How do we define being old? At what age when one gets to be old? Do we call ourselves elderly, or senior or just uncle and auntie? Are we over the hill when we reach a certain age? Are we old-fashioned when we age?
The other day at Sheng Siong Supermarket, I was holding 2 guavas in a plastic bag. The least expected thing happened. A shop assistant asked to help me weigh and price the item for me. When I moved quickly towards her, she said to me, “Uncle, please do not rush” fearing that I might trip and fall. She was genuinely caring. Why do I deserve such treatment? I am not obviously old or frail!
When I first reached 50, I hated to be called uncle. But now I have accepted it. I readily took up seat on MRT train when someone gave it up for me. Just accept the kindness and do not cause embarrassment all round.
I quite like being older now. For one, I need not be conscious with what I wear. There isn’t a need to project a professional image. This is for the work places and I have stopped work for a number of years now. Maybe, that was why people had been calling me uncle!
When you want to stretch your retirement fund for longer, spending on image can be a draining on your pocket. It is better to spend on necessities. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and mental well-being beats packaging oneself with branded items.
Back to the questions at the start of this post, the answer is, “It does not matter”. I am not concerned with how people view me. I only care with how I feel inside. I am happy as who I am. Aging is a process that everyone must face one day. I get to it now. My older siblings went through it earlier. This is life journey and I am living it.