Sometime on Saturday, the 26th of January, I will complete my 52nd orbit of the sun. For the past half century +2 I have been traveling, along with several billion other souls, at 67,062 miles per hour around the tight little race track at the inner edge of our solar system. Depending on your stance on life's timeline, fifty-two years of age may not seem like all that advanced of an age. But, as one of my Marine Corps mentors once told me, "it's not the mileage, but the roads traveled," that determines the wear and tear on our chassis and engine.
Some days, I feel considerably older than my actual age--a career of too many hikes with too many pounds on my back often reminds me with too much stiffness on early cold mornings. But more often than not, my mind tells me I'm still a youngster, still able to leap the challenging chasms of life without effort. And I still catch myself trying.
Frankly, I still enjoy adding a year to my age at the end of each January. It's not because the alternative is less attractive. I'm not worried about that final heartbeat--I know where I'll be shortly thereafter. I guess I am just competitive enough to consider advancing age like accumulated points in the game of life.