Luab: No longer taking center stage-A A +A
Saturday, August 18, 2012
WHEN I found out that I could no longer do the brisk strides around the hiking area of Ayala grounds, I accepted the fact that I would just have to walk at my own pace.
Tennis walling too became out of reach for me due to knee pains but I took that as a natural course brought about by aging.
However, when I discovered that the pain in my left arm would not allow me to crochet anymore, I burst into tears. It was a closure not only to a beloved hobby but also a symbol of final deprivation of doing things I used to enjoy.
Actually, I can accept looking at myself in the mirror and seeing the signs of aging. I know I shall never go back to how I looked before. That realization does not really bother me. Everyone will age and it’s all a matter of time when we will all go home.
There is something though that momentarily I minded when it hit me right between the eyes. When we were at Crimson Resort, during dinner, the general manager came to our table to check on our well-being. While easy conversation flowed among the members of my family and him, I found myself on the outside looking in. There was no need for me to put my two bits worth because everyone else was in the flow of enjoyable camaraderie. As the truth settled calmly in my mind, I smiled and said to myself: “So this is how it feels to let go and let the children take over. This is how it should be.”
Being at the center of things has always been my way of life. St. Theresa’s College dumped leadership assignments on all of us students. We were trained to lead. College life also filled me with many campus activities to the point that my waking hours were often with people as busy as I was. My married life had me at the helm because my husband was a traveling salesman, more often out of the city than in the city. With five daughters, my hands were really full.
Starting a business with the family was no joke. We were so busy doing two to three things at a time. Days turned into weeks and weeks into months so that when year-end arrived we were taken by surprise.
Going into the building of a pension house and running it was another center of activity. When my husband passed away I became the “mother hen” of the employees taking care even of their families.
This recent awareness of not having to be at the center of the stage anymore is now very welcome. There really is a time for one to go on stage, to play one’s part and then to exit and go behind the curtains.
There is life behind the curtains. There is the enjoyment of stillness, the pursuit of solitude, the communication with peers with common interests.
There is the using of a pen to share insights brought about not only by experience but also by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
My children no longer need me for decisions, for guidance or for anything else. Praise God they are fiercely independent .Their protective mantle however which they try to cover me with can be pretty stifling.
While we were at the beach resort, I opted not to join them in swimming or in the other activities. I opted for a very restful pastime by reading a book. Everyone started worrying about me. I simply told them that I didn’t have the energy anymore. Because of that remark everyone asked, “So how are you going to make out on your trip to Kuala Lumpur?”
My answer was: “Easily! I will walk slowly and carefully. I will not rush to the middle of a crossroad nor call attention to myself. My companions from our Wednesday meditation group will see to it that I will be able to go with them on the tours without any mishap. We will eventually reach our destination. With seven other people, a guardian angel and an ever-loving God, how can I not reach Kuala Lumpur safely?
For us older folks, we know that the time for being lead actors or lead dancers on the stage of life is long past. But the unfolding of life’s drama still needs people for other jobs. All we have to accept is the fact we no longer have the spotlight! Being at the center of things is not the ultimate. As long as God is at the core of our lives we will be fine.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 19, 2012.