Saturday, 4 October 2014

Slipping, slowly, from late-summer to early-autumn

My birthdays roll round at an accelerating pace - something I'm sure we all experience - the effect of  one year being an ever-decreasing percentage of our lifespan thus far. At the age of 57, there's a long, long way still to go, but I feel that although summer sunny days ahead will still be plentiful.

There are better days and worse days - the important thing is to see the short-term ups and downs in the context of the longer term arc of trajectory. I feel personally that I entered middle age at around 48 or 49, a corner turned, an apex reached. And while it is downhill all the way to the grave (or the urn, still am undecided on this on), there will be a great many 'ups' on the long way down.

A wonderful way to celebrate my birthday was at a reunion of old friends from student and graduate days, some of whom I had not seen for a quarter of a century, gathered at the Hertfordshire residence of my best friend from university. A long night of catching up! Everyone in excellent spirits.

After a long run of sunny days in Warsaw, the heavy rain in England came as a shock - coming back from a short walk in the fields around Nick's house, my trousers were soaked through. But by the afternoon, the sun emerged from the clouds as I arrived at my parents' house in Ealing.

Above: mild Home County acres; gently undulating rural landscape in the rain.

In terms of health, I feel as well as I did last year. Walking has become an important part of keeping well - I carry my pedometer with me at all times, and strive each day to cover at least 10,000 paces. Each day I log my progress on a spreadsheet. In the first three quarters of this year, I've walked over 2,200km/1,350 miles.

Within me, I still feel in my mid-30s, experiencing a slight shock each time I inadvertently catch sight of myself in a mirror and see I'm not. When I dream, my consciousness is also aged 30-something; age is not an issue in my subconsciousness (though hair-loss is - a recurring motif in my dreams along with birth - struggling though very narrow openings). Our bodies are but vehicles for our consciousness.

Lifting my spirits at the prospect of another year come and gone, I read an interview with comedian Michael Palin in today's Financial Times Weekend Magazine. He's a contented 71; I've 14 birthdays to go before reaching that age - and Michael Palin is 20 years younger than my father, who's still going strong.

Many thanks to everyone who sent me birthday greetings by e-mail, SMS or via Facebook or Google+!

This time last year:
Turning 56

This time two years ago:
Turning 55

This time three years ago:
Turning 54

This time four years ago:
Turning 53

This time seven years ago:
Turning 50


Wilkbury said...

with all my heart - Happy Birthday to you!

Marcin said...

Happy birthday! Wszystkiego najlepszego z okazji urodzin, 100 lat, zdrowia, szczęścia, pomyślności!