Category Archives: Aging Gracefully

My Wife, Intrigued by the Shadows

Her hobbies, translated…

In recent years, my wife started taking up photography, in about two years, she’d, ruined three cameras, even the one that I had, I’d, contributed to her, and, in no more than a year, it’d, “retired” too.

Whether if it’s out on a trip, or just, strolling in the Botanical Gardens, my wife would always carry a camera with her, she’d looked, then, taken the shots, some of the scenes, don’t look that vital to me, she’d be too focus, documenting it, like she’d, become a field researcher, or a photography news reporter or something.

like what this young child is doing???  Photo from online…

She’d mostly taken photos of the weeds, the flowers, a small flower, she could use various angles, distance, and shoot so many shots, it’s a wonder, that the longevity of her cameras is less than a year. But, what my wife loved photographing the most, are the shadows, and so, I’d, nicknamed her a “shadow” fanatic. Any shadow, to her, looked intriguing, the plants’ shadows at the Botanical Gardens, she’d wanted to take shots of, said there are spots, that you don’t normally see; the reflection of the large tree outside the Yun-Shuan Sun Memorial on the windows of the mansions close by, she’d felt they’d, swayed with the wind, that it was, beautiful, surely, a shot. As we’d walked across the bridge, and, our reflections were imprinted into the waters, she’d, taken shots of; the egrets, the birds waiting by the pond, looking for the fish at the Da-An Forest Park, a must.

There were, too many photos she’d taken shots of, I can’t recall them all. But, once we’d sat at a café inside the Wenzhou Street alleys, there was a Chinese parasol tree, with the leaves growing in fully, the afternoon sun shone through the leaves, landed outside the walls of the café, the wind blew, and the shadows, they’d swayed. I’d, compared the photos she’d taken, and suddenly, understood why the older eras of Chinese people called it “the Shades of Light”; the sun and the shadows they changed, with the times of day.

Thinking on it, my wife, the photographer, must’ve thought, that in the instants of the shadows that changed, capturing it with her camera, would turn it into eternity.

With this photography fanatic at my house, and so, as I saw the potted plants on the lanai, the shadows, reflected onto the doors, I’d immediately, called her to it.

And so, this woman loved the look of the shadows, and, she’d taken up this hobby that’s good for her, and, her preferences in photography is unique, only to her.



Filed under Aging Gracefully, Because of Love, Hobbies/Pasttimes, Life, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life

Learning to Let Go from Saying Goodbye, to Be a Man of High-Quality

On the last rites, the final rites of one’s passage, translated…

I’d gone to two funerals of my high school classmates in these past few months, and, at the funeral, the collages of their lives were played.

Those old scenes all came back to me, I’d thought about the laughter, the sorrows, the ups and downs of life we’d shared, our friendships which were kept, I couldn’t help but start crying hard! And, in the three, or five-minute short film, it’d, told of the stories of their over fifty years of life, and this was, saying goodbye to life.

We are all, staying afloat in this sea of mirage, and we’d felt, that cold chill! In this mirage of a life, we’d gone to the funerals, and we were often, impacted by the mixtures of emotions. Looking at others, then, thinking about ourselves, our whole life is a huge lesson in learning to say goodbye, and the hardest part of it all, is learning to say goodbye to ourselves, to say farewell to the youth that’s slowly going away, to wave goodbye at the beautiful faces that time had, sculpted, to say farewell, to those whom we loved and cared dearly, our families, to say farewell, to all our meaningless pursuits of fame and fortune…to bid farewell, to everything earthly. Life is learning to let go!

As I’m about to become Buddha! My funeral, I’d wanted to be like how the Buddhist Master, Shen-Yen’s making myself into a better person.

Before I go, I shall, have that slight smile, and with a heart of gratitude, for everything that’s happened in life to me; before I go, I hope that my loved ones, friends, families, and relatives can, use the Buddhist chants, to help my soul return to the West. As for the rituals, I’d wanted everything to be simplified, I shall become nothing but mud, to become the guardians of the flowers.

