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Around The Sun: Peter Pan

The arrival of a baby daughter has convinced Steve Harrison that he may regain Peter Panís secret of eternal youth.

I have always been very lucky in regard to aging. I grew older gracefully.

Throughout my teens, twenties, thirties, and even when I was in my forties people would give me an incredulous look when I told them my age. They gave me the nickname Peter Pan.

I walked vigorously and tackled everything in life with enthusiasm. I wasnít particularly vain but I looked after myself and never took myself too seriously. I kept my life style simple, slept like a baby and always woke up feeling nourished and totally refreshed, ready for whatever every day could throw at me. I was invincible and loved life.

My mother had passed on the secret. You are only as old as you feel. I changed that to youíre only as old as the women you feel, surrounding myself with a bevy of beautiful women at least 10 years my junior. When people asked me why I didnít date women of my own age I told them that although I loved my mother I didnít want to wake up beside someone who looked like her.

Then disaster struck my sublime existence. I got married.

I spend 10 years yoked to an unsuitable partner, a beautiful Asian woman with model features who was driven by a desire for wealth. My days became troubled nightmares, my nights restless intervals of trying to figure out how to resolve my situation. The relationship ended with a long and bitter divorce action. The lawyers had a field day.

After that I inspected myself in the mirror when I was 50 and I looked my age. Sometimes I looked twice my age. I would catch a glimpse of myself in the mirrors of bars where I socialised and draw back in horror, seeing my grandfather staring back at me.

One thing I learned with absolute certainty. Itís not the passing of the years that puts grey hairs on our heads. Itís toil and heartache, lies and deceit, which bow our shoulders and thicken our waist lines.

Now, following a black decade, I have found a little niche of happiness. My young wife has just delivered our new baby girl. At the age of 55 I am a proud father. I am sure some of the lines on my furrowed brow have disappeared. My countenance is no longer troubled.

As I watch my adorable baby daughter growing up maybe I will regain some of my ďlostíí ten years.

And Peter Pan will fly again.


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