Friday, January 9, 2009

Eight(y) is Enough

The last things I thought I would be talking about when I started this blog were death and old age and other depressing shit like that. But that's what's been happening in my life, so there you go and there you have it and there you are. Anyway, if you're not depressed enough by the post-holiday-economic-meltdown-seasonal-affective blues, let's see what we can do about that.

I sent my father's widow (I've never been able to call her my stepmother, since I was in my 30's when they married) a Christmas card, and got this message in reply:

I hope this is still your correct email address. Merry Christmas to you and (wifey)! I appreciate your remembering me this year. My life is very quiet now and I don't drive very much anymore, so I stay home a lot. Some of my friends cannot even do that. Enjoy each other and do all the things that you wish to do while you and young and able.

I mean, Holy Shit! What am I supposed to do with that, besides everything in my power to make sure I don't live that long? After sitting alone in the dark for a couple of weeks with a bottle of Jack and a loaded handgun, I decided that the only thing any of us can do is to take her advice. My father went through several careers and started a number of companies, the last when he was 79. He used to say that when a door closed on our lives (NO! Not the window thing!) it was time to pick up whatever we had left and head on down the road. (Whew! Close one.) My father was full of crap about a lot of stuff, but I think he had this one right.

Life is too short, people. And to paraphrase someone smarter than I, it's definitely too short to live it in a way that makes us wish it were shorter. It's also too precious to spend it beating ourselves up because we're too fat or we don't make enough money or our job sucks or we already broke our resolution or our loser <pick one> left us for some <pick again>. I can go you get the idea?... good, because we were about to go blue.

So be happy today. Do something you've always wanted to do. Or watch reruns and eat a whole box of Cheeze-its. And if you end up never visiting the Parthenon, don't beat yourself up about it. The thing we can never do later is live our life the way we wanted to live it at the time.

If I weren't so lazy/busy, I would go find one of those Bon Jovi smiley face things to put here. You will have to use your imagination.

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