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Nina In New York: Do What We Say If You Want To Live

Long Beach, Long Island (credit: Christina Tarsia)

Long Beach, Long Island (credit: Christina Tarsia)

A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York. The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.
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By Nina Pajak

In a very apropos follow-up to the news that wives who put pressure on their husbands are basically homicidal maniacs, new evidence to the contrary has come to light.

A recent study conducted using 7,000 Americans over fourteen years has concluded that those who live their lives with a sense of purpose wind up living longer.

From BBC News:

. . . the researchers found purposeful people had outlived their counterparts, even when controlling for other factors such as negative mood.

Furthermore, the added years did not appear to depend on the person’s age, or whether or not they had retired from work.

That’s right. That means the “sense of purpose” need not stem from career, or professional ambition. In fact, one of the researchers simply noted that any “overarching goals” in life could lead to longevity. You know, like pleasing your wife? By doing things she asks you to do, be they quotidien or lofty in nature? And maybe by listening to her, sometimes?

There are some magical people on this planet who possess the discipline, self-direction and motivation to set overarching life goals and actually keep sight of them and continue working towards achieving them over the years. These are probably the same people who run a hundred miles a week and personally save whales with their own two hands and resew all their kids’ lost buttons while still having time to read The New York Times cover to cover daily, all before they sit down to a homemade meal fresh from the garden paired with a lovely Rose, which they artfully photograph and post on Instagram where all their hundreds of fabulous friends express their awe.

Aw.

For the rest of us, we need a little prodding. A little needling. Sometimes it’s not what we feel like hearing. Sometimes it’s irritating to be constantly reminded of the ways in which we have yet to succeed and all the work that lays ahead. Sometimes we just want to lie on the couch under a really soft blanket with the air conditioner blasting while we binge watch old seasons of The West Wing, because it makes us feel smart and in-the-know and isn’t that enough? Why can’t that be enough?

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We get it. We know. We need to be told. We get in our own way sometimes, we lose sight of what’s important and we need a bit of a push. We know what’s best for us, we just get so tired. But there is nothing more deadly than getting too tired to pursue one’s overarching life goals. Nothing. Certainly not nagging.

In fact, one might argue that we actually need nagging in order to stay alive.

Take that, Danish men. Put that in your Bang & Olufsen and smoke it. Now go thank your wives, apologize, and do whatever it is she just asked you to do.

Nina Pajak is a writer living with her husband, daughter and dog in Queens. Connect with Nina on Twitter!