There are many things I dislike about getting older.
I don't have nearly as much hair as I used to. Well, not on my head anyway. For some reason it is growing out of my shoulders – that's a great place for a mop of hair. Many other parts of my body that used to be hair free are now sprouting a full-blown lawn of follicles as well.
My eyebrows are so long a family of pheasants could nest in them and I would likely never notice. My belly is larger and my patience thinner.
I could go on and on, but one of things that annoys me the most about stacking on the years is how tired I get.
There was a time not too long ago — actually it was a long time ago, but please let me live in the illusion – when sleep was something to be done when I had nothing better to do.
Long gone are the days when I could indulge in social activities well into the night and pop out of bed early the next morning, ready to take on the world.
When I was 18, I averaged about four hours sleep a night.
Thank goodness for high school where I could at least get some rest.
I worked part time, hung out with my friends part time and slept some of the time. Life was good.
Fast forward 30 or so years and a friend of mine hit the Big 5-0. A social gathering in his honour was organized and we all joined together to bug him about being the first of us to reach the half-century mark.
That gathering lasted until 1 a.m. In my teen years and well into my 20s, 1 a.m. meant it was time to start thinking about the after party.
At my friend's birthday, 1 a.m. meant I was well past my bedtime.
The next day, I was downright tuckered out from a night of vigorous activity so late into the darkness.
In my youth, I can remember thinking sleep was a waste of time. Why would I want to sleep when there is so much fun to be had. Life is too short to sleep it away.
Nowadays, my attitude toward sleep has taken a quantum shift. Now, I like sleep, I enjoy it, I look forward to it. It has become one of my favourite things to do.
Late night TV is now 10 p.m. and anything beyond 11 p.m. is just not worth watching.
There have been days when I could not wait to go to sleep.
The party used to beckon me like a siren calling from the deep to join her until the sun came up. It was a call I answered more often than not.
Now, my bed calls me not like a young, beautiful temptress, but as a comforting old friend that is always there for me, always ready to envelop me in the soft folds of blankets and pillow.
And if I do ignore the call of my old friend for too long, there is a price to pay. Unlike the days of my youth where I could pop out of bed on four hours sleep and be ready to tackle the day bright eyed and full of energy, now I am ready to tackle the couch for a nap the first chance I get.
But the alternative to getting older sucks so I will endure hairy shoulders and the need to inject coffee directly into my bloodstream just to get through the day for as long as I can.
Now if you will excuse me, I feel a nap coming on.
Copyright 2016, Darren Handschuh