When I look at the hackneyed image of the New Year’s Baby supplanting Father Time as another year ends, I no longer see the cute rosy-cheeked cherub crawling in to herald the fresh new year.
With over six decades of witnessing the inevitable march of time tromp over my body, my focus is more on the dwindling sand in the hourglass and the old guy’s scythe that has sliced my strength to scale the highest peaks, and ski the fall line back down.
Nowadays, my definition of adventure travel is whether I can make it to the next place to “relieve” myself.
As you age, your travel choices change by the necessities and realities of your body’s ability to follow where an overeager mind points it.
Scuba diving makes for a good adventure activity for old farts for a couple of reasons. First, having all that water around your body takes a lot of pressure off ailing joints, and, second, having all that water around your body allows you to take a lot of pressure off your bladder.
Travel is supposed to be about seeing new places and meeting new people. One advantage is, as you get older, everywhere you go is a new place and everyone you meet is someone new.
The old cliché of being one with yourself gets only more clarity as you see the far side of those six decades. Not a moment goes by that you are not fully aware of your personal condition.
Starting from the time you get out of bed (every other hour to go pee) and your knees creak and complain from years of hiking, biking, jogging, skiing, etc., to your daily backaches begging for another Advil (or a “wee dram” of whisky), to nights getting walloped by the wife-person for snoring at a decibel level the FAA would take issue with.
If you are brave enough to peer into the mirror, you see the hair gone from where it should be, only to have relocated to places it ought not be.
And, your body shape has somehow shifted from the Adonis you used to imagine yourself as, to something resembling a hairy basketball with limp limbs.
Where past travel planning centered on hostels and hot clubs, you might now spend your time researching the distance from your cruise ship stateroom to the nearest hourly buffet.
“They say” the new year is a great time to reflect on where we have been (beats the hell out of me…I can’t remember shit), and where we are going (right now, I’m heading to the loo to take a leak).
I’ll be fine as long as I keep a sense of humor for what Father Time’s lovey bride, Mother Earth, has in store for me (that and a bottle of a good single malt).
Only yesterday, as I was bent over shirtless at the bathroom sink (yes, a scary sight, on a good day) the wife-person suggested that I just might be due a fitting for The Bro.
Ain’t life a bitch?