I can’t believe it, I’m actually sixty-five years old. Honestly, I’m told not to be so honest. ‘Your readers will run away’ they say, or they will start ‘labeling’ you. I feel that it is time, the readers and writers grew up. Both need a reality check. Truth must prevail. It clicks.
Let us shake off the ‘fakeness’ from our lives and get real! Let us accept each other as we are, and be okay with it. Our uniqueness lies in our thought processes, skills, abilities and dreams that make us who we are. Even if you are in your twenties right now, it would be good for you to know how wonderful later stages in life can be.
The dichotomy is that we pray for a long life for ourselves and our loved ones, yet we fear growing old! Well, we needn’t! We can just keep growing and developing into newer versions of ourselves at any given age! Thank Him who gave us life. Then make the best of each day to show Him, how much we appreciate it.
My Last Three Decades:
Honestly, my thirties, forties and fifties just flashed by.
Leaving my twenties felt like a big thing. I was mother of two daughters already, considering them to be my complete family. In Womens’ Own magazine, I wrote a piece about being in my thirties.
The plan was to write about each decade of my life. But each of these were so action packed and full of thrills and excitement that I never got round to writing about these. In my thirties I became a Mom for the third time, I became a teacher and free-lance writer for the first time. So, that felt great.
During this time, I was mother of two teenagers (driving me round the bend!) and one child. An experienced educationist by now, either teaching, in administration or principal in different schools and colleges. It felt great.
I realized that not only men are naughty at forty, but women too can be naughty at forty. I guess it isn’t a ‘man’ thing, but a ‘human’ thing. It is because one is feeling that ‘youth’ is slipping away. One is looking great, but there is that softness in the skin and slackness in one’s gait. Among women menopause symptoms start appearing towards the middle of it. Hormones play havoc too. I would get those sudden hot flushes, but nothing else worth naming. But overall, one is good to go. Some men and women face midlife crises too.
Life begins at Fifty:
Having heard of this from my uncle Nawaz living in USA, I felt it was really true. I wrote about it here. Suddenly, you feel more liberated. So many things don’t matter anymore. You become your own boss in many ways, making your own life rules. If anyone else doesn’t agree with it, too bad! You don’t care a damn. At this time life’s major career changes are also taking place. At the same time, you feel at the peak of your career and able to take the toughness of it all.
I became a widow in mid-fifties, and ended up achieving things that no one would have thought possible! That gentle sweet person had to act like a tiger to defend her family, assets and life. Living in a country like Pakistan, made me face the worst and the best of it. Now, I’m comfortably living a life of my dreams. Alhamdolillah. Believe me, I worked very hard for it.
I made up my mind to celebrate every birthday with a bang. My daughters gave me the best birthday ever, by making it very special here. They took pains to give me the time of my life. Yes, I felt so blessed and whole.
At Every Age:
‘At every age’ says my mother with a smile, ‘Allah has kept something beautiful for you!’
He blesses you with the joy of watching your children grow, and having the fruits of all your hard work, by watching them succeed in life. When the grand children arrive that is another beautiful bonus in life. Changing your life to wonder at the beauty and joy of life.
My Philosophy of Birthdays:
Ask yourself, ‘How will I feel about this year, after ten years?’ (‘How young that was!’ – Isn’t that how you’ll think of it?) So, why not enjoy it now, while you are that? Tell me, what is stopping you from being that way?
Every aspect of Yourself:
You have seen me going talking about the five different aspects of yourself in one’s weekly plan here; physical, intellectual, Spiritual, Social/emotional and financial point of view. Well, one needs to see how one is developing in each way during the year. Just briefly.
Smooth Landing into my third Trimester of Life:
Do check out my blog post on three trimesters of life here. This is important to figure out in your mind. It is said that, when you plan, do that as if you are to live to a hundred. When you prepare, do that so well, that if you go tomorrow, you are ready.
Living a day, week, month and year, along with decades with awareness and gratitude is the most important thing.
You are on Your Own.
I feel strongly about, having books or YouTube videos on being fifty plus and how to go about it. A year-by-year chronological ‘how to care’ book or series of videos for the fifty plus people. There are several among Westerners, but none from our side of the globe. When we are born, and right till teenage life, there are handbooks on how to take care and what to expect at what age. Suddenly, after the twenties, and thirties, we are left to fend for yourself.
Only major landmarks are tackled, like menopause, mid-life crises and post retirement blues etc. There is nothing given to take you step by step. It is the same with fashions and living styles. In a way that is good. Now we are doing exactly what we want to do. Picking and choosing what we love.
Be fully prepared for our cultural feedback which is debilitating, depressing and disgusting. So, the good thing is, you make your own rules. And Rule the Roost! ?
An American I met who was in her eighties, she told me she had just come from a class meet up. She said that they meet regularly. “How many of you are there?” I asked. “There were twenty-eight of us there today.” She told me. This was great. ?
Stay connected to your class mates, and friends of your age-group. Then you can compare notes.
About a couple of weeks ago, we too had a class reunion in Lahore, and there were twenty-three of us. It was wonderful to meet them and see how well each one was doing. A very few of us have had major issues, and a couple of them have passed away. However, the majority is doing so well. Masha Allah! 🙂
Blessed by Each year/decade:
It is extremely important to be grateful for all the bounties that Allah blessed us with. I’m so happy with my three lovely daughters, parents, my sons-in-law, my home and staff. Specially, so happy with my friends and followers on Instagram and Facebook. I love the times we are in, where I can converse with my children living across the world. Reconnecting with Shib and Natascha has been awesome!
Lots to do:
The way I see it, there is a lot to do in this phase of life too. Contrary to the general concept that there is nothing worthwhile to do.
- Do yoga, meditation and be regular in prayers.
- Stay connected to family and friends.
- Write all the books that you planned to write NOW. (Don’t leave it for your children to do posthumously.) It won’t matter then, as it would only be relevant to your times, and your time is now.
- Travel to all those places you never had time to go.
- Manage your finances and assets properly. Keep control of your own stuff.
- Give away with your own hands all that you wish to give away.
- Do, as much charity work as you’ve always dreamed of doing.
- Stay connected not only to your own children but grand children also.
- Remove all extra stuff (and people) from your life. Make room for all those who matter to you.
- Keep learning new things on a daily basis.
Stay blessed my Reader, just value and enjoy yourself, no matter what age or stage of life you are in. ?