One Thing or Another: The Big Six-Oh

It’s always One Thing or Another… a lighthearted look at life, aging, and the absurdities of it all.

By Mark McNease

“Maybe we’ll do a cruise around the world for my seventieth, although that might feel too much like a farewell tour.”

It’s been almost a month since I turned the corner into another decade. I remember thinking once how old forty seemed, back when I was filled with twenty-something angst. As happens, forty came and went. Then fifty arrived with a cruise and a presidential election while we were somewhere in the Atlantic ocean. Now I’m officially in my sixties, celebrated once again with a cruise, this time for two weeks. They seem to get longer as I get older. Maybe we’ll do a cruise around the world for my seventieth, although that might feel too much like a farewell tour.

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One Thing or Another: Cruise Control (All Aboard!)

It’s always One Thing or Another… a lighthearted look at aging, life, and the absurdities of it all.

By Mark McNease

“There’s something very depressurizing about boarding a cruise ship. The daily, mundane, pressures of life that bear on you the rest of the time are suddenly lifted, falling away like a jacket let slip from your shoulders.”

Spending time on a floating hotel was never high on my wish list. I no more imagined going on a cruise than I imagined climbing the pyramids at Machu Picchu or hiking the Appalachian Trail. I didn’t have anything against them, they were just things other people did, feature stories in travel magazines I read when I was still flying by choice and not necessity. Then I met the man I’ve spent the last twelve years with, and cruising entered my life. That can happen when we enter relationships: if you enjoy the unexpected, meet the person of your dreams.

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My first cruise was just three nights over a Labor Day weekend, out to some cay and back. I didn’t just like it. I loved it. Cruising quickly became a favorite way to vacation for me. I also like spending nights in hotels for some of the same reasons: no chores, no clean up, no appointments, unless it’s a massage or a shave/facial combination. Cruising is that times twenty, with the added bonus of feeling young at fifty-nine on a ship of retirees.

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One Thing or Another: Batty for the Country Life

It’s always One Thing or Another… a lighthearted look at aging, life, and the absurdities of it all.

You might think moving from the city to the country means going from neighbors on the other side of your apartment walls and a general sense of overcrowding, to stillness, isolation and a night sky dotted with more stars than a human can count. Don’t be deceived. The absence of people in the countryside does not mean you’re finally alone now, enjoying the seclusion an owl might experience in a treetop.

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One Thing or Another: Not So Fast (Age and the Morning Routine)

It’s always One Thing or Another … a lighthearted look at aging, life, and the absurdities of it all.

By Mark McNease

I hope my morning routine hasn’t stretched to an hour when I’m seventy, and I certainly hope I can accomplish it unaided. I’m trying.

I used to be able to get up, shower, dress, and ready myself for another day faster than the opening theme song to the morning news. By the time the anchors announced the top stories, I was pouring my second cup of coffee and adjusting my tie, fully prepared to meet the demands of a stalled career.

How does anyone without superpowers accomplish this? Was there a phone booth in the bathroom, into which I hurried one minute and emerged from the next scrubbed and presentable? Or was it youth itself? A youth that extended into my fifties before vanishing into the mists of a morning routine grown longer by the year?

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One Thing or Another: Not Worth the Weight

It’s always One Thing or Another … a lighthearted look at aging, life, and the absurdities of it all.

By Mark McNease

The food magically showed up at our front door, delivered by someone who, like Santa Claus, made their rounds unseen, past apathetic doormen and suspicious neighbors with insomnia.

My Amazing Weight Loss Journey began five years ago. With great effort and dedication, I’ve managed to shed four pounds since that first fateful calorie count. How did I achieve this feat of negligible weight loss? I never thought you’d ask.

It all started with a now-defunct company called Lean Chefs. For a reasonable fee, they delivered a day’s worth of prepared food while we slept: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two yummy snacks. The food magically showed up at our front door, delivered by someone who, like Santa Claus, made their rounds unseen, past apathetic doormen and suspicious neighbors with insomnia. I would peer into the corridor first thing in the morning and there it was, a small black package at my feet, looking like something that might require a call to the bomb squad under normal circumstances. Inside it was the coming day’s food with an ice pack and an unspoken promise: eat these healthy provisions, and only these, and miracle weight loss will occur.

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One Thing or Another: All Boxed Up

It’s always One Thing or Another … a lighthearted look at aging, life, and the absurdities of it all.

By Mark McNease

Who doesn’t want to gaze at a baseball cap or coffee cup forty years after buying it and remember that special vacation?

How many boxes does it take to hold a life? It’s a question many of us ask when we find ourselves moving from one home to another. A home is in many ways who we are: that place where we’ve spent most of our time, where we’ve created identities linked to the rooms in which we sleep, eat and bathe, and where we contemplate our daily existence. Then a new phase beckons, a new adventure, and we see it all in front of us, boxed and packed to be taken by car, truck or hand cart to the next phase, the next identity with a few revisions.

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