It is the day before my birthday. I will no longer be 55 years old ever again. I feel the age, I have to say. I feel my age.
I feel it as I climb to the peak of Cathedral Rock in Sedona, Arizona. I get tired faster and I move up those rocks way slower. I know it because I am only comfortable with short 2 kilometer runs nowadays, and I choose not to run every day.
I feel it as Paul and I paddle our canoe on the quiet lakes of Kilarney, Ontario, or carry that same canoe for a kilometer portage.
I feel my age as I talk to each of my adult children and marvel at the uniqueness of each one. They are, every one of them, accomplished, generous, and productive human beings. We have created a family of siblings who love each other (and us) and we all make it possible to enjoy time together. Our numbers continue to grow. That must mean I’m getting older.
I feel my age when I crave hugs from my grandchildren and anticipate with joy the times we get to be together. I recognize the love I have for them is unlike any love I have. I want more!
I feel older when I recognize that I have achieved a professional reputation that allows me to choose my work schedule and location. I am eager to give my time and expertise in areas of the world that will benefit from what I have learned and I travel to exciting places to share the things I (at least think) I know. It takes me longer to overcome jet lag.
I feel it is I think about my loving friends all over the world and imagine the bountifulness of my relationships with each of them. Some of these friend I have had since childhood. It takes a long time to become this rich!
I feel it when I look at my honey and best friend, Paul. We have been together for so long. I love him even more than I did when we met. We have been through so much together. The years have given us time to learn how to be together. Only with years of experience can that happen!
I feel it when I lead the way on motorcycles down the village roads of Hampi, India, stopping to have bitter coffee with the local sadu and picking up local farmers on the back of my cycle to hasten their way home. Or unfolding from a headstand during a 3 hour yoga practise underneath the tree house in Fort Cochin, Kerala.
I get tired faster than I used to as we meander our way through the markets of Jerusalem or Istanbul or Rishikesh or Fez. And the purchases we make seem to be heavier than they were years before. But they still make their way to our home. I have so many fantastic experiences to remember.
I feel it as I look over the grandiose pit of the Grand Canyon and my eyes tear at the absolute beauty of the land. There is nothing more dynamic, more profound, more meaningful to me. I never used to find that so powerful.
I feel it after a full day in the garden on Gabriola, after listening to the Grateful Dead station on Sirius and digging deep into the soil to prepare for our garden. I feel it each night as I crawl in to my tent. My knees just don’t make easy for me anymore.
It isn’t as easy for me to water ski anymore and snowboarding is out of the question. I still scuba dive, and horse back ride, and zip line in Costa Rica and kayak in the Pacific Coast of British Columbia. I can walk for miles and climbing Grouse Mountain is still a given as long as the weather is right and I’m wearing proper shoes.
I do feel my age as our road trip through the United States wears heavily on my lower back and I struggle to make my way out of the car each time we stop for gas or a simple pee break. My body just isn’t as generous as it used to be.
Tomorrow I will begin being 56! I can hardly wait for what lies ahead. Happy Birthday me!