03.21.2019 Central Florida Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

Getting older seems worse when you are a kid. I don’t mean getting older as in turning 16 or 18 or 21. As a kid those ages are filled with cool milestones like getting able to drive or graduate or get completely shit-faced legally. I mean like really old. Like you have one foot in the grave, eat your dinner at 4 p.m. and record every CBS show airing on primetime old. You know, like 40.

When I was younger I remember attending a 40th birthday party. I can’t remember so well if it was the birthday of an uncle or family friend, but what I do remember is the party’s theme, “Over The Hill.”There were black balloons, a cake with a tombstone on it and I think Death may have made an appearance. Everyone laughed and poked fun at the birthday boy as they made what I would discover later in life were erectile dysfunction jokes. “Ha ha ha, you’re old. You’ll never get it up again, now live the rest of your life miserable and sexless!” Ah, the 80s. My take away from that fun-filled celebration as a young child was that I was terrified of turning 40 because life was basically over by that point.

As I reached my teens, I can recall coming into the house to see my mother moving the living room furniture around, something she was fond of doing on a bi-weekly basis, and saying things like “Mama, what are you doing? Let me get that, you shouldn’t be moving that table in your elder state.” My mother would have been in her early 40s at this point and I had decided that at her age she was far too frail to lift a 10 pound table. She would respond with “I’m not ready for the retirement home yet.”

I have been thinking about these past memories a lot lately because in less than 90 days I too will be an old, decrepit, worn-out 40 year old. Funny enough, not only am I not fearful of turning 40 but I don’t feel all that old either. I could totally rearrange my living room on a bi-weekly basis, and on a good weekend probably throw in rearranging a bedroom as well.

One thing that I have noticed that gets harder as you approach 40 is making changes in your life. I made a deal with myself last year that I would take better care of me and start off my 40th year being healthier, both mentally and physically.

I began by reading more “grown-up books” and less comic books—not that there is anything wrong with reading comic books, Bill Maher—but I wanted to branch out and read something other than my typical go to of fantasy fiction. One that I highly recommend is “War on Peace” by Ronan Farrow. Next one to pick up will be “Shortest Way Home” by openly gay 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg.

I also decided to get healthier by eating right (I learned what a proper portion size is) and by exercising (which is the hardest part because exercise sucks). I’ve learned a few interesting things so far in this process. The first being, losing weight is a lot harder to do when you are approaching 40 rather than approaching 25. The second thing is that while it is harder, it is not impossible. I started with a walk around the block at work. Then that grew into a walk around the block at home and then a walk through my neighborhood and eventually it turned into walking three miles down to the Wawa to get a coffee and walking the three miles back.

The final thing I learned is that you have to let yourself cheat every once and a while. So while most of the time it’s salads and political biographies, occasionally you have to do pizza and Spider-Man.

So if you see me out and I have some carbs in my hand do not slap them away, it may just be my cheat day. Unless it is before April 29, because I’m trying to win $100 in a biggest loser competition and there is no room for carbs! Excelsior!!

In this issue, we are looking at another type of change, the changing of the guard for Tampa’s mayoral race as we chat with candidate Jane Castor.

In news, Parliament House Orlando’s Jazell Barbie Royale is crowned Miss International Queen and Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County announces its new Pride Build.

In Arts and Entertainment, we chat with the lead in the national tour of “Dear Evan Hansen,” as well as one half of the “World of Dance” breakout duo Jonathan y Jorge, and we preview Orlando’s Broadway Brunch Bunch as they make the move from the dining room to the stage.

Share this story: