Don’t tell young people, but aging sucks. The body you had, that could stay up all night, drink and eat to excess and recover overnight, propel you to unbelievable feats of endurance, lose a few pounds in a week. That body will turn into an iguana.
I remember my young body. It could run along mountain ridges in the Alps for an hour or two. Hike up and down nine miles and 7,000 feet of elevation on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Walk ten miles a day for ten days through the Lake District in the U.K. The day after some of these peak bursts of physicality was normal: get up, eat, enjoy the day. No big deal.
Now, driving more than two hours means back pain and fatigue. Fatigue can be life-threatening, because your reactions are sluggish, lazy.
Worst of all: the iguana effect. Repulsive, soft pads of fat here and there, a few lumps that even hang down (upper arms). Loose, mottled skin that stretches like a plucked chicken’s. Where was that “definition” you took for granted?
Let’s not even think about the sex appeal of big, flaccid surfaces. Big bellies that cannot be sucked in.
All Hail, Iguanas!
Let’s celebrate being ALIVE, first. (Everybody did not make it to “iguana.”) Then, the value of wisdom, wit, and personality that can make people forget the housing.
The Hindus say there are four stages of life. After the “hermit” who is “retired” there is “the wandering recluse,” the “forest dweller.”
We may, in the body of an iguana, seek spirituality and peace in our private forest. I’d like company there, and if that’s the dress code, so be it.