Best wishes for a happy new year.

It’s 2014, far beyond my expectations. I remember clearly coming home from school one day and proudly showing my mother that I had learned how to do “long subtraction”, meaning subtraction of amounts larger than 2 digits. She was impressed. And I remember too, doing one of those subtraction exercises by subtracting my year of birth, 1933, from 2000, the end of the century. “Wow, I’ll be 67 years old then and you, Mom will be 94!” She thought for a moment and said, “No, I doubt that I’ll still be alive…”

Among my peers and my school friends many of us, including me, had fathers who had departed in their 50 and 60’s. Here I am at age 80, living in a Retirement Home where there are people who look at me and say, “Stand aside, sonny. Don‘t you remember your manners? Let your elders go first.” They are the over 90 group, lording it over us, the  nonagenarians putting the octogenarians in place. I’m not sure but I think one of them passed me going up the stairs the other day…

Our concepts of age have changed dramatically and keep on changing as new medical treatments and medicines are developed. The challenge we face now is how to pay for them. The cost of these new treatments and medicines is stratospheric and the medical plans cannot cope with the increases. The alternative strategy for attaining long life is to make sure you are born with good genes, not an easy one…

So let’s live it up and make sure we’re here to celebrate again in a year’s time!