Archives for posts with tag: Life

How to live a long healthy life, stimulated in both work and play, with a loving family and trustworthy, supportive friends?

I was watching this video recently from BBC Reel about a certain region of Japan where they believe they’ve found the 4 secrets to long life. It’s probably no surprise that the world’s longest living nation puts its longevity down to diet, exercise, the ability to help yourself and a mutual help system, otherwise known as a socialising – at least in my book.

Speaking of my book, what do I think the secret of a long healthy life is? I’m barely half way to the age of Japan’s famed centenarians, so I’m hardly an infallible data point. But anyway, I think the secret is to enjoy. Enjoy who you are, what you’re doing, and the company of those you hold dear.

The enjoying who you are bit I think is the most important element. Being comfortable with who you are, what you do well, what you do less well, what you like and what you don’t like. A key part of being comfortable with who you are is being easy on yourself. Give yourself a break. Being down on yourself is almost always counter-productive.

That’s why I always try to have a one word parting gesture when someone’s about to embark on something they’re looking forward to, and, if I’m honest, on something they’re not looking forward to: enjoy.

A child died recently in my local community. A young teenager. It’s hard to write this post, because even though I didn’t know the child, those close to me did.

The last funeral I was at for a young person was 20 years ago when a cousin of my good lady died aged 19. This recent event brought back all those memories.

The over-riding feeling is that of a sense of waste. A waste of a life not lived fully, a life that could have united with someone else to bring forth other lives. And of course a sense of deep loss and empathy for the family who will go through the kind of torture that will only marginally lessen over decades.

As you can imagine, the funeral was a desperately sad and upsetting affair, full of women and children crying, men with their faces set in a grim rictus. In other words, the kind of funeral for any premature death.

I could offer the usual platitude that this kind of thing puts our everyday troubles in stark perspective, which of course it does, but what struck me at this funeral were the words of the sermon at the funeral 20 years ago, delivered by the young priest.

He had one piece of advice, which was, ‘never forget, never forget them.’ Then he added, pointing to his heart and his head, ‘they live here, and here.’