Have you ever thought about exactly what determines the normal lifespan of an animal? Not on an individual basis, but as a species? I mean, why do dogs of a certain species have a predictable lifespan? And why do rodents live for only a couple of years while elephants and whales live for about 80 years?
Well, there’s a very simple formula for the lifespan of any species. It all depends on the size of its body. More specifically, it depends on the size of its heart!
As it turns out, this whole lifespan business is all about the heart.
But there’s one other twist to this. And it all comes down to how quickly or slowly the heart beats. Small hearts beat quickly, and large hearts beat slowly.
Have you ever thought about how many times your own heart beats in a lifetime? If not, you should. Why? Because every animal on earth has a lifespan determined by a limited number of heartbeats.
So what’s the magic number?
It’s one billion!
That’s right; one billion. And when an animal reaches one billion heartbeats, poof! It kicks the bucket.
So, little tiny animals have little tiny hearts that beat very rapidly. Tic-tic-tic-tic-tic, all the way to one billion, and then it’s time to kick the bucket on the billionth beat. That’s why small rodents like mice live for only about two years. Their tiny hearts use up their billion beats really quickly.
And great big animals like elephants and whales have huge hearts that beat very sluggishly. T-h-uuu-d … t-h-uuu-d … t-h-uuu-d, slogging their way through the beating process as if the heart is lazy. But all that lazy beating takes a loooooooong time to reach a billion beats before they kick the bucket.
Humans are considered mid-sized as far as species in the animal kingdom are concerned. Based on our body size, heart size, and rate of heartbeats, we should die at about the age of 50.
But the odd thing about humans is that we get a billion beat bonus.
We really don’t follow Mother Nature’s billion beat rule. Instead of one billion beats, we get a bonus of about an extra billion beats! That’s a pretty boast-worthy bonus if you ask me!
Our “higher intelligence” has enabled us to make scientific and medical advances that have given us the benefit of a lifespan that’s about double what Mother Nature intended.
Isn’t that cool? A billion extra beats. You can’t beat that!
But there’s a flip side.
Those billion bonus beats mean that, instead of kicking the bucket before we reach the age of menopause, we’re living to, through, and beyond the age of menopause.
If you really want to know the truth, menopause itself is a bonus.
I know, I know, you’re probably scoffing right now.
But most animals don’t even have a menopause. Their life cycles are designed such that once they’ve completed the task of reproduction, they kick the bucket. So Mother Nature sees no reason to keep animals alive unless they’re contributing to survival of the species. So the lifecycle rule is: birth, reproduction, and bucket-kicking.
What strikes me as odd is the fact that human females actually buck the billion beat bonus. They dread menopause. They go into denial when they’re in the throes of menopause. They perceive menopause as a curse.
I know menopause isn’t exactly a stroll through a lily patch, but it’s better than the alternative … which is kicking the bucket.
Why would you bicker and brood over your extra billion beats as if they were some kind of burden or bummer? Why are menopausal women belaboring menopause as if it’s some sort of burden?
Instead of a brief life that’s over in a blink, you get to bask here on earth for an extra billion beats. Menopause is your billion beat bonus. So, hey, don’t buck it. Your billion beat bonus is your alternative to kicking the bucket. And you can’t beat that.
I think we should all be bouncing off the walls, bragging and boasting about our billion beat bonus. We should be busting with bounty and beaming with the blessing of our beautiful gift. By golly, it’s a lot better than kicking the bucket.
This article, was written by Dr. Barbara Taylor.