Sunday, July 17, 2016

What your body is telling you.

We used to travel back to Ipoh our hometown on a Friday afternoon and back on Sunday .In between we eat all the food we miss and I will have a round of golf with old friends in Ipoh. There was no issue and it was always a good weekend,Today , we can usually leave on Saturday ( as early as possible ) and back on Sunday.Last week I decided that somehow I should play a round of golf with my friends whom I had not played with for a long time.
We left KL at around 7am and reached Ipoh at 9 plus. Mun quickly cleaned the house and I rested a while>By 12 I was ready for my round of golf and managed to complete the 18 holes.After that it was a bit of getting together dinner with some old friends and by 9 pm I was ready for bed.
The next day it was another mad rush with mum going to the market and then getting together with her friends and by 2 pm we were ready to leave for KL .With a bit of delay here and there we reached Kl at around 6 and got ready for dinner which was scheduled for 630 and it ended by 830 or so and off we went home. Driving home in the rain albeit only for a short distance was quite difficult as the eyes cannot see well .
There was the usual unpacking and by 9 I thought I could spend maybe an hour watching the British Open .I lasted 20 minutes for after that the body was giving me all types of signals so I thought its time to call it a day.I slept till 730 the next day , quite a few hours of sleep and even after all that sleep it was still a tired old man who plodded his way to office.
I got the signal... there are things which you cannot do when you reach a certain age and you have to adapt to it. Driving more than two hours to get back  and another two hours back takes a toll on the old body.The back aches, and the neck becomes stiff.But what choice do we have ? Like it or not , suffer or not I will continue to drive to go back as mum and I never want to be dependent .Its less hassle if we just manage on our own without burdening anyone .
I cannot imagine what will happen when the day I cannot drive comes. We would probably have to take a bus or a train to get home and then depend on friends to take us around in town.It is a scary thought but one which will probably be inevitable !

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

When grandparents take care of grandchildren.

It is quite the norm for grand parents to be given the responsibility to look after the grandchildren .The young people are so busy with their lives that they have no time for looking after their kids.Rather than to send them to day care centers or leave them in the care of babysitters they have to ask for help from their parents who happily offer their services out of nothing but love for their children and grandchildren.
Most grandparents have already gone through the tasks of bring up their children and its ironical that in their twilight years they have to go through the process once again.They actually have no choice because as parents they have always put the welfare and well being of their children above anything else.Looking after their children and making things easier for them is but one of their many expressions of love for the children.
Looking after the little ones is tiring and energy sapping but seeing them grow up and enjoying their development as children compensates.But one must never forget that old bodies get weary , tiredness sets in and unlike in some cases rest is not possible.Children are even more fortunate to have a mother who can take care of all the household chores giving them the space and energy to concentrate on their careers .
Bringing up a child is never easy and topping this with all the household chores beyond a doubt makes the task ever so difficult but parents would rarely complain and even though at times they feel hurt by the children's or the in- laws attitude they kept silent and can only weep silent tears .Children must never forget that old people are sensitive and if at all differences in opinions arise they should hold back in deference to the old people who have done so much for them.It must never be forgotten that the grand parents have a choice and there is nothing they wish more than to be in their own home with their own friends and really enjoy their twilight years .Parents accept the fact that they have to set aside their own preferences and inclinations out of consideration and love for the children>. These are sacrifices which parents will gladly make .It is an accepted fact that parents would do anything for their children but if at any one time the children feel that they are interfering or in their way then they must take a step back and realize that at the end of the day parents too have a choice.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Life's blessings

We have heard so much about people in the 60s and 70s suffering from all types of misfortunes that we start to wonder what life is all about.We have friends with kidney problems, heart problems , joint problems etc.These are physical ailments which I suppose will affect most people as they age.This is the inevitable cycle of nature which everyone has to go through.We can accept this .
Apart from this we also hear of parents having problems with their children , the in laws to the extent that that they find it difficult to even look at each other any more.This is sad and it reflects on the deterioration of our age old values where people will go to great lengths to protect and preserve family values .
We are indeed fortunate that at this point of time things are going on well for us.We are all in good health, the children and SIL are doing well in their careers and the grandchildren are growing up well.What more can we ask for ? Mum and I have always realized that we are fortunate to be blessed with all this and I sometimes wonder what will happen if one of us is not around.There will definitely be a big vacuum which will be impossible to fill and we have to be prepared to cope with it..Even thinking about it is scary so its best to appreciate and value what we have while we can.
We should live what's left of our life to the fullest and enjoy and be thankful for what we have and mots important that we have come this far in life with very few scars.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Life's Choices

