May 18, 2005

Growing Old Gracefully

I read an article in the Star last night, titled Guidelines For the Golden Years , by Linda Lim.
The article make me reflect and reminisce my livelihood so far. I am in my late forties, will soon be reaching the golden year as people term it. But, have I got a good life so far, have I enjoyed my childhood, have I fulfilled my worldly desire, am I ready to grow older, venturing into the unknown future? Is it going to lonely, fulfilled or what? Lastly, am I ready to meet my Creator, Allah subhanahutaala?.

It was said that the lifespan of a Malaysian man is 72 and that of a woman is 75. If this is right I may have another 22 years to go. How am I going to face that 22 years will need some planning. Need to be able to financially be stable to support the days when I would no longer be earning a living. The children will most likely have their own family, since I have all daughters they may be staying staying away from me. So where should I stay, I do need to plan. I don't want to end up in an old folks home, Nauzubillah. At the same time I don't want to impose. I would like to be independent, to enjoy my children and grandchildren, not as to take care of them full time but only in time of need. I want to be able to enjoy my privacy and my earning after so many years of toiling for the family.

I hope I won't be senile. So far, my mak and arwah ayah are not senile at that age. Ayah was 75 when he died, and mak is now 73 years old. She still has good memory. Taking the heriditary factor, I could say I will not be senile. Anyhow, I still need NOT to let my brain go idle, as "An idle mind is the devil's workshop", to quote someone which I really do not know. So please take note that blogging is good for the brain function. There are so much to learn, the internet, the books, the kitabs and the Quran. And of course from other people's experiences.

I remember my childhood, I was not a typical girly type. I look soft but, I am not one to play house. I remember I used to follow my older brothers when they went to play guli, or mercun during Ramadhan. I had my fingers burnt when the mercun exploded in my hand. I did not throw it out fast enough, so it exploded right in my fingers. I had burnt my sole when I step on my bunga api. When that happened I was too afraid to cry lest I got scolded by my father. I followed them hiking up the Penang Hill, during one of the school holidays. My toenails were both hurt and eventually torn out because the shoes were too tight. I dare not cry because I didn't want to be a sissy and get the scorn out of my brothers.

I was was away from my house most of my time during school time because I studied in the boarding school. That experience thought me to be independent, not able to rely on families because they were so far away. I need to fend for myself, in whatever situation. Being, away most of the time, I did not get to learn how to cook. I remember my older sister who is the womanly type would go and stay with my father's sister so that she can learn how to make kuih kapit and other kuih Melayu during Ramadhan. Did I join her? No, I would be going to my mother's relatives (uncle and aunty) in Penang to have fun every school holidays. I have boys cousins who I hang out with to the movies and makan out. It was during waiting for MCE that I thought to myself that I need to learn how to clean fish and do some cooking. I helped my mak in the kitchen then and learnt some skill, but mak would not let me cook much, mostly just helping. I actually learn how to cook when I got married through my MIL. Through trial and error after we stayed seperately from MIL, I am able to improve. Still not really by hubby's standard though.

Have I enjoyed my adult life? I think so. I have a good marriage, so far I have got good children, I have relatively a good career, and I have been to some places overseas. I can't complaint, my life has been really blessed so far. I do have problems and complaints, mind you but I have been all my life a very positive person so, my outlook in life has always been positive. I answer poeple's question of "Why?" with "why not?" To me if you cannot do something one way there could be another way to do it. All you need to do is to find that way. If there is a will there is a way as the saying goes.

Am I afraid to go grow old? I am old I guessed, but not so old yet, maybe. Hehehehe, how one define old? At what age are we old? 45, 50, 60 or what? People say age is just a number but, is it really so? I must admit to some part I am afraid because I know I will loose my independence, will loose the strength of my body parts like hands and legs. May even get arthritis later in the years. Most of all I am afraid of loosing my mind as in being senile. Perhaps that's where we have to plan now, cherish our health, if it is good preserve it, if not try to improve it.

