Life, age and health

February 28, 2017

In all this debate about organic and diet and exercise and longevity, I find that aging seems to have become a kind of terrible thing that must be avoided at all costs. Anti-wrinkle creams, hair dye, anti-aging serums…People seem to forget what the alternative to aging really is :D

I think that some of the bad effects of the body’s aging…cannot be avoided. Some can be mitigated.Others…cannot be.

However, aging per se is becoming vilified, and youth glorified. I do want to strongly refute this, as an anti-aging stance will only lead to frustration and unhappiness. I may be as active as possible, but beyond a certain physical age, my eyes will dim, my joints be less supple than before, the tone of my skin more wrinkled, my hair whiten…if I learn to accept what cannot be avoided, and meanwhile, keep up as active a lifestyle and as healthy a diet as I can, surely, I can accept the changes in my body (and mind, too!) and live a useful, happy life.

Ideally, following a good lifestyle should enable me to avoid all ill health. But is that the reality? No. Ill health can, and does, strike out of nowhere, and not every disease or condition can be ascribed to a bad lifestyle.

I think (my opinion only!) that we should learn to accept that every day, we are growing older. That death at some point is a certainty. That try as we might, some illness, debility and problems are part of the human condition. (Eg I walk extensively and only use public transport, but I have something called a Calcerian spur…a bone growth…in my foot, very common in women of my age, which makes walking quite painful.)

I am 62. If I were to die tomorrow, I would not have any regrets. And as long as I live, I’ll try to live a reasonably healthy life. But yes, I’ll have the occasional pani-puri, the occasional slice of (yumm!) Black Forest cake, the occasional snooze-in instead of the brisk walk, the occasional late night chatting with friends, the little bulge around my middle…all these are part of my enjoyment of life.

I’ll give thanks for every day of good health that I have, and rise above small health troubles. I’ll not go overboard with the grains and the fasting and the several hundred other things that I am supposed to do. My diet, my exercise, my social interactons…everything is in moderation, and so, too, will my health regimen be. I must say, it’s worked for me so far. My mother was dabetic, hypertensive, had heart disease…and I am, so far, free of these distressing conditions. I will be thankful for that, and for each day when I wake up in the morning and don’t have aches and pains!

I don’t know how long I’ll live. And…I really don’t know how healthy my life will be. I may have to accept Alzheimer’s….or other disease of the mind and body. I hope for a good quality of life until I go, but my goal is not to go on living for a long time! What on earth am I going to do in a world without my peers, where technology is new and difficult to accept, and things get more and more unfamiliar?

So please, all you youngsters…do take these things a little more lightly! Come over to visit me and I will treat you to a nice milky filter kaapi (with sugar, if you like) and a crisp vada!

I repeat…this is my view of life. It’s kept me reasonably healthy…and reasonably happy!