I am now celebrating my twilight years, a natural stage in one man’s life. This is the time I am done with family responsibilities, also the years I should start taking care of myself. I would like to think I prepared myself for this, in fact, I might have over-prepared myself for this. Or did I? Nevertheless it is both pleasant and sad to get into this stage because all my friends are busy either with their own families or with their own struggles, certain to find no time to spend with me. At the same time, I’m quite glad I can sort of limit my social life (because of that) to focus on what is more important to me, like hobbies and tasks I promised myself to complete once given the time. And I am given the time now. Or… do I?
It is important for me to take a proper view of my twilight years. It is unique. I thought wrongly this would be the age when I could make up for the social life I lost in my younger years or the time I thought I should indulge in more lurid and lustful liaisons or the time to be lazy or the time to be treated like a king. Heck, none of those did happen because I did not really want them. I also thought all my kind acts and honorable efforts and charity to family and friends and work clients earlier in life would finally be repaid back (like karma) either by them of by God, heck, none of those did happen as well. Instead I found myself cutting down my working hours because my body is deteriorating one way or another, and I needed to work to save for my retirement and pay for health insurance. Given the cut on my working hours, I projected I’d have a couple extra hours a day to allow me to indulge in my hobbies. Well, that did not pan out as I expected too because I am so damn tired at the end of each day.
I guess I need to be more realistic with my twilight years. I hear of people who made their millions in their 40s so they retired in their early 50s but they mostly were dealing with financials and probably did not have as much responsibilities as I did when I had to help an entire clan of families back home. Also, I have health reasons that require me to keep working or at least moving. I did not expect to end with diabetes but it is here and there is no treatment for this except medication, exercise and dieting. So there goes my wonderfully lazy inactive twilight years.
What really matters in my twilight years? It is this moment of peace.
I know of a man who stole money from another and shamelessly hid himself. I know of a man who begged that someone else support his family because of an exaggerated illness and later claimed all the credit and even cursed the hand that fed him. Some men moved on with their lives feeding their families with lies, deceit and robbery. These types of evil men entered their twilight years without a single remorse or guilt and in fact walked around with a sneer on their faces, gleeful that they were able to successfully pull their tricks on others, and cockily promoted their ‘goodness’ by simply talking. Some businessmen fooled their clients; some holy men stole money from holy coffers; some hid murders; some cheated on their wives; some committed injustice in their world. The world is full of them and I guess some could sleep well at nights despite that.
If I have done a single wrong to my fellowmen, I would probably be deprived of sleep. It is just in my nature. There is harmony in knowing you kept your world fair and square. There is peace in facing this world with clean conscience and leaving it with the least scar and mark and pain and anger among those left behind.
I think I am happy in my twilight years. Today I can walk out my door to Starbucks and drink coffee while reading a good book. I can walk and run distances with fair health and I have intact memory, I can still comprehend complex ideas and problem-solve situations. I still can see the blue sky and feel the sun and tread the ground with bare feet. I can hear children laugh. I can laugh at myself. I can pray and contemplate the beauty of this world. I am no longer sure achieving wealth, fame, power or love from all people around me. I was born with a duty and I had done that duty. In my twilight years, I am peeling off the many layers of wrappers around me, little by little, I am abandoning the things I accumulated because I am traveling light to the world where eternal peace reigns supreme.