“The first person to live to 150 has already been born" says biomedical gerontologist Aubry de Grey. It’s taken me a few months to wrap my head around that thought. He may or may not be right but let’s just toy with the assumption that it’s a true statement. Let’s assume that the quality of life would be relatively good, for imagination’s sake.
If I lived to be 150 years old, I would be halfway there at the age of 75! What would that mean for the human psyche? As it stands now, my husband and I are setting our sights on retirement in a few years. Our plans for the future consider retirement income and what we’ll do with our time. We have several ideas and most of what we’re doing now is in anticipation of retirement. But how would we behave if we’re not even halfway through our expected life spans?
We could have multiple careers, or, just double down on the careers we have now. We could pivot from engineer and marketer to software programmer and botanist. And even pivot again decades later.
We could earn multiple degrees from a variety of educational institutes. We could learn skills that we never had time to learn before. Perhaps we’d be wiser since we tend to get wiser as we get older.
There would be more time to travel and gain new experiences. Perhaps the world would seem much smaller to a 150-year-old. I wonder if we’d get bored at some point.
We would get to meet our great great great great grandchildren. And they would get to know us. They would have a much better understanding of their generational roots.
Society as a whole would change as well. I played with this in my book series Twenty-Seven where a rare plant was discovered that, when introduced into the bloodstream, reverted the body back to the age of 27. In the books, the outcome is problematic because the older folks are not making room in the workforce for the youngers. Athletes are competing longer, Politian’s staying in office longer. The world stage becomes crowded. That’s how I imagined it for my book series.
When would you slow down? At 135? And when you’re 135 I guess you would need a really big cake to fit all the candles, or, just purchase a 1, 3 & 5 shaped candle.
When competing in a marathon, runners tend to sprint at the end, depleting what’s left of their energy in order to achieve the best time and placement in the race. Perhaps we as a society should start thinking about sprinting at the end of life instead of thinking about coasting into the sunset. It’s all a mind game and we should play to win.
Thoughts that are alien to any of my other projects can be found here.