Thursday, November 15, 2012

Jackie Murphy

Side Trips 
by Jackie Murphy
Early retirement…a denial of truth!

With most of us and our other ‘kababayans’ who started their lives in Japan during the 80s and 90s (our generation called ‘the baby boomers’), we sometimes can’t help but think of what Japan still has to offer us a decade more other than getting our pensions (or ‘nenkin’) for working so hard for the past how many decades here. Do you have other alternatives on how to deal with becoming senior citizens? Some are anxious to get hold of their discount cards and some are still wondering why time has it so soon for them to have one. Do we have other options? Have you checked your finances? Or have you thought about your own personal interests? Do you ever ask yourself where to retire in the first place? Or kaya mo rin bang mag-alaga sa mga apo mo all throughout your retirement years? Dito ba o doon? Dito ba sa Japan o sa Pinas ka? It’s safe to think that Filipino family ties are more intact and much more closely related compared to the Japanese culture though. To some of our ‘kababayans’ who have lost their husbands or wives already, in other words, widowed or perhaps divorced or better yet, have lived and stood up as single parents to their kids, do they rely on their Japinoy children to take care of them when they grow old here or accept the fact that they will end up being sent to ‘homes for the aged’ (‘rojin’ homes) whether they like it or not!

Sa panahon ng pagmumuni-muni, di mawawala sa isip natin how time flies. As one gets older, we can’t help but think of how we are going to start, deal with and enjoy our retirement. Meaning, not with how far our careers would take its peak but where will we be when we retire? At this moment, there’s no room for regrets nor how much time was wasted nor how soon time has lost your youth.

I was once asked by a friend to write something about signs or symptoms of getting old and so many times I thought of giving it a shot (coz I’m one of them…wee!) Mga nararamdamang kirot sa mga kasukasuan, mga namamanhid na mga muscles, pagkahilo nang mas madalas, mood swings, etc. Gosh, take it or leave it, sometimes there’s this denial of truth! Minsan eh kailangan pa talagang mangatuwiran na napagod lang ng konti today o dili kaya ay overworked lang yesterday yung mga ganun so that these illnesses or symptoms of getting old are consistently and honestly justified... hmmp! Pag may nakalimutan or na-misplace then someone will jokingly say: tumatanda na kasi…May nakalimutan lang matanda na ba kaagad? Di pa pwedeng nagmamadali lang? tsk…But at the end of the day, when you lay your back at the seat of your car or at a train or bus, you find yourself wanting to be home soon, getting a hot bath and possibly go straight to bed. And for a while forget about your usual lifestyle of socializing with your circle of friends, attending parties here and there, getting a cold beer at your favorite ‘izakayas’ or bars and relax for a while. It will surely cross your mind about an old cliché: 'Those were the days... my happier days and younger years'!
With all these having said: you think about… retirement. Do you ever plan for what’s next in your life? Your stairway…like, say, a retirement haven! Travelling! Golfing at the most exclusive golf courses around! Who will you be with? Will you be joining short courses of weaving or crocheting or going back to your hobbies like gardening or cooking and try new menus on exotic foods mga ganun…

There’s no turning back, guys, it’s around the corner! But there are still a lot to learn in life while enjoying the fruits of your hard labor and you will surely end up asking yourself back these questions: Did I do it good? Did I do it fair and square? Did I serve well? Did I cooperate and give my full understanding for the less fortunate people in my community? If your answer is yes, then, it’s time for you to go forth and spread the news to inspire other people especially the young children and the next generation. Tell them your mistakes too that they may also learn from them and to truly feel the sincerity of your story. Go ahead and free yourself from the burden of boredom and individuality. But if you’re unsure of your answer, don’t waste time, it’s not too late. Do it now and start the last step on your stairway! Join your local organizations and local politics. Volunteer, communicate and coordinate with your community and join livelihood projects! Do some volunteer works for your neighborhood too and from there, you’ll feel more fulfilled and rewarded.

Some might be thinking of a second career or a special interest you want to pursue during your retirement. Ask yourself if you want to do it full time or part time. Or you might want to open a business or thinking about going back to school! Then again the situation varies if you are single or with a partner because if you are with a partner and you are both retired, you will find time spending more precious moments together. No matter where and how you want to spend it, paalala ko lang: make sure to review your finances, have a good plan and enjoy life to the fullest.

Happy retirement… happy reading!

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