Sunset boulevard: Live your life and forget your age

Medical science offers new hopes, new cures and of course new risks for those who must arrest age against the laws of nature known to us so far.
By Col DS Cheema (retd)
UPDATED ON MAY 24, 2015 09:51 AM IST

Medical science offers new hopes, new cures and of course new risks for those who must arrest age against the laws of nature known to us so far. Can medical science reverse the proposition that body dies over a period of time in natural course called ageing? (But soul lives on). Can biomedicine defeat diseases if not death itself ? We don’t know the answers to such questions and so, for the time being, we must live with the reality that one must die. However, the knowledge that death is inevitable is by itself a source of anxiety and worry for most of us. In this scenario, forgetting one’s age is a very difficult thing to do for many reasons.

The most basic is that your visits to the doctors and chemist shops become more than the visits to your relatives and friends living in the same city, or driving to the market place for shopping, or walking down to the book-shop for picking up the latest book you wanted to read or even accompanying your wife to the tailor. The second reason which is more important and relevant in our case is that others don’t let you forget that you are old and are getting older by the day.

The neighbours must ask, “I hope all is well”, the first conversation of the relatives who call from foreign lands is “How is the health, Ok?” When you attend weddings and other social gettogethers to unwind and forget agerelated physical problems, your agemates, friends as well as acquaintances, must compare notes about ‘good’ doctors from all streams of medicine science. One rarely comes across a positive response when speaking with an aged person.

Many spend sleepless nights thinking of impending diseases resulting in painful death. Too much of anxiety and too hard an effort to live a healthy and long life can be counter-productive and may even hasten the process of aging. You must understand that it is possible to lead a stress-free and healthy life till the last day, irrespective of the merciless onslaught of advancing age. And to do so, you must forget your age and start living a normal life.

And what is normal living? By this I mean a moderation in everything, what one does or does not. Keeping your brain fighting fit is, perhaps the key to moderate (good) living. We all know that excess of anything, even a good thing, is bad. There is only one thing that can never be excessive and that is the right kind of brain activity. The myth that mental functioning deteriorates with time has been shattered by many studies all over the world. In fact, it can be improved with age, that is, if you want it. Brooding or thinking deeply about something unpleasant that happened in the past, which unfortunately becomes the favourite pastime for many elders in poor health, is not a good brain-activity. Forgetting the past and living in the present with whatever is your ‘balance-sheet’ on a particular day can help you remain happy forever.

Wise men tell us to slow down, stay calm and unflustered even when circumstances force us to speed up and run still faster. It is easier said than done. Since we cannot keep pace with the outside world, we must discover ways and means of ‘unplugging’ ourselves from what happens around us. By this I definitely don’t mean being insensitive to the real world. One must try to communicate with many ‘natural’ solutions available to us all around. So, use them for decelerating the pace of life and becoming happy ‘naturally’. To begin with, starting the day by expressing gratitude to the Creator using your favourite method for all that you already have, is a great idea.

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