Today I was reading a newspaper article about a research study that UC Irvine is holding on how the elderly live so long. The participants in their study are all over 90 years old, and when asked why they lived so long, many of them answered that they stay busy and positive. Four interviewed 90+ women all had some kind of health habits or issues when they were younger. Three of the four were heavy smokers for over 20 years and the other was exposed to radiation in her twenties. They all make the most of their time on earth and accept the fact that they may die soon. One woman says, “Death? It happens to everybody. Nobody’s ever missed it.” This made me think about how easy it is for these women to enjoy their lives because they accept that they will die. They make everyday memorable and keep their days so busy because they seem to appreciate life more now that they have less time left on earth.
This also made me think that the reason why young people take things for granted is because they don’t realize how little time they have on earth. The youth of today always assumes there is a tomorrow, they are so set in the future that they do not live in the day and in the moment. Elderly people are easily able to think about the day and moment they live in because they have already lived their future. Their next step is going into whatever or not afterlife they believe in. They are able to enjoy their days as they go by because they don’t know whether or not they will have a tomorrow.
Being a young person I have started wondering about why I worry so much about what will happen tomorrow or the next day and don’t just live for the now. I wish I were able to not think about my future, but I feel like if I don’t I won’t have one. It’s hard to live in the day because I have so much work to do to prepare for tomorrow. It might just be the society that we live in today that forces the youth to constantly think ahead and plan their future.
In any case I just hope that I am able to enjoy my life when I get older like the ladies in the newspaper article, and who knows the UC Irvine study might come up with ways to help people live longer and better enjoy their later years.