Posts Tagged ‘Starting Over’

slomo(In my daily pursuit to ignite the second-half of life, I came across this. It’s a 16-minute short film (link below) that’s turned heads at film festivals, and now I know why. If you ponder mid-life questions, you might want to watch. You’ll thank me later.)

For John Kitchin, practicing medicine no longer satisfied him. His Ferrari and his 30-acre ranch, populated with exotic zoo animals, no longer fulfilled him.

He left work each day asking himself: “How much of what I did today promoted me financially? And how much of it promoted me spiritually?”

Over the years, the answer became more and more about promoting himself financially.

It made no sense. He was working to support a lifestyle that didn’t make him happy. So he reset his priorities.



smoking on bus

The Armenian Hostage Crisis (Part 2)

I’m not now, nor have I ever been, a prima donna.

But, was there a time when Greyhound bus travel was beneath me?



Because (the logic went) bus travel is something poor people do. I’m not poor. Therefore the notion is preposterous.

Well, here I am. It’s a new dawn. It’s a new day. It’s a new life.

And I’m on a Greyhound Bus.

I love experiencing new things, but Greyhound bus travel never made my bucket list. However, due to new world realities, here I am. This is a financial decision, plain and simple.

Whenever I hear “Greyhound Bus” I think about the guy who stabbed, killed and then decapitated a total stranger sitting next to him a few years ago.


imagesI prepared my friend that this would be a holiday party attended mainly by women.

Wow, I was spot on. It was like walking into a Tri Delt reunion. Or accidentally wandering into the women’s locker room at the gym.

These are writers who are part of an online community of which I’m also a member. But I’m new so I don’t recognize anybody and know only a few names. I predicted it would be mainly women because I see the daily postings, and they’re mostly women’s names.

Sure, there are a handful of guys at the party. A Burl Ives clone on the couch. A middle-aged dude in a tattered pilot jacket, nearly as disheveled as me—who may have hitchhiked to the party. Two cute guys in the far corner who, other than my friend and me, might be the only other gay guys here (spoiler alert: turns out they’re not gay.) And the husband of the couple who hosted the party.

Those are the men I remember seeing. And then there were like a hundred women.


running-manThis guy, Michael Ward, worked the same job for 10 years, hammering out a routine that began at 6 every morning. When he got laid off, his internal clock didn’t get the message. He found himself wide awake at the crack of dawn every day with nothing to do. He had never been a runner, but he decided to start. First with just a couple miles a day. And then building, and building and building, and eventually, he ran a marathon. He called running his salvation in a time of tremendous financial and professional strife.

Wow, I totally get that. I’ve been running for years but it’s never been more necessary than in the last year, as I purposely set out to create a new identify after intentionally abandoning the previous one.

Running is now something I need every day, like a glass of Malbec and a few minutes with Jon Stewart. The best thing I did for my health when I was in my 30s was to stop smoking. The best thing I did for my health in my 40s was to start running.


Part 2 here of our little crash course on D4D 1.0. It follows Part 1. D4D 2.0 is when I spring into action this winter. I’ll stick around afterwards to sign autographs.

images7. Presbyterian guilt?: I used to feel guilty if I spent significant time doing something I didn’t consider either directly or indirectly income producing. That’s why I gave up writing–I couldn’t justify it on the bottom line. And I still can’t, but I’ve learned to get over the guilt and enjoy the pleasure. Everybody has a creative side. If you don’t know yours you should find it, nurture it, and let it reward you.

8. Just Say Yes to Drugs: In the last two years I’ve been on a daily, albeit mild, dose of the ant-depressant Effexor and Ritalin, the latter because I’ve been told I have an attention deficit issue. Hard to say for sure, of course, but something is working. Either the life coach, or the plan to be credit-card free next year, or the new apartment, or the medication. But I can assure you my body chemistry is more stable than it’s been in years. And if the medication is to thank, or even just partially to thank, then I’m going to keep taking it.


22a1f54886179f63b50d250da9bd3635The only good thing about turning 50 is apparently 50 years is how long it takes to figure out a few things. Either that or my recent revelations are the universe’s way of saying, “Hey, sorry about your libido, your hairline, your patience and your eyesight. Oh and sorry you fell through the cracks of the New Economy. In return we’d like to compensate you with the answers to some of life’s mysteries.”

Which is what I’ve been doing here on D4D for the last six months, working through a lot of crap. On the Internet, no less. Apparently I’ve lost all sense of pride as well as my youth. Anyway, speaking of the ubiquitous Internet, I’d like to thank you, the electronic voyeurs in my psychodrama of mid-life. Thanks for reading, responding, and liking.

But now it’s time for D4D 2.0. (Yes, I know that might sound ridiculous–a new version of the new day for an animal extinct for millions of years. But it’s my blog so put a cork in it!) Anyway, I’m hoping the tone and narrative shift away from the self-discovery and goal setting portion of the program. Because I feel that work’s largely done. That was a time for adjectives. This is a time for verbs.

Before we move on, I’ll take a moment to review (as you might surmise this is also the skeleton of what a D4D book proposal might look like.)


(Here we are, Part 3 of “The Plan.” By now you’ve no doubt digested and scrutinized the first two parts, “Fear” and “Debt.” After this installment, which I call “ Savings,” next up will be “Income” and “Love.” Then I’ll meander into the day-to-day mechanics of implementation. It’s when you, the reader, will witness either a really grisly car accident or the making of a super hero. Or, more than likely, something very much in between.)


Phx HouseSo I have a couple hundred dollars in savings and an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) that will do me no good until I’m some ungodly old age. I have a few thousand dollars of available credit on a high-interest credit card and no chance of getting approved for more credit in the foreseeable future. I, like millions of other Americans, live paycheck-to-paycheck, hoping no calamity befalls me that requires anything more than a few hundred bucks to resolve.

And we all know unexpected crap hits the fan at will. I have a friend who recently had a sudden $50,000 dental issue for which she had no insurance. I have another friend who’s lost countless days at work due to an injury requiring two different surgeries. I have a third friend who quit her job to move back east for the better part of a year to put both her parents into a nursing home, pack up the family house, and put it on the market — all the while bringing in no income whatsoever, and having no savings to fall back on.