Sunday, October 26, 2014

40 things I am grateful for at 40

October 21, 2014 / PART1 of 2

In less than 2 months, I will officially turn into a matrona.  That age I dread the most when I was in my 20s watching those older women in bars thinking age is all in the mind --- oblivious to the fact that no matter how much Olay or Ponds they slather on their faces, no matter how much lies they tell themselves, they still look their age and will have a very slim chance of looking or competing with someone in her 20s.  (Alice Dixson, Dawn Zulueta and Angel Aquino are rare exceptions but they still play mother roles now to the Ann Curtises, Sarah Lahbatis and Kathryn Bernardos of the fresher generation)

I always denied my age because I'm in sales and I close deals with a flip of a hair, a smile or a dash of  flattery here and there  (aka bola). Those tricks will not work if they realize it's a grandma flirting with them.  Ewwwww to the highest degree.

So just imagine how much I died a little when our wedding priest announced my age during the homily.  Yes, I heard the gasps and I was only 34 then.  A time when I claimed I was 24 lol.

These days I've started to accept reality.

With age comes acceptance and maturity.  Things most young people will not fully understand.
Everyday I see more and more things I am grateful for  which normally young people overlook.  So I am writing this entry counting each and every blessing I have received and giving glory back to my Creator who gave me 40 glorious years.

1.  Thank you for another waking day!

My dad died when he was 40
And his dad (my lolo) died when he was 40--- both from cancer.
Jun's parents died at 23 ( The story of Jun )
And more and more young people  (a batchmate, a schoolmate, the bff of my friend, an office colleague) I know have gone ahead so early.  Everyday when I wake up I thank God I have another 24 hours to be with people I love.

2.  Thank you for good health

 During executive check ups the doctor would ask,

Do you have a history of cancer?  Yes, my dad died of it.
Do you have a history of high blood?  Yes, my mom takes maintenance meds
Do you have a history of diabetes? Yes, my mom injects everyday because her mom had it too.

So yes, I am prone.  Yes, I have that cell that can turn haywire anytime.  But my check-up this year shows all my signs are normal.  And my sole diagnosis was I was overweight.   Yahooooo I'm just fat!

3.  Thank you for my husband

 - I always said I would choose to be a wife more than I would choose to be a millionaire.  And with Jun, I feel like I've struck the jackpot in the lotto of life.  He lets me be the crazy, overly dramatic person that I am.  I once asked him what his expectations of me were (as a wife and as a mother) and he said, my only expectation of you is for you to be happy.

Dear Jun,

My expectation from you on the other hand is an awesome gift for my birthday.  Thank you in advance.


Your wife (who just wants you to be happy)

4.  Thank you for Sasha 

- Growing up I was such an ugly kid so my prayer was always to have a beautiful daughter.  And viola!  I do not know if it's just a mom thing but I really think my daughters are the most beautiful creatures I have seen.  The best thing too is Sasha thinks we are twins. Even more,  she thinks I am more gorgeous than her.  Ask her who she loves best and it's me---her twinny!
Ask her why, and she will tell you it's because our elbows look the same.

5.  Thank you for Sky

 - Little Ms. Sunshine Sky!  Everyday she makes me and the whole family laugh.  Always the happy one, she is the person in our house with that bright, golden aura.  She always reminds me that God is good and has an awesome sense of humor.

6.  Thank you for my Mom 

- My prayer is always for my mom to be strong enough to see my girls get married. Despite her diabetes, high blood and degenerative knee, I believe she is all good.  At 40, I'm glad I still have her.

7.  Thank you for my friends

 - I always said I do not need a lot of friends, just a few true ones I can keep forever.  But as I was making my collage of friends I realized I can't even fit everybody in one box (and I'm just talking about the special ones who sincerely liked me---I am assuming you do).  I'm so blessed to know madame ako mauutangan  (you lucky people you  )  and a lot more I know who will share my happiness when I'm happy and understand me when I'm being not understandable.

Here's looking forward to more invitations, more gossips, more advice, more drama, more comedy, more beauty tips and more years together.

