There are things we do in youth that we put away in mid-life. This isn’t always a good thing. I look at my sixteen year-old and see how spontaneous she is. She is quick to laugh, quick to take fifty self-portraits in an hour, quick to be silly. I am not certain where that freshness goes. I am turning 52 this year and I want to maintain that spark. I don’t want to be one of ‘those’ old people.
Those old people don’t take physical chances, they don’t backpack to aspen meadows, they don’t slide down waterfall propelled rock-slides, they don’t dance when they are alone nor do they dance with friends all about. Those old people play it safe. Those old people are boring and bitter. I don’t want to live like that and I don’t want to die like that.
Today we spent hiking with wildflowers and summit lakes. It reminded me of my backpacking days—how easy it was to get away, how it felt right to integrate the outdoors with my work life and love life. I don’t want to lose that.
I need to keep plugged in to that feeling and thought process. It’s a constant push to stay fresh. I need to do it in my marriage, in work, in raising my kid. I don’t know what the answer is to staying exuberant. Perhaps the question and the answer are all of one piece. To keep coming back to the outdoors and being sharpened on her precipices and washed in her lakes, to keep asking the questions and not settling for the easy answers. To spend time with daughter and wife and friends that don’t settle. I want to be coming alive not stagnating til death.