On Turning Golden

 Age is just a number, or so they say. In my case, this year, the number happens to be the big 5-0!

Oooh! Do I hear a collective gasp, sense an involuntary shudder among the audience? Fear not, my friends. Turning a dreaded shade of 5-0 is not as catastrophic as people would have you think. 

True. Turning half a century old does pave the way to senior citizen status, earn you “gold card” membership and subject you to “you don’t know AARP” jokes, but so what? I don’t dread turning 50. In fact, I embrace it.  You know why?

I embrace turning fifty, or any age for that matter, because that represents the length of time I have known love.

I knew love when I continued to be treated like the baby in the family even when I had my own babies, by parents and siblings whose love has been unfailingly unconditional.

I knew love when I was married to a guy who looked at me and treated me like I was the most beautiful woman in the world.

I knew love when I was blessed with two wonderful daughters whose company I enjoy and whose opinion I trust.

I knew love when I had cousins, in-laws and a whole network of family and friends who rallied behind me in moments of joy as well as sorrow.

I knew love when I found meaning and fulfillment in my work, and discovered a second set of family in the process.

So, who’s afraid of turning 50? Certainly not me. Old age may bring its baggage of sore muscles and stiff joints, but I consider every day a gift, and every year, a miracle. Since I share my natal day with my late husband, every birthday I am privileged to have becomes even more poignant and meaningful in his absence. 

So, who’s afraid of turning 50? Certainly not me. Bring it on, world. This quinquagenarian is more than ready!

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mari anjeli
    May 19, 2015 @ 02:09:09

    Cheers to being golden, Auntie Ging!


  2. Debra
    May 19, 2015 @ 18:17:54

    You are a Beautiful, Wise and Gracious 50 year old Woman! Keep on writing and inspiring all of us to embrace life & love. Debra


  3. Pol Tiongson
    May 24, 2015 @ 12:37:07

    Turning fifty–it’s a milestone we fear reaching yet we like to celebrate with much fanfare like a new life has begun and with religiosity that matches our observance of the resurrection. I have a friend who told me more than a few times that he would do a harakiri once he turns fifty. It was that dreadful an age for him but now he’s now 5 past 50 and he acts like he is still in his prime. I think he had to postpone his plan for another 50 years. LOL

    To set the  ambiance of  your perusal experience wherever you happen to read this, let me tell you that I’m writing this while I’m in between patients on a Saturday morning using a laptop standing up on my two feet in my office. Yes, I stand upright for hours on end while I do computer stuff and patient charting because there is no chair in my office and for a good reason that I will divulge later.

    I’ve read this latest blog entry of yours more than twice so I think you would believe me if I told you that no one could have said it better about aging  and turning golden. By writing this you made yourself and many more aged–yes, aged without sugar coating–people feel better about getting old and passing 50. I don’t use euphemisms when referring to the aged and aging and you’ll know why at the end of this letter.

    It must have been not easy  for you celebrating your 50th with Ronnie gone.  For sure, he was with you in spirit and even tried to wipe away your tears while your video clip of your life together–that made me teary-eyed–was shown to your guests. There have been deaths in my family, too. Both my parents are long gone but still no day passes by without me wishing that they are still around. I have two siblings who succumbed to disease and tragic accident before I was even born. I have a nephew, first cousins and close friends who reluctantly who said their last goodbyes before reaching 50. I’ve cheated death myself. So everyday I silently shout to high heaven in deep gratitude that I have  reached 50 and  still able to  consume the earth’s bounty instead of the earth consuming my physical body until it becomes an indistinguishable part of it again.  I see the generous blessings and unconditional love that we’ve all been fortunately showered with as bonuses and extras that we can utilize at our own discretion–for the betterment of either our aging selves or or the lives of those close to our heart. I like to do both.

    In my opinion, there is no such thing as aging gracefully to say it bluntly. Age-related bodily symptoms and diseases due to aging cells are just as bad as body flab, wrinkles, hair loss and graying hair that come with age. We like to sugarcoat and euphemize that which is sadly inevitable. Sorry to call a spade a spade but biological aging especially past our prime is a scourge. But rejoice, Em! Science has found the reason why our cells age and when the mechanism is understood, the possible treatment to reverse it could not  be far behind. That’s why there’s no more sugarcoating when I talk about senescence. I hate aging like a plague, which by the way now, as you know, is curable with antibiotic.

    This brings me back to the reason why I prefer standing to sitting in a chair all the many hours that I’m at my desk. Leading a healthy lifestyle including sitting less has been shown to slow down the shortening of telomeres in the chromosomes in every cell of our body. Google “sit less, live longer” and read the New York Times article from last year.

    Everytime every cell in our body divides, telomeres at the ends of chromosomes get progressively shorter and when they get critically short, the cells can’t divide no more–resulting in age-associated stigmata like age spots, aching joints and progressively failing internal organs and intellect. Among other things, being active and stress-free have been proven to slow down telomere shortening.

    The treatment to cellular aging lies in the way sperm and egg cells preserve their telomere lengths no matter how many times they divide. They are bathed in telomerase that keep their telomeres at same long length from birth until right before death of a person no matter how many million times they undergo cell division . That’s why we all give birth to neonates regardless of our age. If only we could activate telomerase within all our somatic cells then I can say we can all age gracefully and avoid unnecessary suffering and premature preventable deaths. There’s a natural plant-derived substance that’s been proven to safely elongate human telomeres. Message me if you’re interested and I’ll send you a link. This is not an elevator pitch and I have no commercial interest in the company whatsoever. And I’m not trying to make you purchase anything.

    It’s not easy writing for you because part of me wants to impress the writer in you. I hope I aced it again this time. But you can flunk me if you think I need some flogging. LOL. By the way, I’m posting this without the benefit of an auto spellchecker and auto grammar corrector so pardon my punctuation and grammar lapses.

    I love our, what I call, online exchanges. They are more sublime than a face to face or voice conversation. We still haven’t actually talked to each other again since 1982. But I feel like it’s only now that we get to connect at a spiritual level. I just witnessed the might of the pen. In other words, we both have grown and aged.


    • emmblu
      Jul 06, 2015 @ 02:22:26

      Pol, thank you so much for taking the time to pen this very enlightening response.
      Yes, indeed, the fountain of youth is one that has tantalized us all, including me. Testament to this are the beauty products and vitamins I have purchased through the years in its pursuit. However, I know I cannot outrun father time and mother nature forever. I can only hope that I will continue to be surrounded by family and friends who will look at me and see someone worth loving, wrinkles and all.
      Thanks again.


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