January 25, 2018

I don't want to look too far

The year has just started and many will be looking forward to a busy year ahead. In a conversation at the beginning of the year, a friend asked me ... “Hey Shiek, what are you looking forward to?” As usual my answer was quite general ... told him I look forward to a simple and easy life ... nothing much really.

But what do I actually look forward to?

Well ... I can’t say that I have a lot to look forward to. I am not like some of those people about my age ... they may have a lot to do in their coming years ... some have plans to backpack the big countries ... one actually told me he has a 10-year plan to travel China ... others are looking forward to a series of exciting outdoors adventures and two siblings told me that they will be taking flying lessons ... I really admire them.

You see ... I cannot be like those adventurous people ... I have my own reasons. So, I don’t have big plans but I have this "three terms" plan ... short term, mid term and long term. Short term is one year, mid term is 3 years and long term is five years. If I live up to my long term plan ... then I will repeat another three terms and take it from there.

So what I look forward to is just as far as the next 5 years. Why?

The way I look at it ... at my age, things can change rather quickly ... health wise especially. As bad as it sounds ... if some illnesses were to come at this age ... it will be fast, it will be serious if not deadly. Yes, that is what I believe ...  it will be life changing and whatever plans I may have ... it will all change or stop altogether.

If it is not illnesses ... then it will be my physical ability. Yes, we all want to think that we will be as strong as ever ... we can still hike a few mountains, run a few marathons, pedal hundreds of kilometers and trek into deep jungles ... but the fact is our (or at least my) physical ability is declining and is declining quite briskly. And there are other factors ... somehow when you are in your 50s ... like it or not, there will be a lot more to worry about than you think.

For me ... I don’t really want to look too far ahead but not to sound too pessimistic ... I can say I do have some active things to do in the coming few years.

On short term ... for this year, I will try to trek as much and as far as my legs allow me to. I will continue to play my weekly racket games but try not to do what I saw on TV and I will also sweat it out with some light weights just to burn some calories to keep the bulges down. If all goes well ... I do it again next year.  

For mid term activities ... I would like to travel a bit ... no backpacking, no crisscrossing continents ... just visiting, sightseeing, exploring, savoring, relaxing and holidaying in neighboring countries with my best buddies. Also included are some “jalan jalan cari makan” trips to quaint towns and villages around the country. Maybe 4 or 5 neighboring trips within 3 years and several trips locally ... I think that is quite practical.
As for long term within the next 5 years ... I want to read and research on world history. I am a big history fan ... fascinated by world history since I was a young boy studying Tawarikh in school. And now I have the time to learn more and with the convenience of the internet, it is a lot easier to seek relevant materials on the subject. I have started on ancient Chinese history and civilizations ... kingdoms and dynasties, emperors and queens, kings and concubines, princes and princesses, warlords and generals as well as heroes and heroines of ancient China ...this will keep my mind active for a while.

So you see ... not much really ... let’s see how it goes for three terms ... will I get to do another three more? Hope so.

I do look forward ... but unlike others, I don’t look too far. Really, I don’t want to look too far ... at this age ... if I look a bit too far ... at the horizon ... maybe, just maybe ... I might just see the graves.