Saturday 4 August 2018

In My Twilight Years.

My Twilight Years
I’m now 73 but still young compared to Dr. Mahathir who is 93 and running Malaysia as the oldest Prime Minister in the world. But on second thought, it was only yesterday when I was 23.

You know. . . time has a way of moving swiftly and catching you unaware of the passing years.

It seems just yesterday I was young 23, and embarking on my new life. Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. 

I know that I lived them all. I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams. But, here it is... the twilight of my life and it catches me by surprise... How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go?

I wonder if 50 years ago, at 23 when I first started working, what dreams I had for myself. At 23, I was strong, full of energy, with nothing but time and my imagination standing between me and the future.

I took night-classes hoping to qualify for university, wanted to travel the world as a sailor, or start my own business. Perhaps I figured working was a part-time endeavor, something to tide me over and help my mum. Perhaps I looked at all the other middle-aged men struggling at the desk or behind steering wheels and told myself, "I'll never let myself turn into that, God forbid!". 

Then I met a girl, got married, had one kid, then another, and suddenly all those doors closed. I had responsibilities, bills to pay, obligations to keep. All my dreams evaporated like my breath on a cold morning. And years later I looked in the mirror one morning. I saw my face staring back with the greying temples and the thinning hair and the dark circles my his eyes and I asked himself, "OMG, where did the last forty-five years went?"

Life can take a sudden turn and we've no control over it no matter how we monitor our health and safety. We all have only one shot at life and nobody knows when it will end. So, before it's too late, let's take stock of our life now. 

Unfortunately, for poorer Singaporean like taxi drivers, there's no much stock to talk about, when faced with escalating costs of living, scarcity of suitable jobs, no welfare, no money. 

To me, life was then a daily struggle to place three meals on the table, paying household & medical bills and keeping the roof above our head.

I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that winter was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like. 

But, now here it friends are retired and getting grey... they move slower and I see an older person now. Some are in better and some in worse shape than me...but, I see the great change... Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant..but, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we'd be.

Each day now, I find that just trying to squat and bending is tough.! And taking a nap is not a luxury's mandatory, because if I don't on my own free will, I just fall asleep everywhere I sit!

And I enter into this new season of my twilight years, unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!

But, at least I know, that though the winter has come, and I'm not sure how long it will last... this I know, that when it's over on this's NOT over. A new adventure will begin somewhere. I don't know and I don't care!

Yes, I have regrets, many. There are things I wish I hadn't done...things I should have done, and done it in any way but indeed, there are many things I'm happy to have done. It's all in a lifetime.

So, if you're not in your winter yet...let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life please do it timely and NOW! Don't put things off too long!

Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can today, NOW! as you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not! 

You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your, live for today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember...and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past!

"Life" is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after. Make it a fantastic one.


"It is health that is the real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver."

LASTLY, consider the followings:

Today is the oldest you've ever been, yet the youngest you'll ever be, so - Enjoy This Day While It Lasts.

~Your kids are becoming you......

~Going out is good. Coming home is better!

~You forget names... But it's OK because other people forgot they even knew you!!!

~You realize you're never going to be really good at anything.... 

~The things you used to care to do, you no longer care to do, but you really do care that you don't care to do them anymore.

~You sleep better on a lounge chair with the TV blaring than in bed. It's called "pre-sleep".

~You miss the days when everything worked with just an "ON" and "OFF" switch..

~You tend to use more 4 letter words ... "what?"..." when?"... "what?"  "where?"

~Now that you can afford expensive jewelry - it's not safe to wear it anywhere.

~You notice everything they sell in stores is "sleeveless!?"

~What used to be freckles are now liver spots.

~Everybody whispers.

~You have 3 sizes of clothes in your closet.... 2 of which you will never wear.

~Empathy is few as we struggle with the fear of getting old but in the end we shall find peace and even a kind of happiness in caring.

~But Old is good in some things: Old Songs, Old movies and best of all..OLD FRIENDS!! 

It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of winter yours is or is going to be. Enjoy life before winter or enjoy the winter.

Enjoy your life while you can.

- Do not wait until you cannot even walk just to be sorry and regret.

-As long as you are able, visit places you wish to visit.

-When there is an opportunity, get together with old friends.
  The gathering is not just about eating.
  It’s just that there is no much time left.

