Thursday, June 4, 2009

Birthday blues

It's that time of year when I start counting my age.

I actually stopped counting last year. Held a bash to celebrate 50 years, and instead of buying the Audi that I've always wanted, had my house renovated.

Another year, another chapter in my life unfolding.

I count the grey hairs that appear or the flab that's developing in my gut, or the temperamental mood swings I go through (which of course were present even when I was younger), or the number of tablets of drugs I need to take to keep my blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar in control, or the number of hours I need to stay on the treadmill to burn that fat that I build each time I take one bite off a chocolate bar or the many times that I wake up in the middle of the night wondering why in God's name I'm wide awake at 1am...yup, it's another year and I've crossed the golden border.

I recall the younger years and how much has changed since 25 years ago. My status in life, my career path, my love life, my relationships with the people who have come and gone, my bank account, and I cannot help but wonder how I made it through and be where I am today.

Life, is simply a roller coaster ride. Some day you're up, other times you're down and out. Sometimes the good days outnumber the bad, and vice-versa. Life will never be what we want it to be, as fate and destiny play vital roles.

When I finished medical school, I thought of repaying my parents for all the hardship they had to go through so that I could graduate from medicine. Payback was part of my agenda but tragedy would strike and my dad eventually became bed ridden. It was also then that I had the opportunity to do more postgraduate training at Boston University. The fork in the road. The choice I had to make - stay and take care of dad or leave and find my destiny.

Leaving my parents at a time of difficulty was heart breaking and I had more insecurities in a place I was unfamiliar with. But I knew that there were people rooting for me and people who really cared. After training, I passed up an opportunity to work at Boston University Hospital in spite of the offer for an H1 visa. I returned home and started to care for my parents.

Fate was not kind because soon after I had returned, my father passed away. And my mom had gone through periods of depression.

Those years of having to balance my life with the challenges it posed left my soul scarred and I desperately began my search for meaning to life, or something like it...I desperately clung to asking God for answers to questions I was even afraid to ask myself.

Each year passed quickly as I buried myself in work. This year will be another year that marks a milestone for me. In a few days I will celebrate the last leg of my journey towards my senior year.

With the help of my dermatologist, Shiseido, Shu Uemura and Tri-aktiline, I probably can visibly shed a few years off my age in looks. But life has taught me the lessons that have me hopefully more prepared for the final leg of enjoying life to the fullest. After all, I can only share my journey with all of you who have made my world worth living.

It's time to age gracefully!

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