Thinking of having a same-old, same-old weekend? Wretching over your woes... or your age or your bank account or whether that dirty old bucket list is half empty or half full? No. Read this first, then find a wiser use of your time. Laugh, visit, bike, browse, do, discover... whatever it takes, says Renae. It may work, it may not, but at least it's living. Wise words for a Friday afternoon. (Editor's note on the photo: These people just looked they were living. Doing nothing special, or everything special. Maybe a little of both?)
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.