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

GALLERY: Fernie hosts mine rescue competition

Fording River, Line Creek mine rescue teams off to provincials after placing first and second

Fernie beer named Canada’s best pale ale

Fernie Brewing Company’s Campout West Coast Pale finishes first at the Canadian Brewing Awards

Cannabis yoga a budding trend in Fernie

Yoga studio, cannabis educator team up to offer Fernie’s first cannabis yoga classes from May 17

Sparwood’s Momma Di a mother to many

The Free Press competition winner revealed; plus Mother’s Day around the Valley

An Everest fundraiser

Man set to climb elevation of Mt. Everest in one day to raise school lunch funds

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

UPDATE: Aggressive coyote moves to Sparwood

Residents urged not to feed or approach the animal

City of Fernie to hold referendum for multi-purpose centre loan

Council opts for assent voting after petition calling for a referendum garners over 500 signatures

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Most Read