05 April 2009

What's past is prologue

Seventeen years ago I attended my first interview in Jalan Ampang. I went there alone and didn't expect to meet any familiar faces. It was not until I've finished my interview, I met my coursemate from UKM. He came for the interview as well. To cut the long story short, we both were offered the job and spent another 4 years together stuck in the same laboratories before both of us went to further our study abroad.

I met him again four years later and gosh...! He did change a lot! Once a cheerful and talkative guy with the blackish hair in the entire Sungai Buloh was then turned into one of the speechless mutant donning white hair all over his pinnacle. PhD has really transformed this guy (he shared the dark secret with me one day). From that moment I started to believe PhD stands for a kind of rare disease called 'Permanent head Damage'! Luckily and somehow, my mind and body were quite immuned from the disease.

We seldom talk after that. In fact he hardly talk to anybody. Occasionally when I stumbled upon him along the corridor I try to strike a conversation or catching up with him. He is still one nice guy. It was however, a rare sight to see an email from him, but two days ago he sent me this email. It is a kind of aide memoire to me. Aging is catching fast.

Thank you Dr. S for sharing this memento.


George Carlin's (age 102 years) views on Ageing

Do you realise that the only time in you lives when we like to get old is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about ageing that you think in fractions.

'How old are you? 'I'm four and a half!' You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key!

You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead.
'How old are you?' 'I'm gonna be 16' You could be 13, but hey, you're gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your life..... You become 21. Event the words sound like a ceremony. YOU BECOME 21. YESSSSSS!

But then you turn 30. Oooohhh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There's no fun now, you're just a sour-dumpling. What's wrong? What's changed?

You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you're PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it's all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 and your dreams are gone.

But wait!!! You MAKE IT to 60. You didn't think you would!

So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE IT to 60.

You've built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it's a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday!

You get into your 80's and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30; you REACH bedtime. And it doesn't end there into the 90's, your start going backwards; 'I was JUST 92.'

Then a strange thing happens. If yo make it over 100, you become a little kid again. 'I'm 100 and a half!'

  1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay them.
  2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.
  3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. 'An idle mind is the devil's workshop.' And the devil's name is Alzheimer's.
  4. Enjoy the simple things.
  5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.
  6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.
  7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.
  8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.
  9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next country; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.
  10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.
AND ALWAYS REMEMBER - Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moment that take our breath away.


Naddy said...

'How old are you? 'I'm four and a half!' You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key!

In that case I am 7 years and three months old.

Syafiq Azuan said...

Now.. I feelin old. :D

skatype said...

i feelin old..

gman said...

what about the doctors that should worry about all those numbers?

sian dorang kan...hehe

sacrifices for that rare disease...

DrKong said...

oh Ghosss!!! Permanent Head Damage eh... yep , I heard that before. Guess I'm not the one ambiguous to get that!

I need to stay young from now on. haha!

Unknown said...

This is something to be forwarded to my cranky old prof. Nothing to worry to be old.. I stopped celebrating my birthday when I was 25. I am still 25.

MariaFaizal said...

What happened to your friend?
Just out of curiosity...

And NOPE! I'm 33 & a half year old! Not yet 34! :P

Thanks for sharing the TIPS.Made me wanna be a better person.

-Fr Muar with love.Asam pedas.... here we come....

DrSam said...

mizzy N,
budak darjah satu!

No worry

me too

Future-doctor don't have to worry about this disease....yet!

Kengkaru Kong
With your photography activities and all your time fully occupied with admiring the nature, I am sure you won't get infected with the disease.

I don't celebrate my birthday too, somebody else celebrate it for me. Now you mentioned it, I think that is another the secret of staying young.

Are you still in Muar? Enjoy the trip and have a safe journey.

My friend is still working there, nothing much change.

Anonymous said...

10 tips...

terima kasih Dr.Sam kongsikan minda PHD...

ORNG yg ada phd memang pelik...
tapi best....

satu ayat yg dia bagi boleh ditafsirkan 101 maksud...

"Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity."
fahmi suka tips ke 10

bila fahmi buat macam tu, fahmi rasa macam terlalu gembira kadang2 masalah hilang sekejap...

kadang2 fahmi pun pening jugak layan orng2 yg ada phd...

sebab fahmi belum mencapai tahapan phd... :)

tq Dr.Sam... semoga murah rezeki, sentiasa sihat dan panjang umur 101year... :)

Anonymous said...

Oho..I hope I can memorize all the diseases because of old ages..this is going to be tough..

Inah said...

err..i'm 27 and i'm doing my PhD now..

p/s : padanla dah nampak uban kat rambut :P..ayoooo..sgt susah hati :P

Sally said...

hmmm..am forever 22!! hahaha..at heart to be precise..

DrSam said...

fahmi latiff,
Ilmu yang baik jika dikongsi mendapat semoga barakah. PhD memang tertera pada sijil, namun masih mencari dan mendalami PhD hidup yang hakiki.

