Tag Archives: Mental health

Two favorite ingredients in my anti-aging cocktail: Humor and Curiosity

Guileless comedy offered up through my favorite delivery system–granddaughters–is sure to keep me young, or young-ish!

Sophia and Karina

I really don’t spend any significant time thinking about my age, but I did just have a birthday. Maybe that’s what sparked a bit of the following conversation.

 Karina makes her mark on the world by distinguishing herself as combination perennial princess, artist and musician, as well as a young and budding Sarah Bernhardt.

She dances and sings through life. If I’m any good at predicting the future, I’m reasonably sure she isn’t going to need reminders to “breathe lighter.”

To the question, “Karina, are you looking forward to starting Kindergarten and being in school with your sister?” she  immediately chirped back, “No. I don’t really want to do all that work!” I hope her teacher won’t be too quick to silence a little girl who sings or hums a tune all day long.

In contrast, six-year old Sophia can hardly wait for second grade, and in fact, has conversations about going to college. While we were walking to the school’s Open House she announced that she was looking forward to being 30! Thirty?

I laughed and said, “Oh no! Not yet! Enjoy being a little girl. And besides, I don’t even want to think about how old I’ll be when you’re thirty!”

Without missing a beat and with all seriousness she said, “You mean dead?”

She has no trouble keeping it real.

I almost choked on my tongue I was laughing so hard! After a moment of recovery I told her I intended to be around a long, long time…long enough to become a problem for her.

I’ve been laughing about this for a couple of days, and it brought to mind the Mark Twain quote, “The report of my death was an exaggeration,” typically misquoted as “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”

I like to think Sophia has greatly exaggerated reports of my age!

And speaking of Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain, have you ever seen him on film? I mean really moving about at his home in Redding, Connecticut,  with his daughters Clara and Jean?

This very rare video, filmed in 1909 by Thomas Edison, is really quite amazing. It’s a bit jumpy in places and the quality is grainy, but speaking of age–1909! A better quality digital restoration is not available for embedding, but can be accessed HERE. The quality is really excellent in comparison to the original and you’ll be able to better see the faces. I hope you’ll still watch the original, however, just because it exists!

Are you curious about other rare historical film clips? Newsreel archive British Pathé upload 85,000 historical films to its YouTube channel. Oh my goodness but this is a curious person’s treasure trove. It might take me a while to see all 85,ooo, but some hold more interest than others.

I’m not as interested in “The World’s Greatest Jumping Dog  or “A Real Life Flea Circus,” but Julie Andrews, at thirteen years of age singing for George VI, now that is quite fun and interesting, as is the World’s First Mobile Phone, footage from Paris, 1922.

Humor, curiosity, interest in learning from the past and looking ahead with expectation to the future, these are important components in my life and ingredients in my anti-aging cocktail.

As mid-week sometimes hits a bump, maybe you can find something here to both amuse and enlighten.

The jumping dog did make me laugh! And by all means, breathe lighter!