Friday, March 30, 2012


In the yesteryears it was considered taboo to ask a woman her age. Today some of my friends and I proudly declare that we are in the mid sixties. And when told that our age belies our looks, an instant glow is seen on our faces.

And why do I love my age? Let me do a check list of my life: school days check, tertiary education check, courtship check followed by marriage check, a fulfilling career check, children all grown up and independent check, enjoying retirement..... still in the process.

As expected there were ups and downs in the journey of life but with the trials and tribulations I have become more mature and mellow with age.
I love my age because now I can indulge in activities that I like, without having to worry about a job or responsibilities of the home.

So my retired life involves for a start, golf with my buddies all retirees twice a week. We are on the course by 7 am and by 9.30 we finish the game. There is a little wager, and the loser pays for drinks and some cakes. All at affordable prices.

What is more fun is the comradeship that we share. We tell each other of the latest bargains in town, where to get the best nasi lemak, what herbal remedies to take, and so on and so forth. Our breakfast can last a long time as we spin yarns that encompass politics, husbands (a hot topic), children and sometimes just comparing ailments. We celebrate each other’s birthday with a luncheon. We take turns to treat the birthday girl, using the birthday bash as an excuse to try out the new eateries in town.

On another day in the week I indulge in line dancing. My brain is stretched as I remember the steps that can run to 64! Alas my teacher laments when we cannot remember the steps and patiently revises with us. I cheekily tell her that her that there is no examination in line dancing and so I am not stressed to learn all the steps. Most of us enjoy the easier dances that run up to 32 steps easy peasy we say as these dances tickle our brains. Our group members are mostly in their sixties and there is one who is in her late 70’s who puts us to shame with her memory of the steps.

Once a week I do volunteer work at a persatuan that aids and trains young adults with learning disabilities to work in the outside world. Together with the other volunteers we educate the young people aged 18-40. They are educationally below average. But that does not prevent them from learning a skill.

As a volunteer I participate in their activities, socialise with them and teach them the alphabet, numbers and etiquette. Time passes quickly as I mingle with them. It is a joy to come and help and when the trainees improve in leaps and bounds that itself is a reward.

I love my age because only now can I afford to pamper myself with facials (to iron away the wrinkles), a massage or two (for the old bones), a manicure/pedicure (a vain attempt to look better), better health supplements (to live healthy), and most of all now that the children are all independent to use our savings to go for holidays. So my husband and I have visited a few countries, gone for tours and a couple of cruises.

I also love my age because now I have grandchildren to be with. Our grandchildren live across the causeway and we visit them often. When I visit, I tutor my eldest who is 8 years old. Kay Leen tells her mother that doing work with Grandma is more fun than with mummy (a glowing testament to my teaching abilities). Ai leen the 6-year old is happy to have the grandparents play games with her - card games, junior scrabble, etc and the youngest Ai leen only 2 years old has her Kong Kong running at her beck and call.

Ai Leen and Kay Leen in 2008.

Incidentally Kong Kong does not seem to mind being manipulated by this little one. For a start in her baby language she has laid a stake on ownership and declares to one and all this is my Kong Kong and clings to him throughout our stay. The other day the lovelies lamented that our stay with them was too short. Kay Leen wanted us to stay with them “forever and ever “ and Ai Leen suggested that we give our house to the poor and move in with them. Truly one of the joys of old age is to have grandchildren and be with them.

But I digress... for what other reasons do I love my age?

Well I get 50 per cent discount on hi-tea buffets at hotels and when I travel on KTM and the komuter. In the banks and at government offices there is a special row for seniors like me aka warga emas. For some shows in town I pay only half the price.

However being my age also has its demerits. Two weeks ago I had vertigo and had to stay in bed the whole day. The cause was unknown. Now and then I get backaches, pain in the joints, an occasional frozen shoulder, sometimes a trigger finger, things which in my younger days were unheard of.

My stamina too is much to be desired. I get tired easily, and watch with envy the zest that younger people have in doing things. I am more careful when I walk taking extra care not to fall because with a fall the consequences would be disastrous.

Oftentimes I experience senior moments. Sometimes I cannot for the life of me remember where I put my reading glasses. I come to the kitchen but I cannot remember why. The other day I left my house keys hanging on the door and only realised it the next morning. I know it is part of growing old but it can be frustrating at times.

But in retrospect I have lived my life to the fullest and before my Maker calls me home, I will continue to live as well as I can. Yes I love my age.

((This post was contributed by Linda Lim. It is easy to see why she loves her age as she recounts the many blessings in her life.) You might also want to check out Linda's article on "RETIRED HUSBANDS - A PAIN OR GAIN?" She gives you an insight into how most wives feel about having to share their domestic domain with their other halves 24/7.)


Pak Idrus said...

Lily, we all should enjoy life. Live in the present for the present would be with us only for a second and then it would be the past. We cannot live in the future for the future is yet to come but we could live in yesterday future which is today, the present and enjoy it. Remember the present is a gift and we all love gift. So do live in the present and continue enjoying life. We all walk that path of the present in mere seconds and then it became the past.

So enjoy it Lily, every seconds count. I am enjoying it. Take care.

seniorsaloud said...

Well said, Idrus, but the reality is not every retiree is blessed with good health and adequate savings to enjoy a comfortable retirement. We should spare a thought for them and do what we can to give them some support at least. Old age can be full of real physical pain and mental suffering. It is our responsibility to pass on to our adult children that it is never too early to lay the foundation for a happy and secure retirement.

Winston said...

Dutch pensioner's decision: when to die with dignity
Posted on 1 April 2012 - 05:26am
Last updated on 1 April 2012 - 03:02pm - End of quote

Lily, I found this post in theSundaily on 1st April, 2012.
I think that although one should live live to the hilt, one must also decide on a slick way to go!
Thank you,

seniorsaloud said...

Winston, the sundaily article reminds me of a post I wrote in July 2009 - "The right to live - or die". You might want to read it. You can look it up under archives or type "euthanasia" in the search box on the blog.