Friday, September 18, 2009

Living ONE HUNDRED years...

Today, mother began her 100th year of life (her 99th birthday), thus 99 years of living are behind her...

So, what are the odds of living to 100?

Mankind has come a long way. In the recent past, the odds of becoming a centenarian were about 1-in-20 million, but today those odds can be as great as: 1-in-50. A world fact: in developed countries - girls, who were the first born, to caucasian mothers, aged to 25 years (or younger) are the most likely to live to 100...

Here's an approximate summary of the progression of global (historical) Average Life Expectancy:

Stone Age = 20 years
Bronze Age = 18
Early Rome = 28
Medieval Times = 33
End of 19th Century = 37
Early 20th Century = 50
1940's = 65
Present (circa 2009) = 77-81 years.

Quite naturally, the major factor in determining life expectancy is always, Genetics.

But other factors well within a person's control will also have an influence. It has a lot to do with Common Sense and the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle - by keeping fit; good diet; conscientious hygiene; the preservation of balanced mental health; and stress management. It's a complex matrix and difficult to quantify just how much each of those play a part. What is certain, is that substance abuse shortens one's life dramatically (smoking, for example has a very significant negative impact because of the inreased risk of both heart failure and cancer).

A truism?

By the time an individual arrives at 90, he or she has gotten past a lot of the things that have already killed most of their contemporaries. It's an irony, but those statistics may become rather irrelevant in the next 20-30 years - as medical technologies advance (including genetic engineering, stem-cell therapy, bionics, nanotechnology, and rejuvenation therapy). Indeed, the human lifespan could be pushed out to 150, 200, 300 or more years (assuming you can afford the price tag).

I for one, would love to live to 100!

What an achievement to have lived for an entire century! And to have witnessed so many varied world events, and seen so many innovations come to be, or pass into obsolesence.

Yes, I would love to live to 100 (provided that I don't become a burden for my loved ones), and provided that I still have "all my marbles". I think that living to 100 would be marvellous!

By the way, my (Me Thinks)
calculated life expectancy is 98!

Mother has always said, "I shall grow old, gracefully." To that, I would add, "A great life is not to be counted as the number of years we survive, rather - it's all about HOW we live them." I cannot recall ever seeing her angry, nor hearing her pronounce a foul word, or saying anything unpleasant about another person... She knows inner calm. She is also the most "other-centered" and genuinely "giving" and loving person I've even known.

May EVERYONE "love to 100" and live to set an example for others my mother has done for almost a CENTURY.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

P.S. Our "record holder", was one of mother's STREMMEL relatives - a gal who lived to the ripe old age of, 105. Another, reached 103. Two of her sisters made it to 94 and 92. Mom was her mother's 5th-born child - when Mary was 37.

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