Writing, as I do today, from the perspective of someone just past their seventieth birthday, I have become all too familiar with the occasional brush with indicators of the ageing process as they affect me from time to time.
As regards what are sometimes called “senior moments” – e.g. forgetting where one had carefully and deliberately left one’s car keys – or sundry other items now urgently needed in the present – within the previous two hours; walking to your local mini-supermarket with the intent of buying four specific items and, when you get there, failing to remember one (or possibly two) of them; getting somewhat hazy about remembering someone’s name (or, alternatively, full well knowing someone’s name but having to undergo a distinct struggle with your brain-to-bodily-functions to actually spout it); or perhaps placing an open bag of sugar beside you on the kitchen worktop but somehow then managing to knock it over as you move your hand to collect the now-boiled kettle in order to make a cup of tea – to be perfectly honest, I’ve suffered from the phenomenon most of my adult life.
It’s just that these days everyone else who comes across me refers to them as examples of my “senior moments” to such an extent that now I now follow suit.
From my viewpoint, whilst I accept that there are precautions one can take, or lifestyle changes that one can implement, in order to either “maintain one’s active quality of life for as long as possible” and/or “stave off the inevitable” – I refer here to the likes quitting smoking, moderating one’s alcohol intake, doing a newspaper crossword every day, taking up a new hobby (or learning a new language), trying to keep active and maintain a lively round of general socialising – I also believe that – by the same token – it’s also a healthy thing from time to time to “come to terms” with the process of one’s failing mental and physical powers and just accept (if you like) that you can no longer behave generally as you might have done as a twenty-something, still less match the athletic achievements you enjoyed at that age.
In talking to my own kids – both now in their late thirties – I’ve glibly described this attitude as being part of the life-long “growing up” process that every individual is constantly dealing with (subconsciously or otherwise) as time goes by.
Managing a healthy balance between “ranging against the dying of the light” (boiled to its essence, trying to stay young and in the present) and gradually accepting the accompanying vicissitudes of old age when they occasionally – or sometimes permanently – “tap you on the shoulder” should be regarded an art it itself.
From time to time on this website contributors occasionally post links to articles or videos that they think might be of potential interest or relevance to readers of this organ.
One of the features of this practice is the frequency with which the latest scientific or medical research and advice seems to contradict or challenge previous received opinions or supposed “best practices”.
I spotted one today on the website of the Daily Mail.
It is not unknown for the medical profession to issue warnings about just how low the “ceiling” should be for the average individual’s alcohol intake if they want to stay healthy. It is also a general “fact” that there is a gap between what a man can safely absorb and a woman’s, much of it based upon body size and density alone.
Against that there is also advice occasionally doing the rounds that (as regards wine) “a glass of red per day” is actually good for one’s health in terms of blood pressure and so on.
Be that as it may, here’s a link to a piece by Shaun Wooller, Health Correspondent of the newspaper, about new research suggesting that even four pints of beer, or four small glasses of wine per week can significantly raise the risk of an individual eventually suffering from dementia – see here – DAILY MAIL
Personally, I had a simple reaction to the news.
This close to the festive season, I see nothing to be gain by addressing this problem until at least the 28th or 29th of December when I shall be concocting my supposed New Year’s resolutions.
Heaven can wait.