Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Am I happy?

So here I am, a 41 year old man, basically approaching the dreaded point of middle age. Most people consider 50 to be middle age but I don't know that many 100 year old people. I would generally consider myself to be a happy person, and on paper I certainly seem to be successful in the way most people would define success. A great job, excellent health, no addictions, the two greatest sons in the world and awesome friends.

What do I lack?

I am currently single but this is not a big problem for me at the moment. I want to be in a long term relationship but either have not met the right person or have not been in the right place when I met them, and let it slip away. I am still open minded, but increasingly puzzled at the difficulty of the process.

I do not have clear long term goals. I tend to think specifically in short term, six-month time frames. Train for and finish the Ironman. Make XX more $$. Go on this trip. However, ask me where I will be or what I will be doing in five years and you will get a blank stare. I do not need to have the next 20 years mapped out but it would be nice to have an idea of where I am going, for what I am striving.

I am too far from my boys and don't spend enough time with them. Although I live 2,700 miles from Ben and Sam, I see them as much as I would if I lived in Boston or New York. Jessie, the ex-wife, has talked about moving West so they can be closer to me, but I understand her hesitancy to pack up and move away from her base, dig up her roots. Professionally, it makes sense for me to stay at my job for the next year.

If that is it, then it seems pretty clear what I need to do to be "happy." Sure, I could add other things to the list like a new backpack from LL Bean, but that is trivial. I do covet some Mountain Hardware but lets keep things in perspective. I need to focus on the core three areas.
First determine where I want to be with all three, and then determine the baby steps needed to get there.


FYI - about 50 days until Lake Placid Ironman. I ran 9 miles yesterday morning and swam 1.25 miles at night and felt great. I actually think I have a shot at finishing this puppy. I am slowly raising the distance of my workouts (e.g., 10.5 mile run and 1.5 mile swim tomorrow, 70 mile bike on Saturday) and my body is rapidly adapting. The excitement is building.