Am I ready to meet my Creator? I will be lying if I say I am. I don't want to be complacent, I still have things that I want to do, places that I want to see, people who I want to meet. I am greedy, and I am not ashamed to admit that because it is in a good way. I am greedy for pahala from my Creator, but I have been also "leka". I am greedy for wealth because I want to be able to pay my zakat and live a comfortable life. I definitely do not want to be a poor because then I cannot enjoy Allah's rezeki, cannot perform my duties as a Muslims well. I am not a good Muslim, just an average one, lots of things I haven't done and lots of dosa to repent. So, yes, at this moment I am still afraid to die.

Lastly, I want to quote Linda Lim's words which I have found to be inspiring, and I hope she will not mind. Quote :

Forgive those who have done wrong to you. It is said that the weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. Too err is human, to forgive is devine. Do not bear grudges and be unhappy. Let bygones be bygones. In so doing you will have peace of mind, be less stressed and not let unhappiness get you down.
Enjoy what you are and what you have now. Enjoy your life with your spouse, children and grandchildren. Make time for relatives and good friends who care for you, for what you are and not what you have. Relish family reunions, get together with old and faithful friends. These are the people who care for you and your well being, who take you for what you are. Surround yourselves with love, be it with family, friends or hobbies.
Be happy. Everyday is a new day. Take one day at a time and enjoy your days. Be alive while you are still alive. Unquote.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

:)

-DeLinn-

Batrisya88 said...

panjang lebar sehhhhh

:-)..tinggai senyum gaks cam delinn

AuntyN said...

Dah panjang lebar depa tak baca pulak. Kalau sikit dah kata seciput... one can never win no?
Anyway Delinn & Bat, thanks for the smile :-)

stillconfuse said...

bagusla entry ni. bagi inspirasi pada i yg nak masuk 30 ni. but to me 30 is just the beginning of another meaningful life...I'm more mature and positive.

cn said...

aunty N muda sket jer from my mum..wonder if Mak pun pikir camnih..

anyway, tua-tua berisi kan kan kan

:)

Arena said...

One can forgive but can one ever forget? Hmm interesting article to ponder.

d'arkampo said...

kak N...

Be alive while you are still alive...

So simple words yet so full of motivations.

Jodi said...

very interesting perspective

AuntyN said...

Anne : Take a day at a time.

CN : tua-tau berisi?, huhuhuhu....

Arena : forgetting is the dificult part but if you don't forgive you will never try to forget.

Po : I like that too.

Jodi : Thank you

CikNi said...

aunty n- setiap hari semakin mature. do u wish to turn back time?

AuntyN said...

CikNi : Tak nak turn back the clock nak lambat kan je lah, kalau boleh.

Nong said...

Terasa muda lak baca blog u ni ;)

Ewok said...

Eesshh, ni tak buleh panggil aunty lagi dah.. Umoq auntyN pun lebih kurang cousins chek saja.

AuntyN said...

Nong : Thanks for stopping by.

Ewok : Panngey lah apa pun, jangan hoi, hoi sudah chek no?

Anonymous said...

""I definitely do not want to be a poor because then I cannot enjoy Allah's rezeki, cannot perform my duties as a Muslims well""

Agama Islam yg mulia ini telah dibangunkan dari atas sebab penderitaan, air mata, keperitan, kesusahan dan kemiskinan kekasih Allah yg mulia (Muhammad SAW) & para sahabat Baginda SAW. Walaupun dalam keperitan & kesusahan, mereka2 ini telah berjaya menjadi hamba yg diredhai Allah dan menjadi contoh kpd umat yg terkemudian. Ini menunjukkan being poor (instead of rich/wealthy) bukanlah alasan utk cannot enjoy Allah's rezeki and cannot perform duties as a Muslims well. This just got to be our own nafsu yg takut kpd kemiskinan dan hati yg gelojoh kpd kekayaan.

Being rich or poor are both nikmat pemberian Allah. Doa Nabi SAW supaya Allah tetapkan Baginda dlm kemiskinan, kerana Baginda SAW takut kepada kekayaaan (the wealthier and richer will have a long reckoning at Judgement Day). Seorang Nabi (malahan juga Kekasih Allah) berdoa begitu, satu doa yg sesiapa pun tak mahu dan mungkin tak pernah diamalkan oleh sesiapapun...

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