As I Approach My 8th Decade

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS Nutritional Periodontist
September 30, 2016 [printfriendly]



as-i-approah-my-8th-decadeSomething happens, as you get older. I can’t tell you exactly when it happens, but I can tell you it happens. I am approaching my 8th decade of life. For me, three things clearly changed. There was a deeper appreciation for life; there was a sense of what life really means, and there was a yearning to make an important contribution.


Appreciation For Life


No one can motivate another. Motivation must come from within. And, I believe everyone has a tipping point that allows each person to become self-motivated.


For some, it might be a life-threatening event like the survival of a heart attack that sparks a change. For others it might be the birth of a grandchild and the wish to live to see that beautiful baby become a beautiful adult. Others might need to launch a new career or get married to believe a change is necessary. Still others only may need to learn that there is a healthier way to live.


The tipping point for me was when I had a stroke at the age of 59. But, I really never learned a healthy way of living until I was 66 years old. I sought solutions to the causes of my stroke after it happened, but the knowledge of healthy nutrition and lifestyle was not clear until age 66. That’s when I totally changed my life for the better. It took 7 years of searching before I found the means to truly appreciate a healthy lifestyle and how it could nourish my physical body.


Meaning Of Life


Life has a different meaning for each of us. For me, the meaning took shape in my 60s. I began to realize that physical possessions were just a facade. The winner of life was not who had the most toys when he or she died. A deeper meaning of relationships became front and center for me. This might sound like a cliché, but the importance of being there for someone and caring about someone and giving to someone became profound for me. I now can feel it deep within me.


Life’s Contribution


At almost 70 years old, I want to make a dent in this world. I want to leave something of great value. I have learned so much about diet and lifestyle in the last 4 years that I want to share my knowledge with all who want to hear. I am not the only voice out there, but I am another voice who wants to be heard.


What I have learned and now practice has changed my life completely and has made me healthier today than I ever have been. I wish that the younger generations could understand the importance of what I have to tell. You see, what happened to me at the age of 59 did not happen over the course of a year. My stroke was caused by an accumulation of poor diet choices and poor lifestyle choices for decades. The causes of my stroke accumulated over decades of neglect. I have written about this before and speak about this to audiences. I often start off my presentations to groups of people by asking this question, “If you knew a train were coming, would you get off the tracks?”


Final Thought


Maturity is a beautiful thing. It presents an opportunity to look at yourself for whom you really are. If you don’t like what you see in the mirror, you and only you have that moment in time to make a change. I did!


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