My niece was complaining the other day about going to school and all the home-works and projects and the tests she needs to prepare for. It is a usual thing for today's kids.They are overwhelmed with studies and after study classes. On a usual day, I would just smile and move on. But this day, I sat with her and was explaining how, in every phase of life, you keep feeling that the next phase is good and going to be better.The myth is broken as one grows older.
We face reality when we are in late thirties or mid forties, then you know this is it. You have reached the best portion of life and you either decide to enjoy it or keep living it in the hope of future.
Growing old is not a great feeling especially when you have crossed fifties. It is said that when you are fifty , when you wake up if you don't feel pain somewhere in the body , you are dead !!!
Growing old teaches you to let go. Letting go of some dreams to make some dreams a reality, Letting go of some of your loved ones for some of your other loved ones , Letting go of some opportunities to enjoy something else, letting go of your loved ones from your this life.
In an interview with a lady who was 80 years old, when she was asked why nobody looks forward to growing old, she told how growing old is about letting go and letting things go gracefully, how it is about being frail and being dependant.For somebody who lived life with all independence, being dependant is not very nice.
Its also one of the most important reason in Asian cultures for families. Asian cultures, still continue to support the elderly within the family. Marriage , kids are still looked upon as insurance for old age.This is changing gradually with lesser people staying with parents.With more globalization, people are growing more consumerist and that calls for more money, this is causing Asian cultures also to look at providing comfortable living for elderly outside the family in old age homes, retirement homes. The visible example is how ads for "Nana Nani" (Granpa Grandma - maternal side) has increased in the recent years. It irritates me , how they chose the name to suggest that the girl's daughter has nowhere to stay, especially if they migrate.Paternal grandparents are called - Dada Daadi.With a lot of folks migrating to American and European countries, these homes have become new avenues for business.
But nevertheless, as man grows old, s/he gets more opportunity to share, to retrospect his life, to share his learnings. I look forward to growing old, seeing my nephew and niece make their life, spending time with my cousins, parents, sister and her family. Its a journey and if we do not enjoy the scenery outside the journey is not worth it!!!!