Tales of a Geriatrician
Living it Up to Live Longer, what I’ve Learned
Over the years I’ve had the good fortune of having patients, friends and acquaintances who lived long lives. My inquisitive nature compelled me to ask them to elaborate on the secrets to their long lives. When I had time to reflect, I began to see certain trends. I observed five things that were consistent in these individuals who lived long, full and happy lives. I formulated the acronym GRACE. I will share the first attribute in this blog.
- Goals: having a vision, having a plan or purpose, or having something to live for was a consistent attribute among the patients who lived into their 80’s and 90’s. It was interesting but it also followed them from their working or child rearing years into their retirement.
I have interacted with many individuals who demonstrated these attributes. In this blog and over the next several months, I intend to relate their stories. Mervyn, a tour guide I met while traveling in South Africa, Jack,a physical therapist in Florida, and in this blog, Al Stewart, an internationally known singer and songwriter.
A friend of mine was unexpectedly called out of town and gave me tickets to hear Al Stewart in concert this past summer. The Capitol Theater in downtown Clearwater was the venue for the event and how coincidental as it was vintage, just like the performer.
The crowd of mainly baby boomers greeted the performer with a loud ovation when he took the stage. I was taken by how casually dressed the singer was and how comfortable and happy he appeared. Throughout the concert Al Stewart appeared to be doing what he loved to do most in life; singing and entertaining.
During the intermission I started to calculate how old I thought Al was. When I came up with my best guess, my wife used her iPhone and confirmed his age by using the site IMDB. I won’t give away the performers age but he is well older than what we consider retirement age in this country. I was also taken by how much he appeared to love what he was doing and how genuinely happy he looked. He has a purpose in life: to entertain and bring joy to his audience. Having that goal is one of the attributes I have discovered that leads to a happy, healthier, and longer life.
When individuals have goals in life, along with the 4 other attributes of GRACE, they are happier, they live longer, they feel better, they look forward to the next day and on and on and on it goes.
Do you see the traits and attributes in your life?
What can you do to emulate and include these attributes in your life?
Do you have any comments to share or secrets to your health and happiness? I would like to hear from you.
For more about GRACE and living it up to live longer, read: I’ve Got Some Good News and Some Bad News YOU’RE OLD available on Createspace.com and Amazon.com
Click on either link below:
The kindle version will be available in a few weeks!
Here’s to a Long and Healthy Life!
David Bernstein, MD