NoTe:  Since I'm having a hard time collating pics allow me to special mention the ones who i think will not forget and have not forgotten to invite me to their parties and their lives--hint hint ---(ampy,joyce,myra,du,rina,hazel b,hazel a, the BPs,the diosas,avy,janet,jm,rach,emy,bogs,ricky,lionel,lenard,telco peeps,carlo,mark,FL peeps, albert,suet,Berni and the girls i met through her,Anne g, March, Rose, Jet,Joy, adschoolers--Dalsa, Rodel,my cgs, bro O and joy, the parents i bonded with in school and those who religiously liked my posts in FB--- YES i like you too)

Just like what I told Jun--- Do not forget my gift!

8.  Thank you for my job

 - I once held a high position in an international telco company that paid me very well to negotiate with the top executives of local telco companies.   I always said, I may never be able to work again because nothing can compare.  But I loved my job after that in FL.  And now I'm enjoying what I do, learning new things I never thought I would still learn.  It may not be as high in position or in salary but it has taught me humility and stuff I would never have known.

After my stint in that intl telco comapny, I have met maybe a thousand more new people I would never have met otherwise.
I'm glad to be earning because I enjoy the fact that I help provide a good life (and education) to my family.  So far, I'm happy too to be working with very helpful and professional people who inspire me to succeed and exert that extra mile.

 9.  Thank you for maturity 

 When you've been there, done that, trivial things do not bother you anymore.  You can give others the stage to shine, because you know deep inside you are a star.  With maturity too comes the knowledge of what is more important in life.  You make wiser decisions because you know better.

10.  Thank you for financial freedom

 -At this age, I know can buy what I want, when I want--- but i don't --- because of item 9.  I've slowly learned not to deprive myself while continuously studying and finding ways to supplement our income and savings.  We are not rich. We live a very modest life but we are able to provide and find happiness in the simplest, most trivial things and for that I am thankful!

11.  I am grateful that I no longer need to compete with others

 - I've come to the realization that I do not have to be the favorite, the most popular, the most beautiful, the smartest or the boss in order to be respected and liked.  I find comfort that I did my best because I want to be the best version of myself.

I enjoy watching in the sidelines and just doing my thing because I know I could.  (And when I couldn't I do not mind asking)

At the end of the day there will always be someone better. At my age now I realized, competing will never make me happy, contentment will.

12.  I am grateful that I am part of a great community.

 Every Sunday I attend the Feast.  I've been attending since Camp Aguinaldo days.  The Feast is a weekly prayer gathering of the Light of Jesus Family (A Catholic group founded by Bro Bo Sanchez).  I do not want to sound like a fanatic but I am.  I've been a passive Catholic before that because of a lot of things I question and do not understand about my faith.
In the Feast, I realized that there are things that you do not understand with your mind but you just feel it in your heart.  I felt God in a community that taught me that my God loves everyone.  He is not judgemental.  He is not angry.  He is not vindictive.  He is not some fictional character.  He is real and He is LOVE.

13.  I am grateful that I do not look my age
Here is an overly filtered, sepia, photo of me. To avoid offending a lot of people, I made it really tiny. 

 - Ok, ok, I'm officially part of the matrona in denial club.
But I like hearing the shocked compliments when I tell people my age now.  I once asked my husband if I looked my age and he said, "Not at all, I would say you look 38!"  Thank you ha the 2 years make a huge difference.

...and here is a pic of me showing that I do not only look my age but I do not act my age as well
 14. I am grateful for my yayas

 - I have this one helper who is just AWESOME it scares me lol.  (Girl in left wearing black - bawal po i-pirate).

She is hardworking and honest.  In this day and age finding someone like that is as rare as finding the perfect guy to marry.

I know there will come a time when she will have to go as I pray for better things for her.  But this year, I am blessed to have people who help me in the house specially since I have to work.

15.  I am grateful for laughter and my odd sense of humor

 - Yup, at my age, I've mastered the art of not taking myself too seriously.  I can laugh at my shortcomings and the oddest of things.
And I can find something funny in any situation and then--- I laugh out loud.

I am thankful that even after all that I've been through in my life, I'm still standing.  Not because I'm strong but because I am crazy.

