Today is my grandpa’s 91st birthday. 91 years old. That is amazing. And he’s in relatively good health too. He’s still fairly active, has no major health issues, and has a pretty great life. Of course, we joke that he has “Old Man Disease,” which is what happens when you decide that you no longer care what others think and just say whatever is on your mind, but hey, when you live that long, it’s allowed. He’s definitely not a cranky old guy – he’s usually in a great mood. He just doesn’t care to sugar coat things anymore. Fair enough.
I look at him and I wonder how I can stay healthy enough to live that long. Some of it is just good genetics, of course. And I can only hope that those have transferred to me. He has siblings with severe diabetes issues related to their weight and I’m sure seeing that helps him stay on track. He’s kept reasonably trim his whole life, though I can’t say that he’s the sort to deprive himself. He’s got incredible portion control. There are always cookies in their house, and he goes to the freezer to get one or two in the afternoon. I would be constantly filled with cookies if that were my house.
He’s also managed to stay fairly active and until my grandmother was injured in a drunk driving accident (the other driver, not her), the two of them would go on long walks together. Now he usually goes alone, but it’s not as often. Either way though, the activity was definitely a way that he kept healthy. He grew up on a farm and has always loved to be outdoors.
Sometimes, longevity is just luck, especially when you hear about all of these centenarians who have made it as long as they have while smoking a pack a day. But it’s worthwhile to find people who have lived many, many decades and find out what they did to get there.