Life: Friends, bad dancing and reaching 100 years of age

Quote of the Week:

“You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred” – Wood Allen

My Week: Friends and Then Some

It’s amazing how quickly seven days comes around. I know last week I was rattling on about my fears of starting life as a fully fledged junior Doctor coming around too quickly. Now, I have to say, this is still probably the case – but this week, maybe for one week only (well, hopefully more!) I am in a more meloncholy mood. Why might you ask? No, I havent  been hitting the sauce more heavily this week…but I did attend my third (and definitely final!) university graduation at Southampton.

The sun was out warming the Southampton air up to a sweat-inducing 30 degrees as I stood outside in a full suit and graduation robe and mortar board (trust me – nobody can look good in one of those things….and it just so happened that the girl I like walked by just as I donned it – not my crowning moment of the day..), smiling for photographs with my mum and brother. Sadly, no hotter inside the graduation hall, I had committed myself to keeping my jacket on now for I sensed that a drenched white shirt turned see-through by sweat would not be a look best encapsulated in a timeless photograph of my graduation. Still – a great day and thoroughly enjoyed.

…Which leads to my point about friends. They are incredible if you have the right ones. I realised, you see, that I do – have the right ones that is. I’m never one to surround myself with lots of friends all at once – I’ve never been that way – I like one or two at a time – people who I’m close to, bonded with by some experiece or another. For as my mother, brother and I strolled around the campus, me slowly baking, all those dear friends came to say hi, meet my mum and join in with some mutual celebrating. As day led into night and I headed off to the graduation ball (still quietly hoping to bump into the one girl I really liked!) this celebration with those friends went one. I hope, with any luck, that they will remain friends for life – for mine will be much richer with them in it.

Finally, as I lay in the baking sleeping bag around 3am, my mind fuelled with whisky, my legs to tired to fidget in the heat – exhausted from the last 5 hours of terrible dancing I had been expertly demonstrating, I realised that I have so many wonderful friends – not just from medical school but from further a field – in London, New York, Canada and Kenya to name just a few places. I know that no everyone is fortunate to be in this position and that for many, the act of making friends can be a nervous, painfully shy process but whomever you are reading this, I do really hope there is at least one person whom you can really count as a true friend for life.

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A toast to all my friends that graduated as new Doctors…Time for the real world..

Point of Interest for the Week: Don’t Die Young

Having spent the last 5 minutes going on about friends and life after graduation #3, I wanted to talk a bit about life-span. The average life-span has changed a lot of the decades and in the UK a male can expect to live to 77 years and female to 83 years. Women have always been the tougher of the genders. But what about those that reach the ripe old age of 100 years young? How do they do it – what IS their secret? I for one would love to know as I have a long list of things that I would like to enjoy and achieve with my life and may probably need the next 70 years to pack them all in!

So what I wanted to do is to share with you just five of the wonderful suggestions that I read about of how to not die young and to live to 100 years young…

1. Choose a career you love

Apparently life is too short to be unhappy at work. Social support from colleagues at work can also reduce your overall risk of death from any cause.

2. Keep your brain, organs, and muscles in good shape by constant use

Physical activity triggers new brain cells and slows the decline in memory. Dissuse atrophy is your enemy so get out there and use everythig your body has

3. Have a laugh every day

A Norweigan study found that those who laughed most often in everyday life where 35% less likely to die in the study period. Go on, tell me a good joke!

4. Be independant

90% of centenarians in a New England Centenarian study where still living independantly up to an average age of 92!

5. Be curious

Dont ever switch off and think you’ve no more to learn.

Of course there are also the things that you’ll want to avoid if you want to receive that letter from the Queen…

Avoid: smoke (direct and second-hand); white chocolate (dark is Ok as it is rich in anti-oxidants); salt and excess sugar, obesity.

And you know what we are doing alright here in the UK. We have the 4th highest number of centenarians in the world only behing Japan (who are very clear front-runners), France and Ireland – with our number of 100yr champs doubling every decade!

Life is a very enchiching experience if we allow it to be. For us to have all the opportunities available to us we need to ensure our vehicle to experience them i.e. our body and mind, is as fit and healthy as possible.

Go on, why not make a list of what you want to do in life…

See you next week!

Dr Nick

     
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