Are We Living Too Long?
We have become a society that has become enamored in living longer, as opposed to living well. I see it all the time, hear it from friends, and sometimes it gets brought up in conversation with people I don't even know. I'm also living it. Aging.
I have family, friends, acquaintances and see strangers who struggle with aging. Who will do everything they can to not shuck of their mortal coil and move on. For some of them it's because they don't want to miss anything. Others have an innate fear of being judged for what they have done in their lives and are trying to either put off judgment as long as possible or need as much time as they can get to make up for the things they've done. Of course that's all in what you believe in. I think for many it's just greed to see how long they can amass stuff. (Ok, you hoarders know who you are.)
I know people who have lived their entire live eating right. Take all their vitamins. Exercise when the can or religiously work out. They have never smoked. Drank alcohol. Eaten "bad" food. Stay out of the sun. Done all the things the "Pop Docs" have told them too over the years. Some of them died early. Some lived long. Some developed Skin Cancer, Lung Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, et al. To a one they all wished they would have enjoyed themselves more. Not been so cautious. Because they are going to die anyhow. In some cases in a very nasty lingering way.
I hate cancer. Lost too many to it.
Then there are people like me. I don't eat healthy all the time. I smoke cigars. My first career was as a stuntman. I put a lot of mileage on these bones. (My back pays for it now) I eat steaks. Drink Scotch, Whiskey, Vodka. I'm not a lush but occasionally. I may take a walk here and there but I don't "exercise". I hate, loath and deplore it. I find it to be a remarkable waste of time. Why? Because I don't buy into a multi-billion dollar fitness industry's idea of what is healthy and how I should live so they make money.
I'm 48, 5' 8", 250 and healthy as a mule. I have my cholesterol checked when my insurance requires it. I was 19 the first time it was ever checked. It was 148. It was checked last year. At 11:00 am. I did not "fast" before. I was hungry. I had 3 strips of bacon. 2 fried eggs and a piece of toast with real butter and grape jelly. It was 148. My blood pressure is slightly elevated due to the amount of antihistamines I have to take because of my allergies. My Tri's are good and my lungs are clear even after smoking cigars for 26 years. My grandfather lived to 94. Smoked cigars, drank whiskey (but wouldn't let the women folk know), dipped powder Sweat & Sour snuff and ate what he wanted.
Here's the part no one wants to here. Your genetics control more of your life than you ever will control on your own.
So people do everything they can to live longer. Take all kinds of medication. Spend enormous amounts of time concentrating on living long. Instead of living better. Well. To the fullest. I will go when I go. The dash between my birth date and my expiration date will be full, exciting with many variables. Because it's the dash that matters, not the destination.
So what's it going to be for you?