We’re only halfway there

Fifty years is a pretty long time. That’s 18,250 days. Minus the dependent age from zero to twenty, we’ve clocked over 10,000 days as adults. If we spend half that time sleeping, that’s more than 5,000 days, enough to go round the world 62 times, Verne’s way.

A friend’s mum said that we go through four perspectives of life and death.

0-21 years – Unafraid to die. Don’t understand or care about life and death.  Often challenging death. Feels invincible.

20s & 40s – Quietly fearing death. Career or business building up. Responsible for loved ones. Becomes precautionary.

50s & 60s – Empty nest. Starting to feel pains and aches. Harder to lose weight or heal. Some hit with long-term illnesses. Wonders about euthanasia and wills before senility takes over.

70s onwards – Staying alive on tablets, pills and visits to doctors. Friends are leaving or gone, so is memory and other abilities. Waiting for the time to go.

But wait. That’s the view of the older generation.

According to a BBC article, we’ve only reached middle age. A generation ago, middle age was 36 when the average lifespan was in the 70s. Now, it is predicted that boomers-turn-centenarians will fill the earth. That’s frightfully alarming, isn’t it?

But let’s not fret over this too much or we’ll just be counting the days till the sun stops burning.

Main thing to note is that ageing in the 21st century is very different from a generation ago. 50s is the new 30s now. We have another 25 or more good years to take charge of our lives. We’ve got to start planning and stop resigning to the old concept of retirement.

It’s still possible to pursue your dream, no matter how ridiculous you think. For example, if you dream of being a doctor or lawyer, it only takes about 5 years to get qualified. So if you start at 50, you can still practise before 60 and continue for another 10 or more years. I know someone who has done it.

At our age, it isn’t about losing sleep to make more money. It’s about adding more meaning to our lives and to the people around us. And in the course of it, staying connected and engaged helps us to be positive, interesting and independent.

Imagine if we live to be 100, that’s still another 50 years to go. It’s up to us to make them awesome or worrisome years. But nothing’s guaranteed anyway, so make the best of our time while we can, of our health while we still have it. Being young is a state of mind.

JY

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2 thoughts on “We’re only halfway there

  1. Good wake-up call. My friend Linda said that when she was turning 50 — “I’m only halfway there!” The important thing is to stay healthy.
    To do this, I follow Harry’s Rules, from a book I read about exercise for women – it’s posted on my fridge as a reminder:
    1- Exercise 6 days a week for the rest of your life. [Walk instead of drive, whenever possible. Swim everyday. Yoga 5 days a week.]
    2- Do serious aerobic exercise four days a week for the rest of your life.
    3- Do serious strength training, with weights, two days a week for the rest of your life. [Two of my fitness classes combine weights with aerobics – killing 2 birds with one stone!]
    4- Spend less than you make. [Easy to do if you’ve been brought up Chinese.]
    5- Quit eating crap! [I’ve long gone off fast foods. It just takes too much time to cook it myself. Luckily we have a culinary academy here – and I have my mom who still prefers to cook her own meals.]
    6- Care. [It’s the aloha spirit here in Hawaii.]
    7- Connect and commit. [Thanks to social media, email, Facetime, Skype, VOIP, and fast internet — it’s possible]

  2. I feel about as young as I did when I was 40 yo. I choose to work only half-time so I cam play on the boat or ride my motorcycle. I still make about as much money but it took me twenty years to set it all up.   Thank you Joan Yap for reminding us that our future is exactly that ,, it’s still ahead of us!   Thinking of you Lonnie

    ________________________________

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