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Saturday, July 18, 2015

WHAT SHOULD OLD PEOPLE DO TO MAXIMIZE HAPPINESS FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIFE...AND BEYOND

Let's say you're getting old.  That could be 50, 70 or 90.  How much longer you live depends on a variety of factors:  genetics, fatal accident, nutrition/health and....

Can't do much about your parents.  If both passed away from cardiovascular problems, feel comfortable that medical science now has some solutions.  If they are alive, that only omens well for you.

To avoid getting killed in a plane crash or crossing the street, if you can afford it, you can stay in your room and have food brought up to you.  In 15 Craigside, that is actually possible.  We live in a cocoon, and for an extra few bucks you can have your three meals/day delivered.  You can take a chance on going to movies, participate in exercise classes, attend sermons and segue through life as most do--right here where we live--with the additional danger that you will need to walk to the elevator, hope it works and otherwise perhaps contracting some fatal disease through being in the same room with other human beings.  At least you can feel safe from a traffic accident, muggers and a marauding dog pack.

If you're like me and don't believe in any kind of afterlife, you can almost see that light at the end of that tunnel, and therefore feel compelled to maximize pleasure within the bounds of legality, morality and finances.  One issue is how much you should be compromising your lifestyle to maximize longevity:
  • Should you continue that every fifth year colonoscopy?  Me, no.
  • What about a blood test every six months so your doctor can better advise you?  Yes, even though that blood drawing process is close to horrifying because my veins (arteries?) are hard to find.
  • Reduce salt intake?  Yes, but I overindulge with sashimi (lots of sodium in shoyu) and Hawaiian food because there are only so many more of these I'll be eating, and time is running out.
  • Cut out white rice and white bread?  Nope, same reason.
  • Avoid Rainbow Drive-In and Zippy's?  No, but I have already blamed these take-outs for my upcoming premature death.
  • Sleep at least 8 hours/night?  I try to, but seem to stop at six hours, with the promise of taking a nap in the afternoon, which never happens.  Sleep is very good for you.  The latest study indicates that a MINIMUM OF SEVEN HOURS is advise.
  • Diet?  Nope.  What is your optimal weight?  My blog says that older individuals slightly overweight have a higher life expectancy that those skinnier.  I attempt to keep my Body-Mass Index at the higher end of normality so I'm now at 24.3, where overweight begins at 25.  My personal doctor does not agree with me, and I see him this coming week.
  • Minimize any kind of travel?  Generally yes, but:
    • I helped draft that original legislation for ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) and will participate in a two-day workshop and dedication of the Makai Ocean Engineering OTEC facility at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority on the Big Island next month.  However, I'll stay a couple days at Four Seasons Hualalai to reward myself.
    • I still have on my agenda a 65-day around the world adventure this Fall.  If this didn't become an imperative because I've been talking about this adventure too much, I might have cancelled because I've done this before, again and again.   The stress of getting on an international flight every three days is almost too much. However, this will be my final such odyssey, for I am losing judgement and am not financially independent anymore.
    • Well, I am actually sort of considering a 110-day round the world cruise beginning in January of 2017.  The problem is that I can't afford the cabin cost, for a single person essentially pays double.  I'll be looking for an ideal female companion who can pay her share.
Most of the above are physical tactics for this current life.  Perhaps later I'll attempt to address the psychological / sociological / spiritual factors.  Certainly, I'm not advocating all old people to follow my strategy.  There are countless paths to paradise, and my passage, for one, seems to be leading to eternal gloom.  While I've long hoped for something beyond death, I'm afraid the odds of any kind of afterlife for me is approaching a state of infinitesimality.

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Tropical Depression Halola is only at 35 MPH, but is expected to strengthen into a typhoon and head towards Shikoku, Japan:


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