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Flat Tax

Because I am an outspoken practitioner of lifelong agelessness, on occasion, a proud possessor of a negative mindset accosts me with this provocative question: “Why bother trying Put Old on Hold? Everybody gets old. Just go with the flow.”

Go with the flow into the abyss of decrepit old age? Moi? Not now at 76, not ever!

There is a difference between the aging process – the passage of time over which you have no control (at this time) and the traditional signs and symptoms of “getting old” over which you have an enormous amount of control.

Gerontologist Dr. John W. Rowe says how well you age is 70 percent lifestyle choices and 30 percent heredity and environment.” That 70 percent (which I personally believe is closer to 80 or even 90 percent) is a lot to work with over a lifetime.

This is how it’s done: Start early, have a vision of how you want to be when you are “old,” stay focused on and committed to your goal and you are on your way. In other words, see it, feel it, and do it. I guarantee that your success will exceed your expectations.

But how do you make a commitment to putting old on hold when you are only 30, 40 or so, filled with the arrogance of youth, convinced the image in the mirror you see each day will be the same forever? It’s easy –start observing “old people” – how they live, think, -- their physical and mental condition, then ask yourself, “Do I want to be like that when I’m 60, 70 and beyond? Internalize the reality that old age is not a TV mini-series over in five nights – it can go on for a very long time, and when there are daily reruns of pain, depression, and debilitation, it is not prime time. But it can be better than prime time, it can be the best years of your life.

Remember a time in history when the most learned minds in the universe declared the earth was flat and everyone believed it until a maverick came along and proved this undeniable “truth” was false?

Many widely held beliefs about “getting old” have about as much validity as the “earth is flat” theory.

Do not buy into all the “heredity” and “it runs in the family” explanations for bad health. I work in a supermarket pharmacy and it is not uncommon for an obese person, using a motorized shopping cart, to come to the prescription counter to pick up diabetes medicine while devouring an ice cream cone or wolfing down a bag of cookies. Heredity plays a role in disease states, but lifestyle choices often play a larger role.

If lines are invading your face and your hair is getting gray, please understand that Putting Old on Hold is not all about “looking young,” although that is part of the payoff. The real prize is getting to age 60, 70 and beyond and functioning like a healthy 40 or 50-year old. It does not necessarily mean you will live longer – it does mean that if you maintain that level of vibrant wellness for your remaining years, you will have an unprecedented Second Life that flies in the face of outmoded conventional wisdom. You can go back to school, start a new career or a new business. When you have physical and mental health, you can have it all.

A bonus you may not have thought about: The gift you give yourself when your life doesn’t revolve around getting, taking and paying for a half dozen daily prescription medications, making doctor visits and arranging for seemingly endless, expensive medical procedures.

What a gift you give to your children and grandchildren when they don’t have to worry about you each day; when they don’t feel obligated to help pay medical bills because you had the foresight to do what it takes to Put Old on Hold.

You have the power to Put Old on Hold, a power long suppressed by tradition and erroneous conventional wisdom, acceptance of destructive consensus thinking and behaviors perhaps held by your immediate social circle, and belief in the “certainty” that you must succumb to physical and mental deterioration as the years pass. Right now, declare your freedom from “the earth is flat” impossibility thinking and assert your right, ability, and determination to remain healthy, productive, and ageless for as long as you choose.

Barbara Morris, R.Ph., is a 76-year-old working pharmacist and recognized expert on unique anti-aging strategies. Author of Put Old on Hold, her message is for Boomers who want to feel and function as a healthy 40- or 50-year-old for 25 or more years. She calls it “Liberation Living” – a process she has discovered that bypasses infirmities and indignities of traditional old age.