FOR TY: The Age of Gratitude

In the Philippines, when you say the letters TY, that's a short cut for Thank You. Several months ago, I was reflecting (there is much time to reflect these days and am not complaining) on the fact that I would turn forty in March 2007 and in my mind, the image of the word forty flashed in this manner: FOR TY.

Come to think of it, forty is a great age to be and I have personally christened it the "age of gratitude." It is for saying "thank you."

I remember a comic strip that I read when I was much younger. A dad and his son were walking and the dad asks the son: "Son, what do you want to be when you grow up?" All around the two are images of unpleasant things that plague our world. The son, on hearing the father's question and with an uncertain look on his face, answers: "Alive?"

Forty is the great age when you know you won't live forever. When I was younger (and as most young people would probably experience), the days seemed eternal and you had the feeling that you could just go on endlessly. Today, you realize that just to be alive is blessing enough. The "go-go attitude" may not be as apparent anymore -- for now you have the wisdom to know that you need not "go" every time. Life is too short to waste on things you do not truly enjoy.

I am thankful because I have lived long enough to be grateful for lasting and true friendships and comfortable relationships. I am past that age when I feel the need to constantly prove myself and I am happy to "just be."

I am 20 years to formal retirement (well, I'm retired at 40 actually!) and now battle with health issues. My conversations with friends now turn to ailments and there are days when you feel you need to but can't. =) Still, we forge on...

Forty is a great year. I am just so thankful to have come this far. Most people say that "life begins at 40." I guess there is some truth to that -- for life really does not take off or start until you view the world with the eyes of gratitude.

God bless.

[By Angelica Viloria | Friday, March 23, 2007]

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