MONDAY, MAY 24, 2010
We attended a funeral Friday morning for a friends sister who passed away at only forty two years of age. Not nearly enough time for her to do everything she wanted to no doubt. Very sad indeed.
Yet the service, attended by literally hundreds showed that she was able to do quite a lot in the time she had.
My mother died at forty two. So did Elvis. Seems that it’s a tough age to get past. Six years ago, I thought about that quite a bit. I think we all need a point of reference to step back and take stock. That was a full year that allowed me to, I think it’s shaped my current perspective more than anything else has.
A life is typically measured in years. There is a start and and an end. It’s easy to measure in a manner we all comprehend. Lots of old people are celebrated simply for the fact that they were able to make it to eighty or ninety or so years without stepping in front of a bus or catching a deadly virus. We’ve all heard crap like this….
Crazy Aunt Ida: Oh look at Mel, he’s stopped drooling, and you can’t even see the diaper lines under his slacks! What a treasure, only 92 years young!
Fuck that. You and I both know Mel has been an irritable schmuck for most of those 92 years, scratching his balls at the most inappropriate times, and he’s been a drain on his entire family since his ears first starting growing hair longer than what was on his head. It’s really not an accomplishment to outlive your friends and family, that’s simply the luck of the draw, and an inconvenience to your children.
What is an accomplishment, is if you’ve done something with your life that has laid a positive impact upon others. We’re all capable of it, even true Boneheads. Look, I’m not going to get all preachy – you know by now, that’s not my place, nor is it the intent of this humble blog. Truth is, I’m probably the last person who should start telling you how you should make the most of your life in whatever time you have. Although, I have done plenty of crazy shit in my life. I look back without regrets – so somewhere in there must be some positive elements.
A good buddy of mine likes to sum up what he does every day as gathering pictures for the wake – as if he’s outlining images of how he’ll be remembered every day.
Wise advice, particularly if you wish for your memory to be a positive one.
Life shouldn’t be measured in days, weeks, years. As you get older, don’t you find yourself saying that you’re “only as old as you feel”? We all know that’s a load of crap. You get older, you feel like shit. Things take a little longer to get working in the morning. It hurts a little more the day after the company softball game, you need reading glasses to read garbage like this. It’s ok though, you get around it when you realize it’s nice to sometimes step back and sit down. That was the topic of my previous post – I hope you’ve read that one by now – if not – you missed a good one.
You never know just how many days you have – yup, that’s the mystery of life.
Imagine for just a moment though, if you were privileged at the end of yours to receive a few moments to look back and judge for yourself how those days were spent. Would you look back in anger for the days you wasted worrying about how long they would last? Or, would you take solace in the fact that you lived each day to the fullest, and your time was defined by passion, effort and goodwill? Did you do the things that you enjoyed, or did you curtail some of that happiness for fear that it was bad for you? At the end of the journey, I’m pretty sure you’re not going to be thinking about how happy you were that you had that salad last Tuesday, but rather you’ll be wishing that you had enough time for just one more burger and beer.
There’s not a damn thing you can do to ensure a long life – because you really just don’t know when that out of control bus might slam into you. You never know when you might be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and you never know when those bad clams might be really fucking bad. It’s with this understanding that I try to face each day as an opportunity. An opportunity to spend with my best friend, or just to gain some new insight into a topic of which I was previously unaware. Sometimes it’s an opportunity to impact someone’s life in a way they’ll always remember, and sometimes it’s just an opportunity to enjoy a great single malt and some of the earth’s fine yield.
Now I’m sounding like a cliche. I hate that, but can’t seem to stop.
I hope you can stretch your days to the point where you’re satisfied, but be careful with the items you use to fill the gaps of time within each. Too often we mistake our big problems as tidal waves when they’re merely ripples in the pool. And too often we miss our big splashes by covering our eyes when we dive.
The point of the journey is not to arrive – but to make the most of each step along the way.
I hope you’ve jumped in with your eyes open.
Oops…Cliche boy takes over…..and has assumed control. I’ll quit now before this spins even further out of control. See you again, unless the bus comes for me.