Reflection of a midlife person

BUSINESS MATTERS (BEYOND THE BOTTOM LINE) - Francis J. Kong - The Philippine Star

“Oh, my back aches!” says a middle-aged friend of mine. “I can’t see without my glasses,” complains another. “My sugar is high and so is my blood pressure, and don’t talk to me about my uric acid problem because I’ve got them all,” cried another in exasperation.

I then realized that these were the same people who stormed the dance floors of disco joints, played heavy contact basketball, and gulped down steak, beer, and booze like there’s no tomorrow. And now they’ve finally experienced the effects of going into the midlife experience.

This old article I have kept seems so relevant, especially for me now that I am in my senior years. It’s entitled: Boomer Reflections, and here’s how it goes.

A Baby Boomer’s Reflection, Then and Now.

• Then: It was long hair

Now: It’s longing for hair

• Then: The perfect high.

Now: The perfect high yield mutual fund.

• Then: It’s keg, as in beer keg spelled “K-E-G”

Now: It’s EKG.

• Then: Moving to California because it’s cool.

Now: Moving to California because it’s warm.

• Then: Growing marijuana or better known as growing pot.

Now: Growing pot belly.

• Then: Watching John Glenn’s historic flight with your parents.

Now: Watching John Glenn’s historic flight with your children.

• Then: Popping pills, smoking joints.

Now: Popping joints, aching joints.

• Then: America’s president‘s struggle with Fidel.

Now: America’s president‘s struggle with fidelity.

• Then: Killer weed.

Now: Weedkiller.

• Then: Getting out to a new hip joint.

Now: Getting a new hip joint.

• Then: Rolling Stones.

Now: Kidney stones.

• Then: Being called into the principal‘s office.

Now: Calling the principal‘s office.

• Then: Destroy the system!

Now: Upgrade the system!

• Then: Peace sign.

Now: Mercedes logo.

• Then: Parents begging you to get your hair cut.

Now: Children begging you to get their heads shaved.

• Then: Take acid.

Now: Take an antacid.

• Then: Passing the driver‘s test.

Now: Passing the vision test.

• Then: “Whatever”

Now: “Depends”

Somebody says: “I wish I could go back to the time when…”

1. Decisions were made by saying “eeny-meeny-miney-mo.“

2. Mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, “do over!“

3. “Race issue“ meant arguing about who ran the fastest.

4. Money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in „Monopoly.“

5. Catching fireflies could happily occupy an entire evening.

6. It wasn‘t odd to have two or three “best“ friends.

7. Being old referred to anyone over 20.

8. The net on a tennis court was the perfect height to play volleyball, and rules don‘t matter.

9. Nobody was prettier than mom.

10. Scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better.

11. It was a big deal to finally be tall enough to ride the “big people“ rides at the amusement park.

12. Spinning around, getting dizzy, and falling was cause for giggles.

13. The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team.

14. War was a card game.

15. Water balloons were the ultimate weapon.

16. Plus, taking drugs meant orange-flavored chewable aspirin, and ice cream was considered a basic food group.

And then here we are. The year is about to be over, and another year added to our age. While some people would say it is not good to keep on focusing on the past, the healthy balance is to heed the Psalmist’s advice: “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

Somebody says: “To add years to our lives is good, but to add life to our years is better. To receive bountiful blessings is good, but to share them with others is a lot better.” There was a time when the youth of our days would mouth an old Hollywood expression attributed to the late James Dean: “Live fast, die young, and leave a good-looking corpse.” Dean did die young by the way, and the “good looking corpse” part still is debatable. I have not seen one, have you? The millennials have their version, and that is YOLO or “You only live once.” Make no plans for the future. But the pandemic is a teacher that has taught us that life is certainly short and fickle.

Time passes quickly. Life is short, and it must be sweet. Love God with all your heart, strength, soul, and mind, and then love your neighbors as yourself. Then life does become great and sweet!

And one more thing. The millennials are getting old too. Welcome to the club!

Francis Kong now has a podcast entitled: “Inspiring Excellence” available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or other podcast streaming platforms.

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