Greig Laidlaw will turn 34 the day before Scotland play Japan in what looks like a win-or-bust denouement in Pool A of the Rugby World Cup.
Since it's a little doubtful that the scrum-half will still be wearing the blue jersey after the tournament ends, it might just be the time to appreciate him now before he's gone.
Laidlaw hasn't confirmed he will retire from international rugby once the adventure in Japan has come to an end, but he has hinted at it.
"Is this it? Well, I'm not getting any younger," he says. "I'm just determined to enjoy these games and put my best foot forward and we'll see what happens after that. It's a decision I'll be able to make after the World Cup."
The wry smile on his face suggests that the decision may have already been made. That coupled with a line from earlier in the season from Gregor Townsend which suggested this is Laidlaw's swansong after 73 caps spread across nine years - the first of them against the All Blacks in a debut off the bench that ended in a 49-3 drubbing at Murrayfield. John Barclay is the only other Scotland player left standing from that era.
It's been turbulent. The views on Laidlaw have changed with the wind, from indispensable leader, top game-manager and phenomenal goal-kicker to pedestrian and unthreatening player who's too ponderous to play the type of fast-paced rugby Scotland need to deal with the bigger beasts they so often come up against.
People have held strong opinions on Laidlaw, then they've changed them, then they've changed them back. We've all done it over time. Henry Pyrgos was the better option, then Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, then Ali Price.
Laidlaw was stung by all of this, by being constantly told about where he is deficient while his obvious assets - intelligence, mental strength, honesty, leadership - were overlooked in the rush to make Scotland the fastest team on the planet.
When Vern Cotter's side were in a giant hole in the second Test against Japan in Tokyo in 2016, he sent for Laidlaw off the bench to rescue the game, which he did.
When Scotland needed to weather Ireland's storm in the Six Nations in 2017, Laidlaw brought composure and dead-eye goal-kicking in the critical minutes at the end.
When Scotland, cocksure of themselves going to Cardiff in the opening game of the 2018 Six Nations, were brutalised by Wales, Townsend reinstated Laidlaw to the starting team and the scrum-half brought composure and points in the subsequent win against France.
The most Townsend of all Townsend performances came in the next game when Scotland beat England at Murrayfield. Finn Russell's pass and all that. Scotland were majestic in that match and Laidlaw played more than an hour of it. To those who say he's not a natural fit for Townsend's swashbuckling brand that was a hell of a riposte.
These are just cameos from his nine years. There are other games among the 73 that show his importance, but the events of Rome in 2018 have to get a mention. It was the final weekend of the Six Nations and Scotland were in trouble against the Azzurri. After an hour they trailed by 12 points and they were deeply fortunate it wasn't more.
Laidlaw played the final 26 minutes out of position at 10. He floated a long and precise left-to-right pass over the head of the last Italian defender and into the hands of Sean Maitland for a score that started the comeback. He gave the try-scoring pass to Stuart Hogg that looked like settling it.
After Italy retook the lead, Laidlaw had a 79th-minute penalty to win it. Of course he slotted it. There are few men in world rugby you'd rather have had in that situation.
The cries have been for Price to start, but it looks like Laidlaw is back in the box-seat again. His resilience in adversity is something special. Laidlaw has had to soldier through some pretty lousy times and some stinging flak since 2010.
"I'm more than happy with my game, I feel strong and fit and I'm excited," he says. "I'm itching for it to get started.
"When I look back on my career I probably didn't enjoy tournaments like this as much as I should have done because you're caught up in the moment and you don't have a chance to step back. It's all about hard work and intensity. There's not a lot of opportunity to sit down and savour it.
"When you're older you can do that a bit more and that's what I'm going to do this time around.
"The criticism doesn't bother me. It doesn't. I believe in myself and it doesn't matter if somebody writes something down on a sheet of paper slagging me off; it's water off a duck's back. I never read it.
"I know what I mean to the players here and I know what I give to the team."
Laidlaw has registered 695 points for Scotland, the vast majority with the boot
The team are about to play their biggest Test in four years, since that World Cup quarter-final loss to Australia in 2015.
On Sunday they'll face Joe Schmidt's Ireland, a team known as slow starters in tournaments but who appear to be getting back to full power after an indifferent Six Nations and a set of warm-up games that began with a record annihilation at the hands of England and concluded with a hard-fought win against a strong Wales.
Under Townsend, Scotland have played Ireland twice and lost twice, 28-8 in Dublin in 2018 and 22-13 in Edinburgh this year. The average score in those games was 25-11 to Ireland. The average try count was 3.5 to one in Ireland's favour. The form line suggests Ireland will win.
"Our defence has to stand up and it has to stand up for 80 minutes," says Laidlaw.
"We feel that when we do hold the ball we can cause problems and score tries but we must hold teams out because if we're giving away soft scores that puts massive pressure on our attack and we don't need that.
"Defence is all about attitude, first and foremost. If you want to defend you have to get off the line and you have to hit people. You saw that against France at home when we defended well but you certainly didn't see it against France away from home when we fell off tackles.
"Against Georgia, who pride themselves on their physicality, we bashed them about a bit. We need that physicality and we need the mentality to defend."
Scotland's last World Cup is remembered principally for that thriller at Twickenham against the Wallabies, but there was another game in that tournament that almost induced coronaries among those who watched it.
In a game they had to win to progress, Scotland had the living daylights scared out of them by Samoa in the final round of the group phase, eventually falling over the line winning 36-33. Laidlaw scored a try, and landed three conversions and five penalties for a total of 26 points.
That's another one you can put in his file. Sometimes you don't appreciate the players you have until they're gone.
That moment does seem like it's fast approaching, but there's business to be done first.
"If you offered me a similar World Cup to 2015 then I'd take it with a few tweaks," he adds.
"Give me a lead in the quarter-final with two minutes to go and I'll bite your hand off and hope for a different result.
"We can't get ahead of ourselves, though. For now, it's all about Ireland on Sunday. Nothing else matters."