-Money kept in the banks may not be really yours.
 When it’s time to spend, just spend.
 Treat yourself well as you are getting old.

-When you feel like eating, just eat.
  Eat often and more healthy food.
  Eat less often of unhealthy food but do not abstain from it totally.

-Treat sickness with optimism whether you are rich or poor.
  Everyone has to go through birth, aging, sickness, and death.
  Do not be afraid.
  Let the doctor handles your body.
  Let God handles your life.

-Our kids will make their own fortune.
-Look after four treasures.
  1ST, Your body.
  2ND. Your retirement fund.
  3TH. Your old companion, spouse.

   4TH. Your old friends.


Anonymous said...

Uncle Lim, so nice to see you post again. After reading your post, I suddenly felt I am getting on my age too. Stay healthy & strong because I still wanna read your future post :) - AC

Diary of a Singaorean Cabby said...

Hi Anon.....

Whoever and wherever you're, thank you for your warm comments.

Wishing you happy and healthy days in our sunset years too.


James Lim

Edmund Ching said...

Uncle Lim, fully agreed with your thoughts.Money is not everything and also we cannot bring along after our passing.I retired last year after slogging for 50 years at the age of 70.I thot to myself that I will spend my remaining years doing things which I like but have no time to do.Eat what whatever I like and go wherever I like.Time is short and I hope I can enjoy doing all that I long to do before my last breathe.

Diary of a Singaorean Cabby said...

Brother Ed.

That's the way to go, bro. Live our remaining life to the fullest with whatever means we have.

James Lim

Lisa Edmondson said...

Dear Uncle Lim. My husband and I moved to Singapore from Los Angeles and spent three fascinating years in SE Asia before moving to New York City in 2016. Some of my most interesting memories of our time in Singapore were conversations with taxi drivers who had retired from other careers. I remember reading your posts when I lived in Singapore and when I finally found you again today as I was trying to gather some historical information for a friend who is creating a photo book about Singapore shophouses, I was so glad to see that you are still posting! The fact that your blog has more than 1 million views shows that no matter how long your "twilight years" may be, you will be remembered. I wish you and your family good health and happy times together, not only remembering the past, but also enjoying the satisfaction of knowing that you have built a strong foundation for your children and grandchildren. PS. My father died of cancer at age 57. I wish he had lived long enough to enjoy more years of life. Kind regards, Lisa

Unknown said...

your posts are awesome I like them. really enjoying your blog thanks for sharing.
long stay parking Gatwick

Diary of a Singaorean Cabby said...

Hi Lisa Edmondson,
Reading your wonderful comments, albeit a bit belated brings to me a sense of immense satisfaction that all my few years of writing were not wasted. Thank you again for taking the time to share with us your loving memories of your short stay in Singapore. I've no doubt that you're a kind, loving and amazing person. May God Bless You and Your Family in Eternity.

James Lim

WTK said...

Hi Uncle Lim,

I totally agree with you. Life is not always about money. It's better to live life on own terms. I am 40 this year and will embark on the desired journey.


Anonymous said...

I love ur comments about health being more weighty than gold or silver. Unfortunately it’s not the case in sg.

KH Tang said...

Great post! And yet come with such an appropriate education movie clip!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I was really sorry that the decease affected Singapore so much, and yes, you are right, the pandemic affected the whole world! But the key point is who actually decides whose business is significant and whose not? My small taxi company was nearly dead due to the crisis, almost eaten up by bigger providers who, of course, prospered. I had to fire an accountant and do the reporting and accounting myself. Thanks to Contractor Scheduling Software it calculates payroll to drivers automatically. Please stay well.

CreepticN said...

Hey, I am so sorry to hear that your business was affected by the corona crisis. Perhaps all businesses were. But don't give up. You can considerably save your time and costs if you hire professional accountants from this firm in Hong Kong. Just imagine how much money you can lose if you get fined by the tax inspection for a few lost dollars?

John said...

Take a look at Atriox Management if you're interested in outsourcing accounting and payroll for your business. They are a comprehensive business service provider, handling all your compliance needs. I've had an incredible experience with them – they are extremely professional and supportive! Since partnering with them, I've been able to allocate more focus to my business. Worth trying!