Chilling in its real sense

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By Stella A. Estremera

Spider’s web

Saturday, April 12, 2014


I’LL be half a century old soon, and no, I’m not ashamed to ‘fess up. Vanity, after all, is never a measure of one’s true self as I ask my fellow females, what’s wrong with turning 50?

It’s fascinating, however, that even at this very old age (as we thought 50 to be when we were kids), there are still loads of lessons we consider worth learning. With the wisdom that come with age, learning is welcomed with glee and adventure unlike during the younger years when life lesson’s almost always had to be taken with a spoonful of sugar (to make the medicine go round).

Somehow, along with age comes the willingness to learn and re-learn, and try something new. The adventure never stops, but this time, with restraint. Gone are the days when adventure meant jumping off to parts unknown amid danger and strain. Now, adventure is in the learning amid occasional physical exertions. The greater part now is taken up by the pondering, the practicing, and perfecting. The impulsive jumps and skips and somersaults belong to the young.

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Like my daily practice in zoning out of negative thoughts and people who endlessly whine about the negatives in their lives… Never mind the what-is, my buddy said as we pondered on life and how we are coping.

True. Because “what-is” is already here and now about to be in the past. You cannot change it. It is and it will be was sooner than not. Move on, walk fast, gather the to be and relish it so that to be becomes the what-is that is desired. This may sound confounding at first, but once you get into the groove of it, you will realize that there is no better way of living.

We were always told to prepare for the future thus putting a strain in our present and filling our past with regrets that flow into the present and tag along with us in the future.

Asking a freshman college friend to jiggle some memory about this and that dormmate, friend mentions something about this batchmate never turning up for gatherings because of some negative experience with one of the batchmates.

“That must be very traumatic considering that it has been three decades hence,” I said.

Imagine to carry such negative thoughts and emotions for three decades. Time heals all wound, it’s been said over and over again. Maybe. But what about the wounds that turn gangrenous because of diabetes? No. Time cannot heal a wound that is nurtured by the wounded. But nurturing a wound is a sad way of living, isn’t it? Much like hanging on to hurt feelings for three decades. I can’t even barely associate the faces and the names of those I’ve mingled with thirty years ago, much less remember whatever slights they committed.

Life indeed just becomes better as we age. Gone are the days when you have to compete with everyone around you. Gone too are the days when your women associate envy you for this and that, and your male associates try to excel in whatever it is you are excelling just to prove their machismo. Now, we just all lounge and talk without trying to impress. We talk about life, about what more we can do, and what we have done. Chill is a word that no longer requires hanging out in bars with loud music thump-thumping in the background. Chill is the real essence of the quiet get-togethers people of a common elder age, and that is exactly how we like it. Chilled. Heated discussions are now reserved only for work and only when necessary.

*****

saestremera@yahoo.com

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on April 13, 2014.

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