Are we trying too hard?Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of 80 and gradually approach 18. — Mark Twain
Longevity is big business these days but that’s nothing new. Throughout history people have tried all sorts of weird things to stay forever young. And we’ve been told that Juan Ponce de Leon discovered Florida while searching for the elusive Fountain of Youth.
Today, of course, with increased knowledge and dissemination of information, efforts to stay young are not as drastic as they were at some point in the past, one of them being drinking human blood. Today we have tons of experts telling us what we need to do to extend our lives. They are all over the internet with some offering sure ways to live past 100.
But we already know the drill. We must walk, exercise, eat well, challenge the mind and laugh often. However, the experts are challenging us to do more, to run marathons, to forever count calories, etc. But are we trying too hard?
Author Barbara Ehrenreich says that we are “killing ourselves to live longer.” The question is: Is it really necessary to go to extreme to make the most of our later years? Perhaps not.
With all the advances in health care, it is said that today’s boomers can expect to live longer than their parents and much longer than their grandparents. That may be the general rule, but there are no guarantees. My grandfather passed away at the age of 89 and I doubt that I will live longer than him while my father died at 55. We can’t change destiny, can we?
If our goal is to live to 100 and beyond, I believe that we have to consider quality of life. We all know that old age can play havoc with the body and the mind, but heeding the advice of experts might very well make it possible to enjoy later life in better shape than was possible in the past. At least that’s the objective.
I think that the secret to being happy is to take reasonable care of ourselves while accepting our mortality.