Tuesday, August 02, 2005

My Own Mortality

Yesterday I received the third death notice by company email I've gotten in the past few months. The first two were for people I knew, this one is not. Still, it's never a pleasant email to open. Sad news, tough times, we'll update you about arrangements, etc.

All three died young. Two were somewhat expected, coming after struggles with fatal diseases. One was a complete surprise, an assumed heart attack in the middle of the night in an otherwise healthy individual.

It's hard not to think about your own mortality, and that of those around you, when seeing those messages. It's a cold reality that some day you will wake up to face the day without those you have faced it with for so long ... or someone else will do the same in your absence.

I keep writing and erasing words here, trying to capture what I'm thinking. I'm failing miserably.

I guess it boils down to this. Many people have some kind of mental checklist of things to do "before they die." The whole idea is ridiculous. You could die tomorrow, you could die at 105. If you wrap up the list by 45, are you going to stop living? It's not about what things you do, it's about how you do them. I may never jump out of a plane, or see the Great Wall of China. But when, each day, I make a hundred small choices, I know I make them right. And that's what matters.

I try not to worry about whether I do it all. I just try to do it right, whatever "it" is.

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