Waisting Away

One of the inevitabilities of being married and middle-aged is the gradual spread of one’s waistband. A souvenir of all those evenings when Patti would bring me a bowl of ice cream on the couch or we’d eat off each others’ plates like Jack and Mrs. Spratt.

Now our pantry is bare-ish. Jack and I shop on Sunday afternoon, buying just enough to provide cold cuts and fruit for  his lunches, cereal for my breakfast, a few other meager things. I shop most days on the way home from work, buying whatever I will cook that night, always a salad, maybe a steak or chicken breast for him, some veggie or fish thing for me. My favorite word these days, Jack complains, is ‘Spartan‘.

Despite these complaints of deprivation, we are both healthy and rarely hungry. I am amazed at how much less I want to eat. It began in those first horrible weeks in late March, when I simply lost my appetite altogether. But once that passed, I found food wasn’t especially comforting, and instead I preferred the gym I had just joined. For the first time in ages, I love pedaling madly on a bike or throwing barbells around. I also find I have the time. When Patti was alive, I so often felt that time spent on myself was time taken away from her (a perspective she vigorously opposed, but to no avail). Now I have the time and control of my agenda to indulge myself in new ways. Fortunately, so far, most of them are healthy.

My newly instituted regime is also a reflection of a new assessment of my age, of how many years I have left. I’d always assumed that Patti and I would march into the grave holding hands and I had no especial interest in outliving her.  Now, however, because I will continue on this march with no one to lean on, I feel I should be as vigorous as I can be. Both my parents are healthy and robust in their 70s and my grandfather just died at 98. Chances are I will be around to choose apples, tap melons, lift dumbbells and fill sketchbooks for a little bit longer.

In the meantime, I need new trousers and a shorter belt.

11 Comments

  1. sue

    That’s a good thing, I think! So sad that Patti is gone, but her influence is with you–encouraging you to be there for Jack and to just be healthy and live a good long life. You’re “supposed” to be here, creating, I think. From everything you say about Patti, she would want you thriving, I’m quite sure. Go buy some new pants and then draw them.

  2. galih suharjan

    yay! good to have you back. and to hear that you’re now moving on for a better shape, I couldn’t be happier for you. Good luck on your future :)

  3. Davielle Huffman

    Danny, this is terrific news. Getting healthy, despite the circumstances, can only be a good thing for you, and for Jack. Keep at it – and do draw those new pants and that new belt. We’d all like to see! :-) Davi

  4. Sandy

    Well said, such events bring us back to ground -0- and all the fluff becomes just fluff . And taking care of yourself and Jack are of primo importance, Patti would be glad I think.
    Now you need new pants and belt to match those blue suede shoes!

  5. Lew

    Danny; Congratulations on trimming down your life, focusing on you and your son, and for searching for the purpose to thrive. You and your work are an inspiration to me (and no doubt to thousands of other people), and I want to go on reading your blog, and being encouraged to sketch and make my art for a very long time. Thank you!

  6. Serena

    I sure wish my waistline would reduce a little. It sounds like you boys are looking after yourselves quite well….Patti would be proud.

  7. josu maroto

    thanks danny for continuing drawing, thats good for us, you teach us so much, about drawing, about live..
    thanks again danny

  8. AutumnLeaves

    Jack needs his dad healthy. I should take a page out of that healthy eating book myself. Love the journal pages, Danny.

  9. Carol C.

    I look forward to you being around and sharing your sketches for a long time!

  10. Lauren

    When things get tough, nothing is better than Bullet for My Valentine on the ipod and a five mile run.
    It makes the post run ice cream that much sweeter.

  11. Jane LaFazio

    glad you’re going to the gym. stay healthy, my friend.

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