Recently I’ve been thinking about mortality, I’m in my forties now and in my early twenties I’m not sure I thought I’d ever make it this far. Now I’m here I’ve been looking around me, at my family, friends and even strangers on a train. Who’s healthy? What age have people died? What are the commonalities?
On my fathers side it’s cancer and my mother’s it’s strokes. So I’m looking at this and preparing. It will soon be the anniversary of my fathers death, 12 years ago he died and left a gaping hole, one I had never prepared for.
“You can’t predict. You can prepare.” Howard Marks
I heard the above quote on a recent Tim Ferriss podcast, it reminded me I have to prepare for my own passing. What happens if I die in the next 12 months? 2 years? 5 years? I have yet to make a will, I also don’t have a legacy I’ve worked hard enough on, so what would I be leaving behind?
Death is a subject many of us shy from and I’m uncomfortable thinking and writing about it yet I know I need to prepare, we all do.
So my focus right now is on preventing an early death. I can look at my lifestyle and make changes based on current knowledge around cancer. I can make sure my mind is active and that my blood is strong for prevention of heart problems, I can do many things to eliminate the risk. It may or may not help yet I can’t sit back and do nothing.
“It’s not lost on me that everyone dies, but some people have a kind of immortality about them, and you can’t imagine that they will ever be gone.” – Henry Rollins
What are you thinking about for your life? Each morning I write “I’m grateful to be alive ” in my gratitude journal. It’s easy to forget how simply being here, on this planet, in this universe is actually a miracle.
There’s a 3 minute song from Monty Python describing this view better than I can:
“…Just remember that you’re standing on a planet that’s evolving
And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour,
That’s orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it’s reckoned,
A sun that is the source of all our power.
The sun and you and me and all the stars that we can see
Are moving at a million miles a day
In an outer spiral arm, at forty thousand miles an hour,
Of the galaxy we call the ‘Milky Way’.
Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars.
It’s a hundred thousand light years side to side.
It bulges in the middle, sixteen thousand light years thick,
But out by us, it’s just three thousand light years wide.
We’re thirty thousand light years from galactic central point.
We go ’round every two hundred million years,
And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions
In this amazing and expanding universe.
The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
In all of the directions it can whizz
As fast as it can go, at the speed of light, you know,
Twelve million miles a minute, and that’s the fastest speed there is.
So remember, when you’re feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth…”
You can listen and watch the video at the following link, it’s funny and thought provoking, enjoy! https://youtu.be/buqtdpuZxvk