Einstein was right

This past year is the first year I have felt old.  I’ve had plenty of aches and pains before and felt fatigue, of course, but feeling old is much more than just all that.  It’s attention grabbing. It gets in your head.  It’s a state of mind.  I am thinking about aging and all that it encompasses much more than ever before. And it is a bit daunting, I must admit.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am NOT old.  Not yet, anyway.  But I have one foot in the ring.  I know that, too.  I feel that.  I have entered the playoffs.  I didn’t think ‘old’ would actually register until I hit the BIG 7-0 but, at 68, I now have the feeling.  A smidge early, I guess, but I am there.

Getting this far was a wild card chance given my history but I made it and I am in.  I figure to get through the quarter finals (my 70’s) and maybe make the semi’s (my eighties).  With luck, I’ll emerge at the end of 2038 in good enough shape to hit the finals with most of my team (body) intact.  I’ll play for the championship cup (urn) in my 90’s.  But I will get there – like all good athletes – one day at a time, giving 110% and relying heavily on the date that brung me.

But, geez…………doesn’t 2038 sound like a long ways off?

So, what has age got to do with it, anyway?  Well, first off, we (I) am not as ‘driven’ as I was.  Not in any way.  Time can pass without me stressing about it much anymore.  I am good with sitting.  I am good with NOT getting things done.  I had no idea I could be so good at that and so quickly, too, but I obviously adjust well.  And I am now comfortably content with sloth.  So, sue me.

And that may actually happen.  I have promised a lot of people a bathroom for the guest cabin by next summer.  And I intend to keep that promise.  Honest.  I also have to finish the greenhouse before I break all the glass and I intend to do that, too.  Plus there are myriad other, minor things that have to be done not the least important of which is cobbling a working 250cc dirt bike from the two ‘parts’ bikes I picked up.  My agenda is full, my expectations are high and my goals are still within grasp.

But I’d be a liar if I didn’t sense their increasing rather than decreasing distance.  That greenhouse feels as far away as it did last spring.  The cabin bathroom is definitely further away.  I am actually a little closer to some of the lesser projects but, overall, I think I am feeling a bit stalled, I feel a bit of slippage, some sliding back….

I gotta get moving again.  Mind you, winter always does this. Spring puts something back. Keep a happy thought, eh?

But – again – what has all that to do with off the grid?  Well, it is weird.  It really is.  The older I get the more I want to do.  Or, rather, wish I could.  The more wonderful some things now seem.  I know that I am not going to do them but I would like to.  Maybe it is the freeing of the mind to dream when you know in your heart that becoming a rock star is finally not an option or becoming the prime minister is pretty much ruled out.


Maybe it is being eliminated from so many contests that makes you appreciate them.  I don’t know. But I do appreciate everything much more.  That is for sure.  Getting old is really getting much more appreciative of what life you have left.

And getting off the grid is related.  Most people get off the grid by going to their cabin. They have to retire to do that.  Most retirement means stepping back.  Slowing down.  So most of the off the grid lifestyle change is usually about slowing down.  Typically.

It wasn’t for us.  We retired early and when we did, we cranked it up to build the cabin. We learned and grew and developed and built and we did so with gusto. We retired but we weren’t retiring, if you know what I mean.  Our going off the grid actually sped us up for a bit.  It was an acceleration and intensity set amidst the beauty of nature and at a pace we pretty much determined so it was not just a rustic version of a different rat race.  It was a lifestyle change.  Like it was intended.  But it was not slow.  Not in the beginning.  Not the first three or five years.  But it has been slowing down since I turned 60 or 61…or even 62.

I am probably six years into the slowing.  And only now acknowledging it.   It is a different view from here, I can assure you. Einstein was right: time is relative to the speed of light. What he didn’t tell us was that, if you are sensitive, you can determine that at slower speeds as you get older.

15 thoughts on “Einstein was right

  1. Retired and tired. Had a full blood work up A1C, hormones…the works. Blood work revealed issues that make one tired not old. RG


  2. Good point. Maybe blood work. Maybe hormones. Maybe just as good dose of Springtime. Towel not thrown in. Told ya – getting ready for the quarter finals.


