Children are sometimes asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, although psychologists like Adam Grant have numerous reasons as to why this should not be posed. Many of us were asked this question and likely responded with a desired career that is not what we pursued. This is not surprising. A child cannot imagine working in an occupation that they have never been exposed to or that does not yet exist. Or sometimes a child wants to be something that is simply not possible.
Such was the case for a young girl who was asked what she’d like to be when she grows up. Her response was simple, “I should like to be a horse.” Certainly, that was not going to happen. But by age four, she had a pony and started learning to ride.
As a teen, the adult life she desired was not to be. She told her riding instructor, “had she not been who she was, she would like to be a lady living in the country with lots of horses and dogs”. The then Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary knew not only the privileges that came with Royal life, but also the vast responsibilities. Little did she know that the highest of responsibilities would come early in life and for the rest of her life. Taking on the role of queen at age 25 and serving 70 years was not on her bingo card!
Queen Elizabeth II was incredibly popular, even by those who disdain the monarchy and its dark side. For many of her generation, the Queen was a role model since very few women were in positions of power. The Queen carried out her duties with style, grace and never a lapse of proper manners. She was seen as the enduring calm in the storm during turbulent times such as World War II, Royal family scandals, Brexit, and COVID-19. Despite all the trapping of royalty, at times the Queen was more like an everyday person – walking her beloved Welsh Corgis, eating a picnic lunch or being witty. From commoners to world leaders, she earned respect with her commitment to service of people around the globe.
The Queen’s life cast new light on what it means to be “old”. Well into her 90s, the Queen continued to walk her dogs and reportedly rode her horse as recently as last year. In 2021, the Queen received the Oldie of the Year award, which recognizes the achievements of older people. The Queen declined the magazine’s award in a letter from her spokesperson that said:
“Her Majesty believes you are as old as you feel, as such The Queen does not believe she meets the relevant criteria to be able to accept and hopes you will find a more worthy recipient.”
Queen Elizabeth’s rejection of ageism aligns with the recognition of September as Healthy Aging Month. The purpose of Healthy Aging month is to raise awareness of the health of older adults and to support efforts to help people stay independent as they age. Help spread the word by sharing the MyHealthfinder resources to encourage adults to protect their health as they grow older!
This Weekend Reading Series begins with An Ounce of Prevention with some of the latest healthcare news on wellness such as the role of dental care in heart attack patient, threats to no-cost preventive services, and more. Next, check out Living Longer exploring the challenges facing older adults and caregivers. Do not miss Behaving Royally? with articles on work behavior, lying, kindness and other areas of current human behavior. Last, but not least, check out A Touch of Royalty and my personal favorite James Bond and The Queen London 2012 Performance!
I hope you enjoy the following:
1. An Ounce of Prevention
- People who receive periodontal care have better outcomes after heart attack (University of MI)
- Court Ruling May Spur Competitive Health Plans to Bring Back Copays for Preventive Services (Kaiser Health News)
- Covid-19 in seniors linked to increased Alzheimer’s risk, study finds (Washington Post)
- Don’t let shrill debates keep you from getting a Covid booster (STAT)
2. Living Longer
- Can You Die of Old Age? More Doctors Are Saying Yes (The Wall Street Journal)
- The Quiet Cost of Family Caregiving (The New York Times)
- National Poll on Healthy Aging – Arthritis and Joint Pain (University of MI)
- While Inflation Takes a Toll on Seniors, Billions of Dollars in Benefits Go Unused (Kaiser Health News)
3. Behaving Royally?
- What the #@$%! Happened to Our Manners at Work? Because of pandemic rust, a generational shift or something else, the working world is getting ruder, many say (Wall Street Journal)
- Kind gestures bring recipients more joy than we assume (Futurity)
- Men are more likely than women to flirt at work for personal gain (Futurity)
- Lies are more common on laptops than on phones – how devices may shape our behavior when bargaining with strangers (The Conversation)
4. A Touch of Royalty
- The Bloody Attempt to Kidnap a British Princess (Smithsonian Magazine)
- God save the corgi: The queen made them famous, but for their owners, these stumpy lil’ dogs will always be royalty (Washington Post)
- The History of and Story Behind the Crown Royal Logo (Money Inc)
- Queen Elizabeth’s Scone Recipe – Sent Jan 24, 1960, to Dwight Eisenhower (National Archives)
- James Bond and The Queen London 2012 Performance (Video)
Enjoy the weekend!
Suzanne Daniels, Ph.D.
P.O. Box 1416
Birmingham, MI 48012
Office: (248) 792-2187
Email: [email protected]