Reflecting on a 100 Year Life.

One hundred years of life, what a privilege.

It was his principles and long-term habits that kept him healthy and happy.


The closing words of my Father’s eulogy were,


“So many memories.

  So many stories.

  So much fun.”


These simple words have somewhat eased my sadness over the last four weeks since he passed.


I feel they succinctly sum up his outlook and his life.


It has been such a privilege having my father as part of my life for 62 years and to witness what a “one-hundred-year” life looks and feels like.


It has not been all chocolates and roses and looking after a very, independent elderly man is neither easy nor enjoyable.


But for me the overwhelming feeling is that of pride.


The opening line of my eulogy stated,


“For as long as I can remember, I have been proud to be the son of Ron McCallum.”


My Father missed meeting his great granddaughter by 5 days.


Below are some words of advice I feel he would want me to pass on to her. I’ll call them “Ron’s Life Principles.”


  1. Never stress too much about money.
  2. Invest time in helping other people.
  3. Remain physically active your whole life.
  4. Marry the right person.
  5. Have many varied hobbies (passions).
  6. Learn something new every day.
  7. Don’t take yourself too seriously.


These are the seven principles my father structured his life around. I think I could easily write a separate article about each one of these statements but for now I’m going to focus on this simple message.


“It’s all about your everyday habits”.


Long living, healthy people appear to live their lives according to a set of principles and habits – which are also congruent with living a happy life.


Generally, these life habits can be summarized as.


  1. A good “natural food” diet.
  2. Plenty of sleep.
  3. Good, long-term relationships.
  4. Not too much stress.
  5. Consistent exercise.
  6. Meaningful work.
  7. Moderate alcohol, No smoking, No drugs.


These life habits are neither easy nor hard – just sensible.


To be effective these habits must be consistent, preferably lifelong.


However, living according to these 7 habits is not that simple.


Life is not a solo pursuit.


Families are complex and ever changing.


We are all being pulled in several directions at once.


A new problem or crisis is just around the corner.


My father was far from perfect.

He was a man of his generation, an only son who grew up during the great depression.

He was single minded in the pursuit of his passion for sailing, flying, and skiing.

His saving grace was that he married my mother who was his match in all regards. She was smart enough and industrious enough to enable him to indulge in all his hobbies and business endeavors.


A long and fulfilling life doesn’t just happen. It’s a team effort and it comes from collectively knowing what you want and knowing what’s important, then applying these preferences and values to your everyday life. Always pulling together, always moving forward, and always knowing “what’s next”.


My father loved history and consumed books at an astonishing pace right to the end. He also loved telling stories to anyone that would listen. His ability to site names, places, dates, and statistics at will was truly amazing.


One week before Dad’s passing, I spent the day with him, taking him to a doctor’s appointment, then later having lunch together, just as we had done every fortnight for the last 9 years. He was in fine form and espousing his quirky wisdom right to the end.


Thanks for reading,

Stay safe and hears cheers to a long life.




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