Whoever did say that Life begins at 40 must have began her 40th with much excitement and anticipation of things to come.
But here’s one trivia: This phrase first specifically referred to women. It started with Mrs. Theodore Parsons’ view that women should give more attention to their diet and exercise especially when they reach the age of 30 because “death begins at thirty, that is, deterioration of the muscle cells sets in”. With this consciousness, women should live a more healthy and physically-conscious life. When this is done, then the best part of a woman’s life begins at 40!
So, hurray to 40! August is my birth month and I just began my (mid)life!
And what a beginning it was!
It was a month-long celebration insofar as birthday greetings kept on coming. I started with the celebration in Iloilo courtesy of my parents (like a real firstborn having her 1st birthday?, hehehe), a family dinner in Manila with my husband’s family, an impromptu kiddie party with my family’s cell group at church in Yoido English Ministry, a home-cooked dinner with a few friends at home in Seoul with my personal hubbydoo chef, a lunch treat and a trip to a pottery shop with girlfriends at Itaewon and the highlight surprise birthday party prepared by my precious friends. It was amazing and it was overwhelming. I never would have believed that life could excitingly begin at 40. But it did for me… and here is my photo story:
My parents must have found a good reason to celebrate my 40th. They offered to pay for my small party with family and friends. Come to think of it, I haven’t celebrated my birthday in Iloilo since I got married. And I had been married for 10 years already.
My eldest son could choose the most interesting time to give his wacky face a go, so there he is up in that photo doing what he does best… wacky!
When we came back here in Korea, my actual birthday was on a Sunday. A sweet member of our family cell group brought a “Happy Birthday” banner and we turned our small room after the church service into an impromptu children’s party. Far from my “Of Laces and Pearls and Dainty Blooms” desired 40th birthday theme, hahaha! What with all our kids around. But it was a heartwarming gesture.
We hurried back home after cell group but my visibly tired husband cooked dinner for me and my friends. He kept on provoking me why only 4 friends are coming to our house for dinner. Little did I know what was to come the week after…
My other girlfriends treated me and another friend for a birthday lunch and… a trip to Eden’s Pottery at Itaewon.
Precious Eden Pottery, at last!
Eden Pottery is located along the main road of Itaewon beside the ABC Mart. Eden herself is at her store daily and with all our birthday gifts purchased from her, she should give us mileage card. Hmmm!
And the party that I was so clueless of!
My friends asked my husband to:
1) make sure that he wouldn’t have a business trip on the day of their surprise birthday party for me
2) I will wear red on the day of the party (they instructed him to make me get a cocktail dress – trust me to end up with a skirt and a blouse, instead!)
3) Make sure that the party remains a secret – so, my husband built up that day to be his company’s family get-together
As an unquestioning wife, I just followed everything he said and never doubted. And because I was a clueless friend and an unquestioning wife, I had one of the best moments of my life that afternoon of dainty blooms. These are the ladies who had a good laugh for successfully pulling it off.
I was at a loss for words and really, all I could utter was a repetition of “thank you’s”. For what else can I say? I loved every detail. I loved the secrecy. I loved the effort. And I loved the love that went with every piece of preparation. It was humbling and I did say that I just wanted to be nice and kind to everyone from that day on.
And these are my precious boy lets: one is charming and sweet and the other is shy and loving.
And the bigger boy?
I am loved by him who makes me laugh. And I love him more! Most of the time, that’s all it takes to look beyond imperfections and focus on things I should be grateful for.
Life begins at forty. Mine started with a series of bangs!
And it feels awesome!