Be ridiculous, fart, and be merry.

It seems as though I brought rain to Shanghai. Sweet (apologies for the vulgar-ish title)

What really annoys me is that I had expected Shanghai to be insanely hot by the time I got here. Granted, it was, but for 4 days so far total. At the moment, it’s raining a fairly large amount and the fact that I have shorts and one pair of jeans is a bit annoying. However, I’m not going to complain. I dislike heat so the fact that it’s raining makes me happy. Makes things feel like home. Almost.

Here’s one thing you don’t really see often back in Vancouver. A bunch of old, retired people hanging out at a local park or sitting around on a bench or sidewalk and just chilling and doing their thing (after typing this, I’m kicking myself for not getting pictures of things like that). You’ll see a lot of old folks back in Vancouver near retirement homes, maybe, but generally speaking you don’t see them loitering in one area for an entire day. Loiter…I like that word (speaking of which, ever wonder why signs always use that word when, for the most part, I don’t think people really understand the meaning in its entirety?). Anyway, where was I again? Right, old people. Earlier today, I saw a bunch of old folks playing away on various instruments at a local park I went to with my relatives. I don’t ever recall seeing that in Vancouver, but I don’t rule out the possibility of it. It got me thinking. Usually we associate getting older with being “less movement, less work, and less effort”, basically less in whatever it is that makes you tired. How healthy is that?

When a lot of people retire, it seems that they choose to stay at home and only go out when needed (i.e. groceries). There are, of course, exceptions but for the most part it’s either “chill” at home/retirement home and do basically nothing or go travel the world with tour groups. Which of the two is healthier do you think? Probably the latter. Of course, not everyone can afford to go on random vacations and those that do may only go once or twice at best (this is all based on speculation bear in mind). So let’s say you get old and retire. What do you plan on doing with your time? Take a break and just sit on that couch and watch the tele? Surely after working for so long, you deserve that. Right?

Maybe, but is it the best thing to do? Doesn’t seem like it. When you’re older, it seems as though when you choose to do nothing you just get slower. Yes, it may have to do with aging, but ever not talk to any person for a while and notice that when you start talking to someone again (let’s say maybe 2 weeks or so) it seems a bit odd and you find it hard to think of things to say? Generally, people like talking to other people. Some like to talk non-stop and some like to talk in short bursts. Regardless, a lack of conversation makes the brain slow and turn to mush.

Sitting around and being lazy feels pretty nice when you’re doing it. If you’ve done it for a long time, you’ve probably noticed that you don’t have the same amount of strength you did when you moved a lot (as an example let’s say you used to go for walks a lot). The less of it you do, the more weak your muscles become (regardless of the aging process). The weaker your muscles become, the less you are able to do.

The less you are able to do, the more you will just sit there. The more you sit there, the more your body turns to mush. Throw in some conversation…wait what conversation? You have no strength to get up and go out and talk to people.

So, a lack of conversation and a lack of movement turns both your brain and your body to mush. For that reason, a lot of the elderly have health problems. Constant movement or social interaction can solve not every health problem, but I do believe that these things play a role in a person’s mental and physical well being. So when you get older, I would say you owe it to yourself to be healthy bot mentally and physically (and if you’re an economist, think of how much money that can be saved from unnecessary healthcare costs and used elsewhere).

A lot of people seem to dislike getting old. What’s wrong with it? For starters, everything you’ve done in life previously is done and being old is probably the best time to be ridiculous, fart, and be merry. You don’t get to do crazy physical things like you did when you were younger, but you are able to a lot of things that people won’t judge you for (or at least, if they do it’ll be more like “oh he/she is old, it’s what they do”). I for one can’t wait to get old and be ridiculous.

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5 thoughts on “Be ridiculous, fart, and be merry.”

  1. Just know you are in shanghai when I visited your mom and dad, good for you, always be careful on your solo trip in china, leave me your contact info in Shang hai, I could ask my friend take you to go somewhere else special. Take care!

  2. Your comments on maintaining vigorous physical and mental activity for the elderly — if not for all of us — for a life that is healthier and of higher quality is so true.

  3. I like the detail of your writing! For me its depth vs breadth vs time so I usually only go at a surface level. The insight on old people is very good.

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