On getting old
Getting old never dawned on me until about a year ago. I thought I was still a teenager even if I already have four teen-agers of my own. My body just refuse to believe that the pain on my waist at night, the number of pills I have to take for diabetes, white hair on my balding head, or even the lines on my forehead tell me that I am old. Why should I? I still have friends much younger than I am and I can still do what they can do. I can still relate to their stories and they can with mine. I can still stay with them until the wee hours of the morning, exchanging useless banter over beer or any other beverage there was. Yes, they don't call me by my first name like they do with their peers but that was okay. They call me tito and I didn't mind. I liked the monicker anyway having nieces and nephews who are fond of me anyway. Besides, a lot of people call me that way when I started this blog. Never did it dawn on me that I was old.
But time does not stop for anyone. No matter how slow the hour hand crawls on the clock, it reaches the time for us to go home from work. This is just like our lives but on a grander scale. I realized I do not live in a warp zone where I can stop aging while everybody continue to do so and play catch up. I cannot be happy man without having a true friend. There has to be someone I can talk to without any qualms, share my thoughts, tell naughty stories to and basically, hang out with. In my line of work, especially with the economy on the downtrend, teachers, like nurses, are lured by green bucks. The turn over of workers have been steadily getting higher and higher. As it did with my friends. Some of them have migrated abroad, some had married and resigned. Eventually, all my friends have moved on and I was left behind.
My co-workers keep on getting younger and younger. The gap has never been this far apart. I could not believe that some of them were just born when I started working. To make matters worse, I was again asked to handle an administrative position. That was the icing on the cake. Now, everybody calls me Sir. Friends are hard to come by when there is this huge gap between you and the next person. While the difference in age is already a huge boulder to climb, the position added a wall. Suddenly, the songs I use to sing are ancient. The jokes I used to tell no longer get the same response. Well, there are times when I couldn't get their humor either. The invitations to a lunch out, or hang out at the mall has been practically nil. I am now at the threshold of calling it quits with the institution that nurtured me, simply because I have to accept the fact that I will soon become irrelevant. The tell tale signs are there.
But then, why should I feel this way? I feel this is a very defeatist attitude on my part. MAybe it is because I had been resisting the movement of my clock. Why don't I just let it move and go with its flow and see where it takes me? Maybe if I did that, I would learn to accept that things have changed and I have to adjust just one more time. Maybe, just maybe, I will learn to age with grace. If I learn to do that, then maybe retirement will not be the end but the start of a new era in my life. When that happens, let's see who has gone old!