Hi everyone! It’s been a long time since I’ve written. My apologies! I’ve been so focused on being the best that I can be and haven’t really shared online. Today, I knocked out another item off my bucket list, I got my motorcycle license! Woo Hoo! Lately, I’ve been feeling much more focused and determined and I will do my best to write more often and keep in touch.
Today, I wanted to talk about life and how freekin’ hard it can be sometimes. LIFE IS HARD! I know, I know, it’s part of life, but I’m at the age now, 49, where many friends and family are starting to deal with some sort of illness. Sick or dying parents, family members and Cancer and other illnesses. It sucks! Cancer SUCKS! It seems as though we are consistently losing people that we love and watching our loved ones wither away with some illness. I’ve reflected on death before and as I started to reflect and think about what it means to grow old, I started reading articles online and stumbled across this article written back in 2014.
The article was about not wanting to live past 75, called “Why I Hope to Die at 75” by author Ezekiel J. Emanuel. Ezekiel is an oncologist, a bioethicist, and a vice provost of the University of Pennsylvania. Now when I first read the title, I thought to myself… That sounds absurd! Then I read the article and I was amazed about how much I related to the article. I really found myself agreeing with a lot of the authors statements.
Death is a loss. It deprives us of experiences and milestones, of time spent with our spouse and children. In short, it deprives us of all the things we value.
Now before you jump to judgement, he talks about not wishing to die but that for many people living beyond 75 can also be a loss. The author states that, “It renders many of us, if not disabled, then faltering and declining, a state that may not be worse than death but is nonetheless deprived.” I believe that many of us can relate to this because as I grow older, the last thing I want is to be is a burden to my family and loved ones.
It’s also an interesting topic for me because I’ve had too many close calls in my life; most before the age of 25. Iraq was probably the most significant of those life experiences. It was there that I learned to cherish life by thinking about death. Some may say it seems morbid, but I feel that, in some strange way, by thinking about dying, it makes me think about living. I want to cherish my life and live it to the max. I’ve been following an author and coach, Brendon Burchard, and after his near-death experience, while in the hospital, he asked himself three questions. “Did I Live? Did I Love? Did I Matter?” I can so relate to these three questions and for me they have become my battle cry. When I am on my “deathbed” I will ask myself the same questions and it will be how I choose to live and judge myself everyday.
Did I live?– Did I live my life to the fullest? Did I take advantage of all my talents that God blessed me with? Did I do everything that I wanted and set out to do?
Did I Love?– Did I love my family and friends fully? Did I love unconditionally? Did I spread love and kindness wherever I went? When I touched people’s lives, was it for the better?
Did I Matter? – Will anyone ever know that I was here? Did I leave this earth better than I found it? Did I leave a positive mark wherever I went? What will be my legacy?
These are, without a doubt, very deep questions. These are the questions that drive me now. I’m not sure how I will feel when I’m 75; hopefully I’ll still have my wits about myself. I am focused on continuing to take good care of myself and exercising but there are no guarantees in life. I’ve heard of people smoking until their 90’s and healthy marathon runners dying of cancer in their 30’s. Who knows? What I do know is that until I am no longer part of this earth, these 3 questions are how I will judge my life. My purpose! My mission!
What do you think? Are you living? Are you loving? Will you matter when you’re gone?
Let me know and leave a comment.
Wishing you all the best and “Fair Winds and Following Seas”!