You will forgive me if I fall out of my chair laughing. At 66, I can attest, you get to live with an outdoor rug that has taken up space where air used to flow freely. That, and pubic hair that has decided to migrate, disappear, or go so white you can ski on it.

Yancy, there is not a whole lot you and I can do with onslaught of what aging does, except clip it, strip it and laugh at it. The rest, the rich and wonderful enjoyment of whatever else comes with age (and plenty does, especially if you work at it), is worth it. Especially when you eventually 1) don’t give much of a shit any more about whether or not people tell you how much younger you look which is a vicious ageism, 2) lean into what is available with each decade (including freedom from worries about weight, which is manageable through eating well, moving often and otherwise stop giving a shit about what others think and 3) there’s a trend here- not giving a shit about what others think.

Lots of sissies get old. And they get old badly. Aging well isn’t for sissies. It takes work, and it takes letting go of a plethora of messages about what’s wrong with the only thing that you and I cannot stop.

I just got back from spending 30 days by packhorse in the Muskwa Kechika Wilderness. Kicked my ass. I was ready for it, too. I hurt all over. And I did one hell of a lot better than a lot of the other riders who only signed up for two weeks, despite multiple injuries.

Getting old takes loving preparation. I may be 66, but it’s one hell of a 66. Yes I have nose hair, which I have to clip regularly or my backyard squirrels will inspect it for nesting purposes. Yes I have wrinkles, but I earned mine by climbing massive mountains, kayaking the Arctic ocean, riding fine horses all over the world in the bright sun. They tell a life story well-lived. I do not age well if I worry about shit I can’t control.

In five weeks I am off for a month in Mongolia. Not a bad life if you can create it. Time, age, experience and effort take us there. Our bodies and faces tell our story. We have bloody well goddamned earned it, Yancy.

We’ve earned it. And we don’t have to apologize to anyone for grey hairs, jowls, snowy pubes or anything else. Not. To. Anyone.

Written by

Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

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