Life doesn’t begin at 40

In My Eyes: By Edward Antonio

They say life begins at 40.

That’s true to some.

But for me, it’s not true, fellas.

Life begins at 16 when a 16-year-old girl is suddenly impregnated by another 16-year-old boy, and so, they begin a life of turmoil. It’s when the girl, together with her parents, suddenly appears at the boy’s doorstep and demands him to marry her ora mismo. I remember this was the case of Mang Maing’s younger brother, who, after impregnating his girlfriend while in first year college, suddenly found himself face to face with the barrel of a shotgun and was demanded to marry the girl.

And so, for him, life began at 16, when life for was not yet ready for the taking. It was a case of shotgun wedding where the boyfriend had to swallow barrel, bullets and all in order to stay healthy. The two, however, continued their studies and life for them now is better than when they started it at 16.

Others say life begins at 21 when the new college graduate starts to work, buys and tastes anything he wants, dates all the girls attracted to him, then travels anywhere, drinks anything and “enjoys” life. When you are 21 and have money, it’s adventure years, and so, youngsters who have tasted the “glories” of life tend to maintain it saying this is the essence of living. It’s a life of gadgets, clothes and drinks, revelry, and yes, even drugs.

Old spinsters start life once they get married and experience “it.” So, it goes with the popular anecdote when an elderly woman, marrying at the age of 45, suddenly yelled out at the window after her all-night-long honeymoon with her husband : “P_ _ _ _ _ _ninyo mga kapitbahay! Bakit di ninyo sinabi noon na ganito pala kasarap ang may asawa!!!”

To which an adult male neighbor yelled back: “Matagal na naming alam ‘yan. Ikaw na lang ang ‘di nakakaalam!”

The same is true with Mang Maing’s neighbor, Cario, 58, who married a 33-year-old single mother. He said after a week of honeymoon: “Ang sarap pala ng may asawa pero nakakapagod!”

Mang Maing asked him why.

He said his wife, Tersing, is so full of libido that after the first bout, she would not wear her underwear back because she wanted some more!

“Gusto pa niya pero pagod na ako!”

“And what did you do?”

“I said time out, but she wouldn’t. She would tell me that if I would not, she would look for someone else!”

And so Cario said: “Life begins at 58!”
We can’t blame him, fellas. It’s his first time and so begins his life of amorous and nocturnal days and night with his 33-year-old, aggressive Tersing! They produced two children before Tersing left him for another man.

Some say life begins at 30.

It’s at 30 when couples start sending their children to school, and begin the routinary life of accompanying and fetching children to school and back. It’s years of giving allowances, “making assignments and projects again,” PTA meetings, worries of children not coming home after dark and children starting to get rude in deeds and words.

And so, life may start at 30 unless you get married earlier.

Betina, 50, exclaimed: “Life begins at 50!”

And so, she enumerated all her problems at age 50:
1. A bukol (tissue lump) in her right breast.
2. Eyeglasses grado adjusted from 2.25 to 3.00
3. Bulging tummy that has reached 36.”
4. Wrinkles on the forehead.
5. Sagging cheeks with big eyebags
6. Post-menopausal syndrome
7. No more libido, “that area has dried up”
8. Husband usually coming home early morning after a night life
9. Rheumatic wrist and weakened legs
10. A lot of loans

But for me, life begins everyday, fellas.

When you wake up in the morning and you feel good without any back pain, life starts anew. When you peek at the window and can manage to smile at the new dawn with positive outlook for the day, life starts anew. It’s always the start of a new life every time you get out of bed and you find yourself still breathing, your garden blooms with flowers, your vegetables teeming with fruits in variant colors and you find yourself enjoying the shower before going out for work.

Life begins everyday when you can tell to yourself you are a special child of God, bursting with love and blessings to others. It’s always the start of a new day as reflected in these lines:

Your presence is a present to the world
You are unique and one of a kind
Your life can be what you want it to be
Take the days just one at a time.
Count your blessings not your troubles
You will make it through whatever comes along
Within you are so many answers.
Understand, have courage, be strong
Do not put limits on yourself
So many dreams are waiting to be realized
Decisions are too important to leave a chance
Reach for your peak, your goal and your prize
Nothing wastes energy more than worrying
The longer one carries a problem, the heavier it gets
Do not take things too seriously
Live a life of serenity, not regrets
Remember that a little love goes a long way
Remember that a lot of it goes forever
Remember that friendship is a wise investment
Life’s treasures are people together
Realize that it is never too late
Do ordinary things in extraordinary ways
Have hearth and hope and happiness
Take the time to wish upon a start
And do not forget for even a day
How very special you are!#