I think the Scottish novelist J.M. Barrie got it right when he created the free spirited character of Peter Pan. Where else can a mischievous child with the ability to fly live in the modern world? Toss in the fact he lives on the mystical island of Neverland and the best part… yup… he never grows old!
When we’re young, the “I can’t waits…” lurk around every corner of life. I can’t wait until I’m tall enough to ride the roller coaster. I can’t wait for summer vacation. I can’t wait to get my drivers license. I can’t wait to turn 18, etc.
Then one day you wake up and presto-chango… you’re 50 something years old. Now I can’t wait for a time machine to go back to 30 something!
I’m not a fan of the aging process. Seriously… it’s like the tide coming in. You can only hold it at bay for so long. The fact remains… the stuff I did at 25, I’d like to continue doing today… same pace, energy and results. Note to younger self: Aside from a fleeting moment of hitting 62 mph on my skis last year (think Toby Keith… “I ain’t as good as I once was, but I’m as good once as I ever was”) things don’t play out like they use to.
So, I continue to channel my inner Ponce de Leon in search of the fountain of youth. In the meantime, I believe I’ve found a temporary substitute. It happens to be 3 miles down the road and resembles a large building full of weights & cardio machines. I think they call it a gym. It even has a water fountain, but you would be well advised to bring your own water in fear of getting the cooties. I have an informal reservation each morning @ 7:30. Sometimes I really push the tempo and other times I think I’m just in search of my younger self.
While I sort out this getting older thing, slowing things down and hitting the pause button is the goal these days. Trying to squeeze extra minutes out of every hour is a challenge. I believe it to be a noble endeavor. It can be hard at times, particularly when work creates its own schedule & deadlines.
The weekend becomes my oasis and allows a different story to unfold. There’s a bit more flexibility and time for personal play
Saturday morning begins with a different mind set. No gym routine nor structured format to the day. Fielder’s choice is the protocol… basically, do what you want when you want. Waking up to a cup of coffee in my fuzzy slippers and doing some reading is a great start. This may be followed by a little mountain biking and/or photography. During the fall months, I tend to shoot something sports related at the local high school or West Point. If nothing is on the calendar, I often visit one of the local lakes to discover a photo or two. They have a weekend buzz of their own and it’s energizing to see so many people in motion early in the morning. The relaxed pace of my day coupled with a decent frame or two always puts a smile on my face.
Over the years… or decades… I’ve come to believe, weekends are good for the soul. It’s a yin & yang thing. They re-calibrate life and allow you to collect your thoughts and energies. I’m sure one day a fountain of youth will be discovered… or perhaps a great time machine… but, in the meantime, father time marches on.
Finally… I would be remiss if I didn’t admit to a glass of red wine (or two) making the weekend even better.