Monday, March 26, 2018

Not down for the count (yet)

I was watching a program on Facebook TV yesterday about the homeless epidemic. The commentator said the average life expectancy of someone living on the streets was 58 versus 78 for a non-homeless person. And although I was shocked at how short a person's life was who was homeless, I was also a bit taken back that in theory I only have another 18 years to live.

My father died from stomach cancer when he was 76 years old. My mother died when she was 87 years old. So if I live to an average of their ages I would be about 82. That still only gives me another 22 years. But if I have to work until I'm say, 68 years, that would only leave about 14 years to enjoy retirement.  And who knows what my health will be like.

Doesn't seem quite fair, because if I work that long I will have been working for 44 years.

Mortality sucks. I know that everyone eventually dies, but when you start to quantify it into the number of years you have left, it becomes too real. And all of the cliches in the world about enjoying your life sink in.

George Bernard Shaw supposedly said that, "Youth is wasted on the young." At 60, I am understanding that more and more. It is a pity that we can't live life in reverse. I can't tell you how much time I wasted in my youth mourning over useless things that in the scheme of things mean nothing.

I can't even think of things that I would counsel my young self about since I know I wouldn't have believe me if I did. I wouldn't have been able to fathom not worrying about what others think. I wouldn't have been able to grasp the concept of forging a strong relationship with myself before worrying about having a relationship with others. And god forbid I accept that it is better to do something you love doing for a living rather than having do something that makes money.

But you can't orchestrate the past. And you can only orchestrate the future to a certain extent. I've been trying to focus on living in the moment. It is pretty much all you can depend upon.

At least for the moment.

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