[ live like you’re dying ]

Okay, is that the craziest, most short-sighted advice ever dispensed? Or could it be the smartest? There are lots of variations, of course:
> Live each day as if it’s your last
> Tomorrow may never come
> Today is all we have
And on and on. These melodramatic aphorisms are meant to wake us up, I guess. Make us pay attention to the wonders and mysteries of life. Appreciate the joys of family and friendship. To let go and be carefree. But if we all did that, if we all lived like we’re dying, the world would be chaos.

Someone needs to do the hard work, right? Someone has to plan. Someone has to prepare. And build and organize and accommodate and feed and tend and provide. The entire population can’t abandon responsibility and start behaving like sybarites. We need to suck it up and conduct ourselves like responsible people. The world would be a much better place if we bothered to look ahead and consider the consequences before we acted.

Hedonism is unsustainable.

I know this because I’m a great example of what happens when you live like there’s no tomorrow. I just didn’t realize that’s what I was doing until I saw a promo for Blacklist, the NBC crime thriller about a former naval intelligence officer turned high-stakes criminal turned FBI informant. The complicated lead character is played by James Spader, a guy I positively adore, who spends his days dodging hits and vengeful killers and elaborate murder plots. So the philosophy suits him.

Me? I’m just an unprepared flake who expected to get older, sure, but not to get old. And I haven’t. Yet. Although doddering infirmity has begun to seem like a real, although remote, possibility. Then what’ll I do? Well, don’t ask me, I’ve been busy living like I was dying. Which means I haven’t given it a moment’s thought. I’ve no Last Will. No Testament. No medical directives. No beneficiaries or executors or funeral plans. No stock portfolio or long-term care arrangements. I’ve corrected that, however, by constructing a detailed plan to wing it. 

C’mon, nothing— no plans, no preparations — will change the fact that life is a crapshoot. Just ask the dinosaurs. Oh, right, that meteor thing wiped them out. 

copyright © 2023 the whirly girl

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