I guess it’s a normal feeling to be fearful of old age. Quite understandable because we always equate old age with death.
Nobody wants to die. This is an absolute truth.
For a moment, here’s my challenge to you …
Think about old age this way …
Let’s relate old age with Cinderella’s dilemma. Her gown, her coach, everything about her being a beautiful princess for the night will end when the clock strikes at 12 midnight. Death, we normally expect to come when one is old, say like more or less 80 years old. There’s the parallelism. Death to old people comes anytime when you’re old – Cinderella’s fantasy ends when the clock strikes at 12 midnight.
Now, consider this some more …If Cinderella went to the party at 7 in the evening, she had full 5 hours to enjoy the ball with the Prince! Five (5) hours is a long time. It’s like watching a movie 3 times with 30 minutes break time. It’s like traveling by plane round trip from Manila to Cagayan de Oro and vice versa.
Life’s twilight begins when we retire from work, roughly when we celebrate our 55th birthday. Therefore, simple math applied, 80 years minus 55 years, that’s 25 years. Hey! That’s a lot of years!
With that scenario in mind, plus a new perspective and a glowing desire to make a difference, a lot of beautiful things can still happen!
It is during these years that we expect all our children to have finished their schooling. Hence, we anticipate freedom from financial constraints brought about by horrendous school fees.
Our children would be screaming for independence, and so, we will have the house, most of the time, all by ourselves. Not that we want them out of the house, for I’m sure no mother would like that in any given circumstance. It’s more on them being out the whole day working. By then, these children of ours would have matured (hopefully), and with that, less dirty laundry for us to pick up from here and there. I would like to believe that at this stage in their lives, they know already where the laundry bin is.
Retirement from work brings newer challenges. As can be expected, one finds more free time in his hand. A sigh of relief, a burden lifted from the shoulder.
It means there’s no need anymore to hurry and rush to work mornings five days a week. In the same manner, one doesn’t have to rush towards home anymore in the early evenings just so that dinner can be prepared on time. It means one now has time to tend a flower garden, more time to do cross stitching, more time to read, more time to talk with our spouse, to play games together, to listen to songs more intently, to watch documentaries of interesting topics, more time to appreciate beauty in all its wonder and glory … more time to relax … more time to be you!
Never mind the aching back, or the painful joints here and there, the thinning gray hair, and the more sober look, this stage can also be the most rewarding stage of one’s life, a new horizon, a new adventure!
Think about this: You can choose to make this wonderful time in your life the beginning of something new, like it can be a perfect time to engross one’s self in selfless service to others. Of course the raising and nurturing of children was more than selfless service already, but this time, it’s going to be different. With selfless service I mean doing something for others without expecting something in return.
What are you good at? If you’re a lawyer, what do you say if I suggest to you that you do free legal counseling for to a particular group of underprivileged segment of society?
If you’re a chef, maybe you can volunteer your expertise by doing training for Out-of-School Youth, or Home Makers, or for anybody who’s interested, for community service’s sake.
We can work with DSWD or with TESDA as a volunteer.
There is so much to do! Help is badly needed everywhere. Time spent wallowing on “what-could-have-been’s” is time wasted.
The Apostle Paul admonished, “By love serve one another.”
King Benjamin said “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.”
The Savior taught His disciples, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.”
Thomas S. Monson said: “I believe the Savior is telling us that unless we lose ourselves in service to others, there is little purpose to our own lives. Those who live only for themselves eventually shrivel up and figuratively lose their lives, while those who lose themselves in service to others grow and flourish—and in effect save their lives.”
There is so much good out there. We can choose to be part of it, or just simply miss it, and just wait for the inevitable to come …
Remember, we always have a choice =>