Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Can 60 really be the new 40?


Whatever Woody Allen may think about life insurance salesmen, this much is true, they have done a fine job of rebranding the true essence of their job description. In fact they do not insure life, but death. Nothing happens as long as the client lives, it is death that brings a claim and payout.

Therefore the 'life' insurance industry takes infinite interest in actuary tables of life expectancy. For Americans, the facts are these, in 1965 the average American male lived to 65.6 years of age. Get this, in 1900 it was 47.9!

Happily, today that number has grown to 75.8 for males and 81.58 for females. Whether life expectancy in America continues to creep forward remains to be seen. Our horrible eating habits may finally counteract advances in medical treatment.

Obesity is found in fully 25% of the population, there is going to be hell to pay for all those Quarter Pounders.

I had not given my 'life insurance' much thought until I almost needed it this summer, but no, not yet.

My stunted immaturity has never really allowed my age to catch up with me, my emotional growth is pretty much stalled at 25, though my wife would say 15. My ego and image will never allow me to do several things typically associated with hitting your 7th decade: Use a senior discount, join AARP or go to Branson, Missouri.

That's just me.

Here are some of my take-home leftovers from having crawled back from the brink of death in June:

1. Everybody, and I mean everybody knows someone who has had a heart 'event'.' Without fail, after telling me how shocked they are that a health freak like me would go through this, everyone says, 'You know, my (brother, father, sister, ) fill in the blank, had that happen……" Usually, it is followed by, 'And they lived 20 more years.' Some unfortunate friends don't sort their intel, and an awkward pause is followed by,'… and they died on the way to the hospital.'

Not surprising since the only notice one third of all heart attack victims get is death.

When I think back to roaming the halls of the Key Biscayne Hilton at 5:30 am on June 6th to 'walk off' my chest pains, I realize that could have easily been the end.

2. I'm surprised anyone is alive. I haven't spent much time studying actuary tables or disease stats, but after some quick web education, I now think that between cancer and heart attacks, it's amazing anyone is still here. And of course, eventually, we won't be.

3. I'm putting a message together for some guest speaking titled, 'The Heart of the Matter.'

It wasn't a stroke of genius for me to begin studying this topic when I was laid up in Critical Care in Miami waiting for my special moment in the operating room. So I have been diving into what the Bible says about the heart. Short answer: A lot, as in 833 mentions. I will post a link to this teaching, after I give it in a couple of weeks. Here is the text:

Eze 36:26

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.

Can 60 really be the new 40? Absolutely. And not just from a statistical standpoint, however, hardening of the attitudes is the real disease that can short circuit this opportunity. If we feel old, we will act old, lose vision and check out when we should be all in. From a biblical standpoint, experience, wisdom and opportunity should intersect at the later stage of life to make it an epic era. Joshua, Moses and Caleb knew this.

Here is a message by Levi Lusko that really sums up my attitude towards aging:

Caleb, Getting Old and Staying Awesome-


Retirement? From what? To what?

Slow down? Why? Time is short, pedal to the metal.

Give up grand dreams? No way Jose. Bring it on, as long as this heart is beating, I am going after it.

As Caleb put it, give me my mountain.