Can you imagine the guys on Mad Men sitting around the office talking about feeling bloated?
I met a buddy for lunch yesterday. I’ll call him Greg even though that’s not his real name. I like him too much to make him the, er, butt of all of this.
Greg and I haven’t been able to connect for a few months. He’s a dad with kids ranging from a toddler to post college. His plate is full. Actually his plate—and I’m talking the figurative plate of life—looks like he went through a smorgasbord a few times over, and its edges are dripping with spaghetti, mashed potatoes, some ribs and three servings of creme brulee. This guy is overwhelmed. He’s burning the candle at both ends. He’s the poster child for guys who make it a priority to take care of everyone in their life.
I love this guy. He’s always positive. He always is interested in my life and kids. He adores his family and oozes with pride when he talks about his wife and their brood. So I know all too well that if he goes deep—and gets a little serious—he means it.
“Jim,” he started to say to me after about 20 minutes of catch-up chit-chat, “I want to tell you some stuff that I’m going through.” And, he proceeded to tell me how mad he was at himself for letting his physical health go backwards. He’s gained a bunch of extra weight, stopped exercising and—in spite of all the happiness in his life—wasn’t happy with certain parts of it.
Then we proceeded to have one heck of a heart-to-heart discussion about why guys do this. He wasn’t alone, I assured him. It’s that rotten post-40 moment of a guy’s life when you juggle a demanding career, an over-scheduled family life, numerous volunteer activities and a metabolism that decides to stop firing. We talked about exercise. We talked about diet. We talked about stress, feeling happy and how frickin fast life goes by.
It was a conversation right up my alley. Been there, done that. All too often. Greg was in good company.
But it all made me wonder, is this the kind of stuff my dad and his golf buddies used to talk about during their regular Thursday golf outing in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s? I honestly can’t picture it. If you watch Mad Men, that was my dad’s era. Can you imagine the guys on MM sitting around the office talking about feeling bloated?
Anyway, Greg, if you read this, I’m glad you trusted me with your frustrations. I got your back, my friend.
And for what it’s worth, your butt looks fine.