Growing old does not need any talent but growing up does need change. By Gertrude Nyatichi

I can still feel the warmth of the embrace. It was magical, one I have never received. The feeling was amazing. How could...


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I can still feel the warmth of the embrace. It was magical, one I have never received. The feeling was amazing. How could she have thought I needed that, at the time? The reassurance that came with it made my world dance to a rhythm only I could understand. All the painful thoughts were gone and for a moment, all I felt was peace.

Mary was an old lady in her late eighties and at university. She was pursuing her masters and everybody she interacted with, loved her. She gave free hugs and made life look so sweet and simple. On her face she always wore a happy smile and her lips spoke of wisdom. I never thought I would be at the receiving end of her free hugs or that they would trigger a change in me.

As she sat beside me on that bench, I couldn’t stop admiring her. Out of curiosity, I asked her why she was studying at her age when all she needed was to be home and enjoy her days. She turned and touched my chest close to my heart and said, “My child, Pursue what is in here and save yourself regrets”. “All my life I desired to complete my masters and when it dawned on me that time is almost gone, I opted to enroll and meet the desires of my heart.” Wow! I found myself uttering.

Her daughter came to pick up her so she had to leave. As she stood she whispered in my ear, “My child, growing old is mandatory but growing up is a choice. Find the writer of that and embrace the message.” Steadily without looking back she walked away to the parking lot. What an eye opener?

Most of us are dead inside but still walking. We’re existing and our life lacks purpose. The youth are saying they are still young, the middle aged are claiming they are just beginning their lives, and the old are regretting the things they never did when they had a chance. When will we get to live our lives?

Life is free and very special but can also be fragile and insignificant. We should make it matter because living is the best thing in the world and our lives will, at some point, end. We should not take anything for granted lest we live to regret it, in old age. Any dream we got, it is time to pursue it. Give it all the energy and achieve it. If it is not reached fully, we will live with pride knowing we gave it our all thus no regret.

It is time to make a change, that change that will make life beautiful. We should never live like everyone else. When they are the sheep in the crowd, we should be the lion. When they are the chicken, we should be the eagle. We are unique, extra-ordinary and should not live our lives in an ordinary way. Ordinary and extra-ordinary do not tango. We should make ourselves matter, the impact we have on others, our deeds, because this will define us someday. This will be our legacy and basically our definition when we are gone.

We should live each day like it is the last one we got. The time will come when this period will be flashing through our minds and eyes. How we live and what we accomplish on the way, will be all clear. We should let it be worth watching. We should create a memory full of smiles because it was a life well lived. Peace is bestowed where regrets have not camped.

 Growing old does not need any talent but growing up does need change.  Make that life matter!!

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