The older (and more, ahem, mature) I get, the more I acknowledge that life in the fast lane — thank you, Eagles — might be hazardous to your health. Some term the “golden years” the “new 40,” but 9 p.m. is now the new midnight, one more reason I usually fall asleep before the 11 o’clock news or “Tonight” show hit the airwaves.

Even though wife Anna and I have ambled into our 11th year of retirement, we don’t need an alarm clock — at least I don’t — to rise (where’s my Barcelona forklift when there really should be such a contraption?), to glow like I’ve just imbibed a glass of warm cream soda and then to stare at the sign on the bedroom wall, “Pants first, then your shoes.” I remove the hose from the mask of my C-PAP appliance, check the machine’s critical sleep analysis and tell myself, “Yes, I finally got eight hours of restful sleep … took me three days, but whatever.”

Yep, it’s the start of another brand-new day — er, what day of the week is it, anyway? — and I’m off like a herd of turtles (that’s being generous to the turtles), snap, crackle and pop down the hall to the Powder Room, thankfully for only the second time this night.

Meantime, I look forward to returning to my Wellness Center that is reopening to non-residents of Virginia Mennonite Retirement Center (VMRC), affectionately called “The Home,” where I’ll again try to keep my head above water while pooling my (limited) resources, soaking in the spa (what a wonderful whirl) if it’s open and wondering if I’ll be able to do 10 double chin-ups on the water apparatus. I walk around poolside, checking whether I’ve already removed my hearing aids — I SAID — before getting my head wet. It becomes even more difficult to converse across the watery way with my hearing aids removed but hopefully not resting at the bottom of the pool.

And, isn’t it a big wide wonderful world we live in, foolishly thinking that there’s a ray of hope shining into our bloodshot eyes, assuring us that the pandemic is slowly becoming a bad reminder of the dreadful year that we managed to survive … only to be smacked up side our numb skulls with scenes of long lines of vehicles lining up to be priced-gouged by a so-called gas shortage?

This past week, I tried refueling my Miata at six different stations between the ‘Burg and Weyers Cave while on the way to pick up grandson, Jacob, for our weekly get-together. Finding gas proved successful at the last place we tried, less than a mile from home; by then I was all too ready to pay nearly double the usual rate for a fill-up.

I had my patience tested. Turns out I’m negative.

I hope we’re not about to return to our former “new abnormal” routines, half afraid to venture far from home for fear of latching on to a nasty virus, sitting by the roadside with an empty tank (your vehicle, that is) or being subjected to the latest earth-shaking revelations of the Kardashian clan’s mindless maneuverings.

So, if you happen to meet me in public and ask what I am doing today, and I say “nothing,” it doesn’t mean I am free. It means I am doing nothing — other than my systematic exciting visits to WalMart or Walgreens Pharmacy or on a fuelish search for open gas stations.

At this purportedly alive and aloof stage of life, I find some of the most stimulating parts of the day to include: watching the motion-sensor lid of our new kitchen trash can open and close automatically, taking out the garbage and giving the impression I just cleaned the whole house, anticipating the almost daily enticement from Publisher’s Clearing House (four separate mailings from this persistent firm one day earlier this week) informing me that I’ve already made the final list of big winners of $5,000 a week for life (I suspect the company already placed bets on how long I’ll still be around).

Nevertheless, I persevere.

In conclusion — ah, you were waiting for this — don’t bother walking a mile in my senior shoes. That would be boring (and exhausting). Spend 30 minutes in my head. That’ll freak you right out.

Such a pursuit suggests the need for a GPS device that shows me my destination and also tells me why I’m going there (and that I’ve used this line before).

Uh, where were we going? Oh, that’s right — to the Wellness Center at The Home.

Me, I plan to run like the winded.

Jim Bishop lives in Harrisonburg. He welcomes your comments at jimanna.bishop@gmail.com

(13) comments

Donald

What is behind the demand to eliminate the Electoral College? I think because the Electoral College acts as a check to prevent high population states from easily dominating and completely ignoring Americans in lower population states (many of which tilt conservative/traditionalist) it is viewed as a stumbling block to advancing the agenda of hard-core progressivism/globalism. If it could be replaced with a popular vote (i.e. mob rule) it could be used to further erode the separation of powers (in this case making irrelevant Americans in smaller states). Think of it as voter suppression writ large.

prodigalson

Donald, you are absolutely correct. When one travels to heavily Demokkkratic areas of the country, one can easily see why the Demokkkrats want to eliminate the electoral college. They enact legislation and "programs" that lead to ever more government dependency, and then, they cram people into large cities, where these "programs" can be implemented. The result is generation after generation of Americans who are addicted to big government, high crime, loss of hope, loss of economic opportunity, and miserable living conditions. It's really sad that people actually fall for this, but unfortunately, there is a certain segment of the population that does, time and again.

Donald

“ … and then to stare at the sign on the bedroom wall, “Pants first, then your shoes.””

I think, Mr. Bishop, that you may have been dreaming you were Mr. Biden – well, I

[scared]

bishopsboy

Lol, Donald. Regardless of who your neighbor is, that was funny!

Donald

Is it not ironic that the powers that be felt they needed to concoct something that would distract the easily distractible from looking back on years of ongoing orchestrated attempts to overthrow a duly elected president – which they eventually succeeded in doing? Having done so, they came up with a narrative big enough to make even Goebbels blush. The irony? They named it “The BIG LIE!” while confining it to the narrowest of parameters, then sending forth their shills to sell it.[beam]

bishopsboy

Donald, you are spot on as always. No objective observer could deny the presidency was stolen by the Democrats and their Chinese allies. The CCP needs to be exterminated while the Democrat operatives who orchestrated the whole thing need to be charged with treason, granted a fair trial, and when found guilty, face a firing squad of American patriots on the National Mall.

bishopsboy

As, God bless traditional America and destroy those socialist/communist/fascists who seek her destruction. May they and their families suffer a thousand-fold the punishment for their evil ways and may God show them no mercy or compassion whatsoever.

prodigalson

I bishop, I just love your theology.

weld

As usual, it’s all about Jim Bishop. Please stop these self-focused, weakly articles and maybe publish one per year during leap years.

And what do the comments below have to do with Bishop’s meanderings?

bishopsboy

Dearest Weld, that’s the point regarding our comments; they have nothing to do with Bishops meanderings. Bishop could address something of importance above but rather chooses to bore everyone with some meaningless details about his dull existence, somehow believing the rest of us find his writings humorous or interesting. Prodigal and I are just making better use of the space. Please feel free to join into our discussion.

prodigalson

You know, drug overdoses have drug related crimes have become a very significant problem in Rockingham County and the city of Harrisonburg. I blame this scourge entirely on Demokkkrats. The Demokkkrat party is pure evil.

bishopsboy

As always, Prince Prodigal, my royal Saudi brother, I agree with you 100 percent. The cost in terms of human potential lost is mind-boggling. Sadly, Biden's immigration policy has contributed to this scourge by allowing drugs to freely flow into this country through our open borders. One wonders whether Biden is taking Mexican cartel money along with his Chinese bribes since he has made no efforts to enforce security and reduce drug trafficking at our southern border. Xiden may need a new nickname, Burrito Joe.

prodigalson

Thank you Mufalme Bishopsboy, my Royal Zambian Brother.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.