Life in the slow lane | Inquirer Opinion
High Blood

Life in the slow lane

Working full-time continuously for two to four years was enough. I believed so, nine years ago.

I was literally in the fast lane from the first day I joined the workforce. Life must have been hard that transferring to another office, much less quitting my job, was never an option. I always thought that sticking it out was my only choice.


Working 40 hours a week was an eye-opener, an acid test for then 20-year-old me. I realized early on that working was so different from studying. It seemed like a survival-of-the-fittest world.

I used to get up at 5 a.m. on workdays, cook breakfast for my four kids, prepare their lunch boxes or baon for school before I’d start attending to myself and report for work, a distance more than an hour away from home. Saturdays were grocery days and other basic needs for one week’s supply or so. Sundays were reserved for church, Sunday Mass, or other activities.


Years flew fast. The daughters grew up, finished their studies, worked, and married one after the other. It’s the cycle of life. I grew up, finished my studies, worked, had kids, grandkids. Then, my nest suddenly became empty. The house became quiet and silent.

Not the type who broods and sulks, it’s time now to play my collection of musical CDs, listen to Spotify, put in my USB flash drive, watch movies or documentaries from DVDs or Netflix, get actively involved in social media, bring out my exercise kit, read books bought or received as gifts from Loi, my bookworm daughter.

I’ve worked hard. Now, I rest easy. Traveling is one of my ways to break routine or avoid boredom. Explore the natural wonders of our own country—Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. See the world while time, health, and pocket allow it! Take lots of pictures, cherish good memories, and bring some pasalubong to share with family and close friends back home. A retiree should be out to fully enjoy the fruits of his/her labor.

Retirement is finding one’s own paradise. It’s never too late to enjoy the best things, keep the happy memories alive, get happy gimmicks, live the good life. Add color, not only to your graying hair but also to your retiree’s life. Clear out all the mess and clutter, either physically, emotionally, or mentally. Never lose touch with life. Keep in touch with childhood friends, former school buddies, former workmates, neighbors, townmates, inner circle of friends, and relatives.

Avoid overthinking about anything, especially the recent political developments. Don’t be idle, otherwise, you’re befriending Alzheimer’s disease! Keep busy with anything under the sun.

At this stage in my life, my humble pride is to have shared, at one time or two, the same page with this newspaper’s well-read columnists, the likes of retired chief justice Artemio Panganiban, Randy David, Solita Monsod, Mahar Mangahas, Fr. Jerry Orbos, Michael Tan, and others.

“The Sky Gets Dark, Slowly,” a must-read by Zhou Daxin. Let it sink in:


“No matter how glorious your precious career was or how famous you were, aging will always transform you into a regular old man or old lady … You have to learn to contend with standing quietly in one corner … and you must overcome the urge to be envious or grumble.

“As we get older … in these later days of your lives, you have to understand what it means to let go of your attachments, to mentally prepare yourself. The way of nature is the way of life; go with its flow and live with equanimity.”

Meantime, let’s jet off and have a rockin’ good time while praying hard for our country!


Katy Viacrucis, 70, flew to her hometown Palompon, Leyte, to reminisce the good old days with her Big Brod, retired RTC executive judge Dante Luz Viacrucis.

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