And so, this is, what life is reduced to, when we all die, we’d become, NOTHING, it’s what we did whilst we were still living, that will, hopefully, get remembered, it’s the lives we managed to touch when we were still on earth, that will keep on flowing, even after we’re gone, and, like this person, just keep everything simplified, because, there’s NO need, to have a flashy funeral, because you’re, already D-E-A-D, and you should NOT care who shows up at your funeral, besides, why would it matter to you? You’re, no longer “here” (on this PLANET???)………

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Filed under Aging Gracefully, Awareness, Expectations, Letting Go, Life, Observations, On Death & Dying, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, the Finality of Life, The Right to Choose How One Will Die, Things Left Behind, Values

Being Old & Cute, the Features of a Woman


Awhile ago, in order to treat my shoulder pains, I’d had to go to the hospitals often for rehab.  In the rehabilitation room that’s crowded, I’d often bumped into a woman in her eighties.

The reason why she’d attracted my attention was not because she’s wheelchair bound, wheeled in by the foreign hired help; but how awkward and out-of-place, the red nails are, on her wrinkly, old hands.

Once, I’d heard her tell her foreign hired help, after she’s done with rehab, she’s going to buy herself some green nail polish.  It’s hard for me to imagine, what green nails would look like, on her pair of hands?  She is, an old and cute woman who chased after what’s fashionable.

From her, I was reminded, of another cute, elderly woman, my own mother.  My mom’s eighty-eight this year, the things that pleases her the most is getting facial using face masks, and she’d pointed out which brand she’d wanted to use too.

Every time I saw how she carefully, unwrapped the face masks, as if, performing some sacred ritual, I couldn’t help, but be in awe.

Maybe some would comment, “she’s already almost ninety, why would she need the masks?  Does it really work?”  who CARES if it works or not, mom loves it!  And, I’m more than happy to buy them for her to use too, to take advantage and act coy around her.

There is another cute, elderly, my aunt, whose husband is ninety-three years old.  That day, on her grandson’s wedding, as the ceremony was happening, she’d also wanted to be walked down the aisle too.  And so, the groom wheeled his grandmother’s wheelchair, with her eight children following behind her, the group, marched into the church, down that red aisle.

Seeing how my aunt wore a fashionable velvety pink hat, with that pair of rose-shaped earrings, she was even more eye-catching.  In the sounding of the beautiful music, my aunt raised up her glittered, painted hands, and, kept waving at the guests on the sides of the red carpet.  At which time, this ninety-three-year-old cute elder became the “focus” of everybody’s attention, and naturally, she was smiling, from ear to ear.

These three elders are all toward the dusks of their lives, but are still, oh so cute, who says, that you had lost your stage, after you’re aged?

And so, these elderly had become like children, and that, is usually the case, because the older you get, you’d become more and more childlike, perhaps, it’s the return of the childish innocence that you’d let go off, because of the demands of your earlier years, who knows, but, this still just shows, that you can be old, AND beautiful at the same time, says WHO that beautiful is only, saved for the young?

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Filed under Aging Gracefully, Attitude, Cause & Effect, Connections, Life, Observations, Old Age, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Translated Work, Trends

The Bottom Half of the Cougars’ Lives, on Life After Work

On entering into the bottom half of one’s life, planning out the retirement, translated…

On the weekend afternoon, I’d gone to meet up with my old classmates, they were standing by the gates, off in the distance, if I didn’t know that it was them, I’d think they were a group of female students.

Actually, we’d graduated twenty-five years ago, and are all senior “beauties”, in midlife. Ever since we got connected again, we’d cherished our four years of friendship from before, and gathered from time to time, other than talking about life, about health, we’d also talked of the plans we have, for the bottom-half of our lives.

A was once the “dancing queen” of our class, she’d also represented the class, shortly after she graduated, she’d gotten married, is a stay-at-home wife and mother, and on top of that, she’d also made a name for herself, in an international trade company. Although she’s kept busy by work and at home, she’d kept up with her yoga class, so she’s able, to look young physically. Having just one more year to go until she’s able to retire, she’d talked of her dreams, of wanting to teach yoga, to turn her hobby into another chance of employment.

B, is the “most talented” of us all, after graduation, she chose the teaching career, later, she’d followed her husband abroad, but returned back to Taiwan, after her marriage was over, and continued teaching. Being remarried, she’s now, very happy. She’d always told us with glee about how she used the “attraction factor”, to find her own bliss, and hoped, that by sharing her experiences with us, through teaching at a seminar, to make a career for herself.

C was our “Robin Hood”, whenever there was injustice, she’d spoken out against it. After she graduated, she became a discipline officer at a certain university, because she wasn’t married, she’d taken her summer and winter vacations to volunteer, she planned, to retire at the age of fifty, she’d decided to pour her heart and soul into volunteering after she retires.

