I've been struggling a bit with getting older. My dad's brush with cancer has probably made me more aware of his, and therefore my, mortality, and it's not a pleasant thought. To me death is an end, not the start of eternal life, not 72 virgins waiting to minister to my every need, just an end. For me, THE end.
But it's not only that. It's the little things that mount up - my old man feet, which shuffle around in the morning until they warm up, and hurt much of the rest of the time. My hair falling out, and what's left going grey. Ever deepening wrinkles signalling that I'm no longer one of the young ones (who, Neil?). Various creaks and regular twinges. Nana naps, loss of strength, weight gain, eye worries, depression... sigh... it just goes on and on.
Still, it ain't all bad. The only alternative I know of is that unpalatable end I mentioned earlier, and I'm not ready to go there yet. I've travelled more since my kids have flown the coop. I'm financially stable, and own my house - termite ridden though it is. I own the best motorbike I've ever had, but I have lost some of my ability to ride it as it deserves.
Best of all? Attractive women. I'm not playing up or anything, but few straight men can honestly admit they don't admire the looks and form of an attractive woman. And here's the thing. When I was 18, I found girls of 16 to... maybe 22... attractive. Any younger was gaol bait, any older was too old. When I was 18, 40 year olds were as old as my parents - ancient, and not at all interesting.
Now I reckon anyone younger than mid 20s is just a little girl. Yes, pretty or even beautiful to look at, but attractive to me? Not any more. Nowadays, to be genuinely attractive to me (as opposed to worth a perv) women need to be in their 40s (possibly late 30s), but they could be as old as 60.
That's a 20 year span covering women I could genuinely be attracted to, with a range of another 15 years covering younger eye candy. 35 years! When I was 18, it was a mere six years. There are lot more women in the age ranges I find attractive now than there ever were when I was 18. What's more, straight beauty is no longer the key factor - sure it's there, but its importance has diminished. Yes, the best thing about growing old is that there are more attractive women to admire.
Of course, there's a key element we haven't touched upon - my attractiveness to this vast field of women. And we won't touch upon it, because I'll only get depressed again. Sigh.