When it comes to food we always think we’re smarter than our parents and, as George Orwell noted, wiser than out kids. So which generation is Generation Smug? Yours!!! photo source: pinterest unattributed
by the Sibyls
Despite all her fame and success, Aretha Franklin has not had an easy life. Her mother died when she was only 10 years old. She was first pregenant at 14. She’s had 2 marriages, one involving domestic violence, given birth to 4 sons and struggled with weight gain issues all her life. In 1979 her father C. L. was shot at point blank range in his Detroit home. Aretha moved back to Detroit in late 1982 to assist with the care of her father, who died 1984. Yet, despite all of her struggles, Arethra has bounced back again and again. This is Arethra Franklin singing and playing piano at the Kennedy Centre for President Obama in 2015.
Aretha Frannklin 1942 – 2018
We, the Sibyls, salute Arethra Franklin not only for her sublime artistry, but for her gutsy attitude to dealing with so many of the tragedies and difficulties life can throw at you.
Sacha Nauta (The New Age of Longevity, The Economist, 6 JUL 2017) commented that the aging population should be seen as a boon not some Doomsday scenario for the economy. While increasing numbers of 60-plus population still work, even if part-time, the stereotype of the retiree has not shifted since Simone De Beavoir’s day. Retirees were either sponging off society or of no use to it.
Nauta claims that a new definition for the 60-plus age group is long over due. Childhood, she explained, was reclaimed in the 18OOs. (The 1833 Factory Act, UK, banned children under 9 years of age from working.) Teenagers did not exist by name until the 1940s. In 1944 Life magazine insisted that teen-agers made up ‘a big and special market’.
So now it is time to rename and reclaim the 60-plus years. Nauta suggests NYPPIES (Not Yet Past It) or OWLS (Older, Working Less, Still earning). Whatever name eventually gets taken up by the culture, let’s make it positive, a name that makes growing old look ‘cool’ to the young.
I suggest ROCrRs. (Really Old. Can Really Rock.)
‘If it’s good for the heart, it’s good for the brain.’ Health advisers are constantly telling us that exercise is good for the brain. Now researchers in Germany claim to have discovered the reason why. It has everything to do with a vitamin-like chemical called choline.
In an article titled Get on your bike and ride out dementia risk (Fin Review, July 2017), Jill Margo explained that there have not been many randomised, control trails of brain metabolism before. Prof Johannes Pantel, Goethe University, Frankfurt, said the small study showed that regular aerobic exercise protects and maintains brain function by keeping the choline levels constant.
Choline maintains brain cell membrane health. Dementia is commonly marked by a sharp rise then crash in choline levels.
So get smart and ‘Puff Puff Puff’ your way to better brain health.
(Note: ‘Banging’ (see above) may also be beneficial to brain health.)
Midlife can involve many stresses including career demands, difficult teenage children, divorce, lack of time, lack of fitness, parents’ failing health and money worries with no simple solutions in sight. But one of the BIGGEST issues of midlife is accepting that you are not always in control. Unexpected things can happen to you despite the best plans.
An article by Tara Parker-Pope in The New York Times this week (How to Build Resilience in Midlife) gives some pointers that could equally apply at any age.
- Practise Optimism
- Rewrite Your Story
- Don’t Personalise It
- Remember Your Comebacks
- Support Others
- Take Stress Breaks
- Go Out of Your Comfort Zone
We, the Sibyls, would add:
- Seek joy
Joy will not just arrive on your doorstep. You have to seek it. Find out what makes you happy and what makes you laugh. Then do this everyday or, at least, when you can.
While riding her bike around the streets of New York and dressed-to-amaze, 66-year-old Tziporah Salamon once had a friend call out when she was stopped at a light, ‘I want to be you when I grow up!’
According to the SMH Salamon has ‘modelled in a 2012 advertising campaign for Lanvin, starred in the 2014 documentary Advanced Style, and has recorded her unique approach to getting ready in a new book, The Art of Dressing: Ageless, Timeless, Original Style’. Her book includes interviews with 10 other women over 50 whom she finds inspiring. Enough said, here is some of Salamon’s zany style.
by Kerry Cue
I’m trying to remember the name of a pioneering neuroscientist. ALOIS … What’s his name? You know. ALOIS … Alzheimer. Alois Alzheimer first observed the amyloid plaques in the brain of an otherwise healthy patient in 1906. ALOIS. I think it’s a start if I can remember that name.
The article BANKING AGAINST ALZHEIMER’S written by Professor David Bennet, director of the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago, was published in The Scientific American last year. I was expecting to find news of an imminent cure, but I was sadly disappointed. According to Prof Bennet, who is in charge of 100 scientists working on the project, ‘drug development for treating Alzheimer’s has been slow and marked mostly by disappointment.’
Moreover, ’as researchers continue to untangle the intricate web of disease mechanisms, it makes sense to focus on preventing Alzheimer’s in the first place—to apply what we know about strengthening our brain to withstand the hits that come with aging.’ And here is the big news. Subjects who faired better regarding Alzheimer’s had more neurons, that is heavier brains. So beef up that brain of yours for successful aging.
Dali’s surreal paintings inadvertantly capture the disjointed memory of Alzheimer’s.I added the cloud border to push the imagery even further back into the memory.
11 ways to stave off Alzheimer’s*:
1. Pick your parents well! Then you’ll get good genes, a good education and avoid emotional neglect.
2. Keep physically and mentally active.
3. Be social.
4. Do new things.
5. Relax. Be happy.
6. Avoid negative types including family members.
7. Work hard.
8. Set goals. Find a purpose in life.
9. Healthy heart, healthy mind. Diet and exercise matter.
10. Eat that green leafy stuff and other vegetables.
11. Be lucky!
*As suggested by Professor Bennet according to current reseach.
by The Sibyls
This was the title to an article in the New York Times last week. The answer, according to the medical experts interviewed, is ‘Yes’ for three reasons:
1. We start losing muscle mass at 30 years of age, often replacing it with fat. Muscles use more energy that fat.
2. As we age our declining hormone levels compound this muscle loss.
3. Early weight loss can train our bodies to be more efficient with calorie use. In other words, your metabolism is more efficient.
by Kerry Cue
Looking for a quote to head this post about 63 – year – old New Yorker, Lyn Slater, Associate Professor and Style Icon, I couldn’t find one that fitted the bill. So I made one up. Her Accidental Icon Instagram account has 100,000 followers! Her Accidental Icon blog is equally fascinating.
Style does not depend on age. Look at the images of Lyn (below) taken from her Instagram account. Confidence and flair seem to sum up the impact of her fashion style. May there be more like her.
An encouraging article for mature-age readers was pubished in the New York Times this week. The Best Exercise for Aging Muscles (Gretchen Reynolds, 23 March, 2017) reported on research showed that ‘decline in the cellular health of muscles associated with aging was “corrected” with exercise, especially if it was intense’ according to Dr. Sreekumaran Nair, a professor of medicine and an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic.
This research highlights one simple message for those in the mature years. GET MOVING.