On Turning 59

Like a train now speeding out of the terminal, the lampposts of time seem to be passing by at an ever increasing speed… And, I suppose, one could whine about that or, draft-up a Bucket List and stay busy! Life’s been great, despite my best efforts at tripping myself up. A team of skilled guardian angels still have more time on the clock, إن شاء الله‎, (God Willing).

From the Summit of Mount Harvard Looking North – Elevation 14,400′

2019 was another incredible year in early retirement, having climbed another 10 of the 53 fourteen thousand foot peaks here in Colorado without injury or death. And while it may seem more prudent to give it all up, I feel strangely as if the years have (mercifully) been pealed back to when I was 30 or so. I feel as good as I have ever felt, having shed about 25+ pounds since retirement.

Taking a well-earned break on the way up to Comanche Peak. Anthony (our son), with friends Suzanne, and Ed.

It is a bit unsettling, with all of our “smart” devices, to be targeted now for a myriad of pills, AARP, and Medicare plans. If only they knew; neither my wife nor I take any medications at all! Rather, we medicate ourselves by living a healthier lifestyle of hiking in the mountains in Colorado and walking endlessly on the beaches when in Florida.

A tiny cowboy on parade on Main Street, Westcliffe, Colorado.

Last 4th of July, I found myself in town for the annual parade in the frontier town of Westcliffe (population; 600), pulled up my camping chair and basked in the high alpine sun to a wonderful celebration of the town’s many people on display. Time… it’s having the time to calm down enough to enjoy these precious moments in life. How many years had I spent glued to my iPhone wondering if my next client was going to give me some more business? Always distracted, always stressed… I wondered if that little cowboy realized just how luck he was.

No doubt, getting older kinda sucks in a way. I’m starting to feel some joint pain in my right shoulder and my hands hurt a little after a hard day’s work. But, all else is good shape and I have no intention of slowing down! Ok, well maybe a little. I’ve decided to give up competitive racketball and tennis and even downhill skiing, so that I may continue to hike, climb, kayak, and workout. It seems like a fair trade. No complaints.

Yes, the clock is surely ticking and it’s not likely to stop. So what are our options? Bemoan the slipping away of youth or snap to and shore up our mindset? I’ve learned to choose the latter. There’s so much left to do.