    • Seventy-three year old balancing on a chair height exercise ball on one leg at the gym. Five years ago he was flat on his back unable to raise his arms after a serious car accident. He has no aspirations because he just does it. No resolutions either…he lives it. I am schooled every day.


  3. Boy-oh-boy Oldtimer. Do you ever need a shakeup! I’m not suggesting a change in lifestyle, as that can be too traumatic. You just need a change in perspective. Time isn’t relative to the speed of light – it IS the speed of light. Energy is the relative. Life is full of vicissitudes and you have to learn to bounce higher with each change. But you know all this – you’ve just got the winter soltices. Lack of sunlight. Orgasm envy!
    I’m sorry if I’ve contributed to that. You said it yourself: “I am NOT old”. You just FEEL old. I, on the other hand AM old, but I don’t feel it. I feel like a new man! That isn’t strictly true, and I couldn’t handle a new woman, but by the time my euphoria wears off I will be old … or dead. Discard the old goals if you must, but create new ones that are more easily attainable. Hang a roll of toilet paper on a tree instead. Go ahead, break all the glass!
    We (my Sal and I) may just come down and shake you out of your doldrums, if we may. In the meantime I have a lot of living and a bit of editing to do.


    • Doldrums? Me? Dirt bike Dave? Look…we are all out of cauliflower and that’s the nub of it right there. I’m fine. We may be a bit short on orgasms, too, but when was that NOT the case? I was just sayin’…..is all…feelings…hints…shades of mortality. Am I the only one?


  4. Go for a swim in the water . That’ll inspire you.
    Work on the bikes. Weathers’ still too unpredictably crappy to plan any outside construction such as a green house BUT if you want to start the veggies and flowers a few weeks early…..ya better get crack-a-lackin.
    Toilet/bathroom? Hang a solar shower from a tree. Put up a tarp for “privacy”. and nail a toilet seat to a 5 gallon bucket….Voila! Guest bathroom fini!


    • I really must have left some hidden messages between the lines……sheesh….I just write what I see as the truth. FOR ME! I don’t think I need pep talks. Damn! Did it sound THAT bad? Does no one 68 ever feel that way? And YOU! You are just a kid. JA can lecture. He’s old. O-L-D. But you are a whippersnapper. Ears still damp.
      And when you come a’visitin’ some day, you’ll have a proper shower. Damn.


      • As long as you dont throw me in the salt water chuck and then a bar of seasoap afterwards……Ah ya just got the winter doldrums. No biggie. The days are getting longer already. Before you know it. It’ll be March. Beware the Ides of March and all that. We’ll have to get together for a brewski the next time you’re “bargain hunting” in town


        • I have a call into my shrink, right now. Maybe down there sooner than later. “Hey, doc, my friends are worried about me….think I’m nuts. Should we talk?”
          “Why do that? You are nuts. Talking won’t help. I told you to move away from people or I’d have to report you. Did you?”
          “Yeah. Went to the wilderness. Like you said.”
          “Good! Stay there. Don’t call again.”


  5. Totally off subject but after seeing todays headines in the Vancouver Sun about BC property assessments …..it got me to wondering.
    Has a property assessor ever visited your little OTG “Shangrila’?


    • Yes. And for the first twenty or so years the taxes and the assessment went up and up and up. ‘Course no one lived here and there are no services. But then we came and lived here and the taxes really went up until about six years ago and they have been dropping slowly since then. Why? Well, the migration to the city drops real estate values AND there are still no services. Bottom line: yes they assess and they have recently assessed us lower.


      • I heard the assessor came up the lake a year ago in the off season. Didn’t want to run into any of us while doing the deed. Our assessed value has continued to rise, but hasn’t caught up with what float cabins are actually selling for (a good thing). Living in the rural district with no services does help a lot though. City taxes are much higher.


  6. Two and a half years into retirement and slowly realizing that adding more accomplishments to the list is not what I want to do. What I want to do is things that I had a whim to try, but never had time for.

    And yep, much less driven.

    I still like to do mechanical/construction things, but now they go much slower, and a large part of the planning is making sure I don’t get hurt.


    • Everything you said ‘cept for the last sentence. I really have to get on that safety issue. So far, my main concession is to get Sal to do it but heavy weights and chainsaws are still in my domain. Just a matter of time if I don’t take more precautions.


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