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2013: Laughing and Other Things!

Long Life! There, I said it. How about something to help with that as a goal for 2013? What if this blog could give you an idea that would add quantity and quality to your life? Well, I have researched to find the “fountain of youth”.

If that doesn’t get your attention, then wait for my next blog, “How to make millions from a Lazy Boy recliner”.That one might take a bit more research.

To discuss long life, I hope that you will give me permission to write my longest blog yet. You can always just skim and maybe only pick up an extra 6 years of longevity.

Here is what wikipedia defines different searches for long life. I figured that since it was on the Internet, it has to be true; All except that I think it goes sideways on what the New Testament describes. I would have to differ a bit there. Otherwise:

The Fountain of Youth reputedly restores the youth of anyone who drinks of its waters. The New Testament, following older Jewish tradition, attributes healing to the Pool of Bethesda when the waters are “stirred” by an angel.[74] Herodotus attributes exceptional longevity to a fountain in the land of the Ethiopians.[75] The lore of the Alexander Romance and of Al-Khidr describes such a fountain, and stories about the philosopher’s stone, universal panaceas, and the elixir of life are widespread.

After the death of Juan Ponce de León, Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo wrote in Historia General y Natural de las Indias (1535) that Ponce de León was looking for the waters of Bimini to cure his aging.

After reading that, I didn’t really come away with any real application for 2013. So, I decided to turn my attention to those that have lived long. First, I read all about Japan’s Jiroemon Kimura. Guinness has confirmed that he is the oldest man who ever lived.

Kimura is currently 115 years, 260 plus days old, and counting. He is only the third documented man (we are not counting Biblical days) to live beyond 115 years. His personal motto to long life is “eat light to live long”. He believes that the key to his longevity is to live a healthy lifestyle and be a small eater. When I read that, I thought I was on to something.

Then, I found a lady who lived longer. What did she say was her secret to long life? In 1997, Jeanne Calment died in a nursing home at the age of 122. She was recognized as the oldest person whose age had been verified by official documents.

Shortly after her death, the New York Times did a story on her that included her quotes on long life. Longevity had run in her family. Her mother had lived until 86 and her father until 93.

She rode a bicycle until she was 100 and walked all over her hometown of Aries, France, to thank those who had sent congratulations on her birthday that year. It wasn’t until she turned 110 that she moved into a care facility because of her increasing frailty. (she was an exerciser!)

Thereafter, she was interviewed on her secret to long life. First, she lectured the interviewer about one of his questions by answering, “When you’re 117, you see if you remember everything!”. Another time, at the conclusion of one of her celebrations; it was casually said to her, “Until next year, perhaps,” she quickly retorted, “I don’t see why not! You don’t look so bad to me.”.

The Times article is filled with other fun remembrances of her. The most important take-away on long life was her specific piece of advice. Apparently, you truly applied it. Those that knew her said that she was immune to stress. She felt that, “if you can’t do anything about it, don’t worry about it.” When I read that, I thought that I might be on to something. (lower the stress)

So far, I felt like I had picked up some possible goals to strive for in 2013. Pushing away from the table is a good idea. There are a lot of medical studies that say that stress does impact your immune system.

Then, I picked up another while visiting my wife’s family. I had seen on their refrigerator a sign hanging that said, “laugh every day”. I don’t want to be like Ambrose!

Commenting on the sign caused my father-in-law to tell the following story:

It was right around 1969, when companies were not afraid of such things as age discrimination lawsuits. So, it was not uncommon to tell workers that it was time for them to move on, based on age.

One man was told around the age 65 that he would be retiring. He really was not ready. He felt invigorated and ready to keep working, but they hired his replacement anyway.

He decided to buy a laugh box. The box was described as something that looked like a radio; with a button that could be pushed that caused a deep, loud and hearty laugh; everytime that you pushed it that booming laugh would ring out.

Because this man was now facing a mandatory retirement, he wasn’t worried about any complaints about the laugh-box. Whenever he would push the button, everyone around would also begin to laugh. It just had that effect. In fact, people would be laughing while walking down the hallway and be asked, “what are you laughing at?” The response, that laugh-box. That would even cause the people in the hallway to laugh. Contagious!

When the man retired, he went on to build sails for sailboats. He also continued to laugh just like the sign on the family refrigerator suggested. When I asked whether it helped the man, my father-in-law did say that he lived to be ninety-five, and even after he had retired, people in the office would periodically smile about him and his laughbox.

My list of goals for 2013 has grown as I have been thinking about them. I hope to attain all goals now listed. My father-in-law suggested that he would even try to laugh, when he might not feel like it and it would emotionally pick him up. When I thought about it, I decided to add it to the list. A great suggestion… to “laugh every day”. Try to add quality and quantity to life.

I hope that you will share some ideas for the New Year in comments or at our law firm Facebook location.

Thanks for joining me at the blog this year and I wish and pray that you will have a happy and healthy New Year!

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