I confess to musing a bit more than usual about life these days. Especially mine. As I’ve mentioned too many times lately, I am 70 and 70, it seems, is a special number in history and literature. In the bible it is deemed the kingly number for reasons not clear to me since I do not read, study or even believe in the bible as ‘the word of God’. But I do, of course, accept that it is an old book with lots of wisdom and so, if the bible thinks 70 is a BIG deal, that is, at least, something, I suppose.
The bible also suggested that our natural lifespan was three score and ten or, in modern terms, seventy. Unless you are strong (psalm 90:10 – The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.). Translation: if you are strong, you are in the running to make 80.
Mind you, people have lived well beyond 100 and the number of centenarians is on the increase. On average, 8000 Canadians live to be 100 (that stat makes no sense, really. If they last a year and live to be 101 are they counted again? And again at 102?). Regardless, the stats suggest that, if we counted centenarians today, we would find about 8000 of them and, oddly, a disproportionate number in Nova Scotia.
Of course, for centenarians to be counted, a lot of them had to pass through their 80’s and nineties. So, the bible suggests 70, stats imply 100+ and the difference is thirty years or close to 40% difference. And I know dozens of people in their 80’s and nineties.
So….no one really knows how long we got, do they.? Thus the musing.
Well, Sal is a rock. She’s got great genes, lives healthy and is slim. All good indicators. As for me….? I am still pretty strong. Pretty healthy. If my current ‘doctor’s file’ is anything to go by, I am good for awhile. But, you know…? Things happen. Scooting in Thailand raised the risk bar for a couple of months, not to mention flying there in a giant aluminum tube chock-full to the brim with bacteria and germs. And one can get hit by a bus or fall out of a boat at any time. There are any number of options when it comes to accidentally checking out. And, as you get older, you become more aware of them. Excruciatingly so.
Your balance is not as good as it was. Nor is your concentration, muscles, bones, reflexes, reaction-times and things like that. We become more vulnerable as we age and we get increasingly more conscious of that. This year was a wake-up call for me.
Well, to be more accurate, I need more wake-up calls now. I am starting to nap, you see. I have found that getting up earlier is becoming more common for me and then getting tired half-way through the day is also more likely. So, nature is telling me to ‘split the day’ into more easily managed halves. I am listening.
Awareness of dangers and vulnerabilities, resting half-way through the day, diminishing work accomplished, fewer aspirations, less consumption, less desire to travel (OK, none!) and even more vegetables instead of steaks and burgers all make for a sense of going through a life/sea change, introspection, musing. “Hmmm…seems I am changing yet again….what next?”
I have no idea what the next ten years holds for us. On the face of it, we will be here putzing about, growing our garden and spoiling our grandchild while enjoying the surrounding natural beauty and maintaining a healthy lifestyle with plenty of wine for accompaniment. The thing is that life always throws curveballs and the next ten years so-pictured is likely the one vision that is guaranteed NOT to happen.