How to Become Old as the Hills

Just about everyone has an opinion on how people can live to a ripe old age. Old as the hills is often used to describe one well into their 90s. That saying must be getting lots of use these days since people living over 90 are the fastest growing segment of our population, according to a recent 60 Minutes broadcast. Can you believe that? Hard to imagine in 1900 people only lived an average of 49 years. I’d be dust for 9 years already…

Theories abound as to the tricks needed to reach that wrinkly old age where you can get away with just about anything simply because you’re ancient. Personally, I’m looking forward to that part of it, at least.

Hopefully me in 35 years

Hopefully me in 35 years

So the few perks we can look forward to as we inch closer to decaying are things like no longer carrying groceries to the car  because some nice young man will help us with that. It’s his pleasure. At least that’s what he’ll tell us.

Here, let me take that

Oh, it’s my pleasure, ma’am

We will never be without a seat on a bus and I bet we’ll get to move to the front of any line because people will feel bad if we’re standing at the back of one. If we drop something, someone will rush to pick it up. No more unnecessary bending for us.

Oh, it's my pleasure

Don’t strain yourself, I’ll give you a hand

Ah, the joys of slowly becoming decrepit.

Now don’t get me wrong; getting old is not something to look forward to, but what’s the alternative? When you look at it that way, I say embrace the wrinkles, accept the aching muscles and brittle bones and just go with it. But wait. There’s good news to report on this front.

The 60 Minutes program I mentioned featured the results of a study conducted in the early 1980s with 14,000 seniors living in a retirement community in LA. The study attempted to determine what the seniors did or didn’t do that might eventually contribute to a long life.

Thirty years later they compared data from the original questionnaire to one recently conducted featuring those same seniors who were still alive and kickin’ – many now in their 90s:

And here’s what they found:

1) Doing just 15 minutes of exercise a day is all that’s necessary to maintain good physical health. Up to 45 minutes is optimal but it doesn’t have to be all at once or even aerobic. How sweet is that? Makes me question whether I need to take that hour-long Body Works class at the gym anymore. 2) As we already know, keeping the mind mentally sharp is important to ward off dementia. Join a book club, play board games, make new friends, travel to unfamiliar places…anything to keep those neurons firing so the old noggin’ doesn’t lose more precious brain cells.

Anyone for a game of Yahtzee?

Anyone for a game of Yahtzee?

3) Vitamins didn’t make a bit of difference. Nil. Nada. None. Most of the 90-plusers didn’t take them. There goes my stash of Cs, Bs, Es and any other letters I have in my medicine cabinet.4) Dessert is our friend. Don’t deprive yourself of sweets. I’ve got this one covered since, lucky for me, I’m not familiar with deprivation where sugar is concerned.desserts5) Those who smoked died earlier. A no-brainer.flirting with death6) Caffeine is a good thing. Having 1-3 cups a day was better than having more than that or none at all. So glad my espresso machine and I are inseparable.7) Late in life it’s better to weigh more than to weigh less. Those who were average or over-weight outlived those who were underweight. I absolutely LOVE this one, don’t you?no more diets8) And perhaps the best news of all? Having 1-2 glasses of alcohol a day (any alcohol) reduced the risk of death by 10-15%. I don’t know about you but that pretty much seals it for me. Vodka martinis and I shall be seeing a lot more of each other.

Come to Mama

Come to Mama

So there you have it ladies and gentlemen. I think overall the news is pretty promising, don’t you?

It appears if you want to live into your 90s, don’t kill yourself with exercise, do new things you enjoy with people you like, chuck your vitamins, always eat dessert, get your caffeine fix and stock up on the booze.

Who knew getting old could be so much fun?

 

This week’s blog is dedicated to Dee Dee Dalton, 95-and-three-quarter-year-old mom to my friend Sue. Mrs. D is my inspiration. She’s independent, feisty and engaging. You rock, Mrs. D!

Mrs. D with her great grandson, Liam

Mrs. D with great grandson, Liam

Pumpkin picking

Pumpkin picking

An inspiration

An inspiration

This is a previous post from 2014. What can I say? Life’s been busy of late…

Bucket List #12

Guess where I ended up a couple weeks ago?

I found myself in a police station – a most unfamiliar locale to me (I’m happy to say). And I bet I know what you’re thinking:

a)      What did she do?

b)      Who did she do it to?

c)       Is she writing this while out on bail? Continue reading

Comcast: A Love-Hate Relationship (Today, Mostly Hate)

Last week I wanted to kill myself. (Twice, as it turns out.) I think it’s best explained in one word: COMCAST. Over the course of Wednesday and Thursday, I was on the phone with my internet and email service provider for a grand total of…..wait for it……6 hours and 26 minutes!No, I’m not crazy and I’m not lying. I’m not even high, although last week I certainly wished I was. Maybe then I’d have handled Comcast’s ineptitude a little better. But a person can only take so much, right? I was polite and tolerant for the first 4 hours and then it just got ridiculous. And this all happened because someone tried to remotely hack into my computer. Continue reading

Am I Losing It?

It’s an epidemic.

Many of my friends are in the same boat with me when it comes to frequently foggy memories. I have to say, it gives me immense pleasure knowing I’m not floating out there alone. That sounds callous, doesn’t it? But mostly, it fills me with hope that I’m not, in fact, losing it. It being my mind. Granted, I never had a particularly sharp one. But these days I sometimes find my boat lost in a sea of fog.losing my mind 2

Getting older hasn’t bothered me that much. I mean, if it weren’t for my stupid back, I mostly feel like a 30-year-old. I don’t have aching body parts a 64-year-old might expect. Maybe because I’ve always been active. Now don’t get me wrong; just because I don’t feel my age doesn’t mean I don’t look it. I certainly do. Sadly, I recently gazed into my 10x magnifying mirror and just for a second wished I was blind.

magnifying mirror 2

Don’t do it

Continue reading

When The Lights Went Out

This same month 2 years ago I wrote, Out of the Ashes. And sadly, here we go again…

At 8:30 p.m., a week ago Saturday, our power was shut off for 48 hours. Unfortunately, we’re experiencing fires again in the hills of Northern California. People are evacuating while thousands of acres burn. High winds worsen matters, so Pacific Gas & Electric rotates the shutdown to various counties, some for hours, others for days.

KIncaid fire 3

Now don’t get me wrong; this is a delicate subject to blog about. I intend no disrespect to those suffering from the situation and my prayers are with them. But often with my blog, I attempt to write from a lighthearted perspective. So here’s what I experienced during this shutdown… Continue reading