You get too old for some jobs sooner than others

Wednesday, 14 December, 2016

People working as sociologists, lawyers, and chief executives are the least susceptible to so-called “age related decline”, which can compel those such as roofers, plumbers, and airline pilots, to retire at a younger age.

From a financial perspective, working into your 70s or 80s can be a great idea. It’s also completely unrealistic for many workers, especially if they want to stick to their chosen profession. It’s not just blue-collar workers with physically demanding jobs who can’t work forever. Even office workers need to prepare for the possibility that their careers will have a natural shelf life.

Related: , ,

Why time does not actually speed up as we get older

Tuesday, 12 January, 2016

It is possible that the notion that time seems to move faster, or fly, as we age, may be but a figment of our imagination. Researchers, questioning people aged between fourteen and ninety-four, found little variance in people’s perception of the passing of time, despite the vast age differences in those they spoke to.

So to get a sense of a person’s time awareness, researchers have to rely on surveys. In 2005, researchers in Munich asked 499 people ages 14 to 94 broad questions about how aware they are of the passage of time, such as, “How fast did the previous week (month, year, decade) pass for you?” and, “How fast does time usually pass for you?” Here, too, age seemed not to matter. Older people didn’t seem to be aware of time passing any faster than younger people. The only question that yielded a statistically significant difference was, “How fast did the last decade pass?” Even there, the reported differences were tiny, and the effect appeared to plateau around age 50.

Mind you, I ran into someone I worked with fifteen years ago now, over the holiday break. The words, “fifteen years, where has the time gone?”, were uttered on several occasions while we conversed. It’s not as if a decade and a half vanished into thin air of course, though it can seem that way in those sorts of situations.

Related: , ,

Advice from one lifetime to another

Tuesday, 1 September, 2015

WireTap was a Canadian radio show that recently ceased broadcasting, after an eleven year run. As a farewell to audiences, and the world it seems, they produced this video clip, featuring people of all ages, young and old, offering each other a lifetime’s advice.

Don’t listen to anyone’s advice. No body knows what the hell they’re doing.

Related: , ,

When you are four weeks old, a week is a quarter of your life

Monday, 3 August, 2015

Some scrolling required, but that’s part of the idea… a visualisation explaining why time feels as if it moves faster as we age. At age ten, a year is a tenth of our life, a twentieth at twenty, a fiftieth at fifty, and what have you, and each year becomes a smaller fraction of the sum total.

Your summer vacation in your first year in college will feel as long as your whole 76th year.

Live and enjoy, I say.

Related: , ,

There are four stages in life, where are you at?

Wednesday, 17 June, 2015

US writer and entrepreneur Mark Manson identifies what he sees as the four key stages of life, mimicry, self-discovery, commitment, and legacy. I guess I’m at the third, though somehow it doesn’t quite feel that way. No, maybe still two…

Stage Three is the great consolidation of one’s life. Out go the friends who are draining you and holding you back. Out go the activities and hobbies that are a mindless waste of time. Out go the old dreams that are clearly not coming true anytime soon. Then you double down on what you’re best at and what is best to you. You double down on the most important relationships in your life. You double down on a single mission in life, whether that’s to work on the world’s energy crisis or to be a bitching digital artist or to become an expert in brains or have a bunch of snotty, drooling children. Whatever it is, Stage Three is when you get it done.

Related: , ,

If you want to look 20 years younger in 20 years, stop smiling now

Friday, 20 February, 2015

As a ten year old year old girl, so the story goes, Tess Christian decided to stop smiling. She thought that doing so would maintain her youthful looks.

Aside from the difficulty in making a conscious effort not to smile, no matter how overwhelming the temptation may be, as a way of maintaining one’s youthful looks, there just might be something in such a strategy. What do you think?

Related: , ,

To slow down ageing we need to party and live as if it were 1992

Thursday, 30 October, 2014

Might it be possible to slow down ageing by way of a… live-in placebo of sorts? I heard of this story sometime ago, but in 1981 eight men, aged in their 70s, spent five days living in surrounds converted to convey the impression that it was 1959.

What was found at the end of the men’s mock 1959 stay? All appeared to have shown some signs of having reversed the ageing process:

At the end of their stay, the men were tested again. On several measures, they outperformed a control group that came earlier to the monastery but didn’t imagine themselves back into the skin of their younger selves, though they were encouraged to reminisce. They were suppler, showed greater manual dexterity and sat taller – just as Langer had guessed. Perhaps most improbable, their sight improved. Independent judges said they looked younger. The experimental subjects, Langer told me, had “put their mind in an earlier time,” and their bodies went along for the ride.

In addition to living twenty years in the past, it seems giving up soft drink may also be a good idea, when it comes to slowing down ageing.

Related: , ,

When I’m 93, what will it be like?

Thursday, 27 February, 2014

Roger Angell, US author, and contributor to The New Yorker, writes about the day to day experiences of being ninety-three… that’s an impressive age:

I’ve endured a few knocks but missed worse. I know how lucky I am, and secretly tap wood, greet the day, and grab a sneaky pleasure from my survival at long odds. The pains and insults are bearable. My conversation may be full of holes and pauses, but I’ve learned to dispatch a private Apache scout ahead into the next sentence, the one coming up, to see if there are any vacant names or verbs in the landscape up there. If he sends back a warning, I’ll pause meaningfully, duh, until something else comes to mind.

Related: , ,

My life peaked at twenty-five, at least that’s how I remember it

Tuesday, 25 February, 2014

If the sum of our lives are our memories, then the best of these will date back to age twenty-five, or earlier, it seems.

It is the first study of its kind to use a “naturalistic approach” by collecting free flowing stories in which participants were asked to narrate their own biographies in just 30 minutes. A week later they divided these into self defined “chapter” which revealed a dramatic “reminiscence bump” between 17 and 24-years-old – when many people defined these parts beginning and ending. This phenomenon is a period of time from 15 to 30 when many memories which can be positive, negative, expected and unexpected are recalled.

Related: , ,

A longer life is elsewhere, such as a longevity hot spot

Monday, 17 February, 2014

People residing in certain regions of Greece, Italy, Japan, California, and Costa Rica, tend to live longer than those elsewhere. Relocating to one of these places would only be part of the longevity equation though, if you wanted to try and boost your lifespan.

After discovering that there are longevity hot spots where people tend to live especially long, writer Dan Buettner spent the last 12 years locating and documenting these areas, dubbed “blue zones.” “I increasingly was interested in mysteries that dealt with the human condition,” says Buettner, a National Geographic fellow. Through that research, he found several factors that might prolong health and life for people in blue zones. “Longevity is a consequence of constant, longterm little things,” Buettner says. “There’s no silver bullet.”

Related: , ,