Looking at all of my former classmates, the first halves of their lives, for the sake of family/economics, they could only work in one job long-term, and now, as they’re about to enter into the bottom half of their lives, they no longer have the economic problems, and can start living for themselves.

Seeing how their eyes glowed when they talked of their dreams, I’m sure, that the bottom half of their lives will be just as interesting, and amazing too, as the first half, if not more so.

And so, this, would be the maturation process of women, because for the first half of their lives, they’d all focused, on living for someone or something else (families, work, etc., etc., etc.), and now, as they are about to retire, they can finally, live, for themselves! And they earned the right to too.





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Filed under Aging Gracefully, Cause & Effect, Choices, Observations, Philosophies of Life, Planning for the Future, Retirement, Socialization

I’m Eighty-One, I Don’t Want to Retire Yet

Delaying the onset of aging, by staying active, at work, in the elderly years, translated…

My husband died young, left me and a couple of kids.  My children are all very well-rounded and well-behaved, either that right after they’d graduated they’d gone into the workforce, or that they’d set up their own businesses, to help out with the household economy.

My two daughters chose to set up studios at home, primarily, because they feared that I might feel lonely, and other than work, they can also, accompany throughout the daytime.  Normally, other than cleaning the house, and cook the meals for my children, I’d also worked as the receptionist, bringing in the mail, and pour the teas for their clients, I’d jokingly called myself, the receptionist, moonlighting as the janitor.  My children felt bad, and called me the CEO of their workshop.  On the first day of the year when we open for business, my two daughters would ask me, the CEO for a red envelope.  Actually, no matter if I’m the janitor, or the CEO, after my husband’s death, I still had my kids accompanying me, I feel very blessed already!

In these past decades, I’d consoled my kids to get married, to not focus their whole heart and soul on me, I’m a strong woman, I don’t want to be a burden to my kids.  Every time someone asked for my daughters’ hands, I’d first stated, that if they are good together, to not worry about me, so long as my kids can live on happily, I will NEVER become a burden to them.

Of my children, two were married, only the two daughters who have their separate workshops are still single.  These couple of years, the three of us, mother and daughters, kept this workshop, and, we’re getting busier and busier still.  Seeing how my daughters are no longer young, I truly worry, that they might not be as able bodied as when they were still younger!  And I am already eighty-one too.  I’d still work at my post by the day, day after day, year, after year, although this work is very busy, but I feel very accomplished, especially when the clients heard my voice, and they’d all thought that I was my daughters’ younger sister, when they’d been told, that I am their mother, they all exclaimed that it was impossible, for me, to sound that young.

A lot of friends and families asked me why must I work my fingers to the bone as an elderly person, why not just retire, and live on easily?  I’d always replied, “Learning until I’m dead, not letting the seconds pass me by!  Although I have some minor conditions, but, work can help me keep young on psychologically, and, I get to keep dementia away, and I can help my kids with some of their workloads, killing multiple birds with just one stone here!

And so, this, is the story, of how a woman manage, to keep her body, heart, and mind young, by keeping herself active, and, her daughters started the workshop that they have, for her sake, because she’d lost her spouse when she was very young, and, her kids don’t want her to feel all alone, so, they’d all work together, to make the mother feel useful, and, this managed to keep the woman active in old age.

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Filed under Aging Gracefully, Choices, Connections, Expectations, Family Matters, Life, Old Age, Parent-Child Interactions

The More Years Underneath Her Belt, the Younger She’d Become

How does she DO it???  Translated…

The very last class of community college, there was, the cold fronts, attacking, the temperature dropped to 10˚C.  Out seventy-year-old instructor walked in, everybody was thrilled, she was wearing a snow white long coat, with faux fur scarf, wrapped around her neck, the students exclaimed, “You look like a movie star!”

She’d smiled and took in the compliments, took off her coat, showed the bright red sweater inside, and, shook her red dangling earrings, lifted her chin proudly, “Of course, I’m looking younger as I age!”

She’d told us, that we can’t avoid the aging process, but she hoped that we could successfully age, that we couldn’t let the years slip on by, that, is why, learning became, especially important in old age, and that everybody who was in class had managed that already. And, “dressing hot at old age”, was a concept, she was portraying that day, that as we age, we should put even more time into dolling ourselves up, to not be unwilling to spend the money, we’d worked hard all our lives, and, it’s okay, for us, to be a bit more extravagant in old age; while our bodies still allowed, enjoy life, and carry a laissez-faire attitude toward the younger generations’ affairs in life.  The teacher also provided us with a few restaurants that she and her friends loved dining in, and they’re all, reasonably priced, so, several classmates already made a date, to head over to try it out after class.

