A physician giving a research presentation said, “Despite available treatments, all patients with Exceedingly-Rare Syndrome* eventually die.” He paused after this, as a thought just occurred to him, and added, “Well, we all die eventually.”
Thinking about death is encouraging
I had a bit of a bad week. I’ve been sick and I felt as if I wasn’t firing on all cylinders. I had read about people with COVID having ‘brain fog’ and I did not understand what that meant. I didn’t have COVID but now I think I get the idea. It’s just being slower to remember or understand things. It sucks.
At first, I felt a little bad about not representing myself at my best, but it occurred to me that probably no one gave it a second thought. Yes, meetings are recorded these days but I’m pretty sure that’s only to protect organizations in case of a lawsuit. Honestly, in your entire life have you ever gone back and watched a Zoom recording of a meeting?
If I died tomorrow, every committee I’m on, every contract I have, they would replace me the next week and forget me the week after that. As my husband pointed out, Queen Elizabeth was the queen of England for decades and the month after the funeral she was out of the news.
If people aren’t talking about a queen after she dies, do you really think they are going to be remembering you wore the same dress to two meetings in a row, mispronounced ‘petunia’ or did o soto gari when you were asked to demonstrate o uchi gari? In case it was not clear that question was rhetorical, the answer is , “No”.
I’m probably not going to die tomorrow, so I am still paying my taxes and car insurance. However, the number of people I know who have died in the past few years has put my daily life in perspective. Every day, I try to do the best I can at work, teaching judo, with my family. At the end of the day, I don’t worry about it. Yes, hopefully, I have an impact, but it’s not worth sweating the small stuff.
Life is short. Live a little.
I know five people who had strokes in the last year. Two of them were close friends of mine. Five of my good friends have had cancer in the last year. Two of them died. The three that survived still had a difficult time, with chemotherapy, radiation and all the side effects.
My point is that when we look at life expectancy of 78 or 80, we need to realize that, even if we live that long, a lot of us are not going to be climbing Machu Pichu or dancing the tango at 75.
So, I jump at it when I have the opportunity to go with a certain bowtie aficionado to Legoland and stay in the Ninjago room at the Legoland Hotel (Who knew there were ninja legos? Apparently, it’s been a thing for years.)
If a hair-ribbon wearing, German wheeling (is that even the right verb?) ten-year-old wants to go on a Disney cruise to Cabo San Lucas, I’m down.
Yes, I work a lot of hours and I am still building new products, but I realize that there is more to life.
I may die tomorrow, but until then, I am going to have a life.
* Okay, so no, I don’t remember the name of the syndrome he was talking about, but that’s not really the point.