July 15, 2011
I’m not sure how I got to thinking about this topic a couple of days ago…perhaps it had something to do with my, then upcoming, annual physical examination at Seattle’s VA Hospital which happened two-day ago. Thankfully…no problems.
I think it was also because when you reach my current age (70), you become aware that friends, and friends of other friends your age, are dropping like flies and in the natural progression of things…as far as my family is concerned…I’m next in line.
It got me to thinking, I wonder what the current life expectancy is in the United States…so, I posed the question to my Internet search box and came up with this Wikipedia informational link…
I’m not sure what I expected to find…but I found out the average life expectancy in the United States for males is 75.6 and for females is 80.8. Some how I thought it was longer than that. I was particularly surprised that the United States ranked 36th in the world…once again I thought it would be higher that. What country is number one????…you’ve got to click the link to find out. I never would have guessed it.
I realize these number are averages…and that there are lots of factors involved. In my family, my father died at the age of 65…but he was a welder (inhaling all those welding fumes and asbestos in the shipyards) and a smoker as well. My mother died of cancer (the only cancer victim in our family that I’m aware of) at the age of 84. A couple of my grandmothers lived until well into their 90′s.
I am very fortunate to have inherited my mother’s good health…for I have never suffered a major illness or broken a bone in my body in my entire life. Every day I wake I am thankful for my good health.
Another thing I really like about myself is that money has never been that important to me. I’m not wealthy…but I’ve enough to live my life the way it makes me happy.
No matter how wealthy a person is, no amount of money can buy you more than your allotted time. I remember many years ago watching the life story of Sam Walton (a man who worked all of his life and seldom took a vacation) die a shriveled-up old man at the age of 74. All of his money couldn’t buy him an extra day.
It’s a well stated fact…stress kills. When I retired at the age of 55 in 1995…my goal was to de-stress my life as much as possible. I have a long-time close friend who has told me…”I’m so envious of you…you have managed to so simplify your life!”
Another way that I have been very lucky is…way back in 1968…in my Dale Carnegie class…they taught me how to live my life one day at a time. In other words…you cannot change your yesterdays and tomorrow will take care of themselves. For 25+years this license plate, which currently is bolted to my Ford Bronco II, has been there to remind me to do just that. In the last 40+ years…I’VE WORRIED ABOUT NOTHING! I truly have peace-of-mind.
So, I guess what I am saying is, that I (barring an unfortunate accident) expect to beat the averages and be around for a long time to come. Another factor is…suppossedly…only the good die young…so that’s also working in my favor!
So the moral of this story is…
If you find yourself struggling with life…my recommendations are…
1) Buy the Dale Carnegie book “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” and use the appropriate principles that apply to your life.
2) Try to eat healthier.
3) Get moderate exercise.
4) Quit smoking if you do.
5) Use alcohol moderately.
I’ve been a full-time RVer and on perpetual vacation for the last 16 years. In my travels, I’ve met many people who have said to me…”God, I envy the way you live!”
I reply…”You can do it too…there are only three easy steps”…
1) Retire as early as you can.
2) Sell everything you own.
3) Bay an RV and hit the road. (Disconnect your TV and bring lots of books along.) And immediately they start to stutter…”Ah, but in my case…dah, dah, dah, etc…
If you really want something bad enough in your life…it can usually be attained…if you are willing to give what it takes. Most folks are not willing to do so. For instance…I wish I could play a guitar like Willie Nelson. Am I willing to practice five hours a day…every day of my life… like he does???? Nope…so needless to say…I do not play a guitar like Willie Nelson.
RVing is essentially a stress-free life. All one needs to be concerned with is obeying basic vehicle laws…other than that… you have little interface with all the rules, regulations and taxes of the world.
Life is very short…each and every day we are given is priceless.
Go Rving! Try it…you’ll like it!
Oh, I forgot to tell you the one goal I have left in my life is…I hope to be the world’s first 100-year-old active RVer!
All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2011
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