I don't often say a whole lot (anymore), but it doesn't mean that I'm not absorbing info and forming opinions. And there's a whole lot of info plus daily experiences that are culminating in some very hard truths.
Just one example: at age 44, I am suffering with relatively bad arthritis in my hands - making daily jobs (and even typing this post) difficult, painful and just a little bit terrifying. I used to have strong hands, now it feels like they're going to break. And why, at my age, am I in this situation? It's simple. Inflammation.
Inflammation is a leading contributor to a whole range of horrible health problems (link to 2004 TIME article - this is not new news). Simply put, it's your body attacking your body - misreading info on what's going on, sending in the troops to fix it, and in the process making it worse. Kind of like killing a spider with a nuke.
And what causes it? Many and varied... but basically it's nutrition and lifestyle issues.
In my case, I've literally worked my fingers to the bone. My last few jobs have involed hands-on hard work, and my fingers have taken a hammering (as well as a scraping, bashing, straining etc). Between stripping e-waste and climbing towers / pulling cables they've had it rough.
But they could have handled it a lot better if I had been providing a bit of background support.
Let's start with the obvious one: nutrition. Inflammation is fought with appropriate amounts of anti-oxidants. Years ago I used to eat loads of tomatoes, fruits, green veg. All good anti-oxidants. I drank a litre of milk a day (on average) - good bone and joint support. Now... well not so much. Our eating habits are sporadic at best, to terrible.
Which brings me to the lifestyle part. When you spend your days running to keep business/es afloat, stressed out by work and clients and pressure, and then drag yourself home exhausted both work day and weekend, it starts to wear you out. Lunch often goes missing. Supper is "whatever is to hand". Sleep (and proper rest) may or may not happen.
Big, bad circle of life.
The thing is this. It's killing us. I am not convinced we will last longer than the business will. In fact, many days I think it will get us first.
And it compounds with every passing year, month and day. I'm not getting any younger. What I do now is going to determine how well or how badly I age. The things I put into my mouth now will be the building blocks or lack thereof in years to come. The stress I'm facing down daily will determine whether I go insane earlier or later, whether I lose my sight gradually or quickly, whether I'm mobile or immobile at 80.
In short, it's rapidly getting too late to change the future. May already be too late.
And that is very scary.