Today is my birthday. I turn 85. In 2019, the most recent year for which figures are available, the average life expectancy for American men was 76.3 years. So I’m already past the expected limits. And I’m in perfect health.
Today is also the first day this autumn when temperatures started solidly below freezing. It is currently 29 degrees in Columbia, Maryland where I live. We can speculate on whether there is a causal relation between my birth date and the freezing temperature.
Meanwhile, I claim credit for my healthiness. As noted here in earlier posts, I lift weights for more than two hours every other day, I watch my diet, stressing low-calorie healthy food (mostly vegetables and fruits), and I sleep more than most people, including a nap every afternoon. And my mind stays active with reading and writing. In addition to this blog, I regularly write book reviews and work on my own books. I now have six books and 17 short stories in print with more to come.
But I have to recognize my good luck, too. Because of a generous retirement, I don’t need to exhaust myself with work to earn enough money to survive. Granted, I had to work very hard and at times put my life on the line for my country to be eligible for that annuity. I didn’t do any of that to earn money. I did it out of love of others and love of country. But many people, both men and women, worked as hard as I did and ran risks equal to mine, but they didn’t end up free of money worries. I am truly fortunate. And because I don’t have to earn a living, I can spend full time writing.
So here I am, the most fortunate of men, living as I choose to live in a beautiful house in a magnificent city (Columbia, Maryland), enjoying life to the hilt. I know no one with better luck than me.