Life: Why older adults are no fun – Abiodun Kuforiji-Nkwocha

Life: Why older adults are no fun – Abiodun Kuforiji-Nkwocha

There are many things that are jarring about adulthood. Is it paying bills? Is it finally coming to the realization that you are solely responsible for the direction your life takes and so you are scared that your decisions will mess up your life?



But you still have those decisions to make any way because your parents are either too old or dead to take away the responsibility of decision making. Is it the part of looking for a spouse or trying to live with a spouse? Is it figuring out parenting one step at a time; knowing that you really know nothing but hoping that you will somehow unwittingly prod your kids in the right direction? Or is it knowing that very little in life is actually under your control; that you will watch your body morph into something you struggle to understand daily?



‘Adulting’ as it is called, is not beans. It is hard. When we were kids, we wondered at our parents’ harshness; their pessimism, and the hard lines on their faces deeply etched by years of living. We wondered why they didn’t play more. Why they didn’t laugh more. Why they did not seem impressed by love. And why every issue was treated with a decidedly unromantic pragmatism. 



Growing older and having a nuclear family of your own explains everything. Life is unrelentingly difficult. There is rarely a breather. It is from one problem to another. From one unresolved issue to another unresolved issued. From one resolved issue straight to another issue that needs resolution. The bills stretch far into the horizon.


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The moment you pay rent, the next one begins to loom ahead. Very rarely is one matter settled for life. Then if you have the extra joy of having kids. You fight at every corner to shape them up to be good people. There is always something to address. Some battle to fight. You also contend with fears about their future; about trying to give them a decent life but also praying all along that you live long enough to see them independent of you.



One of the worst things for me about growing up is that it gets harder and harder to trust people. You have seen so much shit in your life that believing anyone is very difficult. Name any kind of situation and you would have known someone who has had to deal with it; or have dealt with it yourself.



Life: Why older adults are no fun – Abiodun Kuforiji-Nkwocha



Is it cheating husbands or wives? Check. Is it siblings fighting and falling out over inheritance? Check. Is it lazy men who mooch off wives without finding the strength to contribute meaningfully to the union? Check. Is it women who drain their husbands till the men are dry and have nothing to offer? Check. Is it office politics that puts you in a precarious position? Check. Is it dealing with a loved one or yourself while battling with life-threatening ailments? Check. Is it the resident family drug addict that hasn’t been sober in decades? Double check.



I hate the seeing it all and experiencing it all. This experience is what sandpapers the gloss of life. It is what creates deep groves in the faces of people that become permanent. Because you have seen that more times than not, life takes a sad turn. Happiness is ephemeral but pain and sorrow can linger for life.



You see that hope is mostly fantastical irrational optimism with more losses than wins. This makes you pessimistic because you know for a fact that the bread will almost always likely fall on the buttered side.


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I hate looking at my kids and knowing that these bright and beautiful children bursting with optimism; who still have solid expectations from life will eventually deal with how unpredictable life really is. That they will experience heartbreak. That they will know pain that I cannot take away. Plus the fact that they will grapple with the loss of parents the way my husband and I still grapple with the loss of our own parents many years after they are dead. That they will experience failure. They will experience betrayal. That they will navigate life with its weight whether we prepare them or not.



If I had my way, I would shield them forever. Or I would live forever just to guide them.



But I don’t have my way. It is out of my hands mostly.



I pray they have faith. That they believe in God. My faith has helped me to cope with many things. It gives me hope against all hopes. Even if it is for a second, I feel lighter like I am sharing a load with someone who really cares for me.



I pray they have the gift of discernment. That they can read people well and learn how to avoid the pain that comes with having the wrong people in your life. I am careful with this prayer. A life avoiding pain is also a life avoiding lessons that develop character. May they be better with every lesson they learn and may they conquer each pain they encounter.



May life not overwhelm them and ride them roughly. And may they sit on the bull and remain seated after it has bucked widely and grown tired and drained. If they ever fall, may they have the courage to get up and ride that bull again. For it can be conquered. Remaining on the floor can get you trampled on. If ever they fall from the bull and can’t get back up, may they outrun the bull to safety. May they never be gored by its bloodthirsty horns.

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This is my prayer for everyone reading this. May the journey take us to the expected end and when we take our last breaths; may we smile at the fact that we lived.



In the words of OneRepublic in their song: ‘I swear I lived’



I, I did it all. 


I, I did it all. 


{And} I owned every second that this world could give. 


I saw so many places 


The things that I did. 


Yeah, with everything broken bone, 


I swear I lived. 


Have a lovely week, folks.

About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer. [email protected]

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