November 30, 2023

I am celebrating my platinum birthday a few days from now. A woman’s vanity dictates that I should be happy hearing those “you do not look your age” comments from friends and colleagues. Even the husband takes pride in listening to it whenever he introduces me to his acquaintances. My secret is that I am as old as I feel and think.
I have 38 long productive years tucked in my belt working for the private and government sector. That seemed like ages ago. I still freelance to keep me on my toes. I reached the status that I have desired and worked for. Transitioning, therefore, to a laid-back world was easy decision because I prepared for it. Nothing complicated. Just few mental and physical pursuits that would keep me agile, smart, intellectually, and technologically savvy to keep abreast with the fast-changing world. I ought to be socially active, emotionally, and spiritually grounded, too.
The onset of senile dementia lurks as one ages. That is why I indulge in mind stimulating activities like reading light and slightly heavy themed paper backs which I purchase from time to time at bookstores. I barely watch television because my husband updates me with the news. The lockdowns due to the pandemic forced many elders to be home-bound. They kept busy with their social media accounts, of which their favoured platform was Facebook and chatroom was Messenger as they did not have to meet face to face. The pandemic jolted us, and we held on to God’s mercy and grace. For myself and my peers we found that the virtual Bible study setting suited us more as we did not have to dress up to go out to meet. It was very convenient as digital technology has made it possible to conduct it wherever and whenever internet is available. We have wider reach to adjoining provinces and even overseas. We always looked up to these sessions for community prayers, songs of praise, interactions, sharing of life’s lessons that oftentimes we lost track of time. These sessions were spiritually uplifting and illuminating. It also kept our brain working, enhanced our mental faculties to sharpness. Staying young requires intellectual pursuit and brain activity.
Growing old usually means gray and silver hair. I am vain so I color my hair dark blond. When one is accustomed to being smart, well-dressed when younger and working, then she must continue to do so. It feels good and gives confidence to dress up. Even when just lounging at home, doing the household chores, puttering around in a duster or jogging suit, a woman should observe personal grooming and hygiene.
A woman should always look her best because it will reflect on how her husband cares and treats her. In like manner when the man is at his best, it means his wife takes care of him. Also, let not the flame of love flickering but keep it burning. If not, at least keep the embers glowing to bring out the woman’s check blush and the eyes alive occasionally.
Growing old means lesser strenuous physical exercise. I prefer gardening, beach combing, walking and half kilo weights for my arms. Others like arts and crafts while some prefer conspicuous places to do tai chi or zumba.
Of course, our diet, lifestyle, and weight management impact on our physical and mental health. If we were excessive with consumption of gastronomic delights when younger, developed unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking, or exposed to occupational hazards like dust, fumes, chemicals, naturally in old age we now reap their ill effects. Common old age health problems are chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, hypertension, osteoarthritis, diabetes, and kidney diseases. These diseases worsened by the onset of cataract, hearing loss, vertigo, depression, and dementia. Our physical condition becomes overly complex and expensive to manage. Mine hovers on the borderline of cholesterol profile. My heart, pulse, kidney, liver, and thyroid functions did not register abnormalities. My doctor says I must manage my diet preferences and there was no need yet for maintenance pills to swallow. It is hard to forego pasta, cakes, cheeses, pastries, chocolates, and milk that I love to drink like water. Moderation is the key not abstinence. We know that fish, leafy greens, some kind of beans and nuts, and fruits are beneficial over red meat diet.
Adopt a prayerful lifestyle. There are many things to thank God for. Blessings like material wealth and health, protection, friends, and family. Life itself and the concomitant tests of our faith. Everytime that I feel pain I always look upward to the heavens on my knees and pray for healing. And He always answered not only once but times in my life. Healing by faith has gained acceptance by medical science. Due toproofs of gravely ill patients miraculously healed by their faith. An American physician Harold G. Koenig, MD certified in family medicine, psychiatry, geriatric medicine tells of his 20-year clinical practice about his patients whose belief and prayer helped them triumphed over their diseases. These adults inspired him to author a book entitled, The Healing Power of Faith that I just finished reading.
Everyone grows old because it is the normal,natural part of life. We call them senior citizens in our part of the world. They ought to have gained a wide array of accumulated life’s experiences. Their life’s lessons ripened them into wiser persons. Being one of this senior group, I realized that time fleets fast and life is short. And youth and beauty unobtrusively wane. Finally, we face the stark reality of our own mortality as human beings. Then we scramble to create a more meaningful life with our loved ones and the hope of perpetuating a legacy to our children. What we are contending with now had happened too long ago when King Solomon, of Israel known for his wisdom and grandeur of his palaces, the recipient of adulation of nations, his thousand wives and concubines with whom he lusted, felt the emptiness of his life. In the end he found that faith in God is the only way to find personal meaning of life. His life’s experiences led him to write the wisdom book of the Bible, the Proverbs as well as the Book of Perspective, the Ecclesiastes from which we listen to the verses quoted very often.
Whatever God-given talents, gifts, wisdom, and opportunities that we have, share it with others to glorify and honor our Creator. Let us not hoard it, hide it, but use it to enable, and empower others. Replicate ourselves in others. We have no more use of it. Our insecurities of seeing someone topped us is no longer relevant. We should be grateful that we have mentored the young and will leave a legacy. So that when the final accounting comes before our Maker, we have accomplished His purposes for these gifts.
Eventually, there is now a shift of focus as one grows toward his or her sunset years. Material things do not hold that much attraction anymore. We cannot carry them when we go to the heavenly home. Living becomes uncomplicated and so simple, and the shifting sands of time highlight one’s faith in the Almighty God. The temporal preoccupations turned into eternal. Trials in life will not cease as long as we live because God did not promise a trouble-free life but that He will always be with us in whatever situation we are in. We communicate more often now with God through our prayers. These have sustained us, given us serenity and peace.
The fact that we have reached this age has manifested the unfailing love of God. How have we been with Him? Time to reconnect and strengthen our personal relationship with our God. While we still have the luxury of time on our hands. Again, how we feel and think determine our biological age as compared to our chronological age. Let us journey towards the sunset graciously and gracefully.