How To Live To Be Old...
Here we are in week three of the new year and all the predictions of a mild winter and no snow are a thing of the past. We got a little bit of snow here in Northern Indiana and they are calling for more this weekend, I'm ok with it, however the snow blower and tractor that I had thought were ready were not. From talking to the old man at work, who knows a lot about old Ford tractors, they are not easy to start in the cold. So there is my project for after the "publish" button. My mail box has been flooded with seed and flower catalogs lately too and I was almost thinking about planning my garden but I think for now I'll wait another month. In the summer my blog will probably center around my love for my vegetable and flower gardens. Before my mom and Jerry passed away, every June I would have a summer party for birthdays and just to get to see everyone. Mom and Jerry would walk around the yard and look at the flowers and mom would pick beans and tomatoes. Those are memories I will always have and explains a little why I enjoy the garden but I'll talk more about that when its season appropriate. One of my sons celebrated his 28th birthday this week so we met up at the local bar with a few of his friends that he has known his entire life and had a few beers and a few laughs, taking time for things that matter. I'm finally on track with my exercise goal which is an 8 minute mile. For the first two weeks I failed miserably because of trying to much at once, don't do that. Also down five of the ten pounds I want to lose so that's going well. Sadly we also lost a couple good people to cancer which always affects me personally so that's kind of where this weeks topic is coming from.
When someone passes on, people go through a self examination stage, questioning life choices. This week I've heard a lot of questions about nutrition from different people from saying they need to make little changes, to questioning what is really healthy and why, to saying they are quitting a certain thing completely. I hear comments like "that guy is 80 years old and eats junk and he is still alive" , my grandma is in her 90's and she smoked her whole life, so whats the point of changing if people live to be that age and don't watch what they do? Well here's where owning your own blog is fun, I have a theory and I get to share it. I think there are some very key factors. What food did these old people eat growing up, what kind of lifestyles did they have, how has modern medicine changed in their lifetime, and are these old people really living or are they just existing. Are they able to get around like they used to without pain, are they active at all?
The food that your grandparents ate wasn't the same food we are eating today, and I think that is the biggest factor. I'm not a stats guy so I'll just say that I've read that corn and soy in this country is somewhere close to 90% gmo. That's genetically modified, created in a lab to contain chemicals that can withstand being sprayed with poisons or to contain the poison to keep bugs and plant diseases from affecting the plant. How much corn or soy is in your food? The next trip you take to the grocery store, read the labels, its in practically everything we eat. So every bag of corn chips your eating contains a residue of a chemical now known to cause cancer. There are millions of dollars in law suits going on right now over it. I love and respect my vegan friends but your beloved soy alternatives are on that list too, so be aware of your labels, look for non gmo. Our grandparents also grew up in the depression and fresh vegetables from their garden was a pretty common thing. Sadly today it seems like too much work and the local grocery store is a lot easier. So to even the playing field of that generation of old people that smoke and drink and are still alive we need to stay away from processed foods, eat more fruits and vegetables and less fast food and go organic as much as possible.
I think life style plays another huge part of their longevity. I think we put ourselves in a constant state of stress and a lot of time we don't even realize it. There was a time when if you had food and shelter life was good, those days are over. We stress about having money to pay bills and buy groceries and birthday presents and holidays. The constant artificial light messes up your sleep patterns which causes stress. Getting enough exercise, getting too much exercise all cause stress on our bodies and if we don't take the time to relax and unwind it can eventually lead to disease. Having money to live is important but so is spending time with family and friends. Find your balance, set aside a half hour a day just for you, just sit in a quiet place and relax. I think if your living your life waiting for the weekend every week, your not really living. There are 24 hours in a day, it seems pretty logical to break that down into 8 hours for sleep, 8 hours to work and 8 hours for you. I think our grandparents lived a less complicated lifestyle. and it shows.
The last point is a little more complicated. With modern medicine and surgical procedures we are living longer, maybe too long? How you define "living" is the key. I've been to nursing homes where there are people sitting in wheel chairs seemingly oblivious to the world around them. They are probably taken out of their bed in the morning and put in the chair and moved out to the common area for the day. That to me isn't living. I personally would sign a paper and take the lethal injection if I ever got to that point for my own sake and also to avoid being a burden on the health care system. Yes, I know that sounds terrible but its true. I am all for medicine and procedures to keep people alive but I also think there is a point were you have to let go.
My intention when I started writing was to talk about how moderation is the key to life. Do what makes you happy but don't go over board and I think that's really important but it depends on your goals. My goal is to live a happy active life and then die. I want to take care of a few chickens and have vegetable and flower gardens and be able to take care of them. I want to play with my grand kids and great grand kids. Those are my goals so I have to live a lifestyle that will help with those goals. I can go out and have a beer or two for birthdays, or have a glass of bourbon and a cigar because that makes me happy and I'm willing to bet that won't kill me. There are a lot of people that say, I would guess they aren't serious though, that they want to party hard and have fun 24/7 and die young. Well if those are really your goals then you have a lot more freedom to do what you want and all of my advice is meaningless to you. My wife has developed a host of allergies over the past few years and the more I read the more I'm convinced it's a result of the standard american diet, and if i knew then what I know now a lot of it could have been prevented. I've eaten the same diet and haven't had that happen so food affects people different and that's another thing to consider. Do you want to be allergic to food at 50? When you finish reading this blog go to google and search "Leaky Gut". Read an article that tells you symptoms and prevention and take a second to think about it. Do you know anyone with cancer or have died from cancer, I heard a new diagnosis this week of someone. When my mom was diagnosed I read everything I could on it and I promise prevention is a lot more effective than the cure and that's my doom and gloom section. So have fun, be happy, eliminate stress, eat smart and live to be old. That's my sage advice for the week and until next time have a happy hippie life.