How We Spend Our Lives
I was reading Amusing's post The Great Beyond. She says:
At a certain age, I think death begins to affect you more personally than ever before.I think about the length of life, probably every day. Using her words, I've been bumped up in line. My parents are gone. They died at 50 and 65. Those ages are in my head as "the end."
A few years ago, I was at a meeting in Hanoi with nearly all Asians. When a speaker asked how many of people thought they'd live to an old age, they all raised their hands. I didn't. Many of them live in countries like Bangladesh where the life expectancy is shorter than it is in the U.S. And yet, I'm the one with my hand on the table. (I'm having deja vu. Maybe I've written this on my blog before.)
The net effect of thinking about how life doesn't go on forever is good. It makes me want to buy a kayak this summer. It makes me want to get that tattoo. It makes me want to see the world. It makes me read this Annie Dillard quote every day:
How we spend our days, of course, is how we spend our lives.
Tattoo update: Tomorrow night. Last attempts fell through, but I have a definite appointment at 9:00 tomorrow. I will post a photo.