Where would you go to learn the secrets of living a long life? Many of us would agree that speaking to centenarians is the best way to start. Some of those centenarians talk about eating healthy or exercising daily and others talk about how it is all in your family tree. There was even one centenarian, Susanna Mushatt Jones, who claimed that eating bacon was the reason she was able to live for 116 years.
A national survey of American centenarians was commissioned by Holiday Retirement in 2015. These were real people who were able to live over 100 years. Some of the questions included what it took to live such a long and meaningful life. The secrets that were uncovered included spending time with family, saving money early, not running away from your problems and staying physically active.
Jesse Gallan, a 109-year-old Scottish woman had the most unconventional response and people are loving it.
Gallan was born on a farm in 1906 in Kintore, Scotland. She had five sisters and one brother and all seven of them grew up in a tiny, two-room cottage. They slept together on mattresses stuffed with straw and she was only able to attend school for a short while before she left to work in a farm kitchen. She then worked in the city as a housemaid for a wealthy businessman. Eventually, she started her career in the service industry both in the country and the city.
When she got older, Gallan moved into the Crosby House, a residential care home for seniors. One of the support workers told the local news station: “Jessie is a lovely woman. She has got her best friend here, Sarah Jane, and they are always together. She likes her music and likes her exercise class and is a very independent person. She is always walking about.”
Judging by her kind words, this centenarian sounds like she would also credit her old age to being active and living a social life. She passed away in March 2015 but she left behind the secret to long life that we have never heard before.
“My secret to a long life has been staying away from men,” said Gallan. “They’re just more trouble than they’re worth.”
She also added a dietary component to her secret to long life.
“I like my porridge. I have all my life.”
Gallan did not necessarily cover any of the survey points mentioned above but she did live them. She was a social individual that stayed active and perhaps staying away from men was the proverbial cherry on top that kept her alive.
Although we’re not advocating staying away from marriage if you want to live a long life, we are highlighting that it is a combination of healthy habits and life choices that can keep you going. Perhaps you may even be able to live into your hundreds!