Whilst I don’t doubt the statistical analysis performed by this group, these data mining exercises irk me to no end for the very reason cited in the article…that the details are so multifactorial that it’s hard for an individual to tease out actionable information that’s relevant to themselves.
Covid aside…or whatever mayhem the waiting microbes have in store for us moving forward (don’t think any of us can afford to feel fireproof on that score)…looking at some of the possible explanations for changes in life expectancy I can say they haven’t/don’t/won’t apply to me.
Over the last 18 months I’ve started to wonder exactly what someone who’s a Real Grown Up and who has consciously and conscientiously made an effort to avoid a life shortening/disease promoting lifestyle can do in this regard … without getting too worried that you’re not covering all the bases.
I don’t think a day has gone by when I haven’t asked myself what I could’ve done differently over the past half century plus…and come up short. It’s enough to make me wish I had sunbathed, worn slutty pumps, overeaten, been a Connoisseur of the Couch, smoked, boozed to excess, etc.etc. At least I’d have a better answer moving forward than the one I come up with…keep taking the pills/shots and get the lapiplasty .
Possibly to someone who doesn’t bother over much about taking care of themselves …I can see that( heck, I do see that looking around when I’m out and about). Or for someone who’s enjoyed rude good health …until this very instant. And I guess it would be in reality if I were wringing my hands and fretting for all my waking hours. But the fact that I now take a daily statin and a bi-weekly shot as a therapeutic rather than preventive measure tends to concentrate the mind for a second or 17.
I oftentimes joke with a couple of friends who have also been Good Custodians of their bodies but struck by diseases they didn’t earn from free choice…that perhaps craptaculous lifestyle choices have their place. They ease you in gradually to the concept of disease so when it really happens, you’re well adapted.
Suffering is certainly part of the human condition. However, dwelling – revisiting every day – on what one did wrong, is not. Most people are not debilitated by it (although Freud et al. would say most people are neurotic) because most people don’t dwell on it. Of course, there’s always Prozac.
Or, as Johnny Mercer wrote,
You gotta ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive
E-lim-i-nate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative.
Don’t mess with Mr. In-Between
I think you’re indulging in a bit of Straw Man reasoning here. For sure, fretting and dwelling on negativity of the past…beating oneself for what one did wrong…would be a miserable existence. No argument there. However, what I actually said (and it’s there in black and white for anyone to check) was “I asked myself what I could have done differently…”…and that is a big difference. I also mentioned that I came up short on that score.
That, in fact, was an understatement. Not only did I come up short on stuff I could’ve done differently, I realise that it’s actually my lifestyle choices that have kept me fit, apparently healthy and totally symptom free in the face of the genetic hand I’ve been dealt … and a recently diagnosed level of coronary artery stenosis that usually earns folk a stent or three or other revascularization proceedure … so is more an affirmation than anything negative for me. Not only that, but appears to be a decent enough set of lifestyle choices to continue moving forward in the context of @WendyBG’s final sentiment in the OP.
In a way, yes. I thank my lucky stars that I haven’t indulged in so much as 1/10 th the craptaculous lifestyle choices I see folk around me making (and yes, 'fessing up to on internet boards) else I’d likely be 6 ft under by now…or worse!
One can have the best genetics, best nutritional habits, best exercise routine, etc., etc., etc., but that won’t protect you from the distracted/drunk driver hitting you at a high rate of speed. Life has a certain degree of randomness, all you can do is stack the odds in your favor as best as possible.
So, in this context of self assessment for what one did wrong/could’ve done differently, I’ll give you an example of how beneficial it might be…
I’ve written before about my experiences wit Afib…which is the most common cardiac arrhythmia especially among the older crowd. I had a take on the underlying pathogenesis (why wouldn’t I being a dentist … and with a daughter who’s a veterinary cardiologist) … and I got an even better understanding when I developed the condition myself. On May 23rd 2017 around 10.30 am (that precision isn’t as weird as it sounds) Had a second episode 2 weeks later and after a slew of testing, questioning and whatnot started a regimen of beta blockers/anti arrhythmics (Sotolol) and blood thinner (Eliquis)
Full confession…this REALLY messed with my head. Not least because the feeling of Afib is so disconcerting, it’s hard to accept that there isn’t something seriously wrong. Now, my personality being what it is (and, I suspect close to 40 years At The Orifice has something to do with it) I was unwilling to accept the “these things happen…you’re well protected with your meds” platitudes and hunted down, to the point of “fretting” (depending upon your POV) what could’ve contributed.
