Thursday, July 18, 2013

Letters to Marge & Maddie: Chapter 37 (Belated Happy Birthday to Me a.k.a. "Life Begins at 40 my Ass....")

Dearest Marge and Maddie,

What, me worry? :)
Daddy has officially been forty years old for sixteen days now.

A wee bit late perhaps for a birthday post like i usually do in these here parts. But hey, better late now than even much later down, right? Obviously, there is much to share on an occasion like one's fortieth birthday. (Incidentally, your mom also turned forty recently. Twenty six days ago, to be exact.)

Ever hear that life supposedly "starts at 40"? Well, i'm here to tell you that that is absolute crap. Truth is, life begins when one starts breathing. And life just keeps going on as you do. It honestly does not feel any different between being forty years old, and the couple of years or so before that. "Life begins at 40" is said by people who finally realize they are officially no longer young, and have got to get up and going and trying out the things they've always wanted before they kick their proverbial bucket. Probably because they haven't dared to live their lives a lot sooner like they should have.

So i'm now forty years old.

I tell that to myself from time to time for the past couple of weeks. Sometimes, i find myself sad. But mostly, i actually find myself feeling like my heart could burst with the happy sounds, textures and colors, and all the gratitude at how not-so-screwed-up my life has so far been. Sometimes, i take stock of life so far, and i find myself fighting back a joyful teardrop or two.

I have two beautiful children (so far), and a loving, strong and eternally beautiful wife whom i could provide properly for. We have a new house that has let me sow my architectural oats and is almost done, i have my own happily struggling (yet happily afloat) little office where i can become writer, artist, teacher and so much more. I now have a firm place in a strong family business, a handful of real friends who have stuck with me through so much, and some even as long as thirty years and going strong. And to top it all off, i finally get to play saxophone (and sometimes sing) at various places nowadays.

Forty with a sax is cool.
No, wait... sax is cool. period. :)
So if they keep telling me that "life begins at 40," then what the heck does one call the funny, crazy, exciting, adventurous, and sometimes dramatic story that i have lived so far? Sure sounds like life to me. And a wonderful one at that.

Thank you, girls, for being among what have made my life wonderful so far.

So before i wrap this post up, let me end it with a bit of advice from a happy forty year-old: one does not get to be a happy forty year-old by being too afraid to try new things out, too weak to hold on to things that truly matter, too lazy to work for what one wants, and too bitter about what one doesn't have to be grateful for what one DOES have. Don't wait. Just live. Now.



P.S. Belated happy birthday to me. Indeed. :)

Monday, July 01, 2013

Letters to Marge & Maddie: Chapter 36, Part 1 (Every time daddy leaves...)

Dear Little Ladies...

Tonight, daddy journeys off again up the hills to your grandmother's hometown, Baguio City. Sort of daddy's hometown, too. But not totally since your uncles and i did not really study there, and mostly just enjoyed lengthy vacations and school breaks up there. But regularly enough to have allowed us to call the crisp cool city our home as much as Manila was.

 This is/was my bus.

* * * * * * * *
Fast forward. It has been a week since i got up here, and a mere day before i ride back down.
Time surely flies.

* * * * * * * *
Oops... Fast forward yet again.
I ride down tonight. It has been eight days since i got up here.
Retooling my brain to going back down home is easy. It's the coming up here that's hard sometimes.
Not because i dont like it up here. But just because i like down there a lot more.

Not much in this entry. But it would be best if i post it already for posterity.
I must continue this in the next for i have much to say about it.
Much to share with you about the joys and challenges of being here and there.

But i will see you girls later.