Letters & Opinion

Growing old is not a choice but a reality

Image of Carlton Ishmael
By Carlton Ishmael

So often, when we are young, we take things for granted. We live a carefree life, see life as a thrill and do not cater for years down the road. We see the predicament of those who have aged, we recognize the struggles and hardships that some aged persons have to endure that comes with age, but do not accept, at that point in time in our lives, that the same fate of the aged can become our reality as well.

Some get lucky, because they die young of various causes, which could be considered sad or a blessing in disguise. The fact is, with age comes more responsibility and in most cases there is little help to make you cope.

Savings sometimes dwindle, then the house or houses that you built is in need of repair and that comes as additional cost.

At retirement, you cannot demand. You have to go with the flow and sometimes it’s about who will give you a helping hand. Your once-new vehicle now needs new parts and more frequent servicing and your medical needs become more frequent, but you have to attend to them, regardless of the cost.

Mind you, you still need to eat and in most cases you have to be on a selective diet and your earning power sometimes is at a standstill.

The cost of living affects everyone and dealing with that reality is a fact of life.

The choices you had when you were younger seem to disappear and what is worse, all the people you helped, especially your children or the many girlfriends or boyfriends, no longer seem to care. You have to deal with all issues as best as you can, because the tides have changed and your choice is do as you can, not as you please and hope for a favorable outcome.

If you are sensible, when you are young you may avert such pitfalls, but the problem of being young is that you do not always plan for the possibility of you growing old.

The two lives are very different, but there is no getting away from old age and its challenges and not being prepared can leave you more vulnerable.

Life is always about choices but some life choices are irreversible and mistakes can cost you dearly, so I say to you: Make hay while the sun shines, always save for a rainy day — and remember always that what you sow is what you shall reap and thinking about tomorrow is as important as the life you live today, especially when you are young.

Waste not and want not and remember that life is unpredictable and not paying attention to life after youth can catch you with your pants down.

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