I thought it best to chronicle my thoughts by downing one of my favorite cocktails — the clamato juice vodka refreshment which I consider to be a senior salad, in a glass.
The vodka lubricates the mind, so it seems, making turning 60 a bit like discovering that you're the surprise guest at your own pity party. It's the age when people start calling you "wise," but you're just as likely to forget your own password, yet again. As I swing into the realm of sexagenarianism, I've decided to embark on a journey of self-deprecating humor. So, grab an esprés (or Mega Fiber) and join me as I navigate the quirks, conundrums and comedic mishaps of reaching this milestone.
The Existential Crisis
The morning of my 60th birthday, I woke up with an existential crisis that could rival Sartre's. I looked in the mirror and saw a face that had apparently been swapped out for my dad’s while I slept (which isn’t bad, but no aquiline nose, nor any help from Aivee). I pondered the meaning of life, the universe, and why my eyebrows had declared their independence (need to get to May at Emphasis for a good hedge trim).
But then, as if on cue, my knees let out a symphony of cracks just as I tried to touch my toes. Existential crisis? Check. Mid-life crisis? (Been there, with andropause to boot). I think I'll pass. Let's just call it a “senior moment of reflection.”
The In-Person Tech Support Hotline
It's no secret that technology is evolving faster than I can say Threads. My 20-something officemates have transformed into my personal tech support hotline, and it's a humbling experience. They speak in a strange dialect of emojis, hashtags and reels. They roll their eyes when I ask them to help me get back into my Outlook Account yet again, I have been locked out, and of course I forget the password. It would be like a monkey trying to solve a Sudoku puzzle — amusing, but ultimately futile (perhaps the reference isn’t good enough, since I tend to be the monkey).
The coño in me rears its ugly head. Always trying to find the right word, or simply a person’s name. Ah, memory. The elusive mistress that dances in and out of my life like a capricious ghost. I now have a daily ritual where I forget where I left my reading or sun glasses, only to find them perched atop my head.
Perhaps I should resort to labeling my possessions like a paranoid librarian And then there are those moments when I call my own dog by a persons name. Always the last thought in my mind. So who is my eternal darling? Is it my Frenchie Heidi or my dear patient best friend, Margie? Apparently, it's both, granted I remember where I put my phone.
Oh, of course I forgot… I've always walked out of the flat to the mall only to forget why I went there in the first place, a phenomenon I've dubbed "destination amnesia." But hey, at least I have my phone.
The Eye of the Storm
Aging also brings the delightful gift of deteriorating eyesight. My Lasik surgery done at Asian Eye a decade or so ago has had their warranty run through. I've graduated to progressive lenses, but I fear that a cataract is about to pop out. I swear, I need a headlamp just to see my dinner menu in dimly lit restaurants. Margie, bless her heart, despite her own eye challenge, has become my unofficial seeing-eye human.
Now onto spectacles, since contacts have proven futile. I had an epiphany. As I squinted at the options, I realized that all the stylish frames belonged in the "hipster chic" section. I opted for fashion over function. But alas, the refraction only returned a fraction of my vision. After all, who needs to see clearly when you've got a lifetime of memories to cherish in blurry, nostalgic glory?
The Art of Overthinking
At 60, I've perfected the art of overthinking. Every decision, from choosing a meal on Grab or FoodPanda to selecting the Marvis flavor of toothpaste, feels like a life-altering choice. Should I go for the orange or kung pao chicken from Panda Express, or both? What if a side chow mein or fried rice or both? And don't get me started on the toothpaste — strong, aquatic, ginger, cinnamon? Decisions, decisions. One thing I won’t worry about is the senior discount, and free movies at Rockwell. Again, granted I don’t misplace the card.
The War of the Waistline
Ah, the battle of the bulge — a never-ending struggle that only intensifies with age. When I lost all the weight 15 years ago, I was confident that I would keep it off. I was very wrong. I followed a diet and worked out religiously, till I lazed off in midlife, and there it was. Weight is driven by gravity and age. Unless you are with Dr. Aivee 4x a week (exaggerated, but you get me by now), and eat like a bird (sorry, been there, done that), it is a war lost before it is fought.
I've tried every fad diet under the sun, from the "cabbage soup diet" to the "apple cider, lemon, cayenne drink” diet. The latter was with the late Gina Lopez and we were on it for a month, till it met its demise in a crispy pata.
I even experimented with the “one meal a day” plan which lasted all of three hours until my stomach staged a rebellion. I've come to accept that my body is not a temple but more like a quirky, poorly maintained car — unpredictable and riddled with maintenance issues.
The Wisdom of Regret
People always tell me, “Monchet, you have aged with wisdom.” Perhaps, and I have the arrows in my back to prove it. Honestly, wisdom manifests as a catalog of regrets. I've spent countless hours pondering the "what-ifs" and "should-haves" of my life. I regret not learning to take the Saturday guitar lessons with Mr. Baduria seriously nor staying on the slim with squash or rowing on the Pasig (well, Saddle Row has kept me honest for the latter). Ah, travel — yes — is something Margie and I did quite a lot of, pre-Instagram, but being more adventurous, hmmm… I could have, right?
I've also learned that life is too short to dwell on missed opportunities. So I've decided to start checking items off my bucket list, even if it means hitting the courts at the Club at 60 or backpacking the Camino de Santiago like Margie did 15 years ago. Yes, to hell with regret.
Aches, Pains, and Groans
My body has become a symphony of groans and creaks. Every time I get up from a chair, it sounds like I'm starting an old motor bike. My knees crunch like a bowl of popcorn. I've been known to utter expletives while simply bending down to put dog food in Heidi’s bowl. But I've learned to embrace it. After all, who needs a gym when you can get a full workout just trying to stand up from the couch?
I was told by my therapist that life now begins at 60, but anxiety decided to RSVP to the party uninvited.
You see, my anxiety is like a hyperactive hamster on a double espresso, and it's been with me for so long that I'm considering putting it on my life issurance (AXA, please) as a beneficiary. It's the kind of anxiety that turns a simple trip to the grocery into an epic quest to find… oh my, este, este.
But you know what? At 60, I've learned to laugh at my anxiety. I mean, if it wants to be my constant companion, it better learn to simply be funny. And if it's going to make my heart race, at least it's giving me a cardio workout I desperately need to manage the battle of the bulge.
So despite my lost moments in a nerve-wracking attack, I simply embrace the quirks, the good and bad days in life's little anxieties — because who needs calm when you can have chaos with a side of laughter?
Turning 60 is nowhere close to the picture we had of seniors in our growing-up years. Today, there is a myriad of formulae to eternal youth, ways to preserve ourselves rather than become fossils of a life misspent.
In fact, the past six decades’ adventure is filled with laughter, forgetfulness, and a healthy dose of self-deprecation. It's a time when you realize that the lines on your face are not just wrinkles but the roadmap of a life well-lived (please pass the Botox). If you want to be happy, don’t sulk.
So, here's to the next chapter of senior moments, technological mishaps, and the never-ending quest for getting back into shape. At 60, I may not have all the answers, but I've certainly got a surplus of amusing anecdotes to share. Guess it is time to get the bill, for now. Bottoms up!
Credit belongs to : www.philstar.com