01.27.2011 The Other Side of the Hill

Today marks the day my sister turns 10 years younger than I am. It’s on her birthday that I generally take time to reflect on where I was when I was her age. I remember when she turned 30 that I gave her novelty tissues on which were printed the slogan, “Honey, you couldn’t pay me to be 20!” It’s as true today as it was five years ago, except that I wish I had now the body I had then.

I am by most accounts, “middle age.” When you factor in genetics, I am on the other side of the proverbial hill and if I live half my current life again, I will have lived longer than my mother did. There’s a lot less to look forward to at 45 than there was at 20.

The decision has been made that the second volume (yes, volume) of my life will be lived out in Colorado. I suppose it’s possible that I may revisit my former idea of living out my life in Costa Rica, but realistically Denver will earn the distinction as the locale in which I will probably call “home” longer than Dallas, Los Angeles and Wichita, the other cities in which I have lived.

Most who know me know I loathe the cold as much as I love the sun. The fact is that the winters in Denver don’t bother me much. The city knows how to clear the roads, the citizens know how to drive on them, and during the more than 300 days of sunshine, Denver almost always feels warmer than the temperature gauge indicates it actually is. (Check in with me on this after a couple of years of my having to shovel the sidewalks in front of my house to remain in compliance with city requirements on public safety.)

Denver is an active city. In addition to snow sports, there are ample offerings of tennis courts, outdoor parks and trails. The vibrant downtown is inviting and friendly to pedestrians, many of whom use public transportation for work, to shop and for easy access to performing arts and sporting events. I am looking forward to resuming participation in activities that for a variety of reasons were difficult to incorporate into my life I Wichita. Engaging in these activities will not bring back the physical health of my former 20-year-old self but will contribute to what I hope will be a long and generous downhill ride into my golden years.

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