When I graduated from the university in the 60s I told myself that I would want to work anywhere except KL as even during that time KL was well known for its traffic jams and all the problems associated with city life. I chose to work as a teacher in Teluk Intan partly because I felt that I should repay the La Salle Brothers who gave me a kick start in life and also having experienced teaching before I felt it was the right profession.Having made this choice I settled down in the little town and enjoyed a good many years as a teacher.
We had only to teach for half a day and we had the rest of the day off to do what we liked;Granted we did not earn big bucks but it was enough .We lived within our means and it was good enough .We had time on our hands and life was not hectic or stressful.On reflection I realized that I could have put all the free time which I had to better use but I chose how to live my life and it was satisfying..I enjoyed a leisurely pace of life as was the norm in a small town .
Looking at the life style of the younger people today it seems that society has become so much more materialistic and everyone is out to make money and succeed in their chosen fields. Life is a mad rush so much so that they have " no time to stand and stare ".High blood pressure , stress , frustration and even mental breakdowns are not uncommon..There is so much that the human body and mind can take and if you push it to the limits it will break down.Someone said " We spend a lifetime accumulating wealth only to spend it all to get back our health ".Even among the Emperors of all you often hear them say "I wish I could live in the countryside , in a simple house and be free from this hectic life ".
Too many people today are wrapped up in the mad rush for materialistic success that they forget that there is a life to be lived and we should not subject ourselves to being slaves to time and success leaving aside all the joys which living can bring.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Compatibility

A couple has to be compatible in order to enjoy any meaningful or lasting relationship.In the olden days this was a simple matter as the Man who was the indisputable head of the family called the shots and the woman would obediently follow .Today , the scenario is different .Women are as good as the men or even better and are emancipated .They go through university , hold high positions and even earn more than the men so the days of the man dominating are over ..
This being the case a modern couple must complement each other and face each other on equal terms .I know of couples who wash and iron their own clothes and where the household chores are equally divided.t;But if one party cannot carry out his responsibilities then conflict arises and the question of compatibility arises too. In short mentally , physically , intellectually and emotionally the couple must be compatible. There is a a lot to be learned from the ancients who believed that the man must not be inferior to the woman in status as without this he will not get the respect which makes the woman look up to him.He is the man of the house and the running of the house basically depends on him .It is his responsibility to ensure that the family is taken care of and the wife's job is to support him.He is the leader in the house and is fondly referred to as " Loh Yea " .He has the personality and the qualities which qualify him to be the head of the house.
Today, sadly enough we see men falling short of thisThey do not have what it take to command the esteem and respect which rightly should be given to the head of the house;If you cannot even manage yourself how can you manage the house ?
Being head of the family brings about it responsibilities .Things like taking care of the financial needs of the family , supporting the wife and children , ensuring that the house is in good order are all responsibilities which any self respectable man should be able to carry out .He should be a source of strength and support for the family .He should never be a liability and a source of problems for the family.
Man has his weaknesses .But any man worthy of his salt will always seek to improve and ensure that the mistakes are not repeated. Ego , stubbornness and a continued repititon of the same bad habits will not lead to any improvement and will make compatibility difficult.When bad and annoying habits keep happening over and over again it will be difficult even for the most patient person to be tolerant.
Relationships are not made in Heaven .A sound and lasting relationship needs the involvement of both parties ;If one is gung ho and the other a deadwood then compatibility becomes an issue.and a problem.
Being considerate and sensitive to the living environment will make  for better relationship..In a lasting relationship communicating and sharing ideas and opinions  make for good positive vibes but if one party is not up to the level of the other and does not even know how to listen or pretend to listen then there is a breakdown in communication which will eventually affect the relationship.
Marriage and choosing a life partner is an important choice for anyone and if you choose the wrong partner it can make life's journey so much more difficult.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Babysitting