I whittled it down to possibly alcohol, as Afib is common in binge drinkers and alcoholics…hence the nicknames Holiday Heart Syndrome and Saturday Night Arrhythmia. My husband…the transplant hepatologist (who knows a thing or 6.5 about ethanol and its effects)…reassured me that my modest level of drinking couldn’t be the cause. Well, I decided on an experiment…no booze just after Christmas 2018. Guess what…no more Afib. Even with no Sotolol and even at altitudes of 10,000 ft.
All because I did a self analysis to find what I was doing wrong.
You are all over the road. There is no addressing that.
A life unanalyzed is a life unlived. My two venues for that were AA 30 years ago and meditation.
Daily self-knowledge happens regardless of your wishes. It is not debilitating, neurotic, or depressing. Those are different matters.
I guess I am woke. LMAO
You might want to know that everyone by definition starts out as a neurotic and stays that way until the individual begins to see himself. If you have not dealt on a daily basis with who you are over a longer period of time, then you are deeper in neurosis than you can imagine.
How you were raised is your neurosis.
What are the 3 types of neurosis?
The types of neurosis include: Anxiety neurosis. Depressive neurosis. Obsessive-compulsive neurosis.
My comment each of us has small amounts of these to larger amounts of these.
Your denial is not a river in Eygpt. Hopefully, you have comfortably less of those. Seeing them you will have less again.
I think poor reading comprehension/inference drawing skills, Straw Man reasoning etc etc address the issue quite nicely.
Mind you, as I hinted upstream, any degree of introspection on an individual’s part is likely to be viewed as dwelling on a topic to someone who doesn’t give a toss. Such folk do exist, BTW (as any dentist, transplant hepatologist, intervention cardiologist would attest…and folk in other fields, no doubt). Don’t pay much attention to, say, decisions on health and well-being in the here and now, so unlikely to give the time of day to the actions from the past. As for adopting life extending/enhancing lifestyle choices moving forward…a.k.a. future proofing their bodies per the thread start? Of course not.
To me, it’s not too different from managing ones finances. If, for the sake of argument, I’d found my retirement resources to be different from my expectations in a disappointing way, I suspect that most savvy individuals would advise at least a modest scrutiny of past financial decisions…for no other reason than to remedy the situation moving forward, if possible.
Then again, I still keep a mental budget and stick to it (albeit with far more flexibility than in my 30s, 40s and 50s)…maybe it’s just me.
It is also a matter of priorities. People will spend an enormous amount of time sitting in front of a computer on financial websites to squeeze the last few pennies out of their investments while that very act of sitting (instead of something more physically active) is reducing their life span.
In a selfishsort of way, I’m quite thankful that folk make those choices (and share their triumphs and disasters willingly)…it’s certainly been a help to me over the years when they’ve shared their strategies and insights. And sitting on LOADSAMONEY is at least a tangible end result.
Sitting on yer duff and routinely doubling down on points made that would’ve been better sat on in the first place is what I find something of a headscratcher.
Came across an article this morning that talks about the “red state brain drain”.
The article starts getting down to some numbers, after an extended discussion about a lesbian couple, both OB/GYNs, moving out of Oklahoma, due to the environment they had to work in. Interestingly, when they moved out, they also took a pay cut, and paid higher living costs, because where they moved to, with it’s more tolerant environment, has no shortage of OB/GYNs, like Oklahoma does.
Same thing with teachers: increasing shortage in states with “traditional values” policies.
Only red state with a net inflow of college grads in Texas.