Everybody wants to live a long life. Many of us work hard to do so. We hit the treadmill to strengthen the heart, quit smoking to preserve the lungs, and eat stuff that tastes like hay to flush out the system.
The dichotomy is, nobody wants to get old. Most of us work even harder at that. Creams, potions, unguents, lotions, powders, pills, oils and tonics – there is no end to the substances we put in and on our bodies in a vain attempt to get/keep them looking young.
Maybe we need to remind ourselves that getting old is not all bad news. It’s about gains and losses. I’ve compiled a list:
With age you lose… With age you gain…
Memory Senior discounts
Hair Ear hair
Friends and loved ones
The losses are self-explanatory. Examining the gains…
- Wisdom: As soon as you gain wisdom, you’ll probably lose your memory. Gain erased.
- Senior discounts: The places that offer them are inundated with 4pm diners. They order the special, tip 50¢ and take everything on the table that isn’t nailed down: sugar packets, jam, crackers, butter, creamer, etc. The restaurant loses its shirt and goes out of business. Gain erased.
- Ear Hair: This is the only true gain. It’s not typically considered much of a benefit.
OK, so getting old is mostly about loss. Still, if you want to get to Long Life, this is the route you have to take:
Long Life is just west of Old. Take the exit ramp going to Old, then stay on that road, through the twists and turns, ups and downs, all the way through town. How do you know when you’ve arrived at Long Life? When you’ve been on the Old Town Blacktop longer than most of the other travelers.
Unless you are a brooding teenage vampire, this universal truth (suitable for embroidering on a back pillow) applies:
The only way to get to Long Life is to go through Old.