Things I’ve Learned This Week.

Aw, hello!  I’m so happy to see you!  Sit yourself down and I’ll pour you a coffee.  I’ve got some things to tell you about which I’ve learned this week, and which I think will blow your mind!  There is a ‘theme’ to this weeks learned things;  they’re all based around time.

I’m going to get started straight away because I’m desperate to tell you this first thing, which I learned earlier this week as it really surprised me . . . until I began to think about it,  then I could see how obvious it was!  ….  So …  Seat belts on?  Packed Lunch?  Drink at your elbow?  Please extinguish all cigarettes  –  ’cause they make me cough.  Take a deep breath, pinch your nose and lets all jump in together…  Ready?  1,  2,   GO!

Did you know . . .  that Cleopatra lived closer – in time – to the first Moon landing, than to the building of the Great Pyramid?  No, me neither! 

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Cleopatra was born 2,500 years after the Great Pyramid a Giza was built,  but only 2,000 years before the first lunar landing was achieved. 

I also learned this week ….  that of all the people in history that have reached 65 years of age,  half of them are living right now (think about that one for a second.  Let it sink in.  It blew me away)

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USHI OKUSHIMA (pictured above)  was the oldest resident of Ogimi, the most elderly community in Japan.  Born on August 7,  1901,  and when last interviewed she still dabbed perfume behind her ears before she took to the floor for traditional Japanese dances.  Afterwards she sipped the local firewater.  Ushi was born when Japan had only recently seen off the Shogun warlords.

This fabulous lady had been filmed by every major news organization in the world,  from the Discovery Channel,  CNN, and the  good old BBC.  She was like the Dalai Lama of longevity.

So many people fear getting old,  but perhaps if they could have seen this lady, they’d look forward to it.

Ushi would wake at 6 a.m., make a breakfast of vegetable miso soup, and then went out for a stroll.  Every afternoon she’d eat lunch with her daughter, and her grand children and friends came over to visit. In the evenings she’d eat a dinner of mostly vegetables, drink a cup of mugwort sake, and went to bed.  What was her longevity secret?  “Work hard, drink mugwort sake before bed, and get a good night’s sleep,” Ushi said.

Actually, asking an old person how she got to be so old is like asking a tall person how she got so tall.  They don’t really know.  But her life did offer a few clues. For example, Ushi’s day was full of social interaction.  A Harvard study showed that the seniors with the most social ties were three times less likely to die during the study period than those who had the least social connections.  So make time for your family and friends, and you just might add a few years to your life.

I’ve searched for up-to-date information regarding this lady and could only find that it’s believed that Ushi Okushima, passed away sometime in 2010/11 at the age of 109 years.   I found this information only in one place, so can’t say for sure that it’s correct, but I found no recent mention of her other than this.

If you’d like to read a little more about Ushi, you can find a fascinating written piece here —> National Geographic Magazine  <— the link will open in a new tab –   when it loads, if you don’t want to read the initial ‘stuff’ (which is actually rather a good read),   just scroll down to about half way down the page,  and you’ll find the piece about Ushi Okushima.

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Japan, the land of the rising sun,  has become the land of the setting sun with staggering speed.  As recently as 1984, Japan had the youngest population in the developed world, but by 2005 it had become the world’s most elderly country.  Soon it will become the first country where most of the people are over 50 years old.

This is partly because Japanese people live longest:  men can expect to reach 79 and women 86.  It is also partly because the Japanese have almost given up having babies:  the fertility rate is just 1.2 children per woman,  far lower than the 2.1 needed to maintain a steady population.  The rest of the world is following Japan’s example.  In 19 countries, from Singapore to Iceland, people have a life expectancy of about 80 years.  Of all the people in human history who ever reached the age of 65,  half are alive now.  Meanwhile, women around the world have half as many children as their mothers.  And if Japan is the model, their daughters may have half as many as they do.

I learned this week that if the history of the Earth were compressed to a single year, modern human beings would appear on December the 31st at around 11.00pm.

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Y’know .. time is something which bugs me.  Everything revolves around it and it kind of makes me cross that we give it such importance.  We do everything by the clock.  We get up, by the clock.  Go to work, by the clock.  Be somewhere, by the clock.  Eat by the clock.  We’re always racing time.  Chasing time.  Looking for more time.  Needing more time.  Begging for more time.  Lose track of time.  Wanting to stop time.  Pause time.  Time is like this monster.  Like a living dinosaur of our age.  It’s fearful and down right annoying.

So … this led me to thinking about how I could perhaps make time something less than it is.  Maybe have a little gentle fun with it …. and here’s what I came up with:

If time is money . . .  are ATM’s time machines?

