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How Long Would You Like To Live?

How long would you like to live?

As we age, time seems to go faster and faster doesn’t it? When you look back on your childhood, those warm days of the summer holidays seemed to last forever when you made mud pies in strong sunshine and came into the house looking pretty grubby in the evenings. It was a time when the summer mornings stretched alluringly long and the balmy Irish sunset got redder and redder as you tried to stay awake and make the day last that little bit longer.

The teenage years seemed to last forever too, perhaps because they were so tortuous at times whether it was waiting for an event you had been looking forward to or the agony of puberty. All in all, the first two decades of life stretched for a very long time.

Looking back, when did time really speed up for you? For me, it was once my children were born. I was 32 having my first and although my mid thirties seemed to rotate round endless feeds, changes, walks to the park and toilet training, when I look back it seems like it happened in the blink of a eye.

Apparently, the reason time seems to go faster is because each day seems shorter relative to our age. An afternoon when we are five years old can seem like an extremely long time whereas it can fly past when we are fifty. As the saying goes, time flies when you are having fun. Our clients always say that the hour with their home carer is the fastest hour in their day as they enjoy the company and the chat.

Imagine how fast the time must go when you are 113? The oldest Irish person, Kathleen Hayes Rollins Snavely, turned 113 last month. She left Ireland when she was 19 and settled in the US.

We are entering an era when more and more of us are going to live into our second century which can seem incredible when you think retirement age is mid to late sixties and it’s not that many years since those reaching sixty were described as elderly. It is now becoming more and more the case that you are as old as you feel. Good physical healthy, mental clarity, enjoying life, watching the days fly past – it is all part of making retirement all the more enjoyable. Many of us will enjoy two, three and four decades of life after retirement. When you think back to those lengthy golden days of childhood summers, isn’t it special to think how they can be enjoyed just as much at the other spectrum of life too.

To ask my opening question again – would you like to live to 113? Looking at that birthday party picture, I think we are all saying a big hearty ‘Yes’.

Photo Credit: Laurie Black

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