Q7: What Do Most Centenarians Have In Common?

What Do Most Centenarians Have In Common?

People who live to the age of 100 have always fascinated me.  I appreciate their old-fashioned values.  I also have wondered what makes them live longer than their peers. The women in our family commonly live into their late 80’s.  My great-grandma Thelma lived to be 91.

Recently, I have been watching several videos of interviews with centenarians.  For one, I love listening to their life stories and their wisdom.  In the world of gurus, and the next young star, I am one to more appreciate the sages.  I want to hear from the ones who have lived a long, happy life.

From living close to where they were raised, to what they eat and drink, there were some similarities, but there was only one singular thing that each of them had.  They were happy, positive people.  They preached, in their kind ways, living a content life.  Not one of them owned a credit card or ever used one.  Most of them believed in God.  A couple of them drank some whiskey every day.  But ALWAYS– be happy.

I think that our society is geared for discontentment.  We are constantly told what new gadget we should buy to make us happy.  We are pushed to buy a new car every couple of years.  We “obviously” need a larger-than-necessary home with new furniture purchases every 10 years.  We have to rush to get to work, rush to get home, rush to get our kids to all of their extra-curricular activities.

I mentioned my Great-Grandma Thelma earlier.  She lived to be 91.  She died eating chocolate.  That’s how I want to go.  I can’t think of a better one.  Grandma Thelma was one of the happiest people I know.  When you came over to her house, you felt like the most important person in the world.  She would yell your name, (literally,) give you a big hug, and a kiss that rivaled a Hoover on your cheek, and usher you into her house.  Then, even until she died, would make you one of the best home-cooked meals you ever had.  Then she would talk your ear off happily.  I would happily listen.  It was bliss.

One would think that Grandma had an easy life, but she didn’t.  She was the oldest in a happy family of 10 children.  The family lived in a tiny two-bedroom house, bringing out cots from the closet to disperse around the house.  She left home at age 14 to live with a local family as a housekeeper.  She married my Great-Grandpa Squire when she was 17.  They had three kids, but Squire was an alcoholic, so I’ve heard of hard times between them.  He died when my Grandpa Bill, their son, was 12 years old.  So Grandma Thelma was forced to work in the school cafeteria to provide for her boys.

She didn’t have a lot, but she lived a full life.  She went through hard times, but remained positive.  She always had a smile on her face.  Her heart over-flowed with love.  And that’s how I’m trying hard to be- happy, with a smile on my face, and a heart flowing over with love for my family.

The secret to a long life:  Don’t worry.  Be happy.

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