Most of my friends and close relatives ask me when I talk to them or write to them the oft repeated question: How are you and how is your health? Quite innocuous or legitimate. It shows their concern for you. But the query turns rather ominous when you realise that you are in the early eighties and at the fag end of your well lived life. It is but natural that your loving children or relatives must be concerned about your health. But the question uppermost in the mind of the object of their inquisitive enquiries is whether he feels a little apprehensive about the state of his health. It will be worthwhile if we ponder a little over the state of his mind.
The tragedy of old age stems from the fact an ageing individual misses or longs for the various advantages of youth: an active life, physical strength, acuity of the senses, the challenge of a new career, romance, security and friendships – attributes he once possessed. He cannot help but contrast the illusions and advantages of youth with the drawbacks and disenchantments of old age. With old age comes irritability, boredom,loneliness, depression and an inferiority complex. This with the loss of independence or increasing dependability on others and (in some) the added misery and torture of a bedridden or chair bound existence completes the picture.
One of the major catastrophes of old age is the hurdle of retirement or withdrawals from one's work, occupation,profession or active life. In many cases this literally amounts to a complete break with the world resulting in loneliness, solitude and seclusion. There are some individuals, however, who look forward to the -privacy- of retirement and an ability to indulge in various hobbies and amusements or a literary life, outlets which they have been looking forward to for years during their period of employment or activity.
The setting in of old age is not a curse if one chalks out a plan to use his leisure actively and enjoy the activities indulged in. I for one enjoy enormously the opportunity it gives me to catch up reading great works of literature and classics which I missed in my working life. It also gives you an opportunity to indulge in other pleasures like writing and listening to great music which you had enjoyed in your younger life and which brings back pleasant memories of times gone by.
Barring physical ailments the evening years of your life can be full of pleasant reveries.