I was never a fan of The Lord of the Rings. Bilbo Baggins was never my friend or role model. Too many pages of tiny typeface read in a paperback rather than a college textbook… back in the day, I wanted to earn an A.

At present, I’m especially not a fan of rings because I have rings around my waist, mid-rise, and hips. I stand like a toddler’s stacking toy: red ball for my head atop a double chin stacked above a life preserver and two auto tires, an ode to the Michelle Man.

On the upside, I can’t topple in this configuration. Perhaps I waddle when I walk. Call me Lady of the Rings. Sigh.

I hadn’t anticipated Middle Girth.

Alas, my metabolism has slowed. Perhaps as a mirror of my reduced speed in daily life, though slower metabolism is an artifact of advancing age. I could blame my forced lack of activity on Covid-19 over-long homestay. Maybe the abbreviated perimeters of life gave my body an excuse for reduced speed… where was there to walk or run or lift weights, with our gym closed? Blame it on In reality, my gait is hampered by ankle and knee issues. Holy crap, I’m wearing out! I can no longer dance, walk, or run like I used to. Plus, as a writer, I sit my butt in the chair, staring at a desktop screen, for hours each day… leading to the inevitable middle-age spread.

I hadn’t anticipated Middle Age.

The number that appears in the window of my bathroom scales each morning would place me in the middleweight category if I were a boxer… Holy crap! Somebody help me and snatch some of my mid-afternoon high carb snacks out of my mouth before I chew, then swallow the unnecessary calories!

I hadn’t anticipated a mid-afternoon wine-and-cheese habit, either.