Terimakasih sahabat yang selalu mengingati.

Al-Muallim Shah @ Dino,
After seeing so many dead bodies, flash and limbs - I am sure those images will make a lasting impression in your mind :)

Good luck bro!

27 turning 30! Full of energy and enthusiasm.

Have an enjoyble and fruitful student life Down-under.

At our age now, we are forever young.

Sally said...

Bravo!! u got that right doc!!

patungcendana said...

i don't feel 42...hehehe...i don't even look 42...hahaha...perasan tahap dewa...

birtdays and age are just numbers...:-)

Memorable trails... said...

I have a friend,once very closed..I know her inside and out..kata org makan sepinggan tidur sebantallah.She took her phd and I decided not to.Know what doc,she came out from her phd as a different person and I think she has lost her sense of humour..nak sembang pun dah kekok..
Good tips of staying young,I must practise it to keep my dreams from sliping away..
Take care..

MariaFaizal said...

Are these really happening Doc?
Referring to yours & Mdm Gold's stories about your close friends.

I really thought who ever has PhD should lead better life, as you've reached a level where you're considered expert(in your field) & successful.

I'm pretty close with my Professors & PhD Docs (lecturers) from my uni. And they're 'normal' to me.Smarter -YES but 'normal'!

In fact, their jokes are even funnier than any other jokes (as they've injected wittiness).

YOU are normal! Special - YES! but still leading normal, happy life!

Thankfully I haven't met anyone with PhD that is 'damaged' :D

P/S: A lil' frightened now as I'm really pushing my hubby to go for highest level of education. I'm thinking to further mine as well.

P/S: I'm back to Home-Suite-Home :)

arsaili said...

salam..I hope i will have d same strength as u and I hope everything will turn out ok. Last month a fren just admitted to psychiatric ward due to overstress and Im sad because he never been the same person again...he almost completed his Phd and now what matter is his health. He went back to Malaysia already and I hope he will be recovered.

besi said...

dr sam...kwn drsam ok ke?.
tapi dr sam nampak muda maybe byk senyum kot.......ok la tue
senyum tue sedekah

Anonymous said...

simply brilliant & love the advise, I am going to send this piece to all my friends and print it out and hang it next to my computer!

Thanks for the sharing and you just make my day!


pal7 said...

angka umur itu bukan penentu bg tahap kematangan seseorang..

sy bsetuju dengan tip yang diberi terutamanya bab ketawa..ketawa buatkan kita lebih kekal muda dari usia sebenar..

zafi said...

well in my case it is not yet a permanent damage! lol :P
hope im doing well!!!!
long way to go!

DrSam said...

suka banget gua...200,000Rp!

patung cendana,
good feeling isn't it :)

madam gold,
My friend's case is only a small fraction from the whole picture. There are many who've succeed in their jihad. I didn't mean to put somebody's dream off. keep your dream alive madam!

I would recommend everybody who has that ambition to pursue and enrich their learning cycle.

I have my own share of stories while pursuing for that piece of scroll. many ups and downs. At the end of the day, it is up to each individual - you know yourself and what is best for you.

DrSam said...

Be strong my brother! Stress is something unavoidable while doing those good deeds. Manage it properly. We pray for your success.

kawan saya maca tu lah juga. dia tak kacau orang, orang pun tak kacau dia. Senyum membawa bahagia gitu :)

Cool bro! Great feeling to know people enjoyed and appreciate and benefit from the sharing.


Ada orang tu, kalau ketawa satu koridor boleh dengar :)

Good luck bro! Believe that you can do it.

Mencari Sinar Bahagia @ Tommy said...


Happy Monday to U...
How are you???
I am fine over here...
Interesting blog..:)
I am back to my blog...
Do comment my latest blog..:)
Hope to hear fr U soon..

ASH said...

That's interesting..

'Take a trip to the mall, even to the next country; to a foreign country'

...I think,I'll take THIS ADVICE... more often..


x said...

The curious case of si Penconteng: I'm 16 this year. Next year I'll be 12.

Syed said...

No.1 - check. I always tell people I'm 25... hehe. Some even believe me. A few doubt but guessed that I'm in my early 30's, which is still totally awesome cause I'm wayyy off past 30's.. haha

No.2 - Check. Yea, I got rid of all the downers. There's one at the office.. urghhh.. constantly ader je issues and spread kat dept... and he has heart problems...

No.3 - Check. I'm learning photography and am not stopping anytime soon. Enjoy!! :)

No.4 - Check. Just seeing my wife smile buat hati I senang... that counts right ;)

No.5 - Not quite. Asyik keje lama dah tak catch up on the movies... the commedies...

No.6 - Check. Most time I just let the floodgate open... and feel so lega after that. Otherwise cam rasa nak meletop.

No.7 - Check. Got me wife, notebook, camera + lenses and wonderful friends like you here in the blogsphere :)

No.8 - Errr... trying to stop smoking... minute success... urgghhh.. so hard la doc.

