I'll meet you at 2 in the morning

By Nelson Clyde isitjustme@tylerpaper.com

It really doesn't matter if you call these the dog days or just the end of summer. The heat is uncomfortable and I've been wondering, is it just me, or has anyone else had trouble sleeping?

These things run in cycles for me. They come in waves of either going to bed too late or waking up too early. Maybe it's just the age I'm reaching. This summer my birthday marked the dreaded 49, which means an even more dreaded number is approaching next year.

Being up all hours of the night is beginning to cause other things to make sense too. For instance, back in the day when Henry Lewis (the Chevrolet dealer in Canton) used to say in his radio ads, "I'll meet you at 2 in the morning, if I know you're coming," it seemed he must be the most earnest, perhaps hardest-working car dealer in the land.

Reflecting on the matter, now I must say the guy probably couldn't sleep and was either looking for some company or a way to escape late night Ronco infomercials. Never the less, I'm sure he works very hard.

Some people call it insomnia, but is it fair to call it insomnia if you are more than a certain age? Maybe it's just this season of life.

Summer is a terrible time to measure anything against reality if you have kids. We are in the home stretch of the longest summer on record for our family. All of the kids got out of school on May 10.

They say the older you get, the faster time marches on. Not this summer. It was the longest three months of my life.

Don't get me wrong. I adore my children. But once they are no longer children, they do not go to bed or wake up when normal people do. This presents a special set of conflicts for people of a certain age who happen to be homeowners and providers of capital.

Back to this business of turning 50 next year. You have been patient enough with me to encourage me through many things during the last four years, particularly my personal weight-loss journey. Two and one-half years ago, I started the year in the hospital with a blood clot in my left leg. I was pushing 300 pounds and in the worst physical and mental shape of my life.

My friends called me out and insisted it was time to go the other direction. Thanks to their encouragement and yours as well, I have come to a place of better physical, mental and spiritual health.

In fact, it may be possible to be more fit and prepared to live a productive 50 than I was at 40. I was really conflicted about turning 40. I wanted nothing to do with it. It felt like time was getting away from me and there was more to do than I was prepared to take on. I was simply overwhelmed. My goals and perspective were murky.

Moving toward 50 feels differently. Right now, I'm actually excited about getting there. I've decided I would like to weigh in at 230 pounds when I get there next summer. That would be 8 pounds more than when I got married almost 27 years ago, and 15 pounds less than I am today.

Having goals is a good thing for me. Without them I tend to wander in the wilderness. If you want, you can join me by emailing me your goal of what you would like to accomplish by June 22, 2014. I promise not to use it in the paper unless you tell me you want it published. Send me an email at isitjustme@tylerpaper.com or mail it to My Goal, 410 W. Erwin St., Tyler, 75702.

Maybe if all this gets is me up some night at the kitchen table at 2 a.m. wondering when my mind will be ready to shut down, I'll give Henry Lewis a call and see what's on his mind.

Thanks for listening.




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