As I drive into work I listen to the Today
programme. This morning there was an item concerning a recent government initiative
to get the over 50s to reduce their alcohol consumption. The government has
suggested we cut down to one unit a day.
Opposing the government’s view was Emma
Soames, the editor of Saga Magazine. For those of you who have not heard of
Saga, it is an organisation that helps old folks cope with their twilight
I think Emma said something like this. ‘People’s
horizons narrow as they get older. Eating and drinking are one of the few
pleasures left to them.’ She then went on to say that going down the pub was
the only pleasure that many of us could hope for as we get older.
Sorry, but I disagree Emma. And, shit I
never thought I’d hear myself say this, I agree with the government. In fact
I’d go further.
Why not give up drinking altogether? Give
up smoking dope too. And give up everything else that has turned you into a sedentary,
broken creature. Including reading Saga magazine.
As Karl Jung believed (see today’s article
in high50’s health and wellbeing section) and I paraphrase ‘you can either
carry on on automatic pilot or live life to the full.’
At high50 we don’t think your life need ‘narrow’
as you get older. Our view would be totally to the contrary. Time, as you grow
older, becomes increasingly precious. Now is the time to broaden your
existence, not narrow it.
So get out there. Go and see a brilliant
movies. Get tickets for the Hop Farm festival. Buy some stylish clothes. Think something interesting. Embrace
technology. Reboot your relationships with your family. Chase down some long
lost friends. Get a facelift. Don’t get a facelift. Run off with your personal
trainer. Celebrate your amazing thirty year marriage with a trip round the
world. Drive through Paris in a sports car. Try Viagra. (Whether you’re a woman
or a man.) Write a book. Write a blog. Resign from your job. Start a business. Become
a jewellery designer. Customise a motorbike. Learn to meditate. Make peace with
your enemies. Live every day as though it is your last.
And if you must go down the pub for your
one unit a day, buy the and turn it into a table dancing club. Or a gastro pub if you must.