Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dad's A-Z: H is for Half Life

"Brains!" "Dip!"
Half Life, abbreviated  as t1/2, is defined as the period of time it takes for the amount of a substance undergoing decay to decrease by half.

Sometimes I feel like I'm a substance undergoing decay.  Sometimes I'm also wondering if I've reached my chronological Half Life yet.  (This is otherwise know as Middle Age) Honestly it feels like my rate of decay is increasing these days.  Of course, I hope I haven't reached my half life already. I'm still in my mid-forties for crying out loud.

When I was younger, I have to admit I was not worried about getting old.  Not at all.  This was because I was convinced that by the time I did get 'old' (I don't think at the time I actually had an age associated with it, but I figured I would know it once I got there) that scientists would surely figure out the cure to all those ailes that plauge us.  And, of course, I would be a beneficiary of all that new knowledge - allowing me to live well into my 100's.  Yes, I was that naive.

And no, I'm not so sure of that anymore.  Sure, the rate of scientific progress has been fast, but not as fast as I had assumed it would be. What an utterly disappointing realization.   I think we're going to need more scientists.

My niece Alyssa is currently studying to be a cancer researcher at college right now.  She's super smart, but I know of no plans to clone her at this point.  This would be a good idea.

The sad fact is, as of late I have been noticing a particularly large number of accounts of men in their 40's actually dropping dead.  Kicking the can.  Liquidating their assets. Swimming with the fishes. Ceasing to be.  Well, you get the picture.  Bottom line: These poor fellas are no longer around to enjoy the life they worked so hard to build.

Now, I don't have any statistics on whether guys in their 40's check out any more often than at any other age,  but it sure seems like I am hearing or reading about a ton of them of late.  One minute I read about a guy keeling over from a heart attack, the next another about a dude who succumbs to the Big C.  Each one of these makes me cringe.  Maybe statistically there are more deaths of guys in middle age than later, or maybe I am just noticing more because I am there now. 

Dropping Dead?  Increasing rate of decay?  Maybe I should be starring in an episode of The Walking Dead.

Like I said, I'm noticing more.  That's why I am finally doing something about it.   One has to start somewhere.  Today, I found myself eating mouthfuls of baby carrots while my office was having a chip and dip party.  It's part of a bigger plan. This was extremely difficult though, as my primal self was fighting the insatiable urge to dive onto the table and face plant itself into a bowl of artichoke dip.  But no, I'm in my forties now and I need to change my eating habits, right?   I need to ensure that I didn't reach my half life back back when Grunge was all the rage.  Hence the carrots.

They were not satisfying.

Honestly though, If I am going to eat healthier, lose weight, and increase my chances of a very long and productive life, it will not be for me.  I would just as soon die with a slice of pizza in one hand and a beer with a red vine straw in the other.  No, I am trying to be healthier - to slow my rate of decay and increase my half life- for the Lukas and Mrs. LIAYF.  I need to be there long term for both of them.

The thought of Lukas having to grow up, go off to college, get married, have kids of his own, and most of all watch the Mariners win their first world series without his father are tough to swallow.  I need to keep this in mind while I battle my junk food demons.  Ultimately, it will lead to better habits.

And a Full Life.


@CuteMonsterDad said...

Good post James. Adopting healthy habits goes beyond just eating and exercise. It requires eliminating or at least diminishing daily events which cause us stress. By far, stress can be the most damaging hidden culprit attributed to an early demise.

For me, I've found taking Kung Fu to be extremely beneficial. When I'm at class, I can focus on the art and nothing else. Any physical benefits are just a bonus.

What do you do to decompress?

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Cute Monster Dad - I love kung fu. Those Caradine performances really relax me.

Seriously though, I do have too much stress in my life of late and need to relieve it. Not sure Martial Arts are my thing, but need some outlet.

Thanks for the comment, man.

James (SeattleDad) said...
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teeshirtonline2012 said...
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blonde said...

very very nice and cute picture, daddy and son <3 :)
I think is cool to be a father and mother .
I'm jealous, meybe after few years I will have children too :)

- have a nice day and good luck with ur child :) I hope ur soon will as grow up as u ! :D

Geek Girl said...

I hear what you are saying. I wish you much luck with the changes you are trying to make. Cute boy you have there!