Friday, August 10, 2018

Still fighting it...(from my archives)

So, where was I with my last blog post on travel? 
Oh, yes... relinquished my lifestyle, left the wet west coast for the dry interior of British Columbia, and some years later settled into domesticity here on the prairie "where the deer and the antelope play"!

I could book a flight, or get my husband to drive me out to BC now and then to check on my family, so it was enough.

Dick thinks Iʼm cute, which is probably why I married him.
However, it is a compliment about which Iʼm ambivalent. Most of the time, I am glad he thinks so, until I remember Iʼm a cute old lady, not a cute young thing. Sigh.

But I've learned a few things, some of which you might want to use

Okay, so you’re not as young as you used to be. You have pains in places where you didn’t used to have places, and you suspect your weight in pounds far exceeds your height in centimetres, although you’ve never been mathematically inclined and perhaps never mastered the metric system. The math part won’t matter anyway, unless you want to explore countries where everything is metric. 

However, I think you might not really want to explore anywhere any more.
You would walk to the library if you thought you could carry all those books home. (You're still a fast reader, so one or two books will not suffice.) 
You’d walk to the coffee place you love so much, just to hang out for a while, if you thought you wouldn’t have to ask someone for a ride home. “Maybe I can get there, but I don’t know if I can get back!” has become your new mantra. 

Can this really be you?
How did you get to be an unfittie?
You remember when you could work full time plus overtime, do your own housework and laundry, serve on a couple of committees, attend a few meetings, and go dancing on a Friday or Saturday evening.
You remember when you were 34 and could outrun a soccer-playing 13-year-old in a hundred-yard dash, although you realize you couldn’t have held out for a longer distance, even then.
Maybe it was a sign, but you were too triumphant to notice it. 

Triumphant, oh yes, you were, and you were all kinds of other good things, too. You were still young in your 30s – you were bright, productive, resourceful, excited and exciting. Members of the opposite sex still turned to look when you passed, and you still appreciated it. Hey, you still expected it! 

You don’t know when you became invisible

When your hair first started greying, you thought it quite chic. Rather than dye it to conceal the grey, you dyed the grey parts purple, to match your favourite sweaters. You certainly weren’t invisible then.  Now, of course, you regret that the only proof of you with purple hair is a black and white photo.
So you weren't completely invisible in your 40s. You could still turn a head now and then, but nobody called you ‘cute’ any more. Instead, they might have said ‘good-looking’ or perhaps ‘charming’ or, if they loved you very much, ‘gorgeous’ which, of course, you took with a grain of salt.

In your 50s, you fondly remembered the plans of your youth, when you wanted to change the world. You never did accomplish it but, 'way back in your 40s, you had still imagined there was time.

The wild excitement of civil rights issues and women’s issues had, perhaps, given way to more subtle environmental causes with no marching, but you could still get pretty wrought-up about saving whales, pandas, or your local river. 
You want to save the polar bears, plus those endangered penguin species, but you aren’t sure you could travel far enough to see them.

You aren’t even sure you want to travel at all.

Home is nice

Then, one day, as you both sit reading, you casually ask your spouse, just as a point of interest, in order to see if you’re still soulmates and not as a suggestion at all: “If you could go anywhere in the whole world, where would you want to go?” 

Much to your surprise, he waves a brochure at you and declares, without hesitation or doubt, “Here!” And "here" turned out to be the Galapagos Islands, via Ecuador!

Because my husband always says, "I don't want to go without you," I have found myself in some surprising places, and I have delighted in seeing more than a few amazing things. It hasn't always been easy for me, but I've come to believe it is better to go than to stay at home. In other words, I won't regret going, but I might regret not going. 

My large and healthy husband has been dragging me around the world by the scruff of my neck for several years now. When he presents me with an exotic destination and an exciting itinerary, I usually demur, suggesting he should, perhaps, go without me so I don't slow him down. But he always talks me into going. Does this make me weak-willed and wishy-washy? I think not. I think it merely makes me easily persuaded.

From the archives of An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel
Offered here because my latest unfittedness involves my eyes. Never strong, they have deteriorated recently, so I can add the optometrist to my list of medical professionals.


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