40

I made it! 40 years old! Whoooooooooo!

There have been times over the past couple years where I wondered if I would even see this day. My health has not been the best, and it was only 9 months ago that my weight was at 450 lbs (205 kg). And it seems like every five years that my life undergoes some sort of major change (2000, 2005, 2010)…and 2015 has not let me down.

On June 29th, after 5 months of preparation, I underwent gastric bypass surgery. Almost 4 months later, I am doing well…down over 100 pounds, feeling the best I have in years. On August 3rd, I lost my job at the University of Kansas. That was not a surprise…my job was a one year grant-funded position. I was hopeful that either the funding would be renewed or that I would be able to remain at the University in another capacity. Two and half months later, I am still hanging out at home, hoping that one of the 300-plus applications I have put in will lead to a job offer. Not wanting to be left out of the festivities, my wife was diagnosed with diverticulitis in June, and had part of her colon removed in late August. She has fully recovered now, and also lost some weight during the process…not the way you want to lose weight, mind you, but hey…

The last month has been particularly difficult. We tend to center our lives around our jobs, so when we don’t have a job, we feel like less of a person. Of course, we are so much more than our jobs…they only make up a small part of who we are. There have been some days where I just try to hide from the world, because I have just felt so down. I have put in over 300 job applications in 29 states, and have had 17 interviews over the past 6 months…but nothing yet. It has felt devastating at times.

BUT…something is going to come along eventually. I refuse to sit here and wallow in frustration and disappointment. I’ve had a good 40 years…the next 40 will be great. Hell, I’m just happy to be here right now.

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