Youth, Age and Routine

By Don Pelton

One big difference between youth and old age that I’m noticing is my relationship to routine. When I was young I hated routine. I thought it was a trap. Hitchhiking to New York and running out of money was exhilarating in part because it was the total negation of routine.

Now that I’m old and approaching elderly, I enjoy all the little moments that make up my daily routine: getting up and biking on our stationary bikes for 30 minutes, doing some upper body exercises with our TRX straps, cleaning the kitchen, brewing the daily coffee for our afternoon chilled coffee, taking out the trash, feeding the mulch to the garden worms, refilling the bird baths, sweeping the leaves from the deck. Just being here. Now.

There’s a sort of reassurance to all this order that was of no use to me whatsoever when I was young.

When I was young I could find novelty only in grand adventures and dreams of grand adventures.

Now that I’m older and have (I hope) a larger perspective, I see that it’s entirely novel that I exist at all, novel that I continue wake up every day.

Gratitude is something that happens all the time now, not something that happens only on grand occasions.

Speaking possibly only for myself, it seems that in youth the heroic journeys are more outward (in the world) but in old age the journeys are more inward (in the imagination)

Either way, the journey continues …


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