“Matanda na ako! Di na ko pwede sa ganyan!” (“I’m already old! I can’t do those things!”)
That’s what I heard from an elderly woman in his 60s during our session. All that she saw about life is black and gray, gloom and doom. She felt hopeless looking forward with her monotonous daily routine. With her outlook, she could do no more but sit still on the sideline …and wait for her sunset.
The truth is, even in old age, we can have adventure! We can still be lively and learn new things while the years roll by. In order to do so, we need a self to see beyond what it sees. We need a self with a desire to look for newness, beauty, and possibilities.
We can look at the lives of a lot of men and women who took advantage of old age. Jimmy, my friend in his early 70’s, had taken to boxing in the gym! I was always joking with him. To him applies a quote I once saw in a book: “Age is a matter of the mind; if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
Here’s a key: stop and linger, ponder your realities, think of the gifts given to you, and eye for possibilities and opportunities!
Former Filipino Senate president Jovito Salonga, then 85, was once quoted to say: “Look at the lives of many vigorous centenarians and seniors in public life. George Burns and Bob Hope in their 90s entertained millions of people. Bertrand Russell was active at 94. George Bernard Shaw was still writing at 91. When he was 96 and playing his cello, Pablo Casals commented that age is a relative matter and if you continue to work and absorb the beauty of the world around you, you find that age does not necessarily mean old.”
Though I’m not yet a senior citizen as of this writing, I feel so grateful for the gifts entrusted to me. My works as a therapist and writer are things I don’t have to give up in retirement or old age. Rather it’s something that gives meaning and adventure to my life, something I can continue to do, no matter how long I live.
Surely, there is no better way to grow in this passing season of life than finding friendship with the Savior. To nurture our self, keep our mind and spirit alive, means turning our time in the hands of God. Here’s His promise of fruit to us in old age:
“Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall bear fruit in old age, they shall be fresh and green: to declare that the Lord is upright. He is my God …” (Psalm 92:13-14)