I do a lot of things to help me stay and feel young. For example, all the walking I’m doing in preparation for our walk along Hadrian’s Wall, come September 2024.

However, I’ll be sixty-two this December. While I might want to deny that I’m getting older, the fact is, I am. And I can no longer do things like I once could.

So I thought I’d dwell a little on the signs that for me at least, show that I’m aging.

Of course, there’s the obvious—my hair is white. However, I started getting white hairs when I was twenty-three. I dyed it for a while, particularly when it didn’t look good. Eventually, I stopped, in part because it stopped being that mousy brown color that I didn’t like and is now an amazing white/silver that I think is gorgeous.

I did dye it once in the last couple of years. Made me look significantly younger. So it is a sign of age, but I don’t mind it in the least.

I have upped the number of steps that I take in a day, from 10K to 12.K, basically from four miles to five miles. It surprised me how difficult that change was. It looked like a small change. It wasn’t. It took more effort than I would have liked to add that extra mile per day. I figure that’s also a sign of aging, that I can’t just increase my physical load, I have to build up to it now.

I now use compression socks when I take long walks. OMG, those make my life so much better. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I get up early and go walk for an hour, which is just about three miles. At the start, I was tiredafter doing that. Even after I got used to it, my feet and my legs complained more than I liked.

Once I started using medium-strength compression socks, all that went away. My feet don’t swell when I go for a long walk. Next year, when I start adding in more miles, I’ll keep using compression socks because they just work.

And I figure that this, too, is a sign of aging, needing this additional help.

Some people get plastic surgery done on their faces so they stay young looking. Sometimes you’ll see pictures of celebrities who didn’t get a good enough job done—they look twenty from the chin up, and sixty from the chin down, because they didn’t include a neck job at the same time.

I don’t mind all the wrinkles. I figure I earned them. Plus, I have a lot of laugh lines, not frown lines.

Where I can really see the age is in my hands. Less so right at this moment because I’m tan, but my hands have a lot of age spots. It’s one way you can generally tell a person’s age, particularly if they’ve had work done. Their hands may give them away.

The biggest sign of aging that I’ve been dealing with lately is the amount of recovery time I need when I do something out of my usual routine.

We had a party this last Sunday. It was great fun and people enjoyed themselves.

I had to do a lot of physical things in prep for the party, such as (finally!) cleaning off all the moss from the patio, weeding, putting up pictures (which mean climbing up and down a ladder), and so on.

So there was a lot of physical activity before the party, then the party itself.

And while it was fun, and we’re already planning on doing it again next year, I was completely exhausted the following day. No brain. No ability to get up and do anything. Just wiped out.

Then, it took two full days for me to recover. Just from a little party. I’m actually kind of dreading going traveling at the end of the month, to Bouchercon, because of how long it’s going to take me to recover.

However, I have to be honest with myself. It is now always taking me a lot longer to recover from things than it used to. Days instead of hours.

And this is the biggest sign of aging that I’ve been running into lately. And resenting. This constant need for recovery days. I just don’t have the stamina I once did, the resilience.

I’m working on it, what with the walking and the cross-training. Still, I suspect that given my age, it’s now always going to take me longer to recover from things.

It doesn’t make me happy, but I’ll live with it.

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