Sunday, 15 May 2016

Longevity, five years later

A natural continuation to my post dated 15 May 2011. My paternal grandfather, my only grandparent still alive, turns 90 the day after tomorrow. He is my first ancestor who will have reached such grand old age. After my grandma’s departure last year, he lives on his own, yet every second day my father or my uncle visit him to help his run the house, or to make it clear, to run his house. This teaches the lesson that “old” marriage model in which a woman is solely responsible for household chores while a man earns a livelihood, leaves a widower helpless after several decades of being served by his wife. Fortunately, today’s marriages are geared to sharing mundane duties and men as a matter of principle are familiar with using washing machine, ironing, cleaning or cooking.

Compared to how he managed five years ago, grandpa is naturally mentally and physically less, yet still moves around on his own, but everything he does, he does very slowly (dressing up takes him twenty minutes, morning toiletry more than half an hour). Mentally, he is definitely less bright, yet in simple terms understand what is going on around. Quite conceivably, in five years I may wish him well on his 95th birthday, yet mortality statistics look somewhat downbeat for males in his age.

Revising the post from 2011, my grandfather denies most of the twelve longevity-conducive factors I mentioned there. I think he owes his long life to my grandpa who wore trousers for over sixty six years of their marriage, who was always first to look after sons and the house. Maybe leading a carefree life should be tacked on as another driver of longer life length.

And I could hold back from repeating one of the last sentences: look at young yuppies who break their backs to make roaring careers and make lots money and ask yourself, if they'll be able to carry on like this for 40 years. Imagine a man working 60 hours a week for four decades when he retires in his sixties. I was writing it at the early stage of my career, before university graduation and did not know whether and when I would end up in such treadmill. As this is the situation in which I am stuck now (weighing up quitting the New Factory next year if nothing improves), I am more than sure I will not carry on like this for 40 years as long working hours and rapid pace of work involve lots of stress, leave little time and suck out energy, both essential for experiencing pleasures.

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