Saturday, October 9, 2010

Age matters

When you are a young child, you think you have a long, long time more ahead of you. And when you look at adults, you think they have lived for a very long time and imagine their past as so very long ago before you were born. And then, you always wish you could grow up faster to become an adult, mainly so that no one can tell you what to do and you can do as you please. At least that's what I remember of myself during my days as a kid.

When I was in primary school in the 70s, my classmates and I were hooked to these sci-fi TV series called Lost in Space and Space 1999. We would run about the grass lawn near our classroom aka the netball field during recess time, acting out the latest episode, each of us assuming a character in the show that we think we resemble in terms of looks (LOL!). The year 1999 seemed so futuristic at that time.

The cast of Space 1999

Now, I'm living in the 21st century. The year 1999 came and went 11 years ago. I was actively climbing the corporate ladder then. I had visited my brother in the United States (or was that in 1998?) and conquered Mt. Kinabalu. I was in love with this guy who is now my husband. There were no space ships or aliens in my midst like the TV series  in 1999, not even now. Bummer. How unexciting! 

When I look back, it really feels like so very long ago. It is what Caitlin refers to as 'the olden days'. Yes, it's her turn now as a young child, to have the notion that I've lived for a long time. And she views her grandparents as having lived even much longer, saying that I'm old but they are "eeeeven older" with emphasis of voice and facial expression on the word 'older'.

It's funny to get a glimpse of myself as a young child in my own child. Age-wise, she's one year short of the time when I was crazy about Space 1999. Maturity-wise, she's further ahead compared to when I was eight, growing up in a different era and being more exposed. But for an eight-year-old, or for me when I was a Space 1999 fan, nothing is impossible, and you go where your imagination takes you. I was Sandra (Benes), a data analyst because we both had the same hairstyle. We live in the here and now. Tomorrow has no worries, only dreams. I don't remember what I dreamed of becoming as an adult when I was eight or nine. I think I wanted to be a doctor or a veterinarian. Caitlin dreams of becoming a lead singer and musician in a Christian rock band. Before this, she wanted to be a veterinarian or zoologist. When she was four or five, she wanted to be an astronaut. I wonder what's next.

But she definitely views the past, the time before she was born, as a long, long time ago. She views Mummy and Daddy as 'old'. Just last night, we were chatting over a supper of 'char siew pau' and she asked me something about my past. Before I could answer, she said "You can't remember right, cos you are so old, 40-something already!"

I was amused. I told her 'no' and I could remember, and answered her question.

As they say, time flies. Ageing is a natural thing. You're only as old as you feel and think. We must continue to have the child-like characteristic of living in the here and now. Live in the moment, dream more, worry less.

1 comment:

paul said...

Space:1999 has shaped a lot of our lives - and still does - the long-term fans it captured are very warm and friendly people - it sounds like you're one of them!

United Kingdom

PS - I love the vibrancy of KL. I've visited many times.