My Avondale High School Class of ’65 has a close-knit circle of longstanding friends. Our Queen Mother that coordinates communications among the 600 plus classmates is Kay Connelly, who edits a weekly class newsletter called “A-MAIL.”. It relives every football victory Avondale enjoyed, every known juvenile delinquency episode that anyone dares report, grandkids achievements, and anniversaries. It also has obits, remembrances, and prayers about classmates who have died or face health issues. A recent edition was particularly heavy with sickness, aging and dying to the point that a classmate asked: ” HOW OLD IS OLD?”.
Here is some info about aging that has some science behind it. There is much to ponder in these words. Satchel Paige once asked, “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?”- the importance of attitude. There are a few basic realities of aging.
Under ideal conditions, the human body has planned obsolescence of around 125-150 years, according to some experts.- choose your ancestors carefully. About half of what eventually kills us is already programmed. Yet the average life span gets longer. Women live longer than men largely because they have a purpose in tending to grandchildren while parents work.- maintain a purpose in your life. About half of what eventually kills you is baked into the gene pool. Over forty percent is determined by lifestyle choices so choose wisely. The remaining few percents are dumb luck- take risks that have good odds for you. And remember that you want to die with few regrets for you or your family.
Maintain friends and intimate relationships and keep going to church and pray a lot. Laugh even more than you pray. Don’t necessarily have intimate relations with people at church, but it HAS happened, I’ve heard tell. But that gets VERY sticky and is probably the biggest fuel source for church gossip and Sunday morning pew selections.
The body loves these kinds of activities- living a life of purpose, making healthy choices, living a life of faith, having a sense of humor about it all, and staying close to others. And keeping some mischief in your life. A verse in a country song is ” I’m not as good as I once was, but I’m as good once as I ever was.” If you can’t run a marathon, walk around the block occasionally. And throw a firecracker in the weenie roast from time to time- keeps things lively.
But realize that one day, it’s over! So be ready- say goodbyes every day (not in a morbid way, of course), and do your paperwork ( St. Peter won’t let you thru the pearly gates these days without your paperwork, I hear.) And the paperwork can save your kids a lot of headaches and bitterness.
Aging is a fundamental condition of the process of life. Old is an attitude about aging that too many people succumb to… Age well, but don’t act old.
My thoughts. If you get old, call me. I’ll try to talk you out of it.