So grab a glass of wine, or a bottle of beer, or the beverage of your choice, and spend a few moments with me as I have reached, "My 40th Year..."
4:45am: Just woke up and can't get back to sleep. I remember it was like that for me when I was a kid. Excited. Anticipation of the calls, the cards, the gifts. I can't go back to sleep because of excitement, but because I am hungry. Weird. I'm not ready to eat yet. I still have to workout. I'm also uncomfortable because I pulled something in my back/shoulder blade. When I sleep, I toss and turn, so the crick in my neck makes sleeping a PITA. Here it comes. I've crossed the path where now all I am concerned about is my health. Oh, my aches and pains...that kind of thing. Not really. With the exception of a couple of issues, I'm probably in the best health/shape of my life. 40 and fit. Nice.
5:30am: Today is supposed to be "Lean Intervals" which is part of the ChaLEAN Extreme program Cyndi and I have been doing since March 2009. Since I cannot turn my neck to the right, I think it's best to just hop on the elliptical machine. I've been thinking about my athletic abilities. Or as my friends would say, my athletic "inabilities." I stink at sports. Scratch that. I SUCK at sports. Basketball, baseball (I'm pretty much afraid of the ball), football, soccer, racquetball, tennis. Any sport with a ball, really. One thing I have always been good at is lifting weights. I've been doing it, pretty consistently, for 26 years. It's a part of my life. I was once an afternoon lifter, but when I started working full time, I realized that exercising in the morning works best for me. I have to get up early, but if I leave it to later in the day, after work, I make excuses or find other priorities. I love starting my day with the weights or some cardio, or both.
7:00am: Cyndi's up. The kids are up. They have all wished me well and have offered to make me breakfast. On the menu: egg white omelet with goat cheese and soy sausage (Morningstar Patties crumbled into the omelet) and a bowl of oatmeal with dried cherries. Cyndi even stopped at Starbuck's yesterday to pick up a pound of decaf. Not a bad way to start the day.
7:55am: I have several conference calls today. I love technology. The fact that I can work from home, participate actively with customers and prospects, and sell a software product I truly believe helps people, is great. My work-life balance is the best it's been in a long time. Even though I don't get the chance to commiserate with my colleagues everyday, I feel part of the team. It's great to enjoy your job, to appreciate the people you work with, to be appreciated. My father hated his job for 35 years. He never gave up and never stopped working for his family. There's a lot to learn from all of that.
8:59 am: When I was working out this morning, I had the news on the TV. Scrolling across the screen were the following words: "...doomsday clock has been adjusted to today at 9:00am." Why today, of all days? I may not be able to finish my
9:01am: Okay...I'm still here. I think.
9:04am: I've been getting emails, texts, and written well wishes this morning, which are always nice and appreciated. I received my first call of the day; my cousin Greg. He's exactly three months younger than me. We've remained pretty close with each other over the years. We have similar interests and I honestly enjoy his company. We used to hang out more than we do now, but with family and work obligations, the time is fewer and farther between. One thing we that ensures that we get together at least five times a year is that we have Steppenwolf Theatre ticket subscriptions on the same day, with seats next to one another. Greg is a trained chef (and a great one at that), but he no longer "works" in the industry. We get to reap the benefits of his restaurant knowledge when we go out to dinner before the theater. We've been able to experience some great places over the years, and Greg's interest in cooking always inspires me. I'm glad he took the time to call me today. It was an unexpected treat.
9:30am: Just heard that Leslie fell on the ice and hit her head and face, and bruised some ribs. Leslie is married to my college friend/former post-college roommate, Javier. As the extremely talented Tony Danza would say (or at least Anthony Cumia from the "Opie and Anthony Show" doing an impression of Tona Danza), "Thoughts and prayers...thoughts and prayers..." I hope she's okay and that the recovery period is quick. Jav and Leslie are great people and fantastic parents. They are an inspiring couple with their dedication to each other and their daughter. I compliment Jav, even though he constantly busts my balls...or should I say ball??
10:43am: Jason Cooper, a friend of mine from work just called. He's the second person to ask me this question today, "Do you feel any older?" In truth, I don't. I remember being asked this question when I was a kid, and I'm sure I almost always answered a resounding, "yes." I really don't feel any older than I was 20 years ago. I mentioned this to Jason. He's almost exactly two years my junior. His birthday is Sunday. Jason remembers his dad turning 40. He thought that was old. When my parents hit their 40's I thought they were old too. Jason's dad is 62 years old. "He looks great," Jason said. "Time has caught up with him." I hope it doesn't pass me.
10:48am: It's official, according to my birth certificate, and the fact that my mother called and sang to me. My name is Cory Fosco, and I am 40 years old today.
