By Nick Place
The Oils are currently tearing up Australia, like it’s the mid-Eighties all over again. Peter Garrett is 64 years old but still has those crazy dance moves and that fearsome, slightly manic stage presence.
Sure, the guitarist had to be helped off the stage and into an ambulance after tripping during an encore in Melbourne (torn hammy), but that’s a senior moment for you. And he was back the next night. Midnight Oil rules again.
This would be a surprise to the men of a few generations ago. The Sydney Morning Herald ran a piece 150 years ago this week, announcing that the life expectancy for a non-Indigenous Australian male was now UP to 45.6 years.
Today? The average Australian bloke will make it to 82 years old. Pete and the boys can keep dancing for another two decades.
The Secret to Happiness
But it’s not about how long you live, it’s about how well you live, and that’s where Bobby Waldinger comes in.
I actually doubt that anybody calls the head of the world’s longest study into happiness ‘Bobby’ but I couldn’t help myself.
Professor Robert Waldinger, as he’s known, gave one of the most watched-ever Ted Talks, about what his 75-year-old study has found (he’s the fourth leader of it, over its crazy-long history), and the result is summed up neatly in one quote:
‘When we gathered together everything we knew about them at age 50, it wasn’t their middle-aged cholestrol levels that predicted how they were going to grow old. It was how satisfied they were in their relationships. The people who were the most satisfied in their relationships at age 50 were the healthiest at age 80.’
If you want to watch the talk, which goes for about 12 minutes, it’s here.
Je ne regret rien
If it’s now Friday afternoon and what you’ve just read has you slumped in your chair because maybe your life isn’t now, or hasn’t always been a case of glorious relationships, then we better sweep away those regrets in time for the weekend.
The Guardian ran a cute piece from a cultural commentator and writer, Emma Freud (yes, Sigmund’s great grand-daughter) who threw out to the Twitter universe the simple question: what is your biggest regret?
She was trying to offer advice to her son who was heading off to US college and eventually, after a Tweet avalanche, to save you reading, penned him this:
‘Before I flew home from Chicago, I texted my college son with this advice: “The most debilitating enemy you can have is your own fear. Own your mistakes but don’t dwell on self-blame. Be confident. Learn from your teachers – you’ll never regret that. Take risks – they may go wrong but it’s better than regretting not having tried. Ring your mother, be kind to everyone and FFS change your sheets.” I’m already regretting the shallowness of the “change your sheets” bit.’
Good advice. Have a great weekend.
*(Feature image by Rolling Stone)