The lie in the mirror. Young forever. Until circumstance interrupts the lovely delusion. There are many events that can shake a person awake and aware that the road is rough and life changes. A hard lesson. One moment I’m healthy and able to embrace and endure any task, and then suddenly I’m old and wondering if I can do much at all.
The past year has provided more than a few opportunities for personal growth and acceptance as my body ceased to serve as I have demanded. The hard lesson, as time passes things change.
I’ve not ridden the Vespa much this winter. The cold bites harder than it once did and I can’t seem to fend off its effect. The cold, snowy rides of the past seem almost within reach.
I’m not the man I once was.
Delusion and denial, wonderful tools that support insane behavior and allow me to hide from the reality of a change in strength, health and endurance. Just to name a few. At times the loss seems relentless and everywhere. I can avoid thinking about it, pretend nothing has changed, employ tricks and technology to surmount limits, but always I find myself back at the beginning — things have changed.
A hard lesson.
I envy those people who enter their seventies, eighties and nineties seemingly unaffected by the march of time. Their bodies biologically programmed to endure and perform. One can only guess at the function of their mind and spirit. There’s little profit for me to long to be them or covet their gifts. The march of life just delivers surprises and cloudy days. Sometimes it rains.
During the past year I’ve had to accept that my spine has degenerated and will potentially change my abilities without warning. The neglect I’ve shown to my physical self has transformed into a daily evaluation of function and action. At the end of the day, I’m wrestling with the inevitable changes. Denial had me thinking they were a decade or more away. Delusion had me thinking they would pass.
It was twenty degrees this morning and the sun was shining. In past winters I would have gone for a ride. Not so today. Until I acquire some sort of electric heat to my feet I’ll be careful to venture out.
I hate having to worry about this. I hate the hard lesson of growing older.
For those reading, perhaps for the first time, my apologies for the gloomy thoughts. If I could get out on the scooter everything would be different…