Friday, 4 October 2013

Nearer to 60 than to 50

Today, I am 56. Oh dear! The pace of time accelerates with each passing year. A good time to consider ageing. At the age of ten, one year is one tenth of one's life experience. At the age of fifty, one year is one fiftieth of one's life experience.

Reaching the age of 56 (consider - this is a lot more than, say, 40), my greatest strength is the fact that my parents are alive and well - mentally and physically (no walking sticks) - aged 90 and 86 respectively. This gives me reason to consider that I'm in the mid-to-late summer of my life, with decades still to go. If one needs a target, 100 is a good one. 110 is better. And bearing in mind that 70 is the new 50, there are reasons to be cheerful.

I have 11 years to go before reaching my UK retirement age, but I feel no reason to let up. Professionally, I feel I've years to go before reaching my peak. I'm more confident, more experienced - and a better story-teller - than I've ever been.

Genes are an important factor in longevity, but then so is diet and so is exercise. An important piece of research suggests (at this stage merely suggests) that diet and exercise - and meditation - can actually extend our genetically-predetermined lifespans. Thirty minutes of exercise a day, six days a week, will go a long way to extend our lives. The simplest way to do that? Ditch the car. Walk briskly to the bus stop, walk briskly from the bus stop to the office, and back again, tot up all the walking you do each day - and that makes a difference. Ride a bicycle when the weather allows. Avoid salt snacks, cakes, biscuits, confectionary (all but the darkest chocolate) and gorge yourself on fresh fruit and vegetables. In season. Meat? A little, and only the choicest cuts (avoid processed meats). No smoking and moderate alcohol intake. All of these are proved to help extend human life.

What, then, is the point of a long life? I'm a slow learner, but when I learn something, I learn it well. What more do I want to learn? More about the purpose of life; where our consciousness stems from (biologically) and what it means (philosophically); I strive for the sublime aesthetic; I want to know whether our consciousness(es) is (are) finite and inexorably tied to our bodies' lifespan or can it (they) exist beyond the physical life of our bodies (I believe so - but seek confirmation).

This is as good incentive to keep a youthful approach to life, to keep pressing on. The Will is the Most important. If you want something enough, and it makes sense in the Great Scheme of Things, it will come to pass.

For the record, the day was entirely cloudless from sunrise to sunset, though there was a light ground frost this morning, though not enough to freeze puddles.

Turning 55

Turning 54

Turning 53

Turning 50


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, my 55th was Sept. 19th. I agree with your points on how to age well.
Andrew in California

Bob said...

Happy Birthday Old Guy!

See you tomorrow.


adthelad said...

My dear Michał, many many happy returns :)

Anonymous said...

well done, that man!

frater Old Lud Rising

Anonymous said...

Goldenenen Brithday modalities!

Watch for e-mailing message to arrive!


Paddy said...

Happy birthday, Michael.