This week mom is in China , daughter and son in law in Melbourne leaving Aaron all to me. Looking after him is an excellent opportunity to bond with him but it is also stressful.His weekened routine is golf, tae kwon do , swimming and badminton.Whilst he is at it you cant do anything and your time is blocked for him.
Seeing to his breakfast, lunch and dinner are tough jobs so I take the easy way out by letting him choose.His choice has ranged from noodles , nasi lemak to Japanese.Controlling his time is another challenging task. To be able to get him to take his shower , control his TV and I pad time are daunting tasks but somehow with the proper carrot dangling I managed to get him to follow instructions.On the whole I would say he is obedient and talking sense to him makes the tasks easier.
It so happened that he had to fall sick during my shift>I was a bit panicky when he complained of chest pains ,coughing and loss of appetite.And it had to happen on Labour Day which is a public holiday .There were no clinics open in our area so I had to take him to Subang Baru where it so happened our regular doctor was working.It was a relief when the doctor said there was nothing serious about his condition.I must say the little fella is an angel when it comes to taking his medicine .Probably he also wants to get well .
School days are a torture.The poor fella has to wake up at 545am and gets ready for school .The car comes to pick him at 630 so for 45 minutes I have to ensure that he has his shower , all his school things are there , breakfast .So far we have followed the schedule well and he is always ready when the car comes. On school days he will be back by around 6 so I give him an hour of relaxation either playing with the I pad or watching his favorite TV show.then its shower and dinner .If he has home work then he spends an hour doing it and if not I just let him do what he wants.Its bed time before 9pm and he is knocked out within minutes when his head hits the pillow.
Its quite fun being with the little fella and I have to say that in all he is not a problem .Being with him for a week day and night has made me understand him more and what a schedule he has at this age .I feel sorry for him in a way that at such an early age he has to go through so many things .I just wonder how he is going to enjoy his childhood and whether we adults should  take a moment to reflect on what we putting our kids through .Very soon their childhood will be gone and sadly they may not be able to enjoy the childhood which we had when we were kids.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Challenging the norms

When you hit the seventies you should be taking things easy , relaxing with your other half . children and grandchildren.Last week on Friday afternoon I drove down to Teluk Intan , attended a dinner .The next morning we woke up early , went to the market and after that visited a friend .Then it was off to Ipoh where I met up with some buddies at the golf club.The next day it was a long drive back to KL and the following Monday it was work as usual.
For someone in the seventies to go through such a schedule is to say the least " unusual ".I enjoy driving on the highway and at this age I seldom stop for what they call "rest and refresh ".It is too much of a hassle to stop halfway as it spoils your rhythm so I would rather just drive until we reach home.But mum will always insist that we stop at least for  a toilet break.
Driving home ourselves is a norm as the children have no time nor inclination to go along with us.So we learn to be independent and depend only on ourselves.Besides this I work almost every day. Most of my friends raise their eyebrows when I say I am still working. I suppose in their minds they must be thinking " Do you need to work at this age?".The answer is "Yes " but its not so much for the money but rather to keep going , be active and not feel hopeless.I love challenges and at this age everything you do is a challenge.
Golf is my passion and i make it a point at least to spend two days a week in the driving range and believe it or not this has actually improved my game and fitness level.Who says you cant improve at a senior age ? Besides golf there are other challenges .Work is a challenge when you have to deal with turkeys and handling students requires a lot of skill and human relationship skills. I make it a point that any student who sees me has his problem resolved and he leaves the room satisfied,That is the challenge of managing people which I relish.
If you do not face challenges and resolve issues then your life becomes mundane and you are just waiting for your time .I believe that instead of waiting for that to happen make good use of the time that you have so that life is meaningful.
I leave office early so that I can spend a couple of hours with the grandchildren.I enjoy seeing them grow up and more so enjoy their acts of mischief which never fail to amaze and humor me. Watching the little ones grow up is one of the most precious gifts a person can have and enjoying it makes it so much more meaningful.
Life is a challenge and will continue to be so as long as we have the right attitude and inclination .I believe that at this age there are many things which the younger people do which we also can do.The thing is to tell yourself "Why not ?'