It’s the Life in our Years

Photo by Yan Krukov

In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. – Abraham Lincoln

Aging is inevitable. I saw a list of the signs of aging somewhere. I picked some in the list that seems easy to remember as indicators:

  1. If you lose your SENSE OF HUMOR, you KNOW you are growing older! (Good grief! Thankful I have not lost it yet. Thanks to those who still laugh at my one-liners.)
  2. Muscle mass decreases on average about 7 lbs per decade. .. this loss accelerates after age 45. (Oh, my, I am past 45! Wonder how much of my muscle mass decreased.)
  3. Fat increases as a percentage of body weight. (All I am thinking now is BMI! It says I am overweight.)
  4. The strength, energy, and speed of the body decrease. (Uhmm… I dread the day that it will take me 10 minutes to walk from the door to the sofa.)
  5. Blood pressure increases. (I was hypertensive for more than a decade now.)
  6. We lose neurons in the brain. This leads to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Senile Dementia. (I worry about this. My father had Alzheimer’s disease, and it was not easy for the people around him to deal with it.)
  7. Testosterone in men, and estrogen and progesterone in women, drop. (Believe me, it is not big of a deal.)
  8. Sexual desire drops. (Sadly.)
  9. Sense of hearing drops. (It dropped a notch, but I survived!)
  10. Sense of taste drops… “everything tastes the same.” (I dread the moment I cannot appreciate good food.)

I stopped reading. It scares me to read more. I will be growing old someday. That is a fact. 

Of course, there will be ways to slow it down or remedy some symptoms. But it is inevitable.

It is not the years, Abraham said. It’s the life in our years. The question we need to answer is – do I have a life? I did not get to become filthy rich but compared to my life when I was younger, I consider myself rich. Being prosperous and successful is subjective anyway. Life, I believe, is not about achievements and success but what we did and are doing with our success and achievements.

Life is not about the multitude of ‘friends.’ Life is about the impact we cause our friends. The numbers do not count, but the quality of friendship with our friends.

Life is about family, of consanguinity or affinity, that basic unit in the society where we belong. It is what defines us; it is our reflection. The many things in our family embody us; it is our constitution.

Life is how we play fair in every aspect of our lives. It is about how we chose to keep silent when we wanted to talk; it is about how we did not speak instead of fighting against someone who tried to bring us down. It is how we believe that things end and that justice will always be served in whatever form the One above chose to be.

I do not know when my candle will extinguish. Here’s hoping that the remaining years of my life will be fruitful and of quality. 

A Different View

“Are there things true to all humans?” my son asked me before we went to the cemetery. “What do you mean by that?” I asked. He continued by telling me that he wonders if there is a common factor that we all humans share. He told me that not everybody is wealthy or poor, not everybody is educated or uneducated, not everybody is happy or sad, etc. “Every human being is born, and everybody dies,” I answered him with a coy smile.


Oo nga, ‘no (Oh, yes, isn’t it true)?” he said realizing the truth to the fact that I had just said. It occurred to my mind that still many think that humans are at an advantage when he dies rich, even to the point of being filthy rich. Still a lot think that they are at edge because they are surrounded with the many good things in life. Still a lot think that they will die in peace when they are bloated with the many material things this world has to offer. This is why everyone of us is preoccupied, or had been preoccupied even once, with the desire to be rich. An in-law once told me that the death of a wealthy man and a poor man differs. My unspoken thought wanted to tell her, “No one can bring his material gains when he dies, everyone dies the same physical death.” The only difference that matters is how each person perceives death – Is it the beginning? Or is it the end? Is there life after death? Or is life simply terminated and nothing follows after the physical death?

If death is the beginning of something new, or the dawn of a phase of another (everlasting) life that was promised, how then would we prepare ourselves to be worthy of the privilege? Or if life, on the other hand, will be ended just like that, would it be acceptable that human beings live life the way they wanted to – unmindful of the consequences, defiant to laws and regulations, and to polices and disciplines, or wildly experimenting taboos? Because if the life of a human being just simply stops after physical death, why bother doing what is good? We die anyway and nothing or no one will scrutinize what we have done good.

The thing is most of us is in a state of denial that we are not doing enough to earn a place in Heaven. (That is, if one believes in Heaven.) We still cling to the old-time inherited beliefs that our kins who will be left behind will pray for our souls no matter how we had waned from our good ways and from our faith. There are still those who even pray for the aborted unborn baby who was innocent still and had not even had the chance to see this world. We still do those preposterous ways of earning points in Heaven. Believing so, we get absorbed to this material world, and forgetting to truly enrich the spirit.

I may have a different view from many but this is what I honestly believe in about death: Death is just the beginning. There is life after death. And I should do my assignment.