Okay, M. Scott Peck stated in his book The Road Less Traveled that the root of all sin is laziness . . . that humans are always looking for the easy way out . . . looking for the ultimate loop hole. He says that was the original sin of Adam and Eve, they took the easy way out to knowledge instead of waiting for God. I am human. Laziness is ingrained in to my genetic make-up. And, I will admit that I have been searching for the easy way to live longer without dieting, exercising, and basically becoming a monk in some hermitage in the middle of nowhere. If there is a way to add years to my life without doing the work . . . well, I am all for it. So, you can imagine the expectations I had when I came across an article on the Internet proclaiming sixteen—not one or two, but sixteen ways to live longer. I was ecstatic . . . there was hope without having to break a sweat or giving up steak!
With great expectation I read the article . . . now, I am not so sure . . .
The first suggestion right out of the gate was to enjoy more sex. Sex boosts the immune system, reduces stress levels, and can even curb one’s appetite. Now I am not going to argue with the experts, but . . . why is sex the answer to everything? Should I run out and have sex every time I feel a cold coming on? Should I have sex whenever I am feeling a little stressed? A little hungry? I guess there is a reason that Viagra is such a hot-selling drug . . . people would always being doing “it” because people are always getting sick . . . always feeling stress . . . and, hungry.
Adopt a dog. Having a dog will make one more active and reduce the risk of heart disease . . . reduce stress and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Well, I have two dogs . . . Dachshunds. Dachshunds are not what I call the quietest dogs in the world as they bark constantly . . . make a lot of noise. Someone told me it is because they have “little dog syndrome” . . . I think it is because they have big yappers. I feel my blood pressure rise whenever they start to bark, which seems to be all of the time. That can’t be good for the ol’ ticker. Not sure this one is true.
Drink coffee. Coffee can reduce the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimers. I can’t stand coffee . . . never have been able to stand coffee, much less drink coffee. I am a tea drinker. I guess this one is not going to add years to my life either.
Be positive . . . this was discovered to be one of the most common traits among centenarians. Being easy going and having a positive attitude added years to one’s life. Yeah, right! And, I’m going to start drinking coffee tomorrow morning. I don’t think my attitude is going to help me out too much here.
Run for five minutes each day . . . by doing this for five to ten minutes each day will reduce the risk of heart disease by 58 percent. About the only running I do now-a-days is from the bedroom to the bathroom in the morning . . . comes with age. I guess I could increase that if I ran downstairs to the other bathroom . . . that would include a staircase . . . or maybe running down the block to the gas station and using their bathroom. It is a thought, but it tires me out just thinking about it. Another article I read said that laughing a hundred times was like running for fifteen minutes . . . I’d rather laugh than run.
Eating nuts. Eating nuts several times per week reduces one’s mortality rate and lowers the risk of diabetes. I love legumes . . . nuts of all types; but, as I have gotten older, my digestive system has begun to dislike nuts more and more often. I pay for eating too many nuts . . . even if laughter helps the digestive system improve its ability to poop, nuts work faster in my body. I guess I could laugh and eat nuts before the next colonoscopy . . . at least my system would be cleaned out. I am not sure this will add years to my life . . . and, besides, what quality of life would it be if it was all spent in the bathroom!
The next suggestion . . . have a purpose . . . I might be able to do. I have a purpose: I want to live longer. I do not want to die. It is as simple as that. Towards that goal I will continue to search the world over for the easiest ways to live longer that do not involve diet or exercise. Not bad, after eight suggestions I finally found one that will probably add about a week to my life. I think I am on a roll.
Eat more fish . . . particularly salmon, tuna and mackerel . . . live more than two years longer on an average than those who didn’t. As long as I can deep fat fry those boogers in oil I think I can choke them down with a side order of French fries and a couple of beers. I guess I should kiss those extra two years good bye.
Floss every day . . . flossing removes oral bacteria which reduces inflammation which dentists believe to be linked to higher risk of heart attack and stroke. I think this is some sort of conspiracy by the string industry to sell more string . . . I hear the string market has been down for a couple of decades. Flossing is some sort of punishment that dentist came up with to torture people in-between visits to the dentist’s office. I guess this will get easier with age . . . when the false teeth, the chompers come into play. When I get my first set of dentures I promise that I will floss them every night before I go to bed . . . should be easier when I can hold them in my hands.
Smile more . . . duh! Smiling hurts my face. Enough said.
Drink more wine. About a glass of wine a day lowers the risk of cardiovascular death more than avoiding alcohol altogether. I can handle that . . . besides, if one glass is good, two have to be better. I just wish the beer industry would get up with the times. I like beer better. Beer is cheaper. Plus I can drink it straight out of the bottle, whereas when I swig out of the wine bottle the wife gets a little annoyed . . . and that takes years off of my life!
Stand more during the day. Ha! The mind says stand, but the body says lay. Gravity usually wins this one. This goes against nature. Ain’t going to add any years standing, when you don’t ever stand.
Avoid fizzy drinks. Apparently fizzy drinks have a negative effect on the body’s cells and actually are linked to aging. No more pop . . . no more soda . . . but I draw the line on beer. This doesn’t sound easy. I want easy. I want my beer and age together. Oh well.
Catch more sleep. Ha! Remember those two Dachshunds? They think breakfast is served at 4:30AM every morning. They also think—now that it is getting colder—that my bed is their bed . . . and, they don’t share very well. There is also nocturnal sounds that emanate throughout the bedroom every night that make sleeping difficult . . . both sides point their finger at each other. Who knew Dachshunds snored! I’d catch up on my sleep during the day, but my employer frowns on naps. Sleep is not going to be the key to longer life for me.
I laughed at the next one . . . being social. Darn it! I am an introvert. Introverts age twice as fast as extroverts when they have to be more social. Shoot! Just thinking about being more social made me lose a couple of years. I guess if having more friends and being social will allow me to live longer . . . I ain’t going to make it!
Volunteer. People who volunteer are believed to live longer. If you ever saw what I make at my jobs you would probably already think that I volunteer enough. I guess that is what happens when you work for the state . . . you volunteer a lot. And, by living longer you can do it for even longer. Seems like a Catch-22 plot to me.
Sixteen suggestions towards a longer life. Only one suggestion even came close to adding time to my life . . . one thing . . . having a purpose! That purpose is to live longer . . . to live longer without having to work at it through diet and exercise. That is the American Dream . . . longevity without effort. Yet, M. Scott Peck said that would also be the downfall. There is no joy in Keenerville, the mighty John has struck out again. I will probably never know what it feels like to be a 100 . . . or 90 . . . or even 70 . . . because I have not found that magical method of adding years to my life without putting forth any effort. It is a pipe dream . . . a fart in the wind . . . that is never to be caught. Yeah, I am lazy . . . but I am human . . . and, I am American. An American with a purpose . . . to live longer with no effort. I will continue to contemplate how I will accomplish this as I eat my Big Mac, double fries, fizzy drink, while frowning, and knocking back a couple of beers because the wine is too sweet. At this rate I might die at a younger age than I actually am . . . what would M. Scott Peck say about that? One can only dream.