Ageing

It’s funny how it is that as you grow in years, you notice how time flies — a bit too fast for your liking, I suppose.  But, when you’re younger, you can’t wait for time to pass — especially if you have something you’re looking forward to doing, or having.  Today, as I write this piece, there are only 84 days until Christmas.  Wow! A few days more and the year 2014 is going bye-bye.  And, it was only three weeks ago that I aged one year.  Imagine!

I find it funny though that I get opposing reactions from people about my age.  One time I was in a pharmacy, I was at the counter asking for my heart prescription drug.  I was asked for my senior citizen card so that I could avail of the 20% discount on my purchase.  I said I don’t have a senior citizen card as I am not yet 60 years old.  The pharmacist did a double-take and apologized as, according to her, she only gets orders for heart medication from senior citizens so she assumed that I was among them.  She followed that up by saying she was a bit surprised at how young I looked to be of that age group.  Hah!

On the other hand, in a department store I was choosing a blouse to purchase for a family get-together.  Since the blouse on the rack was neon pink in color, I asked the sales person if they have it in a darker shade of blue or maroon, as I wouldn’t want to attract attention to myself.  The sales person offered her unsolicited opinion saying that the color fits me and was becoming on me.  It was sweet of her to say so but I knew that my purchase would mean a sales incentive for her but then I wouldn’t want to appear “trying too hard” to hold on to what’s left of my youth, so to speak.  Blah, blah, blah, the sales person went on to talk about how the neon pink color was the season’s “in” color, how the neon pink color complements my honey-colored skin, etc, etc., until I had to stop her and said, my sisters-in-law would have their eyebrows raised if they see me wearing a blouse the color of which is more appropriate for teens.  Then, she said, “Well, ma’am, the neon pink color is still good for women in their 30s.”  Why, thank you so much! But, I disagree.  How about for women in their 50s?  I wanted to shut her mouth up which by this time remained open without any sound coming out from it.  Yeah, right.

Anyway, hormonal changes are expected during the ageing process, particularly for women.  Talk about pre-menopause, menopause and post-menopause.  Whatever stage a woman is in, we go through different sorts of physical, emotional, mental and even psychological changes.  I used to have a good night’s sleep of eight hours.  Now, six hours of sleep is long, with around 15 to 30 minutes of wakefulness in the wee hours of the morning.  Then, I went through extreme emotional spells, which I think at this time I am finally rid of.  What were these?  I had those highs and lows.  I got so emotional just watching movies.  I cried when the protagonist in the film dies or his/her loved one dies – something that I didn’t do before.  Beware the person who got me mad because I really got so mad that I threw stuff around.  Again, I didn’t do that before as I always had a good grip on my emotions.  It’s good that I got back to that now.  I just breath in and out, count to 10 and the anger goes away.

The physical changes are expected of course.  I am not vain regarding my looks, thank God for that.  Let’s start with the face.  First thing to go as aestheticians would say, would be the skin’s elasticity.  That’s why you have all sorts of creams — anti-wrinkles, hydration, oil control and what have you, and there’s the botox injection.  I have that furrow on my forehead and I think the botox would help remove; but, never mind.  I would become very poker-faced without that crease in there because that crease, in fact all the creases in my face give that character I have painfully built up through the years.  Even my dimples — they were cute in my younger days — have become creases, a sign of getting on in years.

Health-wise, one of the hazards of the ageing process is you begin to feel some soreness and pain in the different parts of your body.  Sometimes the onset of which is surprisingly fast and sharp; at other times, it increases to a certain point that you can no longer bear it.  At this time in a person’s life,  we begin to take our health seriously — going for regular visits to the doctor, becoming health freaks through a healthy diet and avoiding certain foods, and engaging in regular exercise,  We also have to consider our genetic make-up.  Family medical history prepares us for what we may have when we age.  So, it’s best we prepare for that and be aware of how to prevent acquiring the same illnesses; no guarantees, however.  My mom,  bless her soul was a diabetic.  She was in the hospital usually for a month every year because of diabetic complications.  For this reason I vowed to myself that I would try my damnest best to avoid getting seriously sick of something that would need surgery/hospitalization.  I would prefer, and even pray about it that I would go just like my grandmother, my mom’s mother, who passed away peacefully in her sleep.  Guess what?  I have the same illness that my grandmother had — an enlarged heart — and angina.

Outlook.  One virtue that I have developed is patience.  I never used to have that.  I was the opposite in fact.  I wanted everything to be instant — I wanted time to fly so fast so that I could get to where I wanted to go; get what I wanted to have.  That’s another thing, WANT.  It used to be, “I want this.  I want that.”; as opposed to what I say now, “If I don’t NEED it, then it’s okay. I could live without it.”  “Do I really need to do this?  Can the world (oops, my world I mean) go on without me needing to do this? If it can, then I don’t need to do it.”  Open-mindedness as opposed to being judgmental.  Tolerance as opposed to narrow mindedness.   Simplicity as opposed to pomposity.  Most important, Humility as opposed to arrogance.  And growing in faith, in hope and in love — excluding those in my personal realm as it is expected that I love them but including those outside of my personal realm and especially those who are unlovable.

I’m still learning — yes, in my autumn years — I’m still learning how to be accepting.  Of what, you might ask.  I’m still accepting of what I have done in my life so far; still accepting that I may not have achieved anything according to the world’s standards; still accepting that I’m human and have made a lot of mistakes the consequences of which I’m making up for in my present life; and most of all,  accepting that life still has a lot to offer me, as indeed life still has a lot to offer to people like me and believe me when I say that people like me and those older than I am still have a lot to offer life.

I guess what I really want to say in this article I entitled Ageing is I’m not afraid to get old because I’m not done with life yet.  Sure, I have aged but there are still roles to play, things that need to get done.  I may have left behind a grim past, I may still be finding my way in my present old age but I am preparing for a peaceful future.  So, I ask you to be patient with me as I am getting patient with myself, patient enough to realize that I’ll get to where I’m going all in good time, and in one piece I hope.