Health And Family

Fortysomething and loving it!

- Mary Ann Quioc Tayag -
Very recently, a dear friend of ours called from far away. Her husband is having an affair with (as usual) a much younger woman. "And to think, I’ve been so good to him. Every morning, I cook his favorite breakfast before I rush to work. Then I cook dinner. And at night, I even fake my orgasm to boost his ego," she sobbed.

Then she justified as if in denial, "They say it’s because of the hormonal changes men undergo when they hit midlife." Yes, men do menopause, too.

But what an excuse, I thought. But you know you are a bona fide member of the midlife club when you start to act strange. My ever-patient husband says my mood swings border on lunacy. A schizophrenic, he says. Like a TV that’s always switching channels. And worse than my mood is my memory loss. At times, I ask myself if I have applied my moisturizer or have flossed my teeth yet. One time, I misplaced my reading glasses and really blew my top, as I always do every time I look for things. The following day, lo and behold, there my glasses were inside my black loafer in the shoe cabinet. I mistook my shoe for an eyeglass case! Well, they have the same color and shape. So, no big deal. There’s a name for it and it’s spelled AGE – not Alzheimer’s (yet).

Recently, my husband and I went to a private secluded place which I am not allowed to disclose. If I tell you every little detail that happened, I guarantee you’ll drool in envy. So, I will only share bits of it. There was a Japanese-style hut that was so sparkling clean; one will not hesitate to lie down on the floor. On the left side was a huge Jacuzzi filled with tepid water. On the right side was a steamy sauna, made entirely of Japanese pinewood. Small colored petals floated in between bubbles in the Jacuzzi that smelled of fragrant oil. Three candles lit the room with different scents, chosen especially by a spa expert. One scent was to relax, one to stimulate the senses, and the third to energize the couple to do whatever activity they may have in mind (and the options are limitless!).

"Ladies first," my husband gestured with his hand as he left the room to fetch the chilled bottle of champagne. I disrobed slowly, enjoying every second, finding it hard to suppress my excitement. Then my eyes chanced upon the mirror and that jolted my senses. Nothing holds tight anymore. It is gravity’s fault, I murmured in anger. Quickly, I rushed into the Jacuzzi, not wanting my husband to see me stark naked. Why is it that a luxury (or opportunity) like this is affordable only when a couple has reached this age? Why not when we’re in our 20s, when everything is still in place and all parts work, I thought. C’est la vie, I consoled myself.

I don’t know why most women hide their true age. I find it very silly. I am 45. My reading glasses and wrinkles are enough tell-tale signs. And I know that no matter how much anti-aging creams I put on my face, my niece, who uses nothing but soap and water, will have a better peach-toned complexion than mine. As Miss Universe Gloria Diaz once said, beauty is 97 percent (or did she say more?) youth.

Despite all this, midlife can be beautiful. Good old friendship is one reward of midlife. By now, we have enough true friends to celebrate life with. Remember, we started collecting them from childhood.

Just last week, five of us high school buddies went up to Baguio. We could not agree on almost everything. What and when to eat were the worst problem of all. Our stomachs grumbled at different times. Diabetic Bamba, who has to eat every four hours, was a big headache to Dita who could last a whole day with just one meal. On the other hand, Liza was sweet and wholesome. She’d cringe and leave the room every time XL, our huggable Dr. Ruth, talked about her "exciting" sex life and casually shared tips like she was talking about recipes. We simply laughed at our predicaments. Thank God for Bamba and Liza, who entertained us like Dolphy and Panchito. And back in Angeles, we were joined for dinner by more friends – Carol, Ina, Madeline and Remy. We ate and drank till there was no more. We talked and reminisced our high school days. We must have laughed a few wrinkles away that night.

Life is not meant to be perfect. But we can try to make every moment perfect. Midlife is the time to slow down. For there are less rat races to be won. Now, we know (or do we?) what’s important in life and what’s not so. We appreciate whatever we have. We realize some things are simply not meant to be. And wisdom tells us that life’s happiness is making the most of what we have and not regretting what’s amiss. And the beauty of it all, God willing, there’s still some time and energy left for us to live life to the fullest, to leave this world a better place. I am ending this with a prayer my mother-in-law shared with me. I pasted mine on the refrigerator door. Hope to inspire all ye midlifers.











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