LOOKING BACK WITH A SMILE
One of the fondest chores a retiree could do is to look back at time. His amusement comes from there in the first place. For every flashback comes a worthy remembrance of things that mattered in the past. For once, he would be greeted by a day without stress and from there he will be accompanied by thoughts which made him sigh as if he is one of those who survived the atomic bomb.
As I lay seated on a sculpted chair made of drift wood along a stretch of bermuda grass defining my flowery garden, my thoughts would begin to unravel on those naughty days during elementary days. I could not but picture my classmates, my pretty girl classmates and those impish fellows in the boys group. And those incredible and unforgetable adventures during high school days. And of course, those comical instances in college onwards. I have seen most of my peers in their recent photos (through facebook) and it was a fascinating find, decades of stressful work never made them balk physically. If there were wrinkles on their faces, I suspect that these were more intentionally imposed so that they will not look retarded. OMG, they still look hale, fresh and agile!
I could not hide my excitement. For every picture that depicts of their achievement, I would virtually fill my cocktail glass with red wine, direct it towards the heavens and would make a toast. For every throwback portrait or recent takes, I jumped with enthusiasm. I don’t care at all if it is sheer selfie or photoshopped. Achievement is achievement and it is something personal and therefore awesome to a large extent already.
I could only retrace back those days. It remained an imprint in my mind. After those struggling years in the academe, came the real challenge. There were courtship galore and a lot of haggling. There were numerous negotiations as if life depended on it. There were silly times, there were brilliancies. As a result, one gets employment, one gets recognition and for some, there was marriage and family life. For the respectful few, there was career, one after another. And a number of them went to greener pasture abroad and were made. A sprinkle however did not get past the hurdle but merely crossed over.
All my friends successfully hurdled and some even pole vaulted to reach the finish line.
I have had the occasion to gather friends from way back to kinder, primary grades up until college, then the graduate studies up to my workplace. They comprise the real and only friends I would have carried and kept in my memory bank until I close shop. Majority of them can still be contacted, although occasionally. Some became prosperous and most of them, like me, have eventually chosen retirement. Like me, they now have all the time in the world to behave and think in retrospect. That is where our universe can be found. It is the source, the fountainhead of our inspiration.
We may have flourished in our profession, fell down sometime, rose up if only to fail and later thrive, but that is a cycle we must have to undergo. It gave us a spirited drive to fulfill our dreams, our hopes and even our ambitions. It defined the very struggle from where we try to promote our sanity.
As the saying goes, today is yesterday’s tomorrow. Well, I am no longer concerned about tomorrow because for all we know, it will never come. I am more of a denizen of yesterday and the recent past was memorable to the point of recollecting each phase or some events.
I have had bad hair days, times of lamentation although it merely fizzles out immediately. There were painful episodes, dramatic confrontations, emotional disparities. However, I have a limited threshold on keeping negative vibes. Of course, there were instant days of frustrations and traumatic moments. But they never made me frown; they never affected me at all. I subsist only on happy reminiscences, those entertaining segments and have a capacity to retain hilarious situations. They kept me wide awake and most of the time, uproarious. My mother was correct when she said some time ago, when she was called in the office of school principal to respond to the report that I was always playing prank, that I was born to make fun of everything.
All my friends, yes, even my loved ones, holler to hear a joke from me. A few of my associates went further. They even would have their versions of my gag. And they were very effective and can animate dull moments. But unfortunately, they ran out of time and passed away having forgotten seriousness in favor of jest.
I don’t know how my surviving peers looked at their past, but for me looking back is a grand and a picturesque presentation of how I will laugh all the way towards my twilight years.