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article imageWorking Yourself to Death Might Be a Good Idea

By Carol Forsloff     Jan 8, 2009 in Health
Sick and tired of working already, and you are only 55. Don’t give up early, scientists say. The longer you work and work to achieve, the better for your life span.
Science says those who keep going at the wheel, keep going period.
The oldest woman in the world, who died at the age of 115, according to news reports a couple weeks ago, was one piece of evidence that working hard and having good discipline helps longevity. Maria worked on a farm her whole life. Her life goes along with US researchers who have fund that traits like conscientious, persistence and industry are tied to long life and good health. There’s one like that in the town of Natchitoches who is that same evidence of hard work and a life that stretches past that normally anticipated time for it to end.
Dora Benson, a great gal in Natchitoches, is going strong in her 90’s. She worked until age 65 as a nurse, in Chicago and Houston, then returned to her home town to care for her mother until the mother died. Then she started caring for other people and still does. She has a 65-year-old who is disabled and lives with her. Dora tends to the woman’s regular needs. But she doesn’t stop there. Another woman in her community is also ill and in her 60’s. Dora cares for her too. She also does volunteer work at a local community center teaching quilting as well as providing more volunteer service at her church than anyone in the congregation. Dora was a Bush “Point of Life,” one of two people receiving the award in the area of Louisiana where Dora lives.
Resilience and the ability to persevere in the midst of hardships is also a characteristic researchers say is associated with long life. Dora lost her home and all her possessions in a fire less than four years ago. Church members got together and replaced furniture and some special items Dora would need. But her house was gone during a window of time when she had just had the title transferred from her mother, with no insurance. Now she lives in a small apartment in a poor area of the parish. Yet she doesn’t complain, and when I interviewed her for this story she was smiling about how kind people were in helping get the things she needed to continue her life.
So if you want a long life, here’s the secret. Care about yourself and work hard. Don't give up, and have hope, that quality Barack Obama, President-elect, talks about as well.. And if travail comes along, accept it as part of life like Dora does, and you can go on and on for many more years than you think. That’s her secret she said I could share with you.
More about Death, Longevity, Obama
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