There’s nothing like driving on new pavement. The DOT crews are really doing a number on Highway 60 this side of Magdalena, and although it might get you to work a little late, what with the waiting in line and the vehicular do-si-do around heavy machinery, once they finish it’s smooth sailing on good asphalt from there on out. Just like life. Maybe?

Too bad life isn’t as smooth sailing as all that. For instance, why do I groan every time I get out of the car? And where in heck did this crick in my hip come from?

Incidentally, I was reading an article in the Journal a couple of weeks ago about how a lot of older folks in New Mexico are continuing to work way past the customary retirement age. Whether it was at their current career, a new challenge or if they just needed the income, and I got to thinking. This is one of those things no one tells us when we were younger about growing old; that it’s not required to be put out to pasture even after you get up in years.

I realize most under the age of probably 50 don’t like to think about being a senior, but believe it or not, there are benefits.

But one thing about getting older is that you know stuff. All kinds of stuff. The experts call it “crystalized intelligence,” and it keeps getting better even after 60 or 70. For instance, my ability to remember the lyrics of song from the 1970s far outweighs my ability to remember why I walked into the kitchen.

Seriously though, as far as I’m concerned being old is a privilege. A lot of people don’t get to make it that far.

Back to the aforementioned “benies.” I read somewhere that the older you are, the less stress you feel and you have a tendency to be more agreeable. Also with age you tend to stop worrying about what other people think of you. And not unlike the pleasure of driving on new asphalt, you start to appreciate the little things that give you a certain lift; things that give you a good feeling. If you think about it, life is full of small victories.

Like the satisfaction of being able to reach that itch on your back.

Like when your food comes just as you’re coming back from the restroom.

Like someone holding the door for you at McDonalds.

Like when the traffic light goes green right before you go to step on the brakes.

Like finding a twenty in the jacket you haven’t worn since last spring.

Like waking up thinking you have to get ready for work, and then remembering it’s Saturday.

Liked when the seat next to you at the movie theater is empty and you can put your entire elbow on the arm rest.

Like finding that you’re the first person to use the porta-potty at the Pie Festival.

Like discovering that forgotten jar of green chile salsa in the pantry.

Someone told this one to me: When a co-worker comes into the restroom and catches you washing your hands. Score!

It's like measuring your life in moments instead of, say, days or years.

Actually, you don’t have to look far in Socorro this weekend for a feel-good experience. It happens when there’s an abundance of activities to take advantage of, and now that we’re into the fall season a little pre-planning is recommended.

This last weekend was the San Miguel Fiesta where I ate the best hamburger I’ve had in a long time, and that Socorro High Homecoming parade last Friday was the bomb (as in “da bomb”), easily the best this year, and that’s saying a lot considering how much we love parades in these parts.

With so many weekend events and activities going on how does one decide? Along with this and that and the other, I’m getting a feeling of déjà vu. Wasn’t I just talking about this last week?

You might have to work up a flow chart to catch everything this weekend. I mean, you’ve got the open houses at Trinity Site and the VLA, San Antonio’s Harvest Festival, SocorroFest, and the aptly named Oktoberfest all going on.

Thankfully, there’ll not be much of an overlap between SocorroFest and Oktoberfest, so you can have BBQ and a brew for lunch in Hammel’s backyard beer garden and still have time to change out of your make-believe lederhosen to get over to Plaza Park for more music...and more food.

But wait, there’s more. Coming up next is Alamo Indian Days and the weekend after that it’s Tech’s 49ers. And then...and then...

I don’t know if I’m up to it all, but I keep in mind Tom Cochrane’s song, “Life is a Highway”:

Life's like a road that you travel on,

When there's one day here and the next day gone...