Independent Minded

Dennis Friedman

I WOKE UP THIS morning at 4:15 a.m. I don’t need an alarm clock. My internal clock makes sure I’m up at that time.

I hopped out of bed and did a quick shave with my electric razor. I put on my running shorts, shoes and T-shirt. I headed down to the kitchen. I ate half a toasted organic sprouted-wheat muffin with a thin layer of peanut butter and a small portion of a banana.

I felt pretty good this morning, so I decided to run rather than walk my three-mile loop. When I returned, I had an egg white omelette with mushrooms on a whole wheat tortilla. I also had nonfat plain yogurt with fruit.

After breakfast, I brushed my teeth with my nondominant hand. Such activities, I believe, are good for my brain. My wife asked me to pick up tuna fish and kidney beans at the store. I looked at the label on the tuna fish to make sure the only other ingredient was water. I also made sure the kidney beans had no sodium.

This afternoon, I did some strength exercises in the garage with a few weights and resistance bands. For dinner, we had fish with vegetables. Afterwards, my wife and I went for a walk.

At 8 p.m., I took my cholesterol pill. Since it’s thought your cholesterol production is highest at night, I felt it was a good time to take it. I read a little and then called it a day.

That’s my daily routine. As I grow older, I become more health conscious. I try to eat a healthy diet and stay active. No, I’m not afraid of dying. I’m also not trying to live a longer life. What I’m trying to do, at age 71, is stay independent. The best way to do that is to maintain my mobility and mental capacity.

I want to continue to live in my house that has 18 steps leading to our bedroom upstairs. I don’t want to live in an assisted living or retirement community. I like where I live. I want to stay here until the end. The only other person I want to live with is my wife. I also don’t want to be a burden to her.

When I was younger, my goal was to be financially independent. Today, I realize that isn’t enough if you want to live life on your own terms in your later years. For that, you also need your health.

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