If time waits for no man,  . . .  is time is perhaps a woman?

When you think about it…  We are all time travellers – moving at the speed of exactly 60 minutes per hour.

To all the people who write “u” instead of “you”. . .  What do you do with all the time you save?

Retirement is the time in your life when time is no longer money.

The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was.

The sun is going to go out in 4 billion years,  and you sit there and act like everything is fine!

When your kids are little you’re a superhero.  When they’re teens you’re a super villain.  After that, your only power is invisibility.  We are the REAL Harry Potter Wizards – for we don’t need a Cloak of Invisibility!

If every day is a gift, I’d like a receipt for Monday.  I want to exchange it for another Friday.

By the time a man realises that his father was right,  he has a son who thinks he’s wrong.

Stephen Hawking says we’ve got about 1,000 years to find a new place to live.  That isn’t even enough time for me to pack!

In 20 years time,  I bet there’s going to be a college course called eye contact.

Apparently, people over the age of 55 are becoming antisocial-psychics.   They can see ahead of time that they won’t want to talk to you.

Consciousness:  That annoying time between naps.

I assert dominance over millennials by responding to their texts with phone calls.

And . . .  a few regular jokes …

A man went down the local supermarket, and said, “I want to make a complaint, this vinegar’s got lumps in it”,  the lady behind the desk said, “Those are pickled onions”.

Four fonts walk into a bar – the barman says “Oi – get out!  We don’t want your type in here”

The other day I sent my friend a huge pile of snow.  I rang her up,  and said  “Did you get my drift?”

Again, Monday arrived and became Friday the next day, and I realised someone stolen the days in between.  I used to laugh at my Mum when she used to complain about how time passed so quickly the older she got…  and yet, here I am and I now totally understand what she meant.

I don’t understand HOW time is passing so quickly.  Years ago I could get up in the morning,  plait (braid) hair, make packed lunches, make breakfasts, sing songs to entertain, read the book which the littlest one should have read the night before, got two wriggly, giggly girls washed and dressed and looking fabulous, and off to school in perfect time with all the kit they needed for the day, and then come home and set about cleaning the house, doing the washing and hanging the washing on the line, ironing,  and preparing things for the evening meal.  After this I’d busy myself painting (upcycling) furniture,  or crafting in some way or another.  Then I’d pack things away, change my clothes and go and collect little ones from two different schools, bring them home, feed them their snacks, read their books, help with homework, sing songs, entertain, play with dolls and dolls houses, ‘eat’ plastic food which daughter No.2 had cooked and served up, have ‘tea’ (water) out of her teapot and generally just have a great time being a mum.  And whilst doing that I’d be cooking our evening meal without accidentally putting a child into the oven instead of the joint of meat!

If you asked me to do these things now I’d ask you how many days I’d got to do them all in.  I have no idea how I managed to do the things I did in a day, and still have time to take my mum on rides out in the car, visit her, go with her to the doctors or take her to the hospital.  Bake their favourite things for when they came home.  Make curtains.  Clothes.  Visit friends, arrange play dates, and keep up with the out of school classes that my little girls attended without ever forgetting them or leaving them waiting for me!

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Now-a-days –  my memory is shot to pieces.  I think I wore it out keeping track of our two little girls and all the things they did.  saxophone (Saxomaphone as we called it) lessons;  Violin (Vile din) lessons;  Trampoline class;  Youth Group at the local Theatre;  Gym Club;  Keyboard Lessons;  Red Cross Volunteer Training;  oh, on and on … and I could remember everything, in my head!  Now though, everything has to be written down, and Dog Forbid that I might lose the piece of paper with a note of something written on it!

On paper, it says I’m getting older.  In my heart I’m still 27 years old and can multitask as a World Champion Sport!

Aw, anyhoo!  . . .  Thank you so much for coming to visit and sharing some TIME with me (see!! there it is again… ‘time’!).   But tell me …  how does time affect you?  The lack of it?  Too much of it?  Time passing too fast?  Too slow?  Tell me how you deal with that divil Time which seems to wrap its fingers around our days and dictate how we are to go about leading out lives.

Have a truly wonderful weekend.  Oh … and before I go …  if you have time off work over the next few of days,  remind yourself every now and again that  . . . .  Time doesn’t existClocks exists.

Do what I do.  I leave my wristwatch (and my mobile phone) at home sometimes, just so that I can’t keep looking at them.  Instead,  I just go with the flow.  If I’m hungry I eat.  If I’m ready to go home, I go.  But if I want to stay where I am and enjoy myself, then that’s what I do.  I say  ‘stuff time!’,  and I do it my way.  You do it YOUR way.  Don’t be a slave to  ‘time’.

Have a truly blessed day my friend. 

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