ANOTHER PHASE, ANOTHER FACE

Retirement gives a person a new perspective of things to come.  First, he has done away with or has graduated from his routine—getting up early, catching the morning traffic, hobnobbing with officemates, accomplishing monotonous paper works, rushing home and then splaying on the bed.  He is now greeted with stress free surroundings and pampered with high cholesterol foods.   No more politics and the good times that go with it.   In my case, I virtually sit all day reading books in my library and if my eyes ache, I do some sketches.   To a large extent, this is also a formula for physical disaster like high blood or cardiac arrest.  Too much rest might build up fat on the heart and may even damage internal organs if it develops into diabetes.

And since I have no more pressure from work, smoking becomes irrelevant.  I kicked away the habit as soon as I vowed out from employment.  And this time around, I might move towards a vegan lifestyle.  No more eggs, meats, chicken and even fish!  It would be a pure vegetarian or plant-based diet for me.  And why not?  I am no longer physical whenever I move around unlike before when I must exert effort and embrace martial art as part of my official exposure in the prison community.  Now, I only have books and tech gadgets to move around.  I do not need foods rich in protein anymore.  If at all I would maintain such mouth watering items, it might only poison my body since I would not be able to burn it.  The same is true with other highly nutritious processed foods.  I would only make my body a warehouse of toxicity.

I have seen people, mostly those within my age group, in various places I have been to, some looking good and youthful while others looking like a wreck because of failure to adapt.  Man has survived and never for once become a candidate for extinction because of adaptation.  In a simple way, I have to reckon this basic human formula too.

I have not experienced any pain yet from my joints and other parts of my body, except for occasional cramps.  My complexion and posture are still youthful.  But this could change in a few summers.   The type of food ingested has something to do with one’s health, looks and physical condition.  I do not intend to short cut how I should look a hundred years from now.   I do not wish to encounter pain or anything that would surprise me later like high blood, diabetes, paralysis or dementia.  As the saying goes, health is achieved through education and practice.  I have read a lot of studies that point out to the fact that vegan diet is the way to a “heart attack less lifestyle.”  Juice from young coconut nut may as well be the fountain of youth sought after.  It might as well be the key towards strengthening the brain against any age-related ailments like Alzheimer too.

Now, how is that phase for a change where a person must have to undergo another routine if only to make a period worthy of passing through?  For sure, that person would experience a reversal of character. It is akin to death.  The neighborhood may be a little sentimental and would miss the person but sooner, say after a week, he is completely forgotten.  But of course, it is not the end yet because the person can still yank out comments and share gossips.  He can do it with less authority though.  He was no longer the person he used to be.  He has become ordinary, a regular guy, a commoner.

In my case, I stopped smoking like a mafia underling after four decades.  I have become a figure described by Hemingway in his Nobel Prize winning novel, The Old man and the Sea.  And eventually I stopped my love affair with processed culinary regimen and luxurious, high protein foods too, enjoyed by the rich and famous to become a semi vegetarian.

Truly, I looked very different now through another phase and with another face, well, like all seniors in their mid-60s.