Journey to 40: I don't want to get old!

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As I sit in front of my computer screen…

Yep this is all I had for about a week. This blog post writing is a new thing for me. Never been much of a writer. More importantly I have never written anything about me before. This is very alien and very scary. 

But I have to do this. I have to jump in head first.

Let me set the scene for you

I am just about to turn 38!!!!

I hated turning 30. But the thought of turning 40 scares the hell out of me! I know, I know, it’s just a number. Everyone gets older. But I just hate it. I shouldn’t feel like this, but it’s these damn age related milestones. It gets in your head.

40 is the new 'F' word

You must have thought to yourself that you have this great idea. Whether it’s to make something, fix something, do something or change something. It just a great idea…

…and you will start it tomorrow. But wait….

…when has starting something mid-week ever been a good idea?

Let’s start it on Monday.

Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, and yes, you guessed it months turn into years. Before you know it you are 2 years from your fortieth birthday and writing a blog about how you need to do that something!

Surely I can’t be the only one, can I?

am i having a mid life crisis?

I need to make some serious changes in my life. You can call it what you want. Most would say I am having a mid-life crisis, but without the desire for a sports car. Ok, I lied. I have been obsessed with the idea of owning a Tesla for years.

Now I should clarify that I am not unhappy with my life. Far from it. I feel very lucky to have 4 wonderful children, a beautiful and caring wife, and right now, a job that doesn’t pay too bad. Life certainly has not dealt me a bad hand.

My wife and I work hard to be the best parents we can be and give our children a good life. I am sure we get it wrong sometimes, but isn’t life one big school day.

This rut is more about lifting myself out of the ‘Work. Eat. Sleep. Repeat’ mentality. Yes we achieve stuff, but when I look back on my 40th birthday I want to say that I did that, and I didn’t give up on the second Tuesday.

this is my two year journey

My intro probably sounds a little selfish. But at the heart of it I just want to be a better father and better husband. If I can show them that a little dedication gets you a long way, then I will have done something right.

This is not a to-do list.

As you can imagine, ideas of what my goals should be have been going around in my head for months. But I don’t just want it to be a glorified to do list. These have to be long term goals that are going to make a fundamental difference to me and my family. Things that don’t happen within weeks or months.

I don’t know about you, but I have a real habit of saying I want to do something. Maybe starting it and then giving up or just falling off that invisible wagon. I just don’t have the staying power.

DISCIPLINE!

That’s right, the word of this post and really this journey is ‘Discipline’. I have very little of it and that’s the one thing I need to overcome if I am going to succeed.

So what am I going to change?

I could rattle off a crazy long list of things. But how much of that is realistic. How much of that is actually going to put me off trying because the list is so long. Also your goals have to be something you can control, rather than the by-product of it.

For example, there is little point me setting a goal to earn mega bucks by 40. I would love nothing more, but that is not going to drive me.

my 4 big journey goals

  • Weight – I need to get down to a sensible size
  • Fitness – I can’t run 20m without getting out of breath
  • Professional Development – I need to grow and progress up the work ladder
  • Engage in social media – Starting this blog is a start

Nothing like starting small and building up! But where is the fun in that.

I have split weight and fitness into separate goals because I do feel, for me they are separate life challenges. Read on to find out why.

Why write this blog I hear you ask?

It comes back to helping tackle my discipline issue. If I document my progress each week then I am hoping this gives me some drive and focus.

If I get some engagement this will drive me even more to keep going and keep documenting. If I do get an audience, I hope that over time those following my journey can get inspired to start their own journey.

We all have a life and we all lead it in different ways. Sharing some of that may help you.

Keep reading if you want a little more information on why I have chosen each goal. I will try to set some mini goals for each in the next instalment.

Lets start with my weight

Just to give you an idea. I got a great 30th birthday present from my parents. I get ride around the track in one of my favourite cars. However I was a few pounds heavier than the weight limit. I think it was 15 ½ or 16 stone at the time.

That was 8 years ago.

Things, and my waist line have moved on since then. I am now tipping over 17 stone. I have a rather big belly and growing man boobs. It really hit home the other day when I looked down and realised I have to lean forward to see my… well you know what I mean.

Sorry for painting that picture in your mind, but this is what I see every day. And, I really need to change that.

  • I am a snacker.
  • I don’t have breakfast.
  • I have too much for lunch.
  • I will have a snack (and I am not talking fruit) between meals.
  • I have a good and generally healthy meal each day. What would I do without my wonderful wife.
  • I will generally have a pudding and then nibble in the evening.
  • Sometimes I will snack on the things I am making for the children’s packed lunches.

