Growing Old Gracefully

 
The only time I ever keep track of NBA is during playoff season. The play-offs are hard to miss or dodge. It’s all over the news and the cafeteria banter. And because the best way to go with the banter is to be informed, I checked the Western Conference results. Naturally, supporting articles popped up.

Kerr’s Warriors Deal Finalized.

Google ResultsWhat?!? Steve Kerr’s playing for the Golden State Warriors? Didn’t he retire or something?!?

A few lines into the article, I realize Kerr’s not playing for but coaching the Warriors.

Incidentally, there’s an article below it reporting Jason Kidd’s being fined for disrespectful behavior.

Then it hit me. I’m getting old.

Wasn’t it only yesterday when these guys were at the top of their game and winning conferences?

When I turned 20, age became a mere number. I’d accepted the ruthless double-digit as an Eden full of perks – perks that I’ve since taken advantage of greatly. On top of the list: Everybody else seems to think you’re smarter. And somehow, I’ve convinced myself that age on top of experience has enabled me to make better choices (I was after all technically past my “teens”.).

What’s difficult is how younger people acknowledge my age.

A few days ago, I was at a local mall looking for shoes when I bumped into an office colleague and her thirteen year old daughter. Instinctively, she reaches for my right hand and touches the back of it against her forehead. This gesture is a cultural sign of respect for the elderly that we practice in the Philippines.

This very gesture puts me smack in the pool of the elderly!

Mano Po

Have I been deluding myself? I’ve often been complimented for looking much younger than my age but that otherwise respectful motion was truly a bright neon sign on my forehead.

She’s really 30!” It says.

Thirty is a magical number. When I mention this to one of my grandmothers, the succeeding question is, “Why aren’t you married?” The gist of my answer would be because I chose career over settling down; and if I could fit it into the sentence, I’d include, “What’s the rush?” But neither long nor short answer could get through the traditional matriarch who got married before 20 and who has included “seeing my children” in her requests before dying.

While it’s no personal issue that I don’t have a genetic legacy (yet), people (specifically similar-aged cousins with a brood of their own) are clamoring for wedding dates and quantities. Quantities pertaining to how many kids I could possibly have before turning 35.

It’s madness and it’s during those moments that I wonder, “Am I really aging as gracefully as I possibly can? Or am I just swimming for dear life in a sea of double digits?”

Friends, your thoughts (and perhaps advice) are appreciated.

Grandma's Words

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3 thoughts on “Growing Old Gracefully

  1. Fear not young one,
    You are bright and all choices are your own :-) Whenever I comment aloud I’m feeling old, my 82-year-old father always responds – “What I’d give to be 51 again!” :-)
    Things will happen if and when you’d like them to and have a wonderful day :-)
    AnnMarie
    ps I so appreciate you finding your way to my little corner of blogland :-)

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