I think I’m transitioning to a new age.

Old age.

I’ve never been old before so it’s exciting. I wish I could stay up to enjoy it but I’m usually in bed by about 8.30.

Robinson and I have always enjoyed natural good health. Having inebriated ourselves since our mid-twenties we’re the only ones in our known cohort who continue through life without taking any other medication. No pills in our household. Food and wine sustain us.

And friends. That’s why it was strange to hear myself recently declining an offer to kick on after an early end to a dinner out with friends. It was 9.15 and the siren song of bed was inexplicably more appealing than another bottle of red.

We’re in new territory here. Normally the only thing that stops me drinking is being unconscious.

In that inglorious past the joy was that I never got hangovers. Why would I stop drinking if there were no consequences in going on? You’re a long time dead, etc. Sure, my limited stock of brain cells were being degraded, I was sometimes concussed, but I felt loud in the world.

Now a kind of gentle weariness accompanies me. It softens the edges off a questing, thrusting Life and I find I’m enjoying it. I don’t have to say yes to everything anymore.

We don’t say no to everything. Robinson and I have just returned from a two thousand kilometre road trip to Melbourne for a niece’s wedding. We stayed up late in a Footscray warehouse full of young people and danced our arses off and it was wonderful.

Maybe my mellow mood is just recovery mode? A mesmerising spell of perfect autumn weather in Sydney tempts me to sit on the back deck and read Isabel Allende like a proper old bloke, doing not much.

The pandemic forced us into smaller, slower lives and I’ve got a feeling we accidentally got used to it and enjoyed it.

It coincided with where we are in life.

I read the news today (oh boy) about non-alcoholic beverages and even non-alcoholic bars booming in Australia. I wonder if that’s we baby boomers booming that? Discovering sobriety.

I hope not. We might live forever.

I want the younger generations to have us all sedated so they can get on with the world that by now should be theirs. It’s a wonderful world, if you’re lucky, and we should share it.

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