Spice of Life: Turning 65, time to tick off the bucket list
Approaching this age, distant as it may seem, I think one should have their bucket list ready — a list that covers things to be done that make them happy
It’s with mixed feelings that I celebrated my 65th birthday the other day. It has been absolutely humbling, exciting and awe-inspiring to be alive every day and that having the opportunity to grow older and to age is a total privilege worth celebrating.
Turning 65 looked to be a very distant and extremely far-fetched journey at the age of 20. Feeling of bliss, thankfulness and gratitude is there for hitting this privileged milestone, which has been denied to many including some very promising and deserving ones.
Anxiety does take over because at this juncture of life it’s obvious that life left now is proportionately far less than what has been experienced.
Retirement from office life at the age 58, being a medical professional, revived my personal life.
After getting into the groove and grind of the profession one day, I became consciously introspective about playing golf. I had bought my golf set in 1998 and had become a member of the Golf range. Though I am a sports enthusiast, I never found the time from my hectic schedule to devote to learning the game. Frankly speaking, it didn’t appeal to me in the beginning. Then I thought, I have heard so much about golf and not getting to experience the game could be a matter of great regret at the later stage of life.
That thought of doing the things that I enjoy in this life made me take a conscious decision to learn the basics of the game. A lot of time was spent on the greens to learn and improve. A seemingly simple, even “stupid”, game, golf requires a lot of hard work. It’s a work in progress and I have a very long way to go, but playing it is a great stressbuster as the experience of greens transports you to a different zone.
“Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated; it satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect,” Arnold Palmer, a famous golfer says.
Striking a work-life balance, the last five years had been a mix of devotion to the profession and regular rounds of golf. Having found the game to be very addictive, I have been eng(o)lfed by the passion.
But going back to my prior point, approaching this age, I think one should have their bucket list ready — a list that covers things to be done prior to the final exit even though we can never really know when and how that will be.
The famous lines from the film ‘Anand’ are most defining: “Babu moshai zindagi aur maut uparwale ke haath hai jahanpanah, jise na aap badal sakte hain na main. Hum sab toh rangmanch ki kathputliyan hain jiski dor us upar wale ke haathon main hai. Kab, kaun kahan uthega ye koi nahi janta.”
The other day, while talking to someone, I counted another 15-20 meaningful years left, provided one stays blessed with good health. That leaves us with around 750-1,000 weekends to enjoy. It sounds very dreadful when you calculate it this way, but then, why should we not strive to make the best of what is now left?
Appropriately, during the era of knowledge and wisdom through WhatsApp messages, someone posted the following, befitting our age:
You better slow down.
Don’t dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won’t last.”
That should be our exact attitude. It’s time to get away from the rat race and set the speed and pace of life in your own lane.
However, at this stage, one should take note of the things to be done. This list could be trimmed and tailored, as per your own interest and taste like taking robust care of your health, trips to dream locations, following your passions to learn music or dance or read.
For me, the coveted wish list includes playing at a select few interesting and famous golf destinations and watching a game of tennis at the hallowed lawns of Wimbledon.
Any takers for that?
Virtually it’s now a race against time (left) as at this stage, “Life is short, enjoy it before it melts.”
(The writer is a Panchkula-based freelance contributor.)