them.

It’s a cruel thing, especially when some of the things you get rid of turn out to be toxic. Because then you have to rid yourself of the toxic people that came with it. I did this by consciously forgetting a LOT of things. For everyone’s benefit in the long run, let me tell you.

So it’s June. Had come to a tangle in the road and needed to clear it. Gordian Knot, as it were, was the best approach. Again, brutal, but liberating.

Couple of new things, one of which I’ll talk about now, but not really explain until later (or I’d be here all day talking).

I’m 51. (Well, next week, but you get the picture.) I’m getting old. Need to focus on staying limber and mobile, because that’s really the key to a long life. I do shower yoga every morning. Stretching a variety of ways while standing there, in order to loosen things up.

Recently, I’ve added new stretches as part of the new me. Today, I added a new workout. Old one, but something I have fallen off of.

My usual routine is to get up, fix myself breakfast, check the news online, and the write for several hours. I do that 28+ days per month. It works.

But it’s summer. Time to change somethings up.

English King Richard II (1377-1399) passed a law (cite: “Feasts and fasts, an essay on the laws relating to Sundays and other holidays and days of fasting. Edward Vansittart Neale January 1, 1845″)

In the reign of Richard the Second a law , which , however , seems to have been more of a political than of a religious character , prescribes to servants of husbandry and artificers the use of bows and arrows on Sundays and holidays ; enjoining such to “leave playing at tennis, or football, cartes, dice, casting of the stone, and other importune. games; ” and an act of Henry the Fourth enforced the observance of this law under the penalty of six days’ imprisonment.

It was eventually repealed, but was on the books for centuries.

This morning, I got up and went out to breakfast. Only person there when they opened. Seated way off by myself when others got there.

Then I went to the gun range where I belong, with the compound bow. Spent a goodly amount of time just firing arrows at the 20 yard target, getting my muscles loose and and figuring out how far the sites had drifted in the epoch since I last went shooting. Stopped when I started to hurt. Will need time to build up muscles, as well as recover muscle memory.

This will become my Tuesday morning tradition for now. Got home and cleaned up. Put everything away. Started writing this blog post, mostly because in the last two weeks, I had to become someone new. The wife just laughs, but she’s been through this with me several times.

Gets me further down the road.

What are you doing to keep yourself young?