Put simply, I eat far more than I burn each day.

Again I don’t go crazy, but with no exercise and eating a little too much over a good number of years, gets me to where I am now.

Yes the damage has been done. Medically I would be classed as Obese!

I will try to track my calorie intake to ensure I am bringing it down. I don’t think this needs to be an exact science. I know I eat too much, and just need to get into a new routine/habit of eating less.

fitness

It’s really not great when your 7 year old daughter can outrun you!

Since changing jobs well over 3 and half years ago I have done no exercise. I say no exercise, I used to walk a mile from the train station to the office door and back again at the end of the day. But since lockdown I have been working from home. Any time that I have been into the office during Covid-19, I have used the car to avoid public transport.

The net result is no exercise at all!

Yep, I was one of those that said, let’s use the opportunity of not commuting to get out and do some exercise after working. Well that didn’t happen either. My children did do some of that YouTube PE Teacher workout when lockdown came into force. I joined in for about 2 days.

Yes I know. 2 days is pathetic!!

It’s all about that discipline again. I am going to do some research into what exercises I will do. All I know at the moment is I want to be a lot fitter and more toned. Getting rid of the belly and man boobs I hope is a result of the exercise (and healthy eating).

I used to do a lot of running when I was younger. I think I need to get back into that. But I know my weight and age is a little against me so I need to start slow and build up.

There are no short cuts here.

Let’s put it out there now. By my 40th birthday I want to have run the equivalent distance of a marathon.

Yes I said it. But, why not.

Focus on my professional development

I feel like I have lost my way with my career and it really does need a boost. It’s trying to think about what that boost is?

You know when you are not enjoying your job, when you get distracted or wish the day would end. It’s not healthy as you then don’t want to get up the next day. It becomes that vicious cycle that you feel you cannot break.

Do I want a career change? No I don’t. Well at least not at the moment.

The company I work for and the people are great. It’s just I need to find something within the company that gives me some renewed drive.

I have learned a lot over my career, but the one thing I have not done is transferred that knowledge into hard currency. What I mean by that is certifications. As part of my professional development goal I need to start beefing up my CV. This being a long term goal will just help with any future moves I might make.

There are also some great e-learning resources that will help me grow my knowledge.

Finally, I am thinking I should start contributing my thoughts, comments and wisdom outside of the company. I am thinking of social engagement on LinkedIn or other platforms/forums. Again this is growing my profile beyond the company I work for.

Again, this is a very broad goal, so I am going to have to think about how I break this up as clearly I cannot do everything at once.

Engage in social media

I know this one is really starting to sound like a mid-life crisis. But you know what, I want to do it!

2020 has been a hell of a year

Not being able to see much of our family has been very hard. Thank god for technology and unlimited broadband! But as you will see if you click around this blog I actually had the idea to start a blog mid-way through the year. However it was going to be all about DIY.

It is something I have really enjoyed, with the biggest part doing some woodworking projects. Yes, there are still a 101 things on the to-do list. And, yes there are some things I just do not want to tackle. It’s time to roll the sleeves up and get things done.

But as well as the actual DIY, I want to start documenting it too. I hope that it might help others, even if it is something simple as putting up a shelve. This is coming from a man who blew the electrics trying to put up a shelve. That was a very expensive shelf.

The basic blog is already up and running. Of course it is. You are reading this post on my blog.

As well as a written blog I have starting recording some of my work and want to give creating YouTube videos a go.

I can just hear my wife now. Why? How pointless. Where are you going to find the time? Funny enough, these are all of the things I would have said to talk myself out of the idea.

I did have a little bit of a brainstorm on the name of the blog. And here we are DIY Dad Hub. I think I can use the same for my Journey to 40 series, so have decided to use the same blog for DIY and this journey.

You never know, the longer term goal could be driving the DIY Dad Hub brand.

At the end of the day DIY is only ‘Do It Yourself’. This is exactly what I need to do to achieve my new goals.

the two year commitment

So this is my commitment to myself, and you guys, who I hope will follow with me on my journey. I will record my progress on a weekly basis.

I think the format will evolve, but the key is to give you an update on my progress towards my big goals, and the little mini-goals I will set myself to help structure my journey.

Why am I documenting all this?

I said it above…. Discipline!! Documenting my progress will hopefully keep me pressing forward.

Writing this now, it does scare me! Have I given myself a mountain to climb? What if I don’t complete this? What will other people think?

I don’t think I am alone out there in how I feel. So if you are reading this and feeling that you too are stuck in a little bit of a life rut. Come with me on my journey, and start yours today.

Comment below and let me know what goals you are going to set in your life.

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