26 May 2011

Hey, Energy Sucker

I'm exhausted.

No, really. Wiped out. That's what parenting is. A 7-day, 24-hour marathon (and repeat). It is an endurance test which pushes me to my limits. It has aged me. Rapidly. And before my time. (In my opinion.)

You know how you see Obama now and his hair seems to have gone really grey since he got elected? And he's only about midway through his first term. It's kind of like that. Thankfully I don't seem to actually have any grey hair yet (at least none that I've noticed), but it's a good physical representation of how I feel.

(Ed. note: "You totally have a grey hair," the wife says upon reviewing this entry. Whatever, the author replies.)

(Side note: Recently, the Doozer recognized the President on TV and referred to him by name. He can even tell you he lives in Washington, D.C. at the White House. We'd like to think this is an indication we're doing something right. So what if we haven't managed to potty train him yet or get him enrolled in the right preschool? The kid is smart.)

And it occurs to me that the job is not all that different. That managing the nation (and sometimes the affairs of other nations, near and far) is not necessarily that far removed from the job of being a parent. You're dealing with a suffering economy (kids being mad expensive, yo), disparate personalities, intransigence, disasters, ideological differences, policy battles. And it's a hard job. You can take out Bin Laden (or give an awesome piggyback ride) and still some people won't be satisfied. The next day your success will be forgotten and the people start complaining. Again.

Popular sentiment is constantly shifting.

And so I'm tired. Mustering the energy to write these words is a challenge. It's a 24/7 job and while you could say it's tiring but exhilarating, it's really just mostly tiring.

In addition to the premature aging, there's also the issue of baby weight. Most people don't know this, but it affects fathers too. I've heard that spending your time chasing a toddler around can help you stay in shape. Personally, I haven't found this to be true. In fact, chasing said kid around, being on high alert and constantly aware of your heightened level of responsibility is so tiring, that you counteract all that energy expenditure with longer periods of excessive slothfulness.

Every night, collapsing in front of the TV, on the couch, eating and drinking too much, finding yourself in no mood or state for projects of self-improvement of any kind. I can't imagine that Obama doesn't hit a White House vending machine on certain late nights, chowing down on Cheetos or something, because that's just how it is when you have to work late and there's stress and pressure everywhere you look. And even though your wife's big (and extremely important) cause is fighting childhood obesity, you just can't help it, you have to eat junk food to fuel those late nights of sitting up and worrying how it's all going to turn out in the end.

At least, he's got one thing going for him: term limits. There's an end in sight. There will be a day when he can relax in the not-so-distant future (2016 is not all that far away), kick back, and remove the weight of the world (literally) from his tired shoulders.

Not me. Doesn't work like that. Sure, he'll turn 18 someday, but there's no guarantee that things will change. I'm stuck. And so I'm just going to keep getting older and fatter. I should do something about that. Right now. But it's late and I'm tired and I'm full and I've got a bit of a buzz going and I kind of just want to go to bed.

Self-improvement and maintenance starts tomorrow. I swear.

Before I'm a really old man.

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