16.  I am grateful that the years have healed all past wounds

 - I'm over the resentment.  I pray for everyone's happiness...seriously...Age has also taught me to choose the people I keep in my life.  I'm still sort of a people pleaser (it's in my genes) but I've learned to put myself first.

17.  I am grateful that my eyesight is 20-20 (or so i think) 

- Since I was young my mom always warned me not to read when its too dark or when the car is moving,  or not to be always looking at my computer's monitor or my phone...(and not to sleep with my hair wet)---All because it will ruin my eyesight.  But despite my being stubborn--- good genes prevail.  We may have big thighs and arms but i can seeeee you....

18.  I am grateful that my teeth are complete, strong and white 

 I think I may have spent a fortune on braces trying to fix my overbite.  But years of visiting my dentist paid off since I'm cavity free.
My teeth are still big and my overbite is still not corrected but at my age, I'm glad that I can smile and not worry that my teeth will fall off any time.

19. I'm thankful for mentors

19a. My grandmother  (Remedios Castelo) taught me the value of hard work, generosity and honesty.

She worked all her life, gave us the best of things and never asked for anything in return.  Well come to think of it she did push us to achieve and the be the best we could be and asked (no, demanded) us to be respectable and dignified at all times.  

I still feel she will batok me from heaven if she sees me doing something that will embarrass the family.  That's my lola!

I've got to thank my grandma too for paying for my tuition til highschool and for giving me the condo where we live now--kaya ba yan ng lola nyo? Wala kyo sa lola ko!

19b,  My Tito Ninong Boy Atty. Eduardo Castelo-  taught me too what lola imparted to them as well. Through his example, I've learned to be kind to everyone, to laugh, to share ones blessings and to always be fit.  Being a senior citizen does not give a Castelo the license to look old and not play basketball.

19c Mama Gie (Winnie Castelo Nepomuceno) - She taught me the value of sharing---giving without expecting anything in return, to do what makes you happy, to always look your best and to just be positive.   I tell you, Mama Gie looks the same way she did in her college grad pic and she is already claiming 20% senior discount.

19d  Bo Sanchez - He made me listen  not only because he is a good speaker but because he lives what he preaches. He showed me that the best form of preaching is reflected with the way you live your life.  

20 .  I'm thankful for the moments in my life that made me smile.

I always say that when your old and grey, you will not remember all the over time work you did in the office.  Heck, you won't even remember anything at all (dahil ulyanin ka na).  But seriously, I have a cousin in law who figured in a near death accident and he told us that its true--snippets of your life will flash back at that very moment. 

 Collect good memories. 

I have a collection of unusual stuff I've did in the past, those who are not risk takers will never have.

There was the time I won P100,000 in 1998 for a pre-pageant  event for Phil Star's face of the year contest (aboard the President's yacht).  I joined this group of contestants who wanted to make a pact with the prettiest to split the cash prize once someone from our group won.  She refused. No deal was sealed.  I won.  I still can't believe it up until now.  It's true, you cover your mouth as you wave to the crowd and the judges who are all in slow motion.

Of course I didn't even make it in the grand finals--which needed enough votes.  But I went home winning more money than the winner that year.  It was surreal.  Something I can tell my grandchildren.

I also joined a local, top rated game show with a bunch of geniuses.  We didn't even make the second round because one of my genius group mates didn't know Tirso Cruz III. Ask us about world history, trigonometry, philosophy, current events but why oh why when it was his turn, he got asked: Who is the father of Bodie Cruz?  

And of course, how can I forget that time me and my good friend, braved a Friday, pay day traffic to go to Aberdeen in QC because it was the last day of her gift check.  When we got there, it was an old, old, old Chinese resto with only another couple dining.  We laughed so loud at the though that they were probably using their gc as well and it was true!!!  We made a deal to split everything (since it was a lauriat for 2).  But since there was only 1 buchi served we were saying, no you take it, no you take it, no,no you take it! So to end the decision making, we cut it evenly between us.  That day sealed our friendship!  And though she lives in far away Pampanga already, I know we will forever be bffs because of that buchi.

There are actually many more stories--- mostly of times with my family.  But I will leave those for other entries in the future.

This has been a long read as my years are filled with much appreciation.

Hope you enjoyed part 1.

And just like my out for more exciting stuff in the next chapter.

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