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During a recent bout with morbid curiosity, I spent some time with a Life Expectancy Calculator, trading facts about my physical and mental past for…a number. A number which absolutely plays into the category of, “If you don’t want to know, seriously, don’t ask.”

So lets have a look at my scoresheet of suspect decision making to-date:

I smoked for roughly 17 years until the pretty girl I was courting said she would never marry a smoker.

I’ve had a weight swing of roughly 40 lbs in the past 20 years, and the swing rarely comes down.

I spend the better part of my career in traffic, and when you couple that choice with a fairly significant and nagging case of ADD, my odds of a fiery demise are pretty well astronomical as compared to the norm.

And, I love you Mom, but you’re British. Your DNA isn’t gonna do me any favors, nor is Dad’s. Unless…do you want to share any deep dark secret about abducting me from a Russian couple on a yogurt farm outside Vladivostok?

Computing…

72.

As in, holy shyte ……….. 72.

Let’s set aside the really emotional stuff for now, like the chance of missing a father-daughter dance, a grand-birth, or leaving my wife so early that she feels she HAS to replace me, and deal with the purely selfish. Time is no longer endless, like it was when I was a kid… you couldn’t move the clock no matter how hard you tried… couldn’t make Santa come but once a year, couldn’t stretch summer to feel like it lasted more than a couple of days. Now, especially with kids, time moves exponentially, horrifyingly so.

72 means I’m well past halftime, and I only just realized. And clearly I haven’t been paying attention, and therefore haven’t been planning. Haven’t been learning my lessons, haven’t been applying them to avoid the ones to come. If there were ever a time to start to do it “right”, it’s now.

So, at the tender age of 40, I’ll call this lesson number one. Get with it, already.

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