I spent years—a decade almost—researching my family's genealogy. I was almost back to Jesus when reality, cold and stark, confronted me. The one fact that was conclusive beyond all reasonable doubt? They were all gone. I packed them all away one spring morning.
I leafed through the papers one last time, pages upon pages of born here's, died here's. Their dashes flashed by like a flip book.
Then there it was... That Moment. The moment that I realized that I will never do all that I want to do here on Earth. There are places that I won't see, faces that I won't touch, people that I won't love, books that I won't read, wine bottles that I won't open, and chocolate that I won't eat.
I'm sure each individual reacts to That Moment in their own way. I remember going into the kitchen and making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich after mine. I personally dislike the "bucket list" craze. The idea of limiting my dreams and goals to the contents of a tin pail is just plain mortality frugality.
That Moment forces us to face facts. Like that there are some things that I have always wanted to do that I won't, i.e., eat lunch sitting on the paw of the Sphinx after riding a camel across the desert.
And that there are some things that I want to do that I may actually get to do, i.e., play connect the dots on a Dalmatian, zip line, hot air balloon…
And that there are a lot of things that I don't want to do but that I will do, i.e., put on another pair of panty hose.
Tearfully I asked Don after another mortality moment (a close brush with death when a large green tree frog jumped from a door onto my bare chest), "Why do you think that so much weird stuff happens to me?" He replied, "Because you live."
If I live a lot, I am going to get hurt a lot... but I will increase my chances of injury AND pleasure, both. So, I don't really have a short list, my list is short. Learn to fly, fly away. Every breath is a mortality moment.