Very soon, I will be 50 and this magic figure is significant as I will also be discharged from military duties and liabilities. I have started work in 1981 at the age of 24 and I would have worked for 26 years, of which I have spent 15 years in an educational institution in the capacities of academic and administrator.
An audit partner once told me that for the first 10 years of work, we learn as much we can on the job, the next 10 years, we earn as much as we can, and in the third 10 years, we should contribute back to the society. I am now in the third 10 years and have considered that I am not the same person, say 15 years ago. I am no longer youthful, which is what the young students look for to better connect with the lecturer. My male pattern hair loss, aging skins and loss of weight do make me look excessively older. Health is not on your side as you get older. The energy level dipped as the saying goes, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
I have no regret with having to wind down from my previous roles and responsibilities in the organisation. Succession planning is important to build the next generation of leaders. We have our glorious past, it is now their turns.
Money need not be the primary focus if we have planned well financially before reaching 50. Can we spend more time with our teenage children and look after our aged parents? That can be the start before we devote some time for the society. Do volunteer work and take a small step first to see what you are comfortable with. This will be meaningful in our aging years and can keep our mind and spirit alive.