Thinking about the recent death of Queen Elizabeth ll at 96 years of age (more about that next week) has me counting the years. At soon to be 71 years old, I wonder how long I will live. Probably not more than 20 more years, if that long. (Although we really do not know, do we?) I remember the last 20 years as if they were yesterday. On this side of those 20 years, they seem so recent. 20 years ago was before I had any grandchildren. It was right after daughter Tara’s wedding, and before we did a major renovation on our home. I remember that time with fond memories. It seems impossible that 20 years have passed since then. But they have. And the next 20 will probably pass even quicker.
We obviously do not know how long we will live. Unless we have a serious illness that we assume will end in death, we often act as if we will live forever. That is, until someone we know who we did not expect to die does. I had that experience this week. I read on Facebook about the passing of someone I knew, a mom like me with children and grandchildren. I had not seen her lately, although I kept up with her through (of course) Facebook. She was the mother of one of my daughter Tara’s best friends when she was in elementary school. Rest In Peace, Celeste.
I do not want these thoughts to be read as morbid. We all know that death is a part of life and that none of us outlives our time. What we do not know is how long our time will be. What we do know is that we can do our part to stay healthy physically, emotionally, and mentally. We can eat healthy food, exercise to stay limber, get enough good sleep, and keep our stress at a manageable level. We can avoid unhealthy habits, such as (especially excess) alcohol consumption. We can read to keep our minds active. We can spend time with those we love. We can focus on the positive in our life and do our best to rid ourselves of the negative. While we do not have any control over the length of our life, we can certainly influence it. Many diseases are due to or worsened by unhealthy lifestyles. Let’s be wise enough to do our part to remain as healthy as we can for as long as we can.
For time stands still, until it doesn’t.