Observations About Life: It still requires a few blinks to get used to the elderly man I see in the mirror. There are only whispers of hair where massive amounts once lived, changed at intervals from left to right or brushed straight back. Dull gray has spread through the beard like lava oozing from a dormant volcano. Dark circles ring the eyes, still full of curiosity and sensitivity.
Pain camps permanently in shoulder muscles pinched tight by side sleeping every night, the only position that works. Sinuses throb until they have my full attention, breaking my concentration, pulling me out of my writing, sending me to the medicine cabinet or back to the pharmacy. What is happening to me?
I am getting older, or I should say, my body is getting older. This is strange because on the inside I feel like the same person. Inside, I believe I can still throw a baseball hard enough to burn someone’s hand, with a whirlybird windup, rocket fast delivery, landing with such force that pain and heat pass through several inches of protective foam. Inside, I can run like the football player on the field below me. In my mind, I still have Tom Selleck looks, bushy eyebrows, brown penetrating eyes, washboard stomach, bulging biceps, and wavy brown hair on top with a mustache slightly upturned at each end.
Inside I am still hungry to learn, passionate about things like flying, music, photography, travel, and new adventures. Inside I’m still me.
So when you look at me, don’t just see a man who is getting older; rather see a young man hiding inside the body of a retiree whose a lot younger than he looks.
Even though I look older, it’s still me on the inside. My body has aged, but my mind is still learning, still alive with curiosity about life. My body has slowed down, and I get tired. My capacity to love, however, has not diminished. I still have the passion for my wife and for life.