A few years before my grandfather passed on, he took all his money, sold his home in England and moved himself into a very posh retirement home. He worked long and hard and was ending his years in high style. Which he did.
Happily puttering in the gardens and I’m sure entertaining everyone with his sharp sense of humor. And then one night, he went to bed and that was that. 97 years of living, living, living!
Not to say his life was without challenges. Oh my goodness…our challenges wouldn’t compare. The London neighborhood they lived in during the war was bombed repeatedly. My mom recalls sleeping under a military provided ‘bomb proof’ table and much of her schooling done in bomb shelters. This is real stress for a parent. For years Grandpa was in the military, caring for and protecting his family and country. He did not deal with his stress by drinking heavily or smoking or any other habit that leads to that downward spiral of health. The stories I hear are of the pranks and jokes Grandpa loved to pull. Despite all the stresses, he had his sense of humor. Humor and laughter can whisk away stress faster than any alcoholic drink.
As his life progressed, there where no medications for chronic illnesses, no frequent visits to the doctor and no health complaints to speak of. At one point, I remember my mother placing a call to England to warn my grandfather’s next door neighbors, that if they saw him lying on his living room floor, he was okay. Grandpa was just at the end of his morning yoga routine, stretched out and lying on the floor for as long as he felt like it.
How many people in this day and age, live a long life; live a long life without prescription drugs; live a long life healthy and then fall asleep and pass on? It just doesn’t happen anymore – at least not often. I’m striving to follow in my grandpa’s shoes, taking the steps he took and following my list for living long and living healthy.
Grandpa had made a list to live by:
Morning yoga to keep the body and spirit limber.
Laugh often (he was a jokester with a sparkle in his eye).
Walk (move) every day.
Eat fresh food, grown close to home.
Eat delectable treats in moderation and slowly savor every bite (ah, pleasure).
Do something you love everyday (for Grandpa it was his garden).
Laughter, happiness and fun, is as important as fueling our bodies with healthful food.
LAUGH OFTEN – MOVE – EAT WELL – LOVE LOTS – LIVE LONG!
What is your list to LIVE by?