parents of people my age are somewhere close to the end of their working lives, close to going into retirements, close to turning 58, the mandatory retirement age in India. Whether they want it or not, whether they are capable of working more or not, retirement is something everyone has to face. for some its just a status (retired hain), but statuses, as i have learned, affect your head more then you would want them to. even if you don't feel it, a status might start making you believe it.
anyways retirement is a transition, a transition from one phase of life, a phase full of responsibilities, of tensions, of taking care of ur loved ones, to one in which there are others who take ur tensions, ur responsibility. the roles get reversed.
most of us, who are middle class, have parents, dad's atleast who worked hard through their lives and came up from no where to somewhere. their top priorities, their only priorities were their family, giving them a good life. no other ambitions, even those they had were so that they can give their families a better life. they gave up all their hobbies, all that they wanted to posses, their friends, so that their sons and daughters could explore more, could possess what ever they wish for and could go places where they could meet more people, make more friends.
and now, when they have achieved what they wished for their sons and daughters, now that their sons and daughters are grown up and busy in their lives, and now that they are not responsible for their children, they don't know what to do with their lives. they don't have any hobbies, they don't have any dreams, its too late for that now, and they don't really have any good friends left. because their world was their family, its like they lost their world.
and their sons and daughters who they gave up everything for, have moved out, have their own lives. what do they have left for them, be happy with the fact that they gave their children a happy life. i don't wanna grow old...
There is also a perceived power shit. the sons and daughters become the decision makers, starting living a more independent life. they also now know that their parents are not always right, that their is a generation gap, and somewhere, without even knowing, they don't give as much importance to their parents opinions, forget letting them make the decisions. well understandable, but what does that do to the parents.
parents who till now were in control, suddenly see others taking control of their own lives. and this scares parents. makes them feel less important, and ultimately, hopefully never, but sometimes worthless.
i think its more because India itself is in a transition phase today, where our parents lived in the tradition world where joint families were the norm, and today we are living in a more westernized world where children move out, so parents expectations are very different, and how their mind is conditioned is also very different, its condtioned for their children to live with them, and them taking care of the children and then the grand children. children and grand children want a more independent life.
blame it on times that we live in, will be the easy way out. don't have answers though...
there is no conclusion here...i am just stating whats happening, don't have a solution. i have seen some parents move on, living their own lives, getting into spirituality or charity or getting some hobbies. some move from one son's home to another' 6 months here, 6 months there...they make their peace.
i guess everyone does it, everyone lowers their level of expectations, fragments their dreams, and stays happy with a smaller piece, lower expectations. but then what would be ideal here, what would be perfection...i can't figure out.
there has to be a PS: a lot of my gen and a gen after me have a dream, to retire by the age of 40...what the fuck??!? i ask them what then, and they tell me, we'll do some farming, live a relaxed life. go on vacations, enjoy family time. again what the fuck...retirement for me in its true sense is not having any more dreams, not have anything to live for, anything to work for. and in that case, for me, i would rather die then retire. because there is nothing left in life after you retire. enjoy life..., savour the fruits of what you sowed...bs. if you are not moving forward, ur still...and stillness is just another word for being lifeless. better die.
i don't want to retire, ever...i'll be 22 forever...i wish!!!