When it comes to knowing the secret to a long life, who better to talk to than a centenarian? Some say it all comes down to eating healthy or exercising daily and others say they’ve just been blessed with good genes. Possibly the most unconventional response came from Scotland’s Jessie Gallan.
The 109-year-old woman who has become the oldest female in Scotland revealed her
few theories about why she’s lived so long and it was quite funny. She recommends smiling every morning, having a bowl of porridge for breakfast, and the most important, avoiding men during her whole life.
Jessie explained, “My secret to a long life has been staying away from men. They’re just more trouble than they’re worth. I also made sure that I got plenty of exercise, a warm bowl of porridge every morning, and have never gotten married.”
Jessie was born on a farm in Kintore, Scotland in 1906 to a family with five sisters and one brother. In a tiny two-room cottage, all seven of them would sleep together on a straw-filled mattress. From the age of 13, she worked hard and didn’t take many vacations. Although Jessie attended school for a while, she left to work in a farm kitchen and then a housemaid in the city for a wealthy businessman. This was followed by a career in the service industry in both the city and countryside. Her last job was as a waitress.
“I have never had to depend on anybody,” Gallan said, “but I’m fine.”
Jessie also attends church on Sundays and likes listening to music. Moreover, she credits being active and staying social to living as long as she does. A caregiver from Crosby House, a residential care home for seniors where she stays said, “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.”