Thursday, January 11, 2007

Withering Away

My dad battled crime as a cop. He chased after and fought against bad guys (I understand he was quite a brawler too). He negotiated with hostage takers (was the lead hostage negotiator) and responded to gruesome accident scenes. He walked around in a uniform and carried a gun. He wasn't very tall (5'9 maybe?), but he looked pretty intimidating just the same (see picture on right).

Me? I solve problems, design circuits, compile code, and write documents. So I sit in a chair, all day long. Hand on a mouse, fingers on the keyboard, and eyes fixed on the monitor. I'm an Engineer, and while I'm proud of that fact and I usually enjoy my job, it certainly doesn't require much in the way of activity.

While most people struggled with gaining weight over the holidays, surprisingly I actually lost weight. The only explanation that I could think of is that I wasn't sitting in a chair all damned day. I was playing with and taking care of the kids, fixing things around the house, running errands, going for walks, etc.

Now that I'm back at work again, I find my energy level quickly dropping. I need to stay active somehow, not only so that I don't turn into a soft, wimpy, chronically tired slob, but also because when I feel that way I find it's harder for me to stay focused on my work and be as productive.

Staying active is easier said than done though, because when do I fit it in? I have to put in my 9 hour days for work (9/80 work schedule), get home to eat dinner, spend a few moments with the kids, help get Lucas to bed, then help give Emily a bath before she goes to bed (she can't hold herself up yet, so I hold her head while Amanda soaps her up). So I'm basically continuously busy from 6am to 9pm. After that, maybe I'll pay bills, work on my blog or web page, help with the dinner dishes, then get to sleep as close to 11pm as I can (although I often stay up later).

So what suffers in all of this? The same thing that suffers for most parents I think, which is taking care of myself and/or doing things that I enjoy. Unfortunately, the only solution I can come up with at this point is to hit the gym at work to do some basic exercises for 15 minutes. This consists of 1 or 2 sets of push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, something for quads and something for calves. Maybe I can throw some stretching in for good measure once in a while. Sure, it's better than nothing, but until I figure out something better I'll continue to sit here and slowly melt.

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