No.9 - Check. Twice this year thus far. That's it kot, budget jalan2 2009 dah habis pakai.. hehe. Nanti nak gi Korea cam doc ;)

No.10 - Kat wife on daily basis - verbal and text. Kat mak last weekend. Kat adik beradik segan la pulak. Nanti diaorg ingat I sakit ke aper ker.. hehe :)

DrSam said...

Mencari Sinar Bahagia @ Tommy
Hi Tom, I am good. being busy with your work lately?

ha...ha...no wonder our Malls are always crowded these days!

Si Penconteng,
always fascinated with numbers.

DrSam said...

After seeing almost all the checklist checked by you, you must be a really happy and contented person by now.

Your checklist no. 10 really makes my day... LOL!

Unknown said...

UKM? Which Fac? Which year eh?

There's an Alumni meeting this coming 18th April. Signed up yet?

patungcendana said...

24 doc?...over sangat...

CatlinaFly said...

i'm 19 (plus 10) years old..hahaha..good view of ageing though..

Fly said...

hmmmmmm dah tua rupanyeee diri ini..

Unknown said...

CatlinaFly has a beautiful baby girl and she looks like a girl herself... What's her secret?

nahmy said...

once there's a friend said this,"age is merely a number...don't get caught with it!". hmmm...

CATZ said...

hi DrSam,

yes..org yg buat phd ni mmg mengalami permenant head damage kot, sebab perangainya mmg pelik.
Dkt lab saya ni ada sorang yg pelik..sgt moody...kdg kita namapk dia pendiam....kdg sgt talketive..
kdg kita tegur pun tak berckp..buat donno mcm kita tak wujud...kdg dia gelak2 kuat2..hiks.
mula2 heran. Now dah biasa tgk perangai dia mcm tu..so kalau nampak dia moody..diam je ke..kami ignore je....cuma kadg heran..oh lelaki pun moody ye?..hahaha..tapi phd process ni mmg boleh mengubah watak seseorang..hiks.

bozzobattousai said...

bozzo dah 32..arghhhhh...dah tua....

D'Rimba said...

Indahnya kampungku.........hehehee...

MiSyaJanah said...

hohohoh....nice info doc..hihih

DrSam said...

Yes, I ended my maggie-mee lifestyle in Bangi way back in 1991 after spending many years in FSH and graduated with a lovely wife as a bonus. Thank you for reminding me on the ALUMNI meeting. I have registered in the ALUMNI but me not sure whether can make it or not.

patung cendana,
over exposed?

Good to have a lovely little baby around and watch her growing. They grow very fast!

Tua-tua berisi :)

Got to ask the mother what is the secret. Father Fly has already groomed the cute baby to be a future model!

DrSam said...

yes... the numbers. Can you imagine if we start to count our age by months? I would be 492 months old or 179580 days old :)

mungkin masa experimen, dia tertelan cicak seperti cerita Cicak Man tu kot :)

Masih tidak ada kajian atau bukti sercara saintifik dikeluarkan untuk menguji hipotesis tersebut. Mungkin boleh dicadangkan subjek ini untuk kajian lanjut.

Sememangnya, proses pembelajaran kita berbeza, pengalaman berbeza, suasana berbeza dan banyak lagi faktor luaran dan dalaman yang akan mempengaruhi cara berfikir, tingkah laku, persepsi, respon dll. Jadi tidak hairan transformasi diri berlaku apabila melalui semua itu. Harapannya, biarlah transformasi yang positif.

Masih muda jika dibanding dengan yang berumur 33!

Kampung halaman memang selalu dekat dihati.

Yang baik jadikan teladan, yang kurang baik jadikan sempadan.

*SiRibenMerah said...

I rasa macam I da komen panjang lebar kat sini..
tapi x de pon.. hahahaha.. ntah2 i da komen utk cetbox org lain.. alamakkkkkkkk~

Teja Suraya said...

waa...takut dgn usia....jeng3...

semakin mengkt usia, smkin bnyk bnda kna fikir...huuuu~~

Nobody said...

Wahh syok ye jumpa kenalan lama..

Dr nak inform ni.. url shida dah tukar tau update ehh



CAHAYA said...

Whoa! Thanks for the tips! I like this one most which I practiced it everyday.

Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

People like to wait for the perfect moment to do something or make a go. For me, I'll take the moment (any moment to be precise) and make it perfect at every opportunity. That's the way I see life. Every moment is an opportunity. :)

Have a great day Dr Sam!

DrSam said...

panjang pun tak ada, lebar pun tak ada. Ni kes salah masuk rumah ni.

TuN TeJa,
Takut tengok nombor yang besar-besar!

Terimakasih. Dah buat link baru. 'Rumah' baru nampak lebih menarik.

You have a natural smile. When you smile, the whole face is smiling.

Have a great weekend!

Meen Eunos said...

Cube tengok cite
The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button.
Interesting movie..!

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