A stress-free approach to aging

The year before I was to turn 49 was filled with dread. It wasn’t something that I was thinking about consciously. It was instead a subliminal, noticeable relief of the passing of each month.

The year before I was to turn 49 was filled with dread. It wasn’t something that I was thinking about consciously. It was instead a subliminal, noticeable relief of the passing of each month.

My mother had died suddenly shortly after she turned 49. The event was traumatic, not only because I lost someone I loved dearly but also because her birthday in February was preceded by the usual New Year’s resolution to lose weight.

On that last birthday I refused to eat her cake because I was dieting. This small gesture gave me unbelievable guilt for years and precipitated a future lack of New Year’s resolutions. But many do, and magazine covers are full of advice on “ways to a better you,” or a “year of positive change,” as well as a great deal of advice on dieting and healthy eating.

The headline I like the best is advice from Deepak Chopra. “You can actually reverse the biological markers of aging by 10, 15 or even 20 years.

“Your chronological age does not need to correspond to your biological age.”

A quote from writer Wendy Dennis in “Just a Closer walk with Thee.” She says, “My mother had a position on death. She was against it, but given that she didn’t have much choice in the matter she focused on more practical concerns.”

Dennis says in the article that lately she has become preoccupied with funerals, specifically her own, worried that “when my final curtain’s fallen” she won’t have a good attendance and her daughter “will have to hire extras.”

I understand Dennis’s concern about death. In the past few years I may have attended a hundred funerals, some of them for friends not much older than I am. It’s no wonder that while suffering in bed with the current flu bug last month I felt so sick that a vision of the long bony finger of the Grim Reaper touching me crossed my mind.

I also wondered that if that were the case, would anyone stop their routine to attend my funeral? Would a volunteer to say the eulogy find anything to praise me for? Would I get one of those sappy eulogies that describe what a sweet person I am? (I’m not, ask anyone who knows me well, I’m way too outspoken and critical for that designation.)

There really should be rules about what to say in eulogies. They should be at the very least truthful. I have delivered several, including my father’s. I spoke about what a tough dad he had been but what valuable lessons of honesty, integrity and strong work ethics his toughness had instilled in us as children.

Roman Catholic funerals are sombre things, but that’s befitting the situation I suppose. Eulogies are delivered before or after the ceremonial mass. I would like mine recited before and right afterwards. I want my favourite cheerful Italian music played, after all a funeral should also be a celebration of a person’s life and their likes.

Discussing one’s funeral may seem a bit disturbing but really I plan, as Dennis’s mother said, to “focus on practical concerns” that includes taking Deepak’s advice on reversing aging. He says, “The mind and the body are inseparably one. It’s not that the mind heals the body, but the mind stops interfering in the body’s self-healing process.”

This is done by reducing stress and letting healing happen by allowing hormones like serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin to get released when we are happy.”

So move over stress, blissful hormones are about to take over.

Happy New Year Everyone.

Just Posted

Rumble In The Rockies brings live boxing back to Fernie

Local boxer, Dylan Mitchell takes first career win at home

Smiles all around as province announces emergency ward funding

$2.1 million to go to much-needed upgrades

As avalanche danger grows, BC heli-skiers exercise caution

Company relies on guides’ decades of experience

Lumby supports the vote for Fernie Hockeyville idea

Okanagan village that won the 2016 crown backs Saskatchewan call to vote for Fernie, B.C.

Heli-skiing operation “very concerned” by new caribou protection regs

Habitat protection is important, but ‘at what cost?’, asks Nakusp tourism operator.

B.C. boy denied $19,000-per-month drug to ease ‘crippling pain’ for 3rd time

Sooke mom Jillian Lanthier says son Landen Alexa has been forgotten about by Premier John Horgan

Senior randomly stabbed in B.C. mall food court

Woman arrested after victim, 71, suffers serious injuries

B.C. Liberal hopefuls begin final leadership push

Five MLAs, one outsider pitch policies to party members

Vancouver Island marijuana producer bought by Aphria in $230M deal

Aphria’s annual production forecast increases to 230,000 kgs

UPDATED: ‘Young, innocent’ teen hit during Vancouver shootout dies

15-year-old Coquitlam boy was in a car driving by the scene

Ontario man charged with selling Canadian’s usernames and passwords

Ontario man ran site that peddled billions of pieces of personal data: RCMP

Video: B.C. documentary features Okanagan ice climbing

First documentary for Penticton filmmaker captures elusive Okanagan ice climbing

David Emerson quits lumber talks as legal action begins

Former federal minister served as B.C. softwood trade point man

Singer of the Cranberries dead at 46

Her publicist says Dolores O’Riordan died suddenly Monday in London. The cause of death wasn’t immediately available.

Most Read