Saturday, November 17, 2012

How to grow old gracefully...

Sadly, I suspect it involves limiting your fast food intake and anything else that’s good. Let me do you a favour and give you a brief overview of some facts and fiction in regards to growing old gracefully. Be forewarned: my credentials regarding anything associated with the word gracefully are dubious at best.

Fiction: Aging won’t bother you at all because you’re not that superficial.
Fact: You’ll wish you could turn back time and tell that twenty-year old self of yours that she was magnificent, and urge her to shamelessly apply moisturizer and sunscreen like a raging lunatic. Your entire body should be greased daily, to the point where you have a hard time holding cutlery.

Fiction: Your closet is brimming with cute, little outfits, silently screaming to be called upon to decorate your body.
Fact: When it comes time to leave the house, you’ll inevitably find yourself uttering, “I have nothing to wear.” (Translation: why do all my shirts make me look pregnant? Clue: It's not the shirts.)

Fiction: You can get away with anything when you’re young.
Fact: Years of hard living will take their toll. Sadly, the bell will bang on your face.

Fiction: When you notice your first deep wrinkle, and it dawns on you that it's not a crease from the pillow, you’ll feel like crying.
Fact: You’ll unabashedly bawl like a baby and leak snot to your chin.

What to do? Well, there’s not much you can do about the growing old part. As for the gracefully part, I don’t have much to say in that respect either, other than it’s over-rated. I do though have some useful words of wisdom to share with you regarding habits that may end up having an impact on the amount of years you spend on this planet, and how well your body responds to each passing day. I think you know by now that I’m no Doctor, but I do read enough books to know that the same messages keep coming up over and over. To keep it simple, I’ve broken this down into the big three, well four actually, if you want to count exercising. But that’s a whole other fairy-tale so we’ll save that story for the next blog post. The top three? Ready or not, here I come.

Number one: Limit your intake of alcohol. Until quite recently, I suffered from the delusion that I could still drink as much as I did in university. I must work on developing into a mature adult who possesses the intelligence and clever ability to stop after having just one. (Perhaps this should have been a mandatory course in university.) A helpful tip to speed your learning? Have children. Both the pregnancies and the lack of sleep for the rest of your life is bound to smack some sense into you.

Number two: Quit smoking. Stare at horrible, diseased lung photos all day if you have to, chew on discarded butts you find in the park, make yourself lick a dirty ashtray whenever you feel like lighting up, smoke Export A Green Death until you spew…I don’t care what it takes, or how much dignity you lose in the process, just quit.

Number three: Break your addiction to fast food. It can’t be much better than drinking diesel fuel. And in my case, this means breaking up with my lover, McDonald’s. Now this one is tough. This one bites the big one and gets me a little choked up. I mean, the first two are hard enough, and now I’m supposed to give up my French fries? Are fries really even that bad for you? I recently read that according to the school nutrition guidelines in the United States, French fries are classified as vegetables. Hmmmm...Michelle Obama must have swallowed a vending machine when she heard that.

A few years ago, a lot of people got really worked up about the movie Super Size Me. After watching the movie, many of my friends swore they’d never eat fast food again. (Incidentally, they've all lied about other things before...) So of course I watched it, hoping for the same miraculous result. Sadly, it had quite the opposite effect on me. As soon as I picked up the DVD in the movie store, and saw the picture on the movie cover of that guy with his mouth shoved full of delectable fries, I dropped my next errand to make a drive-through run. I’m starting to think that the marketing geniuses employed by McDonald’s funded the movie to send out subliminal messages to everyone who saw the cover. It’s brilliant, really. And whenever someone moans, “How can you still eat fast food? My God, haven’t you seen the movie Super Size Me? You should watch it, and I swear you won’t eat that crap food ever again!” I tell them yes, I’ve watched it. And yes, I’m still a frequent flyer through the drive-through window. And yes, my one-year old child’s first word sounded alarmingly similar to McDick’s (or something close to that…after all, their father is Scottish.) Most importantly, I think most of these fast food naysayers are still firing up their BBQ in the summer, enjoying their juicy feast of crispy hot dogs. May they continue to indulge in their delicious concoction of lips, hooves and other unmentionables. I sure will.

Really, if all that goodness ends up knocking a few years off my life, then, oh well. As the saying goes, eat, drink and be merry, for today may be your last. Having said that, I guess the saying has never been gorge senselessly, drink until you lose consciousness and smoke like a chimney. This may be where the gracefully part comes in. Yawn.

But when all else fails, this I swear is the ultimate secret - hang around children. For as much as you feel they may suck the air right out of you, they'll breathe it all back in, times ten.

Early in the morning, one of the kids will usually sneak up to our
room and hop in the shower with us. Here's Isla, post-shower, having a cuddle
with Daddy to warm up. She's pretending to be fast asleep so she can stay put.
Honey, that cheeky smile is a dead give-away.



ChristyZ said...

Good news Janita! the latest research is showing that a high fat diet isn't detrimental to what few neurons we have left after all that drinking killed off the weak ones in university. The bad's only true if you exercise (booooo).

Carmen said...

You forgot to mention that multiple pregnancies and the lack of sleep also limit your tolerance to one drink (maybe two on a good day). So you can't drink as much as you used to even if you wanted to.

Megan aka Svettie said...

Yea now after having a baby every sip of alcohol results in what I call "diminishing returns".

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