Some Thoughts on Longevity

Watching this report on a woman reaching her 109th birthday got me thinking. Whenever someone gets up there in years they ask to what they attribute long life. In this case it was God and basketball. My favorite answer to this question, and sorry I can’t remember who first said it, maybe George Burns, was just not dying.

Researchers are always trying to find out what helps us live longer. Some say diet, some say lifestyle. I like the study that came out saying that married men live longer than men who stay single. That study was later refuted when the married men said that it just felt like they were living longer because their marriage was going on and on forever. (It’s just a joke, Snowball.)

So far, I’m still feeling like I’ve got a lot of years left in me. (Knock, knock) Not sure if that’s good or bad considering one of the disadvantages of long life is seeing everyone you know moving on. Back when I was in my twenties I talked to an older woman who was complaining about not getting her newspaper. “All my friends are dying and I’m not getting the notices.” she said. I always thought that was the saddest statement I ever heard.

Another story involves a prolific, talented artist who had died. As they were going through his studio they found an unfinished painting on his easel. They could see it was going to be another of his great works of art left forever unfinished. The point of the story asked what will people find on your “easel” when you are gone. I’m sure in my case it’ll be a bucket load of partly written drafts for this blog and notes for my forever-unfinished Great American Novel”. Oh, and an unmowed lawn.

So in all of this remember, it’s not so much “He who dies with the most toys wins” or “Long life is the best revenge”. It’s how you and your accomplishments are remembered by others.