As I drive into work I listen to the Today programme on Radio 4. Yesterday 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-at-large 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 years.
I think Emma said something like this: “People’s horizons narrow as they get older. Eating and drinking are two of the few pleasures left to them.” She 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, Emma, but I disagree. And, shit I never thought I’d hear myself say this, but 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 Carl Jung believed (see our article in the health and wellbeing section) – and I paraphrase – you can either continue 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 is 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 movie. 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 30-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 place and turn it into a house of ill repute. Only kidding.