2:07pm: I just received a pretty damn cool delivery: A dozen cupcakes from http://mollyscupcakes.com/. This was totally unexpected, but very welcomed. When the delivery guy rang the bell, I was talking on the phone with a friend of mine from work, BJ. Cyndi and the kids are at the eye doctor, so even though I was engrossed in a work relation conversation, I had to interrupt and answer the door. Rex was going crazy barking his head off too. When I saw the top of the box being delivered, I noticed the "Molly's Cupcakes" logo on a sticker. The following words were on a card, in colorful marker, "Happy 40th...from BJ." Perfect timing. Unexpected gifts are great. Molly's Cupcakes are great. And to be quite honest with you, BJ is great too. Cupcakes or not, I've grown to appreciate our relationship over the past nearly two years. We've had the opportunity to travel a lot together, we've hung out together, we've gambled together, and I've learned a whole hell of a lot from him. Sometimes I forget BJ is only 31 years old himself. I'm not one to think this way, but I'd call him an "old soul." He's wise beyond his years, and he has more talent in his right pinkie than I may ever have. If you need a visual of what the man, himself, looks like. Just know that sometimes I call BJ, "McLovin." Maybe I have a man crush on him. Thanks for the Molly's, my man. It is much appreciated!
4:06pm: I was on a conference call an hour ago with Nicole Fink and Steve Hammer. Steve was the first one to welcome me to "the club" today. He said I am really older than 40. I thought I understood what he meant when he said it, but I don't. Either I am not that smart (probably), I am actually older (possibly), or I just didn't really follow the reasoning (exactly). I am hopeful he will read this and explain...please...
4:15pm: Done with work for the day (I work East Coast hours) and ready to hang out with the family. On the menu tonight: Fillet Mignon (we had leftover beef tenderloin from the cold table that we froze for tonight) wrapped in turkey bacon (I know, it should be regular bacon, but we have this in the house); grilled asparagus; and homemade baked french fries (by request). I will be opening the bottle of Opus One I mentioned here http://ayeartill40.blogspot.com/2009/12/how-to-enjoy-some-opis-one.html#comments. I probably should have gone out to get a back-up cigar because one has not arrived from the cigar smoking strangers I met in Asheville. I didn't really think it would arrive, but hoped. Not a major disappointment because I am not a huge cigar smoker. It would have been nice, but not necessary. Cyndi and the kids were going to make me a Pineapple Upside Down Cake, but with 12 cupcakes on my mind, I'm not making them go to the trouble. I've never had a PUDC. Cyndi suggested it because it has a nice memory attached to it for her. Cyndi's grandmother used to make PUDC when she was a kid. I appreciate the gesture, but Molly came and took over the fridge...everyone wins.
4:51pm: We just had a toast; Cyndi, Frederic, Lily and me. I toasted with Carlsberg (we still have half a case left), Cyndi had a Magners Cider, Frederic raised an A&W Root Beer, and Lily had a Ginger Ale. During the toast, Cyndi began tearing up, telling me how proud she was that I made it to 40 and that I completed my quest. We met when she was 22 and I was 25. We were kids back then. We've been through a lot. After the toast, I was given a "gift." Although I am anxiously awaiting a present I have already "received"--a Nook (which will not be shipped until Feb. 1), and I am enjoying the iPod speaker dock I opened on Sunday--I was told that I will be getting "40 surprises" throughout the year. They have a list, and they now have a quest. I am a lucky man.
5:25pm: The wine has been decanted.
5:33pm: This is it. I am getting ready to start cooking and enjoy the evening with the family. The meat is resting, the potatoes are being washed and cut, the asparagus is clipped. Today has been a much different day than a year ago. For one, I am not alone. I wasn't "alone" then either, but I was away. I think this project has really helped me. It's helped me look inside. It's helped me practice my passion. It's helped me process my feelings. It's helped me live my life and appreciate what I have. Some days have been better than others. Some days, I wrote and wrote and wrote. Some days, I phoned or dialed them in (I still can't remember which one is right, Jason). I've enjoyed the process. I've accomplished a goal.
I appreciate everyone who read my blog. I appreciate the comments, the encouragement, and the following. This quest has actually taken a lot out of me, as well. Writing is not easy. Writing every day is a bitch. I have a lot of respect for people who do "this" for a living. I'm not as talented, but maybe someday I will be. Writing for me has always been a labor of love. I may not be as published as the next guy, but I have a passion for all of the aspects related to the craft. I hope I've demonstrated that, and I hope I continue to do so for years to come (if not, the students at Harper College who will be taking my class this March will be very unhappy). Thank you, everyone. All seven of you.
I guess I have one final thing to write, and that is: