Tuesday, August 14, 2007

And I thought *I* felt old...

This morning, I came across an article on CNN.com (can you tell that perusing that site is part of my daily ritual, as that's how many of my posts start out?) that talked about the effects of aging on your body during various phases of life. The bad news delivered by this article was that, for Americans, "middle-age" actually begins at 39. That is not cool, not cool at all. What ever happened to "40 is the new 20?" I think I like the sounds of that a lot better.

Or then again, any one of us COULD be like this woman in Indiana - who today became the oldest person in the world, at 114. The woman who previously held this record lived in Japan and just passed away.

Those two ladies hit "middle-age" at 57... almost twenty years after the average U.S. citizen!

All of this has made me think - would you actually WANT to live to be 114? These women were born in 1893... can you even wrap your mind around how much they have witnessed in their lifetimes? But I am sure that for as many sad or painful things anyone that old has been through (they had outlived many, if not all, of their children, for example), they had more than enough happy experiences to outweigh them. And I found some big-time motivation to last that long, too! Check out this guy's blog - he claims to be the oldest blogger... so now I have to live to usurp his record! This particular post about his reluctance "to go" is wonderful in its frankness and succintness, but I am telling you this - if you read all the comments he got in response to that post and your eyes are still dry, then you have NO SOUL!

So how can you reach the big 1-0-0? According to the experts, your best bet is to follow these simple rules: Don't smoke, gets lots of exercise and sleep, and eat a balanced diet. As mentioned in this article, when centenarians are studied, there is no real link between all of them - a lot of it comes down to "good genes," luck, and so on.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear stories from and about elderly people, so the articles I read today inspired me to find a few books on the topic: On Being 100 and Centenarians: The Bonus Years. I'm definitely going to get them!

In the meantime, at least I have an excuse when I wake up each morning all stiff and sore - I'm approaching middle-age!

- e

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