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Sometimes customers ask me for suggestions about what to write in a personal message for their gift recipient. My ‘go to’ wish is usually along the lines of ‘many more happy and healthy years’, because you can never go wrong with that. But does that make sense for someone who is turning 100 years old?  

True, it could be that 100 years is enough time to explore and travel and raise a family, have grandchildren and even great-grandchildren (perhaps even great-great grandchildren) and experience a whole lot of good things and maybe some not such good things as well. 

Still, I don’t know about you, but I think I’d be perturbed if when I’m older, friends would stop to evaluate if they should actually wish me any more time on earth. I mean what does that even say about me (or about or the friend)?! Truth be told, I don’t care how annoying I might become or how difficult I may be - I would expect my friends to wish me many years of life, regardless of my age! 

A Centenarian is a person who lives until or beyond 100- and I can’t help but wonder- how does a person even live that long? According to Wikipedia, Japan has the most Centenarians per 100,000 people. What are the Japanese doing right? Make no mistake- more than anything, diet determines life expectancy. Did you know that Japan has the lowest obesity rate in the world?! The Japanese eat a whole lot of fish, fruits, vegetables and rice (good carbs!). Vegetables belong at every meal and portions are small and eaten mindfully. The lifestyle of the Japanese is also a contributing factor. They remain active in later years but are known to work in less intensive fields or in a part time capacity. Also, families offer a strong sense of support- children care for their elderly parents both financially and otherwise, and the connections that are maintained are both healthy and necessary!

There is certainly a lot we can learn from anyone who is aging gracefully, and I can assure you that each person will have their own list of tips and secrets that keep them going but still, the facts remain: a positive attitude is more important than you think, what we put into our body ultimately affects the way it works, staying active keeps our bodies well oiled, and faith has proven to keep us healthy in more ways than one!

To all the Centenarians out there- we salute you- and we wish you many more happy and healthy years!