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Where Does 30 Years Go?

When I am asleep I am about 37. I have dreams of a younger man, accomplishing great things or having the normal young adult nightmares that affect us all.

Then, I wake up and my body reminds me I am 67. Stiff fingers, painful knee joints and a need to stretch for a few minutes jolt me back to reality. A look in the mirror is always disappointing.

So, my question is simple: How do I lose 30 years of my life between the time I fall asleep and the moment I wake again in the morning? This time travel seems to happen most nights. Collectively, I am losing centuries every several days.

It is a psychological fact that most of us perceive of ourselves as 20-25 years younger than our chronological age. We know that isn't reality.  But, our mind allows us to create an image of self that has the potential to give us the energy and perception of the future that is rather rosey. Instead of us being the the final third of our life, we think we have all the time in the world to accomplish what we want.

For more than 6 years now, I have written that retirement is not just satisfying, but potentially the most creative and productive stage of life. This nightly trip back in time doesn't alter that belief at all . I wouldn't change what I have now for any period in my past. 

It is just that I find this phenomenon interesting. Sure, I do dream about things in my recent past: a vacation we took with the grandkids, Betty's hassle with doctors and medical care, the RV breaking down in the Deep South, or coming home from this seven week trip to find the lawn guy never showed up!

How about you? Am I a little odd? Am I the only one who spends so much time in the "way back" machine?


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