Monday, January 13, 2020

Would You Approach Life Differently If You Knew When You Would Die?

Someday, you will die. Wow... now there's a catchy first line of a blog post to entice you to read on! And yes, the sarcasm is intended. None of us like to talk about death, particularly our own future death. It's not a comfortable topic for most people. However, the fact is that someday you will indeed die and before that event happens there will be people you have known who will die. Sadly, some people younger than you will die before you do, and you may be surprised later in life to find that you've outlived many people that you thought would live longer than you. No, death is not a comfortable topic. It's not something that you casually discuss around your job's water cooler or bring up as dinner conversation. Generally speaking, we tend to stay away from the topic of death until an event occurs which brings death to the forefront.

The title to this writing is a question: Would you approach life differently if you knew when you would die? I've thought about that question and can tell you that I honestly don't think I would alter my current life if I knew the precise date of when I would die. I plan to continue working my job, paying my mortgage, being the best husband I can be to Kelley, and being a supportive Dad and Stepdad to my children. I do certain things every day that I would continue to do even if I knew when my death would arrive. I hold Kelley's hand each day; I tell those close to me that I love them; I enjoy moments of watching those I care for participate in the things that they enjoy; and, I attend church weekly with my family. No, I don't think I would approach my life any differently than I currently am if I knew when my final day would be.

I recently punched some personal information into a longevity calculator to estimate my life expectancy. Why? Just curious I guess. Based on the results, I should live to 93 years of age -- which is fairly consistent with my family's background. I'm 54 years of age now and the calculation told me that I have a 75% chance of living until at least 84 years of age -- which is 8 years greater than most. So, barring being hit by a car or some other unexpected event, I should live another 30 to 38 years. I'm hoping that's the case because I'll be able to see my children in their 50's! My parents are in their mid-80's and are getting to see their children's lives as I and my siblings are in our 50's and 60's. I hope to experience the same.

By the way, in my heart I'm aiming for 100. If George Burns could do it, why can't I? And I don't even smoke a cigar! Don't know who George Burns is? Then it's quite likely that I'm older than you!

Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,

Paul Staso