Lucia has something to say

Monday, April 09, 2007

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.

9 Comments:

Blogger Thailand Gal said...

I'm really looking forward to seeing a picture of your tattoo! Exciting!

Can't help it! I love the darned things. :)

As for end of life, you know.. I'm getting up there in age. My maternal grandmother lived to 100. My paternal grandmother lived to 80+. Using that data, I guess I'll live another 30 years or so.

Truthfully, I think we know when it's time to go.. and we just do.


Peace,


~Chani

1:29 PM  
Blogger Gordo The Geek said...

What's that line? Live today as if it's you last ... Or something like that.

My maternal Great-Grandmother made it to 104, I'm being stalked by combination of heart disease and diabetes, though. I keep telling people that I have plans for 2073 (I'll be 104), though. That's when they open Kingston's sesquicentennial time capsule.

2:06 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...

Ooh congratulations on getting the tattoo. Can't wait to see it.

I like Gordo's way. Make plans for way ahead, got to make it to your plans! Then again, living it up now - kayak, tattoo - good choices too.

2:29 PM  
Blogger meno said...

I love my kayak, and my tattoo. :)

Watching my parents get old makes me think about getting old and dying often.

I don't know whose quote this is, but i like it:
The foolish man fears death. The wise man fears illness.

4:58 PM  
Blogger kat said...

That is so fantastic you are getting a tattoo! I love markings. I have several myself and am always planning the next one.

(Sorry about your parents, I lost my father very young and am also without a mother. I feel ya.)

8:51 PM  
Blogger Popeye said...

The whole getting a tat thing really did change my life. It was an outer change of something I regcognized happening on the inside. It was great. . .

10:09 PM  
Blogger QT said...

For whatever reasons I think about it too - both of my parents are still here, but I feel like time is slipping away and I haven't seen everything I want to see.

So make plans it is, I guess!

Can't wait to see the tattoo - I'm envious!

4:41 AM  
Blogger Citymouse said...

Tattoo... you are brave! I haven’t gotten one for fear of what it will look like in 20 year and because I won’t be able to donate blood for a year if I do... So I will live vicariously through you!

8:58 AM  
Blogger Scott from Oregon said...

I have to honestly say I loathe tattoos. I dond't understand the impulse. Art "looks" better when it is not faded into mottled flesh... That sort of thing.

But to each his or her own, I say.

I DO however, love kayaks. I have big shoulders and arms and skinny little legs, so I was born to paddle...

One of the greatest realizations I think people can make about "the end" is that, once you have reached it, your regrets get left on the ride.

12:08 PM  

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