Alice Bustos-Orosa

Alice Bustos-Orosa

IT isn’t everyday that we hear of couples celebrating their golden anniversaries these days. And not just anniversaries, but golden birthdays too.

Looking young and in lover as ever, my parents-in-law, Godo and Tita, marked 50 years of wedded bliss in October. Never keen on lavish socials, both had to be convinced by their children that they needed to celebrate this milestone.

Hence, after my in-laws finally acceded, plans were made and their anniversary was marked with a simple lunch in the company of their closest friends and relatives.

I guess golden anniversaries affirm that the wedding vow: “ . . . to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part” can be kept to heart for an eternity.

My husband, Mike and I, often tease each other how far along we’ll celebrate wedding anniversaries, praying too that we would still be in the best of health many decades from now.

Perhaps, as one gets older and stays longer in a marriage, time feels so fleeting that decades pass without notice. Maybe too, that as a couple’s children become grown-ups and have families of their own, they begin to value true love borne out of companionship and familiarity.

Yet, it isn’t just golden anniversaries that are worth remembering. My sister, Nina and good friends, Chichi and Cathy, all marked their 50th birthdays this year too with intimate dinners and adventurous travels instead.

Turning 50 is something we all seem to dread the year before it actually comes. For my friends and family though who have actually crossed the threshold, they say it isn’t so distressing and depressing as people say. Rightly so that age is a matter of mind. In fact, the golden girls say that despite menopause, 50 is such a liberating phase in midlife as they hardly care anymore about what people think or say about them.

Even more interesting is that at this stage, the “empty nest” beckons and one begins to refocus on relationships and a renewed sense of self.

Life at 50 seems to be about finally keeping a vow to oneself to simply be happy with one’s life choices. In some ways, the big 5-0 makes some either re-assess the priorities they’ve made, revel in the acme of their professional career, or find the time to pursue that radical sabbatical.

Fortunately, in these times, 50 is seen as the new 40, offering opportunities for self-actualization. And so, if you’re hitting the golden age soon, take a step back and chase what you’ve always dreamt of whether it’s a new hobby, graduate school, or simply a week-off. No regrets and not a day later. I must say, that lucky for me, seeing how my sisters and friends have made turning 50 seem so peaceful and fun, has made the idea less dreadful for me.

There are certainly so many awesome reasons to celebrate golden anniversaries and golden birthdays. To cherish 50 years of togetherness is a true test of fidelity and love, and perhaps one of life’s rare blessings.

All the more, 50 candles on one’s birthday cake is a true mark of half a century well lived and the promise of more decades of lasting memories. And so, to all couples and friends marking their 50th soon, swing out and party on!


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