Aging: It involves good luck, good health and good attitudes about your life past, present and future

By Donald A. Collins | 15 October 2022
Church and State


This past April, I, keenly aware, observed my 91st birthday. Since I have been writing Op Ed columns regularly for a powerful web site in London, it occurred to me that my faithful readers might permit me to expound on the personal subject of aging. On ageing and so many subjects, this web site has a profusion of top talent.

These superbly researched articles delineate the things we all should contemplate if we want to make our passage as simple as possible for our families.

Just a few examples will suffice as you can read here the full choices:

1. What to do about personal possessions which can cause far more anguish than how the estate divides the financial assets.

2. Dealing with the inevitable physical and mental declines.

The bottom line for everyone is slightly different, uniquely non sequential for everyone, but very certainly replicated by others if not necessarily in your order of decline.

Bottom line: one must say how one feels in any given moment of time.

What props me up now, subject to change tomorrow? I reserve the right to get fuzzy and depressed but avoid such downers that are likely already here to some extent. I avoid these failings now with the following supports.

1. A wife or companion who fills you with love and hope
2. A place to stay with proper support
3. The luck to enjoy adequate good health which permits satisfying physical and mental activity.
4. Daily interests which challenge your mind and body.
5. Assuming the above are achievable, one must reach out daily with love and compassion to all in your orbit.

Start mentally here: Pick a daily activity which demands your attention. It can be anything, such as simply sitting inhaling your view of your natural surroundings, doing a crossword puzzle, taking a walk assuming you can or getting help to do anything needed to allow you to DO THINGS.

Each of us needs different stimuli both mental and physical. One amazing 80-year-old friend can still play tennis, so accurately able to place his shots on alternate lines so that players far younger are exhausted long before he is.

Physical: Having a sport or just walking is a help if possible. Getting help to do some form of exercise is crucial. In my case, a sport I have played since age 14 golf allows me both exercise and the surprise pleasure of being able to play well enough that I can stay close to even with players who are younger.

There is no one formula for aging and the element of luck is paramount.

The October 4, 2022, death at 90 of Loretta Lynn prompted broadcast of a previously made, but recent documentary that revealed a life of extraordinary achievement in country music as a singer and composer after such a modest beginning, as she wrote in one of her major songs about starting life a “coal miner’s daughter” in Appalachia.

Each of us is on our own track, each unique: Aging well involves good luck, good health and good attitudes about your life past, present and future.

My Ethics: Attempted Honesty. My religion: None. My grave: Ashes only.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC, has spent over 50 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of “From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013”, “Trump Becoming Macbeth: Will our democracy survive?”, “We Humans Overwhelm Our Earth: 11 or 2 Billion by 2100?”, “What Can Be Done Now to Save Habitable Life on Planet Earth?”, “Vote”, “Can Homo Sapiens Survive?” and “Will Choice and Democracy Win?”.

More life – Decoding the secret of aging | DW Documentary

Living into your 90s

USA. The Oldest People In The World (Episode 1) | Full Documentary

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