My parents and grandparents lived long lives. They ate what they wanted to without scientific studies telling them what was in the food they were eating. They retired and enjoyed a quiet life at home, doing a little bit of gardening, baking, sitting and knitting, reading, watching TV and talking to friends. Nobody bullied them into staying active, shamed them for sitting still or told them what they could or couldn’t do.
Grannies and grandpas with ample padding were the norm. They loved and cuddled their grandkids, gave them homemade cakes and biscuits, let them help with chores in the house and garden, told them they were good boys and girls, that they were beautiful, clever and loved.
How different is the world today? Lots of very clever people with university degrees justifying their education and salaries by working out what is in the food we eat and why we shouldn’t eat it, how much time we spend sitting and why we need to exercise, what we do with our grandchildren that is bad for them and what we say to our grandies that will cause them untold angst and difficulties in life.
Doctors, often younger than our grandchildren, work their little hearts out trying to prevent the inevitable diseases that come with old age and in doing so, make our lives an ongoing misery.
The government is setting up programs to ‘keep us healthy’. Make no mistake – it isn’t us they are worried about, nor is it the strain on the medical and welfare system. They haven’t missed the point entirely that we are getting to our ‘use by date’, something essential for life will eventually cease to work. In the meantime, many of us have lots of money to spend from our super funds and that means (insert vigorous hand rub here) – more taxes, better economy – got to keep them healthy to keep them spending.
Here I am, being a rebel. I don’t have any super. I live on a government pension and I am going to be that querulous old biddy that refuses to exercise. I will sit and knit while watching the telly all day. Make cakes and biscuits for the grandies and tell them they are pretty girls, and clever boys. Eat bread spread with butter, drink coffee and tea, and take meals and naps when it suits me, just as my forebears have done. With a bit of luck, I will be a thorn in their proverbial, well into my 90s.