I celebrated the third anniversary of my 39th birthday a few days ago (I turned 42, if you’re trying to puzzle that out...) And it got me thinking. Not about the number or how many years I have been around, but about how much longer I’d be around.
My mom died of Bile Duct/Liver cancer 5 years ago (she was only 66.) My dad died of Lung cancer in his 60s as well. But I wasn’t thinking about death, I was thinking about life. Research shows that people are living longer than ever before thanks to advances in medicine and surgical procedures. However, we’re just living longer - not necessarily living better lives.
Think about the number of people suffering from anxiety and depression, diabetes, cancers, heart problems. We’re not happier. We’re not even really healthier. We’re just alive. While I’m certainly happy for what is out there that allows us to live longer, many people are just suffering longer. I was thinking about how fortunate I am to be able to love what I do, and be healthy enough to do what I love. I have a beautiful wife and 4 fur babies and I want to be able to do things with them. I really want to live long enough to see my niece and nephew grow up and grow old. I also want to live a quality life. I want to be able to take care of myself as I get older. I want to remain independent. The thought of spending my last days in a sterile, lonely nursing home room terrifies me.
My mom never wanted to grow old and be a burden. She certainly wanted to be around longer than 66 years though. My mom missed a lot of her kids’ lives and her grandkids’ lives. My mom didn’t really take care of herself. She was never overweight and always active. She even ate somewhat healthy though most times she didn't eat enough. She smoked. She drank. She never slept enough. She stressed a lot with her busy career.
I was thinking of the people we have at the gym. How many amazing athletes that are in their 40s or older. These people are taking an active role in their health and wellness and ensuring, as best they can, that they will be around for years to come. And not just existing, but really living life! Thanks to research, we have been given the ability to live longer than decades prior. How you choose to live all those years is up to you. Take care of yourself physically and mentally so that you can enjoy your years. Eat well, exercise often, get good sleep, and take care of yourself emotionally. It really is about quality over quantity!
Cheers to a happy and healthy life!!