The shops she’d referred to us are really good, with an order of hot pot, we’d sweated while eating.  As a classmate wiped away the sweats, she couldn’t help but say good things about it, said, that she’d already lost her sense of taste for many days, because her only son was about to marry, she’d gone shopping for the dress, and tried on over twenty, and still had no feel, right when she was about to head home, she saw a newly designed Chinese traditional dress in the display window, like it was made for her, she didn’t need it altered, without a second thought, she’d bought it.

As she’d returned home, her husband poured cold water on her head, “Dressed so pink, at your age?”, her son also had something to say, “my newly wedded bride would be in pink, and so would my mother, are you, dressing up like twins?” but, pink made her looked even better, she’d looked amazing in the mirror too, but, the father and son talked down to her, and she’d felt bad.

The classmate sitting close consoled her, “It’s good that you and your daughter-in-law dressed alike, you two are in synch, just tell your son that.”, and the other classmates chimed in as well: pink is not designated to younger ladies, says who, that as we get older, we should, stay away from that color?

Dressing younger appropriately, can make us look younger and feel younger as we age.  We’re all students who followed the advice of the teacher, and so, naturally, we will, live by her never-aging philosophy, the next time we have a gathering, we shall all, dress up in pink, to show the supports of our friend’s style.

And so, this instructor is instilling the right kind of values in her pupils, because, just because you’re older, doesn’t meant that you can’t dress in the bright colors, plus, the bright colors can make you look better, so, why not, right???

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Filed under Aging Gracefully, Attitude, Life, Observations, Old Age, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Self-Images, Values

A Woman in Midlife Who’s Excellent with High-Tech Products

Because she’s NOT afraid of these new-age, high-tech products???  Translated…

My next door neighbor is just as capable and knowing as the younger generations, she is close to sixty years of age, two years ago, because her kids are out of school, she chose to retire, said that she’s worked hard her whole life, now that the kids are grown, she should take herself into unknown territories, to up her quality of life, and, learn something new while she’s still able to.

Since she retired, she’d worn a grin on her face, “you don’t need to be trendy in the way you dress, but, your thoughts and beliefs MUST catch up to the times.”, was her motto.  She’s a high-tech junkie, SmartPhone is a must-have accessory for her, and, she’d learned how to use it on her own, using her phone to upload the photos, to help her company develop their calendars, downloading a photoshop program, checking the train schedules, getting the online receipt checks, downloading music, etc., etc., etc., she’d even used Facebook, LINE, to connect with her friends and families, to post the goings on of her life; and, checking in on Facebook as she’d gone to certain locations is not at all hard for her, she’d even taught me how to calculate within three seconds, the expiration dates of the lotto.

Once, I’d wanted to delete a friend from LINE for good, but I didn’t know how, and, she’d fixed it for me instantaneously, and had me write down the steps she took, in case I will need to do it again in the futures.

She’d even gotten a small photo printer, used her Bluetooth, or NFC, and, she can print out the photographs she’d taken, every now and then, she’d gone out with her friend for lunch or afternoon tea, and she could capture the memories, and she can also pick her favorite pictures and print them all out.

She loved exercising, and keeps her figure really well, she’d gone on hiking trips with her husband often, enjoyed gourmet, and, loved learning new things, to broaden her horizon, and had gone to the Taipei Exhibition Halls to see what’s going on, took up English, and, in her spare time, she’d planted a TON of vegetables in her small patch of land close to her house.

A lot of people who wanted to retire, before they’d left the workforce, they were ill-prepared, didn’t plan, and, they just have a difficult time, adapting to too much time on their hands after they retired, and, this next door lady, she’s living a fulfilled, and enriching retirement, and, she and her husband are closer as ever, it’s very envious to all.

And so, here, we have a woman, who still kept her mind sharp, she’d gotten into all those high-tech products, so she could get connected with the times, and, everything that younger people are doing, she’s doing too, because she didn’t want to be too disconnected with the world, after she got out of the workforce, and, she is able to fulfill her life after retirement too…

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Filed under Aging Gracefully, Connections, Expectations, Life, Observations, Perspectives, Properties of Life, Socialization, Utilizing the Internet, Values