Being concerned that something is wrong is nothing to worry about when we are young. We slough it off as ‘nothing,’ it must have been something I ate, or I over-did something – a workout or failing to push away from the table before dessert…
And usually, it’s something like that.
Because the one-day ache, pain, sluggishness or ill feeling goes away, it is forgotten as quickly as it arrived. That’s the joy of youth, good health, clean living and knowing that free health care is a phone call, car ride or ambulance trip away because we have superb care at a high level serving all urban Canadians very well and most people in rural and remote areas nearly as well thanks to telemedicine, medivac helicopters etc. And don’t forget wearable technology, APPS and WebMD.
But past 50, if you’re still alive, chances are pretty good that heart attack risk drops, but most other ailments, diseases and worries are put in a different category of concerned-ness.
If the ache persists, we get concerned.
If the pain persists, we get concerned.
If weight goes up (it seems that’s the way it goes most of the time for most of us,) we get concerned.
If weight goes down, we get concerned.
If we exercise too much, we get concerned.
If we don’t exercise enough, we get concerned.
Every time we see an obituary of someone we know, someone our age or younger, we get concerned.
Every time we see an obituary of someone older – we pause, we do the math, and that number – that number of years, if that’s what we have, we get very concerned!
I love hearing about people who live to very old ages.
Recently the oldest was a retired Nun in France, 118.
I heard yesterday the oldest is now a woman in California, 115.
I have faith in a two-part scenario; the first is that technology is making enormous leaps in longevity, so my once-target of 115 (many people told me that was crazy) has been raised to 140. I’ve heard that number quoted often by experts who say the first person to live to 140 is alive today.
Maybe that’s me?
If I have that long, I'll have a chance to catch up on everything I'm behind on. I heard another expert say the number is more likely 200.
For now, I’ll stay with a 140 goal in mind …
The second part of this scenario concerns lifestyle – the one we live is part genetics, part what we do, and part what we put in our mouths every day.
Most of us, I think, start with good intentions – first a breast, then a bottle, formula, baby foods ~ and after that, a wide variety of way more poor choices than great ones. We know this and remember ‘after’ each heavy meal, binge-out late at night by fridge door light, or that second dish of ice cream, the fat/sodium/crap laden packaged food we buy while deliberately not looking at the label.
Health is wealth, but we don't treasure it as deliberately as we might, as we should ...
When we go shopping, what’s in the cart is taking our life in our hands – far riskier than the car ride to and from the store.