The Downside of Clean Living July 10, 2013Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Humor, Mindfulness.
Most of us benefit from having at least one bad habit since no one enjoys hanging around “perfect” people.
At some level, we enjoy watching others make “stupid mistakes.” It makes us feel better about our own stupidity.
As a case in point, I am secretly amused when someone who is grossly overweight tells me that smoking is bad for my health.
Especially if they are eating a bucket of fried chicken or inhaling a vat of ice cream at the time.
Would you like to super-duper-size that?
My “bad habit” is smoking. I quit once for five years, after smoking for 20 years. It wasn’t hard. I know I could do it again, because I don’t smoke much. Maybe four cigarettes a day. Five tops.
So, why don’t I quit?
Part of it is the rebel in me. I don’t want anyone (or everyone) else telling me how to live my life. But it’s more than that.
Susannah Mushatte Jones, the oldest woman in New York State, the second oldest in the country, and the third oldest in the world, is blind, hard of hearing, and confined to a wheelchair. She lost all her teeth (but two have grown back). She retired 48 years ago, in 1965. Her life consists of eating, sleeping, napping, pooping, and having people yell things in her ear:
Can you hear me now? . . . (PAUSE) . . . CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?
Question: What kind of life is that? Answer: Not one that appeals to me.
The idea of being here for another 60 years horrifies me.
Living in perpetuity is far more terrifying than dying.
I don’t want to outlive my interests. I don’t want to be here so long that I’m just killing time waiting for the Grim Reaper to appear on the horizon with his scythe.
After a century plus of living, loving, laughing, and learning, I’m confident I’d agree with the person who, in 1990 B.C., wrote a poem called The Man Who Was Tired of Life:
Death is in my sight today
As when a man desires to see home
After he has spent many years in captivity
Susannah’s secret to longevity? Clean living. She never smoked cigarettes, drank liquor, or partied.
I don’t plan to make that mistake.
Continuing to smoke is my insurance policy against being stuck here forever.
Aah . . . that’s better!
What say you? Does the idea of living to 114 hold any appeal? Or would you rather check out a bit sooner than that?
(My birthday is this week. I am NOT within spitting distance of 113. Praise the Lord and pass the loot!)